UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Nasty weather had anglers scrambling all of day one of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks.

Even some of the best locals were driving the struggle bus all day trying to find ways to adapt to fish that moved thanks to the heavy storms. Yet, some guys did adapt well, with the best being Ladd Shannon and his 19-pound, 6-ounce tournament-leading bag.

Yet, behind him are a living legend, both a former and current FLW Tour pro and a local with four top 10s and a win on the lake. So, he can’t be too comfortable, especially with conditions set to change again tomorrow.

Shannon’s leading pattern

Complete results

 

 

Greg Bohannan

2. Greg Bohannan – Bentonville, Ark. – 17-11 (5)

He may not consider Lake of the Ozarks a true Ozark lake like Beaver and Table Rock lakes, but it doesn’t seem to matter much, as Bohannan is in good position for his fifth top 10 on the lake.

“This lake has been pretty good to me in the fall, and I’ve got some stretches I only like to run during tournaments,” says Bohannan. “I don’t ever practice on them, and a couple of them paid off pretty good today.”

Because of that history, Bohannan admits he didn’t practice much before the tournament, especially when he saw the weather forecast. Instead, he decided he’d fish the past based on the conditions. Today, that meant “picking up some reaction baits, going to where the wind was blowing and just fishing.”

Now, that history has also taught him he probably won’t be able to do that tomorrow in those same stretches, as he admits he’s been burned trying that before. So he figures he’ll have to run new water, especially since he doesn’t know what the weather will do to the fish.

“I don’t know about tomorrow,” says Bohannan. “This is not a typical Ozark lake. Beaver, Table Rock, Bull Shoals; you get a high-pressure system and they bite like crazy. So, if we were at Table Rock, I’d say we’d have a phenomenal day tomorrow, but here, I don’t know.”

 

Rick Clunn

3. Rick Clunn – Ava, Mo. – 17-1 (5)

You don’t get into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame by not knowing how to best utilize your practice. And Clunn showed he still is one of the best at it.

Instead of spending practice fishing the warm, sunny, calm conditions, Clunn looked at the forecast and spent considerable effort to try and find a pattern that would work when it was overcast, banking on today being the best day of the tournament to catch a big bag.

Now, how do you do that when it’s sunny all day?

“You focus on two key times: early and late in the day,” says Clunn. “If you can get on something early and late, that will tell you stuff they could be on if you get a whole day like that.

“That’s what you’ve got to do with every tournament is look ahead and see what your conditions are going to be and practice for those conditions. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense sometimes because you’re not going to catch much in practice, but it’s what you have to do.”

Basically, Clunn had a game plan in practice and executed it perfectly today, catching 8-9 keepers up shallow. The ultimate goal was to catch his best bag today, and then survive tomorrow to make the top 10.

“I practiced for this day, but now tomorrow will be a different story,” says Clunn. “The cold is going to hurt the fishermen, but I don’t think it’s going to hurt the fish. But if the sun pops out [my shallow fish] will be harder to catch.”

 

James Watson

4. James Watson – Lampe, Mo. – 16-13 (5)

A gut feeling and a special new lure paid dividends for Watson today.

“I had a feeling the topwater bite would go today,” says Watson. “In the fall time, when it rains on Lake of the Ozarks, it’s an awful hard lake to beat for topwater fishing in the entire country. So I caught all my fish super shallow on a brand new topwater bait I’m making with HD Tackle.”

Watson admits that everything he did in practice he threw in the garbage for today, choosing to fish the conditions. And he clearly was around some good fish based on his bag and the fact his co-angler blasted a 5-11 behind him.

But tomorrow will be a different story.

“Tomorrow is going to hurt a lot of peoples’ feelings with the weather coming,” says Watson. “I won’t fish on 100 tomorrow; more like 50. That bite is going to be a lot slower tomorrow. These fish could react a little bit different, but mark my word, tomorrow you’re going to see two or three of the biggest bags of the tournament.”

 

Cory Steckler

5. Cory Steckler – Rocky Mount, Mo. – 16-4 (5)

While most anglers in the top five went for the quality over quantity approach, Steckler seemingly did the opposite.

“I went through a bunch of keepers today,” says Steckler. “I caught a small limit early, and then the bigger fish started coming around noon. I wasn’t doing anything different. I think they just started biting.”

Fishing deeper docks up toward the dam, Steckler says a big key for him was quickly being able to figure out the fish had changed their positioning on the docks. Once he figured that out, it became little trouble to catch keepers.

As for tomorrow, he’s hoping the front causes the bass to suspend even more so he can continue to do the same thing.

“I’m going to slow down and try to pick apart some of the same areas,” says Steckler. “Then I’ll go look for some of the stuff I didn’t go to today.”

Tags: sean-ostruszka  headline-story  2019-10-10-lake-of-the-ozarks 

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