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

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title
Dylan Hays

“Did that just really happen?” 

That’s all Dylan Hays kept saying over and over as he walked off the weigh-in stage, seemingly in disbelief of what had transpired at the end of his day. But yes, Hays, as fairytale as it was, it did just really happen.

After grinding all week, the FLW Tour pro from Arkansas’ entire tournament came down to his very last cast on Saturday, as he stuck a 4-pound-plus kicker that ended up sealing victory at the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude. 

Complete results

Top 10 baits 

Top 10 patterns 

“That is the most important bite of my life right now,” says Hays of that kicker, which pushed his final-day bag to 14-6, giving him 43-14 total and the win by 7 ounces over fellow pro James Watson. “It’s been a long time coming. I’ve had a lot of top 10s, not getting it done. I finally did it.”

Setting the scene, Hays actually had a decent final day. He’d only been catching six keepers a day the previous two days focusing on brush, docks and the combination of both, but Saturday he caught eight. Problem is, he never had a big bite, and with 20 minutes left his bag only weighed about 11 pounds. That’s when circumstances and fate intervened.

Hays was about to move to one of his two main areas, but a look down at his watch confirmed he wouldn’t have much fishing time if he did. That’s when he remembered a “sneaky” brush pile nearby in about 15 feet. He hadn’t caught anything off it all week, but he had in the past.

“I’m throwing my football jig around, and I broke it off with 3 minutes to go,” says Hays. “So I said ‘I guess I’m going to throw a crankbait for three minutes.’ I threw it and threw it, and I said ‘one more cast,’ and I knew I hit [the brush pile] good. It came over that brush, and it just ate it. 

“My co-angler netted it, and it came off in the net. I threw it in the livewell, pulled my small fish out. The crankbait is still in the net on the floor. I strapped the rods down, pulled the trolling motor up and checked in at 2:29:36. You cannot make that up!”

While the winning fish ate a Strike King 6XD in blue herring, the vast majority of Hays’ weight all week came on the football jig, a ¾-ounce Jewel Football jig in peanut butter jelly with a green pumpkin Zoom Super Speed Craw trailer.

After a tough practice, Hays committed himself to tossing that jig, focusing on the area near takeoff to maximize hitting as many docks and brush piles as he could. Some were in 4 feet of water, and some in 20, but his best ones seemed to be in the 10-15 foot range. 

His plan didn’t amount to much on day one, but more than 17 pounds on day two jumped him into the top 10. And today, the sequence of events at the end proved just enough to finally get him his first major victory.

“This is one of my favorite lakes,” says Hays. “I like highland lakes. I understand them. I didn’t think I was going to win, though. There’s too many good guys here who fish all the time.

“But, I knew I had a good opportunity [to eventually get a significant win] if I kept knocking at the door, and it finally happened.”

 

Top 10 pros

1. Dylan Hays – El Dorado, Ark. – 43-14 (15) – $37,515

2. James Watson – Lampe, Mo. – 43-7 (14) – $13,978

3. Casey Scanlon – Lake Ozark, Mo. – 42-9 (15) – $10,745

4. Ben Verhoef – Osage Beach, Mo. – 41-9 (13) – $8,954

5. James Dill – Sunrise Beach, Mo. – 39-1 (15) – $8,158

6. Lance Williams – Billings, Mo. – 38-10 (15) – $7,163

7. Cory Steckler – Rocky Mount, Mo. – 36-10 (13) – $6,268

8. Brian Maloney – Osage Beach, Mo. – 35-9 (13) – $5,372

9. Dale Andrews – Jay, Okla. – 32-15 (9) – $4,477

10. Ladd Shannon – Atkins, Ark. – 28-4 (8) – $3,834

Complete results

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

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Weighing limits of 15 pounds, 13 ounces on day one and 15-3 on day two, Michael Miller of Greenville, S.C., overcame a tough-fishing Kentucky Lake to win the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card and qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

The Coastal Carolina University duo of Max McQuaide of Tyngsborough, Mass., and Grant Tattersall, of Conway, S.C., won the YETI FLW College Fishing tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Costa with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces. The victory earned the Chanticleers’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

By catching four quality smallmouth bass on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland, Missourian Chad Allison was able to come back from 10th place and win the co-angler division, earning more than $30,000. READ MORE »

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

For the second time this season, Andrew Upshaw is an FLW champion thanks to consistent days spent targeting big Southern smallmouths. The Tulsa, Okla., pro won the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Ky., with a three-day total weight of 42 pounds, 15 ounces. The win comes less than seven months after Upshaw won the FLW Tour event on Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW media staff provides unofficial weight estimates for the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Andrew Upshaw continues to roll on Cumberland. READ MORE »

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland was a bit tougher for some, given the post-frontal conditions featuring lighter winds, sun and cold temperatures. As projected, consistency has been the key and Andrew Upshaw continued to dial in his program adding 15 pounds, 1 ounce to his day-one bag of 14-15 for a total of 30 pounds even. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Championship proved to be about as challenging as many anglers anticipated after a tough practice period, but it wasn’t all bad. Zimbabwe’s Roger Cousens certainly wasn’t complaining. His tournament-leading 17-pound, 2-ounce bag was exactly what he had hoped for as the tournament kicked off, and he’s gunning for another big stringer today. READ MORE »

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

The FLW International Division is well represented in the Costa FLW Series Championship, and perhaps none represented the division better than Roger Cousens of Zimbabwe, who didn’t seem bothered by the stingy conditions of Lake Cumberland on day one. With the only bag that topped 17 pounds for the day (17-2), Cousens enters day two with a 3-ounce lead over Robert Nakatomi, who qualified from the Western Division. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

With rain early and a cold snap forecasted to move in this afternoon, the first day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland could present some unique challenges for the 193-boat field, especially after a fairly mild and pleasant practice period.  READ MORE »

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Roger Fitzpatrick has had quite a fall fishing season. He won the BFL Super Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks in September, then qualified for the All-American by winning the BFL Regional on Grand Lake in October. READ MORE »

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

The Drury University duo of Cole Breeden of Eldridge, Missouri and Cameron Smith, of Nixa, Missouri, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Pro Shops with a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Panthers’ bass club $2,650 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Mark Myers of Cedar Falls, Iowa, is no stranger to the victory circle with FLW, having previously won a BFL as a boater to go with two FLW Tour victories as a co-angler and two more as a co-angler in Costa FLW Series competition. But, his latest win at the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes is the realization of his long-time goal to qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

A severe storm backed up the tides and drained many of the best areas on the Potomac. Adjusting to the unusual conditions and grinding out daily limits were the keys to success in the BFL Regional. READ MORE »

New Dominates Seminole Regional

New Dominates Seminole Regional

Belmont, N.C., angler Bryan New, who’s regularly one of FLW’s top performers in the grassroots ranks, had established a dominant pace. New weighed in 22 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and added 20-2 on day two to carry a lead of 6 pounds, 15 ounces into the finals. A roughly 7-pound margin isn’t necessarily a sure thing on Seminole, but the fall bite was a bit slower than what the lake can produce, and it was obvious New was cruising. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks

Top 10 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks

Considering this was the fourth year in a row Lake of the Ozarks had hosted a Costa FLW Series Central Division event in October, everyone pretty much knew what to expect. And then the weather happened. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake of the Ozarks

Top 10 Baits from Lake of the Ozarks

Fall in the Ozarks is prime time to throw a buzzbait. Sure enough, plenty of the top guys did just that during the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks. READ MORE »

Co-Angler Fernengel Finishes Strong

Co-Angler Fernengel Finishes Strong

He got bumped from the top spot by an ounce on day one, and slipped the third on day two. But Erick Fernengel of Lake Waukomis, Mo., finally ended up on top when it mattered most.  READ MORE »

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude was no walk in the park for the top 10 pros. With a cold front passing through at the start of the event, a high-pressure system settled in for the final round of fishing. While most struggled, Dylan Hays of El Dorado, Ark., sacked up 14 pounds, 6 ounces today – the biggest limit brought in during the final day – and finally was able to wrangle his first FLW title. READ MORE »

Arkansas' Dylan Hays Wins Costa FLW Series Tournament at Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude

Arkansas' Dylan Hays Wins Costa FLW Series Tournament at Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. – Beginning the day in fourth place, Nitro Boats pro Dylan Hays of El Dorado, Arkansas, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 6 ounces, to jump to the top of the leaderboard and win the three-day Costa FLW Series at Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude... READ MORE »