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2nd Place Finish Lake of the Ozarks FLW BFL

Just got back from the Ozark Division FLW BFL on Lake of the Ozarks. I managed to place 2nd out of 139 anglers. It was a great experience. I drew a boater that was from Webb City, MO. The night before the tournament I called my boater to figure out the game plan. My boater hadn't been on the Lake since the previous year but was going to drive up in the morning and just go fishing. He decided that we would make a run in the morning up the lake and start off throwing spinnerbaits and crankbaits on the bank. I was down the weekend before and knew that bite was getting to be really hit or miss. I had a gut feeling that the cranking bite was going to really suck. The weather and the fish trying to spawn was not going to help that bite so I decided to stick to some finesse tactics. My goal was to get a quick limit in the boat. If you have been fishing as long as me the best thing you can do is trust your instincts because usually they are right.I was going to play some small ball and let the chips fall wherever.

We started out pounding the bank in the back of a familiar cove. My boater was throwing a crankbait and I was throwing a finesse rig. I skipped my rig up on the bank and caught a nice 16 inch keeper on about my 4th cast to start the day. My boater kept chunking and winding and I was able to catch another 3 pound keeper behind him right on the bank just dead-sticking my offering. My boater asked me what I was using so I decided to rig him up one of my secret baits. I said here you go help yourself so he rigged up one of my baits on his rod and he was able to quickly catch a 3lber. We fished around the bank and we were both throwing my secret bait and I was able to put 3 more keepers in the boat in a row and a couple more shorts.

I had a limit at about 10 am and I caught a couple more keepers but they didn't help. The bite died off where we were fishing at about 11 am. This time of the year when the big boats come out it's not going to help the shallow bite. We spent the whole afternoon running around trying to get my boater a couple more fish. I threw a couple other things in the afternoon like a big jig and and an Alabama rig trying to get a big bite but that never paid off. To my surprise the fishing was really tough on most people and it only took about 6lbs on the boater side to get a check. I was really surprised there were not more fish caught considering so many fish were starting to come to the bank and bed. My 12lbs 15 oz limit was good enough to get me 2nd place out of 139 anglers for a 1,180 dollar pay day. I held out the top spot till the very end but eventually one angler was able to beat me out with a 16lb bag and change. I thought for a minute I was going to get my first BFL win but looks like I will have to wait for that to happen.

This tournament was pretty special to me not so much because of my top finish but because my Dad was at the weigh-in and got to see me do well in a tournament. It was a fun trip because I got my Dad to drive down to the Lake and stay with me. We got dinner at the Iron Skillet Friday night and then got dinner on the way back from the lake. My dad doesn't fish but he enjoys traveling when he can. I'll have to invite him to join me on some of my future tournaments. Maybe not the ones where I drive 6 or 7 hours to get to a lake but on the stuff that's more local.

This weekend I'll be headed to Oklahoma to fish the FLW BFL on the Arkansas River. I have never fished that river system before but I'm really looking forward to it. I got some ideas for what will work because growing up I used to get out on the Mississippi River around my house occasionally. It's probably a little different but I imagine similar stuff will work. We are starting to get into my favorite time of the year when a lot of different baits start to work really well. Stay tuned for more reports as I continue to travel and fish around the Midwest! I've got a lot of tournaments coming up this month and I'm sure I'll have some big fish catches!

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