2nd Place and Big Bass U.S.A. Bassin at Lake of the Ozarks
Just got back from fishing the U.S.A. Bassin tournament on Lake of the Ozarks. Originally Nick Ault and I had talked about doing some fishing together to make some videos for his YouTube channel. Last year we were going to do some but our schedules just didn't line up. We planned to just do some fishing yesterday but Nick brought to my attention that they were going to be having a Lucas Oil U.S.A. Bassin tournament out of Robins Resort. I had not been on the Lake of the Ozarks since I'd cashed in the Big Bass Bash but I figured we might as well fish a tournament because with my luck if we didn't enter the tournament we'd catch a mega bag. That's how it usually goes so we decided to fish it. I headed down to the lake Friday night I grabbed some dinner at Wobbly Boots with my buddy Dave and his son. I got the buffalo chicken wrap and some green beans. I've been trying to get back in shape. That meal didn't help but they got good food. Also while at dinner I met up with the owner of J-Town Tackle who dropped off about 300 jigs and shakeyheads for my upcoming season. Over at J-Town they are making some great jigs and shakeyheads with that big round bend hook in them. I was happy to get my jigs for the year. After getting all this business done I finally got over to Nick's place that night and we stayed up till about 1 in the morning telling stories about fishing on Lake of the Ozarks. Nick talked about fishing on Okeechobee as well because Nick's been down there before. Nick's a great guy and it's clear Nick has got the same passion I have for fishing and you just have to have that passion if you want to be successful.
Saturday morning we got up around 5:00 am and made the trip down to PB2 to launch Nick's boat and head over to Robin's Resort. We got our entry paid over at Robin's and were all set to go when as we were idling through the boat check Nick's motor blew what was probably a coil pack. The motor wouldn't start and we were S.O.L. Also the boat was leaking some kind of oil out the back. We asked the tournament director if we could get a ride back at the end of the day with another boat. We got permission for me to come back with our fish in someone else's boat. It was lucky that Nick was friends with Tyler Neis who was also fishing the tournament so we traded numbers and made arrangements for Tyler to swing back at around 2:45pm and take me in with the fish if we had a good day.
Down but not out we ended up having to fish the whole day on just a trolling motor. It was also a great day to be without a trolling motor because there was 15 to 20 mph winds out of the east. It was good for the fishing but not for someone in our situation. Despite all odds we tried to make the best of the situation. It took about an hour to get to some fish but once we did it didn't take long to start loading the boat. The first keeper I put in the boat was the big bass. Then about a half hour later I had a limit for about 13lbs. I caught over a dozen keepers and Nick also caught a few. Then in the last two hours of the day Nick was able to catch a better 2lb fish which was crucial because it allowed us to edge out the third place team by 2 ounces. Nowadays it doesn't matter what tournament you fish the winner is usually determined by just a couple ounces because fishing is just so competitive. We ended the day with 14.19lbs and first place had a little over 14 and a half pounds. The day probably couldn't have gone much better considering our circumstances. Nick's going to be releasing a YouTube Vid on the tournament so stay tuned for that. His Youtube channel is the Ozark Angler. We got all the catches on film and we caught a lot of fish so I'm sure it will be pretty entertaining to watch and I'm looking forward to it as well.
Probably the most notable thing about the tournament was that Tyler Neis and his partner where the ones that got first place. They came back 15 minutes early to pick me up in the Glaize and take me back to weigh-in. It all worked out because we finished 1 and 2. This display of sportsmanship is not all that common these days and I'd like to give a special thanks and shout-out to them for helping us get our fish weighed-in. There was no way we could have gotten back on the trolling motor because it was just about dead at the end of the day and we had a long way to go since we just kept on going down the bank with the wind all day.
For our efforts we pocketed 300 bucks and free memberships to U.S.A. Bassin Tournaments for the 2019 tournament season. I guess I'll have to fish some more U.S.A. Bassin tournaments in between my regular events next year now that I got a free membership. Yesterday was the perfect example that even though things are not going your way to never give up. I've got a trip to Gulf Shores coming up over the holiday break. I'm looking to doing some fishing with the wife. At least I hope the weather will be warmer than the bone chilling 34 degrees we fished in yesterday. I'll have some blogs around my experience in Alabama. Stay tuned and until next time good fishing!