10th Place Finish Joe Bass Team Trail Lake of the Ozarks
Just got back from fishing the Joe Bass Team tournament on Lake of the Ozarks. I wasn't originally planning on fishing the tournament but my buddy Chad hit me up on Thursday and said that there was a Joe Bass Tournament on Sunday. Saturday I'd already had plans to celebrate my wife's birthday with some of her friends so figured we could just head down Sunday and try our luck. Fishing was pretty good the week before so I figured what the heck might as well give it a try. Some of the best days are to be had during these winter months so pretty much anytime I get the chance to go fishing on Lake of the Ozarks in the winter I usually take it. We were just going to go fishing and let the chips fall where they may.
The weather forecast was calling for little wind and plenty of sunshine all day this past Sunday. I hoped that we would get some wind because some of the toughest days of the year can be when there is little to no wind on Lake of the Ozarks. They just don't eat as well as under those conditions. Sometimes the fishing can be good under those conditions but most of the time you are in for a grind. I was pretty skeptical that I was going to be able to catch my fish the same way as the weekend before and figured I'd probably have to make some adjustments to get bit.
We ended up not having a keeper in the boat till about 9 am and we didn't end up finishing out our limit till later in the afternoon. The morning bite for us was just puke. We went to a couple of spots and for what ever reason they didn't want to bite. I'm pretty sure we were around them but they were tight lipped. I found out as the morning went on that the fish were more keyed up around those areas where the sun was just beating down on the bank. I just went off a lot of history and caught a couple of fish on some unique spots where I usually catch them under those kind of conditions.
I had to take a jig and just soak it on the sweet spots of docks and move it really slow. It's a tough way to fish without practice because you want to move a lot quicker. It can be tough to make yourself slow down. All you can pretty much do is commit to fishing like that and hope that it works out for the best. It didn't take long with this approach to connect with a solid keeper. We ended up just chipping along at the limit all day and in the last 30 minutes I was able to catch the biggest fish of the day and cull out a little spot with a 3.8lb largemouth. We ended up having a 5 bass limit for 14.25lbs. We missed a check by a quarter of a pound. That's how it goes sometimes.
The bait of choice this past weekend was a 1/2 oz J-Town Tackle Football Jig in the White River Craw pattern. There were several other teams that caught their fish on jigs as well. The jig bite will get better as things move along at the Ozarks. The fish seem to still be scattered about and pretty soon they will start to bunch up. Hopefully I'll find the time to get back down to the lake before the end of January for some more bass fishing. I've got a busy schedule coming up so it might not be till the FLW BFL comes in town that I'll be back down at the Lake.