Lakecaster Online

Tournament Pathfinder
By John Presley

The 2000 Missouri BASS Central Invitational was held on November 9 - 11 at Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach Missouri. When I left on Saturday morning it was raining and rained until I got to northern Oklahoma. It took about 11 ½ hours to make the trip from my house. The weather in Missouri had been nice until the Bassmaster's came to town. The first day of practice the temperature was in the mid 40's and raining with wind and thunderstorms through out the day . The first day I practiced about 10 to 12 miles down river and had several bites around boat houses with brush around them. I used a Texas rig worm and a Norman deep Little - N crankbait. The second day of practice the weather was misting rain and the air temperature was about 40 degrees. I went down and found some more coves with brush piles around the boat houses and had several bites. On the third day of practice I stayed near the weigh-in sight and fished the Grand Glaize River but I only had two bites all day. By noon it was raining hard again and it was about 38 to 40 degrees. On the first day of the tournament we had a 1 hour fog delay but when we got on the water it was still foggy and the temperature never got above 38 degrees. That morning as we were idling out we got hit with heavy sleet and light snow. The first day I caught two keepers that went 5 -2 and lost one at the boat about 3 to 4 pounds. I also caught about 10 short fish. We had a 15 inch legal size limit in this tournament. After the first day I was in 82nd place one pound out of the money. The first day standings were 1st place Curt Lytle from Suffolk VA with 5 fish weighing 16-04 ,2nd place Jay Jennings from Sunrise Beach MO with 5 fish weighing 14-12 and in 3rd place Mark Tucker of Kirkwood MO with 5 fish weighing 14-11. The big bass of the day went to Rod Scobee of Benton LA with a 6-13 good for $1,000. The first day their were 481 fish caught and only 23 limits. The second day of the tournament I was next to the last boat out in the last flight. That morning it was about 30 degrees, foggy and snowing lightly. It snowed until a couple hours after daylight but it stayed foggy all day making my Lowrance 350 GPS very handy to find my fishing spots and my way back to the landing. The second day I only caught 5 short fish but my partner caught 3 keepers that went 7 - 12. The second day standings were 1st Curt Lytle the first day leader with 10 fish weighing 28-12, 2nd Mark Tucker of MO with 10 fish weighing 27-05 ,3rd Scott Pauly of MO with 10 fish weighing 25-06 ,4th Chad Brauer with 10 fish weighing 24-04 and moving from 18 place to 5th place was Todd Faircloth of Jasper TX, way to go Todd. Big bass was taken by Bert Thompson of Benton LA good for $1,000 . On the third day of the tournament I was the second boat out that morning but we had about a 10 minute fog delay. The temperature was around 28 to 30 degrees that morning with patchy fog again all over the lake. The temperature never got above 48 degrees all day long. I caught one keeper bass that morning that weighed 2- 02 and several short fish but as we were moving to another spot I lost power in my engine and it would not turn over 3500 rpm. We were 20 miles away and decided to get back close to weigh-in because the problem was getting worse. It seemed to be the power pack and we were worried it would fail completely and we would be stranded 20 miles down river and would have to be towed back or catch a ride. I ended the tournament with 3 fish that went 7-04 . The final results were 1st place Curt Lytle of Suffolk VA with 15 fish weighing 42-15 good for $51,000, and in 2nd congratulations to Jasper's Todd Faircloth for a great job with 15 fish weighing 36 -03 and good for $32,000, 3rd place was Chad Brauer of Osage Beach MO with 15 fish that weighed 35-15 and good for $30,000.The big bass on the third day went to Terry Flack of Camanche IA with a 5-15 bass good for $1,000. Their were 449 fish and only 15 limits caught the last day. This was the first win for Curt Lytle after 4 years on the Bassmaster's Tournament trail. Lytle fished steep bluffs far up the Osage River, where he caught his fish on both a blue and chrome jerkbait and a brown and white medium diving crankbait. He fished his baits really slow like a February pattern because the water temperature continued to get colder each day. Todd Faircloth of Jasper found his fish far up the Osage River where he used crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and tube jigs around both rock and wood cover where the river channel swung close to the shoreline. Congratulations again Todd for a great finish. Chad Brauer spent all three tournament days flipping and pitching jigs under boathouses just a few miles from the weigh-in site. This was one tournament I wanted to hurry up and get over and get back home after the weather and my motor problems but on my way home I ran over a screw and had a flat tire about 30 miles from Joplin MO and had to change it in 30 degree temperatures, then on top of that it rained all the way home until about 50 miles from the house but I finally made it back. The next Tournament on the Bassmaster Central Invitational Trail will be on Sam Rayburn the first week of March.

By the way, when I am not fishing tournaments I am a full-time fishing guide on Lake Sam Rayburn. If you would like to book a trip please call me at 409-698-9713 or Ann's Tackle Shop at 409-384-7685. Or e-mail me at JOHN@SAMRAYBURNFISHING.COM. of check out my website at SAMRAYBURNFISHING.COM.

Good Luck and Good Fishing.

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