Lakecaster Online

Tournament Pathfinder
by John Presley

The Bassmaster Missouri Central Invitational was held on November 4-6 at Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach Missouri. The weather was very mild this time at the tournament unlike other times that I had fished there. The temperature during the days was in the 60's and rising to the 70's with lows in the 30's and 40's. I think the weather was just to good, with blue bird skies and high pressure setting in. The fishing was really tough the water temperature was about 65 degrees while last year it was about 58 to 60 degrees and the fishing was much better. When you thought you had the fish figured out, you better change and throw something different. It seemed if you caught them carolina rigging one day the next day you better throw a spinner bait. I covered a lot of water during my practice days trying to find some active fish but in this tournament it seemed the bite was the same where ever you went. I had one good day of practice using a spinner bait on chunk rock points. Most of the points I fished that day I caught a 3 to 4 pound fish on the same bait in different areas of the lake. During the tournament I only caught a couple of keepers and finished in 200th place. It was so tough their were around 50 contestants that never weighed a fish in three days of competition. The first day their was only 12 limits caught out of 320 fishermen, and only 6 limits the second day ,and only four limits on the last day. The winner of the tournament was Randy Jackson from Popular Bluff MO weighing in a three day total of 14 bass weighing 34-13 . This was his first Bass tournament to win and he took home the first place prize of $16,000 in cash and a $26,000 fully rigged Ranger bass boat. He caught most of his fish on a ½ spinnerbait with white willow leaf blades and a watermelon red-flaked Crock-O-Gator tube bait with a ¼ ounce weight slid into the tube. He fished around boat docks and chunk rock banks in a channel swing at the mouth of the Niangua river arm. Second place went to Brent Chapman of Lake Quivera,KS. His three day total was 12 bass weighing 34-03 and earned him $2,000 cash and a $25,000 fully rigged Ranger bass boat. He was using a tennessee-shad colored Storm Short Wart back behind the dock cables on steep rocky banks and secondary points. Third place went to last years winner of the tournament Dan Morehead who finished with 10 bass weighing 33-11 that was good for a prize of a $25,000 fully rigged Ranger bass boat. He caught his fish using a Zara Spook which he also put rattles in to the bait for more noise. Most of his fish were taken close to the take off sight of the tournament. Lee Knight of TX finished fourth with 11 bass 32-04 good for $9,000 and finishing fifth was Kevin Van Dam of MI with12 bass 28-10 good for $7,000. To make the money in this tournament 55th place was only 13-09. Congratulations to Bill Guillory of Jasper who finished in 32nd place good for $1,700. And to Jim, it was great fishing with you during your first BASS tournament, you done good. My next tournament is the Alabama Eastern Invitational on Lake Martin in Alexander City , Alabama on December 2,3,4. In my next article I will give you the results and my experiences of that tournament.

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.

Good Luck and Good Fishing.

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