L.O.T. Ozarks, USA Bassin Regional Finals, Big Bass, September 2017

USA Bassin Regional Finals, Big Bass Video!

Lake of the Ozarks 2 Day Regional’s, September 23-24th, 2017.

It’s was a ‘hot’ weekend with Saturday’s ‘feels like’ temperature near 100 degrees!

Sunny and hot in late September is not a ‘good’ thing for catching bass! But, 31 boats took off from Robin’s Resort on the Glaize arm at Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri in the 2-day regional finals.

Beings it was a beautiful weekend forecast the big pleasure boats were enjoying the lake, creating the ‘giant’ wakes that LOTO is famous for. My partner Brent and I, started off at 7:10 throwing a topwater spook and a buzzbait. We boated 3-4 fish the first 20 minutes, all below the 15″ length limit for the lake. After fishing half a small creek arm, we decided to find some other arm and fish wind blown points which we did until about noon with little success and no keepers.

By noon, with 6-7 fish caught, all non-keepers and the sun feeling like a blow torch, we decided to find some steep, shady banks and try some soft plastics in deep water. No luck. we finished the day with zero keepers and sun burns!

Day 2, September 24th.

Day two dawned a little bit cooler and a chance of some clouds. Brent had to work, so fishing alone I set out on a ‘mission’ to catch some fish that were big enough to ‘keep’. I took off as boat 1, as they reversed the order from the day before. I had decided to check out to the south of Robins Resort, down towards PB2, where another 120 boat tournament took off for their regional finals too.

The prior December, a Tri-County Bass club partner and I had caught 8 keepers in about 2 hours in a 2 creek arms to win heavy boat, all 5 weighed in over 3 lb average!

So, armed with that knowledge, I arrived about 7:20 am to find 5-6 boats covering up the points of the split creek arms. So, moving way in the back of one arm, I began to buzzbait and flip jigs along the docks in the far back. By 9 or so, I’d worked my way two thirds of the way out of this long creek arm. Total keepers first 2 hours = zero! Once again, I caught several fish, all less than 15 inches!

Finally, after working my way to the mouth of the creek and finding the points empty, I picked up my crankbait rods, rigged them with a Norman deep lil N and a Arkie 350 white splatter back crankbait. I had just over 3 hours until the 3 pm weigh in. After catching a couple of 14″ kentuckies, I decided to fish the next arm North, even though there were 3 boats in that area.

As the other boats moved on around the points in the cove, I’d worked my boat to the north side and finally, some cloud cover moved in. I fished from halfway back to the point where my partner had caught a ‘5lb+’ largemouth which won him big bass for the December tournament, and started throwing the splatterback Arkie 350.

Coming up to the undercut rounded point and noticing no one around, I worked my way north with no success. It was now a little after 2 pm. I pulled up the trolling motor, as another boat was heading south towards me. But, as I had watched this video, ‘The Fall BASS Massacre on Lake of the Ozarks’ featuring Marcus Sykora, as he tore them up the October before in winning the AiA tournament championship at LOTO the October before! In that video, Marcus had ‘1’ little 2 pound keeper at 12:15! From that point until 2:45 when he headed to weigh in, he caught 7 keepers. Somewhere with in the video, he says that one of the main reasons for his success is simply that he ‘never quits’!

So, I put the trolling motor back down, spun around and headed back towards the main lake point I had just fished. This time, I cast towards the bank and brought the lure by the the top of a submerged old cedar tree. First time nothing, so I threw back at a different angle, just after it ticked a limb, WHAM, a huge bass totally inhaled the Arkie crankbait! Here’s the short video from cast to in the boat.

This fish came within 15 minutes of needing to arrive at Robin’s Resort for weigh in! It literally came on my ‘last’ cast. I almost left to fish a dock right around the corner from the site! It’s funny, since then in several of the Table Rock fall division tournaments that I’m the division director for this fall and winter, I’ve caught keepers the ‘last half hour’ several times. Watching the Sykora comeback video linked above, several times it made me realized that ‘it’s not over until you’ve made you’re last cast’! Good Fishing friends! Randy Yancey, Bass Angler.