April showers help Coleman crush The Rock

A record-breaking field of 111 kayak anglers descended upon Table Rock for the 2nd stop on the Mo-Yak fishing series sponsored by Everharts Outdoors. Anglers were greeted with water temps in the low to mid-50s to begin the day as a steady rain soaked the entire field for nearly five hours. Despite the conditions, Arkansas’ Jason Coleman emerged victorious after narrowly escaping gardening duty. Here’s his story…

What was your strategy going into the day?
I really didn’t have a strategy going into the event. In my head, this was a pre-fish for an event that my local club in Arkansas is having on the lake in a few weeks. Maybe that was the difference….No expectations and no pressure!

Were you able to prefish and did you find anything that helped you on game day?
Yes, I fished the Sunday before….I’d only been on the lake one time, and never in the area I was fishing, prior to the Sunday before the Mo-Yak event. I had seen an area on Google Earth that looked like it would set up well for the way I like to fish. I fished that area from 9-12 Sunday morning and the fishing was insane. I caught 20-25 fish and my best 5 went 86.5”. The bucks were all over the beds that day, but the females hadn’t moved up yet. The females I caught were on structure back off the banks in 10’-20’ of water.

On tournament day, the first spot I hit was a pocket that was full of beds when I pre-fished. I was thinking the females may have moved in by then, and I could find a few to work on. The beds were still there, but all the fish had pulled off. I pulled out of the pocket and tried a large stump nearby that I had marked in deeper water while pre-fishing. I caught 4 fish off the stump in 4 casts. That pretty much set my plan in place for the day. After that, I just focused on deeper structure in 10’-20’ of water that I had marked while pre-fishing. I hit those 10-12 spots multiple times throughout the day and caught fish on most passes.

What was your best finish on Table Rock before this one?
Never fished a tournament there before.

What was the general tackle you used to win?
I use Lew’s Reactor and Xfinity rods and reels….The Lew’s gear you get at Walmart for a great price! I caught a quick limit on a fat baby finesse worm and had about 72”’s total. I then started throwing a ½oz. Strike King Thunder Cricket and a Red Eye Shad over the deeper structure. All the fish in my totals came on those two baits.

Anything else special about the day?
It was just one of those days where everything went right. Got lucky with a couple of big bites and didn’t lose any fish.

Big bass story?
She hit the Thunder Cricket and I stuck her good. I knew she was heavy but didn’t realize how big she was until I got her on the board. After I got a couple of good photos, I weighed her on my handheld scale… It read 5lb. 14oz. The way the lake was fishing I really didn’t think I had a chance at big bass until I heard the third biggest fish called at the weigh in.

Lose any bigguns?
Thankfully no!

How far did you have to travel to find your fish?
I was about three miles from the nearest launch.

What depth range were you looking for?

Did the weather affect your bite?
Absolutely! If it wasn’t for the rain, I wouldn’t have had any bites. I was supposed to be doing yardwork Saturday, but the wife let me go fishing because it was going to be too wet to plant her flowers.

Do you plan to fish the remaining MoYak schedule?
I’m going to try and fish a couple later in the summer. I’ve got kids playing ball, so their tournament schedules usually determine my weekends. I was lucky to get to fish this one, but I’m going to try Stockton and Pomme.

Derby Stats

Anglers 111 – Another new Missouri kayak club record!
Fish caught – 653
Total limits – 77/111
Margin of victory – 1.75″
Smallest Bass Award – Jerry Cornelius 8″
Air temp at launch – 52
Air temp at takeout – 74
Reported water temp ranges
52-54 main lake
Low 60’s in backs of coves