Author: Joshua Boothe

Enke Tames the Bull with 90″!

Forsyth, Missouri – With amazing September weather, 4.73 Fish Per Angler, 60% of the field with a limit, and Patrick Bowman’s 21.5″ Big Bass, we finally had a great all-around tournament in 2023. Bull Shoals showed out for Stop #6 of the 2023 MoYak Fishing Series Kayak Bass Trail sponsored by Old Town Kayaks.

After the dust settled, Troy Enke, with 90″, narrowly edged Lance Burris’ last-hour comeback by 3.25″.

Rookie Zachary Woolverton secured yet another top-ten finish and has a 13-point lead in the AOY race. His efforts set the stage for a battle at our final event on Lake of the Ozarks.  Chad Davison and Lance Burris will try to chase the rookie down on their home lake in October.  On the team side, Dorman Hughey and Troy Enke rode Dorman’s pattern to a decisive win over Team Glide or Die (Jake Pruett and Tyler Cokely).

Here are your top ten for the 2023 MoYak Stop #6 Bull Shoals presented by Everhart’s Outdoors.

Troy Enke – 90″
Lance Burris – 86.75″
Cole Armer – 83.25″
Lyle Dube – 82.5″
Pat Lassek – 82.25″
Zachary Woolverton – 81.75″
Jerry Cornelius – 80.25″
Josh Keatts – 79.5″
Michael Sandlin – 78.5″
Patrick Bowman – 78.25″

Let’s take a closer look at the top five finishers and hear how they solved the puzzle on Wappapello in their own words:

What was your strategy going into the day?

  • Troy – Just hope for a limit after hearing all the negative dock talk leading up to the event.
  • Lance – Just start covering water till I started to put something together.
  • Cole – My plan was to cover water and fish channel swings, then fish brush piles in the afternoon.
  • Lyle – My strategy going into the day was to stick with a summer pattern, although the water temps seemed to have dropped pretty dramatically, Fishing steeper rocky main lake banks.
  • Pat – I was hoping for a mid-80s temp on tourney day…well, I got it but the fish weren’t biting.

Were you able to prefish and did you find anything that helped you on game day?

  • Troy – No, I went in blind and leaned on my team partner’s advice.
  • Lance – Did not get time to prefish.
  • Cole – I didn’t get any time to prefish.
  • Lyle – I practiced Friday but very little. I was pretty sure I knew where I wanted to spend my time and didn’t want to beat it up much. Caught a few fish and that definitely gave me confidence for tourney day.
  • Pat – I had a good prefishing day before.

What was the general tackle you used on game day?

  • Troy – Popper with a feathered treble on the back, Mid-sized Plopper in T-1000 color, Spro Bronzeye Frog, and Jackhammer.  Abu-Garcia BlackMax bait casters, 13 Fishing Blackout 7′ M/H rods, TrikFish 20lb Camo Mono (30lb braid on the frog rod).
  • Lance – Kistler 7’3″ mh paired with their 8.1:1 Chromium reel throwing a black and gold CrockOgator buzzbait and a white spook.
  • Cole – Mid-size whopper plopper and a small Yo-zuri popper.
  • Lyle – Throughout the day I mixed in a few different baits to see what I could make work but a 1/2 OZ Jig on a 7’ 6” casting set got all my bites except for one.
  • Pat – Jig and plastic worm.

How far did you have to travel to find your fish?

  • Troy – I began catching fish around 7 a.m. around a mile from the ramp. I covered 8 miles during the day and only had three bites after noon but all were over 15″ and all on the frog on shady bluff banks.
  • Lance – Caught my fish within a quarter mile of the ramp and covered about 5 miles.
  • Cole – I traveled about 2.5 miles from the ramp.
  • Lyle – I did not travel very far at all to find my fish. Never went more than a mile from the ramp I used.
  • Pat – I had about a 30 min pedal to my spot which didn’t matter cause it was still dark for 20 more minutes… During this time, I got hung up twice.

What depth range were you looking for (what was your water temp/clarity)?

  • Troy – I was looking for an all-day topwater bite but I didn’t get one till around 11 a.m. Water temp in the 60’s to start then mid-70s the further down the lake I went. Clarity seemed to change from inches to several feet every 1/4 mile.
  • Lance – Found everything 2-3′ deep by the bank or in the center of the channel blowing up on shad. The water temp was 70 and 6″ to 4′ of clarity.
  • Cole – I ended up catching them in the very backs of pockets, everything being in less than 4ft. Water visibility was 4-5ft and water temp was 80 degrees.
  • Lyle – I was looking for deep banks. Really just pitching the jig up and working it down maybe 12’ before pulling it back. The water was not clear at all. Maybe a foot of visibility, which is comfortable for me.
  • Pat – 3′ to 6′

Was there anything else special about the day?

  • Troy – I was excited to see grass growing so far down the lake. I hope it holds! I caught two limits of fish over 15″ from 7-11 a.m.
  • Lance – Half of my limit came from random blowups throughout the day.
  • Cole – I found a very unique bite. The bass were corralling tiny minnows in the backs of pockets, and the only thing I could get bit on was the popper that looked almost exactly like one of those minnows struggling on the surface. After I figured out that was what was going on, I ran about 8 pockets and caught fish in all of them.
  • Lyle – The only thing really special about my day kind of plays in the next question. The special thing was the amount of bites I was able to get. I did not fish clean through the morning.
  • Pat – Figured out the smallmouth moved in and the largemouth wouldn’t bite that well… I didn’t get my first fish til around 8. I knew the morning bite was done, so I just stuck it out and fished buck brush in 3-6 feet of water with a jig and plastic worm and was able to scrape together a limit of mostly smallmouth.

Did you lose any fish that would have made a difference or do you have a story to tell about your biggest bass of the day?

  • Troy – I fished clean for once and it paid off.  My biggest demolished my frog next to a bluff transition. It all happened so fast that I didn’t have time to get nervous and it jumped next to the boat and then came off in the net after a five-second fight.
  • Lance – Didn’t lose anything, fished pretty clean. The biggest bass of the day came with 20 minutes remaining, blowing up on shad.
  • Cole – I lost one good one that would have culled me up another inch or two. The fish jumped right next to the kayak and went higher than my head. Most acrobatic fish I’ve seen…
  • Lyle – Lost 3 fish I’m certain would have helped. It was extremely frustrating but I kept pitching.
  • Pat – I missed one nice one on a buzz bait in the morning, and that was it. Around mid-day, I was fortunate enough to get a 19.50″ largie to bite.

See any wildlife worth mentioning?

  • Troy – A couple of beavers and several deer.
  • Lance – Saw a wild Dorman in his natural environment.
  • Cole – Saw two nice bucks crossing the road on my way to the ramp.
  • Lyle – No report.
  • Pat – No report.
  • Zachary – No report.

Compared to Beaver, Table Rock, Taneycomo, and Norfork, where would you rank Bull Shoals in the White River chain?

  • Troy – I’d place it third behind Taney and Table Rock.
  • Lance – I would rank Bull Shoals as the top Lake for catching fish there any time of the year with Taneycomo only coming in second because of the size of the bass in that lake.
  • Cole – I love Table Rock, but with all the attention and pressure it’s getting right now, I think Bull Shoals might fly under the radar as the best lake on the chain. Taneycomo is a different animal…
  • Lyle – Bull Shoals is the only lake on the river chain that I’ve fished yet. I’ve had a really great time on the two visits I’ve had and it is beautiful. I look forward to fishing all the lakes in the chain though! I get to fish Table Rock in two weeks!
  • Pat – No report.

What does the rest of your season look like?

  • Troy – I have two MoYak events and the Big Bass 250/Mo Kayak B.A.S.S. Nation event on LOZ then maybe some Moyak winter events.
  • Lance – I’ve got 5 tournaments remaining, the river championship, Bassmaster Susquehanna event, Moyak LOZ, Moyak Championship, and Big Bass 250.
  • Cole – This was probably the last event of the season for me, I’ve got a one-year-old son and another on the way so I’m gonna be busy with dad duty. But I always enjoy fishing with MOYAK when I get the opportunity!
  • Lyle – The rest of my first season is getting short! I’m currently looking at two more events in the next two weekends! A local Kansas City event, the Jackson County Kayak Bass Tournament, and then the KAMO classic on Table Rock.
  • Pat – No report.

Do you have any sponsor or personal shout-outs you’d like to give?

  • Troy – Huge shout-out to Dorman Hughey for putting me on the pattern he found. Thanks to my wife and family, Eco Fishing Shop, and Z-PRO Lithium!
  • Lance – Shoutout to Kistler, their products never fail me. Crock O Gator, EcoFishingShop, Robohawk, Bonafide Kayaks, YakAttack, Ole Blue Tackle, ABC Mowers.
  • Cole – Just a major shout out to my beautiful wife for taking care of our son while I got to go fish!
  • Lyle – I have no sponsors but shout out to my wife Lauren because she lets me get out and learn this stuff and she has been super supportive of all the traveling and being away! She’s the best. And shout out to my brother Adrian! He’s my guy in this and we’ve been having a blast!
  • Pat – None.

Derby Stats
Anglers 62
Fish caught – 293
Total limits – 37 (60%)
Margin of victory – 3.75″
Twenty+ Club – Patrick Bowman (21.25″) Zach Armstrong (20.25″)
Trash Pot – Josiah Rangel – 14″ Walleye
Smallest Bass Award – Chris Moyher 7.25″
Air temp at launch – 65
Air temp at takeout – 82
Water temps reported – Mid 60s to mid 80s

Swearngin Wins on Wappapello

Lake Wappapello, Missouri – Stop #5 of the 2023 MoYak Fishing Series Kayak Bass Trail sponsored by Old Town Kayaks saw just 43 anglers on a steamy Saturday in August. Heat indices over 120 degrees tested even the toughest of our club during the week leading up to the event and they didn’t get much relief on game day.  If the heat didn’t get you the bugs did as the local Dollar General reported record sales of mosquito repellant and sunscreen.

The fish-per-angler ratio of 3.70 was the lowest we’ve seen in any trail series tournament to date.  To make matters worse, less than half the field caught a limit and we only saw one bass over 19.25″.

Robert Swearngin came away with the victory by catching 88.5″, beating out Josh Keatts by 3.75″.  The ROY year race got even tighter as rookie sensation Zachary Woolverton’s 11th place finish helped close the gap on Chad Davison who managed Big Bass honors again by catching a 21.5″ Wappapello unicorn.  On the team side, Slap that bass, consisting of Robert Swearngin and Perry Burton came away as victors.

Here are your top ten for the 2023 MoYak Stop #5 Wappapello presented by Everhart’s Outdoors.

Robert Swearngin – 88.5″
Josh Keatts – 84.75″
Lance Burris – 80″
Micah Funderburgh – 76.5″
Joe Hayes – 74″
Anthony Brown – 73.5″
Eric Easter – 72.25″
Troy Enke – 70″
Jacob Johnson – 68.25″
Mike Dent – 67.75″

Let’s take a closer look at the top five finishers and hear how they solved the puzzle on Wappapello in their own words:

What was your strategy going into the day?

  • Robert – I wanted to focus on staying with my game plan.  I knew I could catch numbers of fish flipping bushes; however, the quality wasn’t there.  I knew if I stuck to my game plan, I could put together a solid bag. I also knew it would be a mental game with the intense heat.
  • Josh – Normally I cover lots of water when I fish, this trip was different. I had found a small run of fish and I knew I’d have to go through them a few times to pick up a limit.
  • Lance – Just go fish and get a limit.
  • Micah – In practice, they were chewing a black and blue chatterbait shallow near channel swing banks. But that was not the case in the tournament so I ended up go with the wacky rig.
  • Joe – Literally get 5 bites and don’t miss… That was it

Were you able to prefish and did you find anything that helped you on game day?

  • Robert – Yes.  I had been keeping an eye on the lake levels for about 10 days prior to the tournament and had noticed that they had been falling 6-8 inches per day.  I was able to fish a little bit Thursday evening.  When I saw the water temperature and the reality of how quickly the lake was falling, I knew I would have to find something offshore in order to find quality fish.  I found a ledge where my graph absolutely lit up with fish and the thermocline broke down a bit allowing them to go a bit deeper. I also found a giant rock pile well over a half mile offshore that was lit up as well.  Fortunately, I didn’t need to hit it on tournament day.
  • Josh – I pre-fished for a total of 4 hours. In the last hour of that time I found the pattern I used all tournament day.
  • Lance – I did get to practice and all I got out of it was two places to not fish and there might be a topwater bite.
  • Micah – I was able to prefish and the only thing that helped me on tournament day was finding a good area. The bait/pattern that was money in prefishing fell flat on tournament day.
  • Joe – Being the closest lake we fish to me (just over 2 hours) I was able to come down a couple of weeks before the event and fish a section of the river that looked nice for a few hours. Didn’t blow them away but caught enough to think I might go there on tournament day. And we came down Thursday night before the tourney so I also fished Friday morning with zero success at a different spot. Ended up going back to the river

Had you ever fished Wappapello before this tournament, if so, how’d you do?

  • Robert – Never been there.
  • Josh – No never been there
  • Lance – Never seen the lake before.
  • Micah – Nope
  • Joe – Other than the one prefish a couple of weeks prior to the tournament, I had fished it once before and caught nothing.

What was the general tackle you used on game day?

  • Robert – Big ugly crankbait and a big ugly jig.
  • Josh – Everything was caught on a white spinner bait with silver and gold blades and a white chatter bait with gold blade
  • Lance – 7’ Kistler Helium medium heavy casting rod with 8:1 Kistler Chromium reel with 40# braid. Crockogator1/2 oz head knocker buzzbait all day
  • Micah – Spinning tackle Buzzbait and wacky rig fished like a fluke ended up being what they wanted.
  • Joe – Square bills, Texas rigged lizard, Senko, and Crock o Gator buzzbait

How far did you have to travel to find your fish?

  • Robert – I stayed within ½ mile of where I launched.
  • Josh –200yrds from the ramp and they were all in a 400-yard stretch
  • Lance – Covered about 7 miles of banks.
  • Micah – In practice, I put in about 14 miles in the yak to find about a mile stretch that I liked for the tournament.
  • Joe – Not terribly far. But I never really sat in one spot long so I imagine I put a few miles in.

What depth range were you looking for (what was your water temp/clarity)?

  • Robert – Most of my fish came 8′-12′ deep.  Water temp was 88 in the morning and 93 by the afternoon with about a foot of visibility.
  • Josh – I was fishing the flooded bushes, clarity was pretty minimal and water temps started at 86 and jumped to 93 by the end of the day
  • Lance – Focused on 2-6′ of water on channel swings with clay mud banks clarity was probably 1-2′ and 85-90 degrees.
  • Micah – Less than 6 feet, water temp was stupid hot and varied in clarity.
  • Joe – I’m a shallow water guy so I didn’t stray far from my strengths. Clarity….. We’re talking clarity? Lol that place is a mud hole maybe 6 inches at best most of the time. Temps started around 86 and made it to the low 90s later.

What did you do to keep yourself hydrated?

  • Robert – I went through 6 big bottles of water and limited myself to only 2 Monster energy drinks that day.  A little ice from the cooler put in my hat felt good too
  • Josh – Water and Gatorade packets, I also like to keep frozen bottles so I can put them in between my life jacket and chest when I get real hot
  • Lance – I drank 15 oz of Monster coffee, 16 oz of chocolate milk (with my donuts), and 3- 28 oz bottles of Gatorade.
  • Micah – Drank a bunch of Gatorade.
  • Joe – This is always a problem for me. I rarely ever stop to eat or drink on tournament days. I remembered that I packed a water and a dew around noon. Drank them both and got back to it.

Anything else special about the day?

  • Robert – Boat traffic; most people curse it, however on a bite like that, the fish always seemed to fire up after a big boat went by.
  • Josh – My daughter’s name is Asher, so I knew I had to check it out during prefish. It led to some good fishing, I guess I owe my wife a thank you for picking her name.
  • Lance – I woke up an hour late putting me at the ramp right when everyone else was took off.
  • Micah – The mosquitoes were terrible for everyone.
  • Joe – Not getting any diseases after going through that mosquito nonsense feels pretty special.

Big Bass Story?

  • Robert – My biggest bass was a 19″er That was about the sickest thing I’ve seen in a while.  Poor thing probably didn’t weigh 2 pounds.
  • Josh – No big bass to speak of, haven’t been able to find one all year.
  • Lance –  Chad barely beat my 19.25″ out for big bass so I had second big bass.
  • Micah – My biggest was 19″ and it hit a buzzbait about 5in from the kayak so, that was a rush for sure!
  • Joe – My two biggest fish came early and not terribly far from each other. It was an area that looked and set up perfect but I didn’t get a bite there in my trip before so I almost skipped it. Glad I didn’t.

See any wildlife worth mentioning?

  • Robert – Some people say it was a beaver, but I swear it was a gator….
  • Josh – 5 ft nope rope that was as big around as a baseball bat
  • Lance – Three danger noodles were out and about.
  • Micah – Lots of mosquitoes.
  • Joe – Not really.

Lose any fish that would have made a difference?

  • Robert – I fished fairly clean.  I only missed 1 or 2 bites.
  • Josh – Not really
  • Lance – I lost two bass in the 16-17″ range that would have given me a decent shot at 2nd
  • Micah – I lost 2 fish in the last 10 min that would have made 3rd place a tight race. I had a trailer hook on the spinnerbait I was throwing and it seemed to be messing up the hookset rather than helping.
  • Joe – Just a gar that might’ve been a decent trash fish. The bastard stole one of my favorite balsa square bills though so I wasn’t too thrilled about it.

If you had a choice to fish Wappapello or Mark Twain which would you choose and why?

  • Robert – Mark Twain – In my opinion, it fishes a lot like Truman (Which I like) and not as swampy.
  • Josh – Mark Twain, bc I’ve never been there either
  • Lance – Mark Twain because I haven’t tried it yet and I seem to get lucky on sucky lakes like Table Rock.
  • Micah – Both are 4 hours+ from my house and not terribly great lakes so I don’t feel like there is a good answer. From what I have heard I’d probably go Wappapello but in the spring or fall, all the locals were saying it wasn’t a very good hot water lake and I agree.
  • Joe – Never been to Twain, and certainly don’t love the wap but if it’s on the schedule I’m game to give anything a go.

Derby Stats
Anglers 43
Fish caught – 159
Total limits – 21 (49%)
Margin of victory – 3.75″
Trash Pot – Robert Swearngin (18.5″ Drum)
Smallest Bass Award – Johnathan Dominguez 7.75″
Air temp at launch – 80
Air temp at takeout – 95
Water temps reported – Mid to High 90’s

Fosnow Stars in the Truman Show

Truman Reservoir, Missouri – Stop #4 of the 2023 MoYak Fishing Series Kayak Bass Trail sponsored by Old Town Kayaks welcomed 85 anglers to an unusually low Truman Lake. Fluctuating lake levels on Truman are just part of figuring out the puzzle for these Ozarks flood control lakes. In 2021 we had three feet more water with the lake at nearly 708′ and in 2022 there was a 11.5′-foot rise compared to Saturday’s 705′.

The fish-per-angler ratio of 4.38 was an improvement over the steady decline we saw from 2020 (4.9 FPA) to 2022 (3.7 FPA). There were seven more limits uploaded than in 2022 with 58% of the field submitting a limit of bass this time around. Just like Stockton earlier this month, the competition was tough with only 10.5″ separating the top 20! However, Stockton wins the race when it comes to the number of fish caught in June with nearly 100 more bass taken during our derby a few weeks ago.

Jared Fosnow continued his dominance over Truman by taking the crown. Fosnow secured an 84.5″ bag, narrowly edging out his closest competitor, Mason Brock who nearly went back-to-back! The ROY year race continues to tighten as rookie sensations Zachary Woolverton and Pat Lassek each clawed their way to another top-ten finish. Chad Davison wrestled a 20.25″ bass out of a stump field to take home Big Bass honors along with a $600 check.

On the team side, Everharts A-Team, consisting of Chad Davison and Chris Robbs, secured a back-to-back victory with a combined total of 97″. With this win, they take a 27-point lead in the Team AOY (Angler of the Year) race into stop #5 at Wappapello in August.

Here are your top ten for the 2023 MoYak Stop #4 Truman presented by Everhart’s Outdoors.

Jared Fosnow – 84.75″
Mason Brock – 81.75″
Zachary Woolverton – 81.5″
Robert Swearngin – 80.75″
Aaron Shimmel – 78.75″
Pat Lassek – 78.75″
Tyy Ward – 78.5″
Chad Davison – 78.25″
Jake Pruett – 78″
Chris Gilbert – 77.75″

Team Winners
Everharts A-Team (Chad Davison & Chris Robbs) 97″ (Best 3 from each angler)

Let’s take a closer look at the top six finishers and hear how they solved the puzzle on Truman in their own words:

What was your strategy going into the day?

  • Jared – Throwing topwater as long as I could then switch to looking for suspended fish along with hitting brush piles and beds.
  • Mason – Rely on what I found in practice.
  • Zachary – I started by working a bluff point with submerged timber and I hoped to find fish shallow early and then slow it down and just pitch trees all day long.
  • Robert – Not to run around, stay on the main lake.  I found some fish while prefishing and I planned on staying on them all day.  I went old school and used a big purple paddle tail worm Texas rigged 95% of the day.
  • Aaron – Keep it simple and stick to the plan.
  • Pat – My strategy was to get a limit early no matter what the size and try to upgrade thru the day.. I seem to fish better once I have 5 out of the way.

Were you able to prefish and did you find anything that helped you on game day?

  • Jared – Due to a lower back injury I elected to not prefish for this one.
  • Mason – Yes, found bass relating to Bream on key banks.
  • Zachary – Nope
  • Robert – Yes, I was able to prefish on Thursday.  I was told that the river arms were dead.  I was able to confirm that.  I moved to the Osage Bluff/Fairfield area and located some fish and lots of baitfish.
  • Aaron – No prefishing, just showed up to fish.
  • Pat –  I pre fished my all american spot, which was terrible

What was your best finish on Truman before this?

  • Jared – This was my first MOYAK tournament on Truman Lake. But this made my 4th kayak win this year here and I think 7th Truman win in a kayak.
  • Mason – 30th of 179 in the last classic. Big bass in June, Moyak 2021
  • Zachary – This was my first.
  • Robert – This was my first Kayak tournament on Truman.  I have won several club events and have a couple top 5 finishes in the Fish For Sight tournament years ago.
  • Aaron – 79th in the 2023 AAKS. This was my fourth time ever fishing Truman.
  • Pat – my best finish at Truman was 2nd in the inaugural All-American classic 2020.

What was the general tackle you used?

  • Jared – Crock-O-Gator head knocker buzzbait, ARK 110 suspending jerkbait, Crock-O-Gator 6” Junior COG worm on a drop shot, Crock-O-Gator 7.25” COG worm on a 5/16 Shaker Pro jig head, All on ARK rods with Daiwa Tatula reels spooled with Seaguar line.
  • Mason – Finesse jig
  • Zachary – 5in Spark Shad by mega bass, 6″ Senko pb and j, Strike king white Buzzbait, Bass pro tungsten Jig pb and j
  • Robert – Big purple paddle tail worm with a 3/16 weight
  • Aaron – 4 of 5 keepers were caught cranking, the other was on a whopper plopper.
  • Pat – I was able to get a dinky limit in an hr fishing shallow using a Rapala brat, then, a wacky worm and a jig.

How far did you have to travel to find your fish – General area of the lake you chose?

  • Jared – I covered several miles but most of it for nothing as once you found one fish there were usually several others with it.
  • Mason – Small creek, 2 miles from the ramp
  • Zachary – I fished toward the north end of the lake fishing the cleaner waters instead of the muddy waters at the south end. I traveled the duration of the morning 30min launch time to get to the point I wanted to start at.
  • Robert – I stayed fairly close to where I launched.  I fished between Osage Bluff and Fairfield all day.
  • Aaron – Launched from Bucksaw Marina.
  • Pat –  I went to an area mid-lake about 20 min pedal from my launch I’ve never fished before and was able to find a few small fish where I decided to fish tourney day, which I had to myself

What depth range were you looking for (what was your water temp/clarity)?

  • Jared – Shallow early in less than 5’. Then moved out to 10’-14’ casting to suspended fish. But all the better fish ended up being in 18’-24’ and right on the bottom.
  • Mason – 4-8ft
  • Zachary – The morning was super shallow around 4 to 5ft in the timber and right off the bluff walls then transitioned to deep low and slow all day with jigs and worms around 12 to 15ft.
  • Robert – I was fishing for suspended fish that were 5′-8′ deep.  They could be over 15′ deep or 45′ deep, or anywhere in between.
  • Aaron – Initially, Top Water. then 0-8 ft.
  • Pat – 10-15′ range off points and timber bluff walls.

Did the weather affect your bite?

  • Jared – I don’t think it affected the bite but did affect the way I was hoping to get to fish for them. I really like throwing topwater to cover water. So I was wanting to see the thunderstorm they were calling for. Rain and heavy winds can make for a killer topwater bite on Truman this time of year.
  • Mason – Something changed from practice to tournament. Practice day was an early morning bite. On tournament day, they bit better late, very late in the day.
  • Zachary – The afternoon storm looked threatening but it pushed out and didn’t cause any problems then the wind picked up which made it difficult to fish without being blown into trees.
  • Robert – Yes, it became cloudy during the middle of the day.  I think that caused my fish to scatter and not hold so tightly to the trees.
  • Aaron – The Wind picked when I got my second 18″er.
  • Pat – Once the sun came out I was able to upgrade a few times.

Anything else special about the day?

  • Jared – Beautiful sunrise with us starting early for this one.
  • Mason – Fish bit all day long. Was one for the memory bank that I will never forget! The last 3 casts of the day moved me from a 15th place finish, to a 5th place finish, then to a 2nd place finish.
  • Zachary – No report.
  • Robert – No report.
  • Aaron – No report.
  • Pat – Luckily I had a spare pedal drive because broke a fin rod off in practice.

Big Bass Story?

  • Jared – My biggest was only 18 3/4” and was a pretty boring catch. It hit a COG worm on the first hop after dragging it past her. It felt just like the other 15”-16” fish I had been catching as it must have just swam towards the kayak.
  • Mason – 3rd to last cast, flipped my jig on a shallow wind-blown tree. Couldn’t have fallen more than 4-5 inches and she picked up the jig. Ended up being a 19-inch last-minute kicker!
  • Zachary – My big bass of the day came on a buzzbait. I saw the fish crash on baitfish right off the shore and I threw what I had in my hand at the time that being a buzzbait and as soon as it passed where he was the fish came up and swiped it under.
  • Robert – I lucked out and caught a 19″ at 1:55 which made all of the difference in my day.
  • Aaron – My biggest came after I’d just gotten back in my kayak from a brief (super refreshing) swimming excursion.
  • Pat – No report.

See any wildlife worth mentioning?

  • Jared – Had a beaver come up and slap its tail at me. A 29”-30” flathead and lots of “Mr. No Shoulders” snakes!!!
  • Mason – No report.
  • Zachary – No report.
  • Robert – Had some trash pandas (raccoons) follow me down the bank for about an hour.
  • Aaron – Raccoon
  • Pat – No report.

Lose any bigguns?

  • Jared – Nothing of any real size. I fished pretty clean other than two fish in the 16”-17” range.
  • Mason – Thank goodness, no.
  • Zachary – Early that morning the bass where chasing shad around me and I saw some nice fish blowing up 4 and 5in shad. I did have a couple of really nice blow-ups and some that completely blew my spark shad out of the water but I didn’t hook into that fish.
  • Robert –  Luckily no!
  • Aaron – No, But did have two mid sized rip the cord and eject off my catch board.
  • Pat – I missed a nice upgrade late that jumped me off a stump working my way back to my ramp.

Do you plan to fish the remaining MoYak schedule?

  • Jared – I am going to try to after seeing the updated AOY points and that I am sitting in 18th even with missing the Table Rock event. I think I will try to make the rest of the schedule to try to make my first Taney20 next spring. I would really like to make the top 10 in AOY points to be able to represent MOYAK again on the team side of the AAKC!!!
  • Mason – Yes sir, excited for the rest of the events!
  • Zachary – Yes, possibly missing Lake Wappapello due to the distance needed to travel.
  • Robert – For sure!
  • Aaron – Absolutely! So fun.
  • Pat – I’m hoping to fish a couple more events.

Derby Stats
Anglers 85
Fish caught – 373
Total limits – 49 (58%)
Margin of victory – 2.75″
Trash Pot – Kolton Dauber (23″ Blue Cat)
Smallest Bass Award – Zach Armstrong, Lando Mitchel 9.25″
Air temp at launch – 75
Air temp at takeout – 89
Water temps reported – Mid to High 80’s

Stockton gets B-ROCKED

Stockton Lake, Missouri – In a thrilling showdown on a warm Saturday in early June, the MoYak Fishing Series Kayak Bass Trail sponsored by Old Town Kayaks held its third stop of the season on Stockton Lake. The event saw a record-breaking turnout of 88 anglers, who battled it out to secure their spot in the prestigious tournament. With an impressive fish-per-angler ratio of 5.52 and a remarkable 67% of the field submitting a limit of bass, it was fierce competition from start to finish. In fact, only 8.5″ separated the top 20!

At the end of the day, it was Mason Brock who emerged as the victor, claiming his first win with MoYak. Brock secured an 84.75″ bag, narrowly edging out his closest competitor, Chris Robbs, by 2.75″. Rounding out the top five were three rookies who are all in contention for the ROY title; Lando Mitchell, Zach Woolverton, and Pat Lassek.

On the team side, Everharts A-Team, consisting of Chad Davison and Chris Robbs, secured an impressive victory with a combined total of 99.5″. Their triumph not only solidified their dominance in the event but also gave them a substantial lead in the Team AOY (Angler of the Year) race as they head into the fourth stop of the season on Truman at the end of the month.

Mason Brock, the eventual winner, had planned to target schooling fish on or around main lake points. However, he quickly adjusted his strategy when he found that the fish were scattered. Brock capitalized on his adaptability and caught fish around points using a shaky head, drop shot, and finesse jig.

Chris Robbs, who finished in second place, employed a methodical approach, covering water and targeting post-spawn bass transitioning into their summer homes. Despite the tough pre-fishing conditions, Robbs slowed down his presentation and relied on a mix of topwater lures, crankbaits, and soft plastics.

Lando Mitchell, the third-place finisher, initially planned to throw topwater lures early and transition to crankbaits or chatterbaits. However, his strategy did not pan out as expected. Mitchell primarily relied on Texas-rigged worms throughout the day, with his final two fish coming from a bluff wall.

Zachary Woolverton, who finished fourth, had a comprehensive game plan that involved starting with topwater lures and gradually slowing down his presentation as the day progressed. Despite the challenges of the morning, Woolverton found success using an underspin with a 4-inch swimbait, a worm, a jig, and a chad shad.

Pat Lassek, who secured fifth place, employed a similar strategy, using topwater and moving baits early in the day and transitioning to a slower presentation once the sun was high. He targeted rock walls and points in the 8-12 ft range and managed to cull multiple times throughout the day.

Here are your top ten for the 2023 MoYak Stop #3 Stockton presented by Everhart’s Outdoors.

Mason Brock – 84.75″
Chris Robbs – 82″
Lando Mitchell – 81″
Zachary Woolverton – 80″
Pat Lassek – 80″
Joe Hayes – 79.75″
Brian Hillman – 79.75″
Trevor Motzkus – 79″
Cody Huffman – 79″
Johnathan Dominguez – 78.5″

Team Winners
Everharts A-Team (Chad Davison & Chris Robbs) 99.5 (Best 3 from each angler)

Let’s take a closer look at the top five finishers and hear how they navigated the challenging conditions on Stockton Lake in their own words:

What was your strategy going into the day?

  • Mason – Looking for schooling fish on or around main lake points. Plan didn’t fully come into play. Schooling fish weren’t there. But they were scattered around the points.
  • Chris – My strategy was to fish methodically and cover water. I figured the majority of fish were post spawn and moving into their summer homes.
  • Lando – My strategy going in was to throw top water early and then transition to a crank bait, chatter bait, or something along those lines that was moving. That’s not what worked at all.
  • Zachary – My plan was to start with top water throwing a spook and buzzbait shallow to find a fast limit hopefully then as the sun and heat started I would slow down cover water and look for upgrades throughout the day using a worm, jig, and a 4in swimbait on an underspin. I also threw the chad shad more as a searching bait to see if I could get followers or find some big fish then get the bite with another bait.
  • Pat – Topwater and moving baits early then dragging something slow after the sun got high.

Were you able to prefish and did you find anything that helped you on game day?

  • Mason – I wasn’t able to prefish.
  • Chris – I was able to pre fish Friday. It helped a little bit. Prefishing was tough for me so I kind of knew I was going to have to slow down to get some bites and that I was going to need to learn on the fly.
  • Lando – I did not get to pre fish. I’m actually new to Missouri all together. I did map studies on the lake and saw the lake for the first time at my launch.
  • Zachary – Nope
  • Pat – I fished a couple hrs Friday and found an area that I felt I could get a very small limit pretty quick.. I wasn’t very confident.

What was your best finish on Stockton before this?

  • Mason – Took a few checks in small bass boat tournaments before getting into the kayak world. 4th in the Moyak winter series.
  • Chris – 3rd
  • Lando – As I stated before I’m new here. Still in my first year of living in Missouri so I’m still meeting people and learning everything I can about the area and culture.
  • Zachary – This is my rookie season but I did fish Stockton Lake only last year and took 9th just out of the money.
  • Pat – First time fishing Stockton.

What was the general tackle you used?

  • Mason – Shaky Head, drop shot, finesse jig
  • Chris – Mixed bag. Topwater, crankbaits, and soft plastics.
  • Lando – Soft plastics have always been a big part of my arsenal. All but one of my catches came on Texas Rigged worms. That one other smallmouth was caught on a Cranky Yanky Jig.
  • Zachary – I did not catch any top water fish and hadn’t figured much out until about 9 am when the worm and jig bite picked up in the timber and tree tops. I didn’t have much figured out. I used an underspin with a 4in swimbait, a 6th sense crankbait, a Senko worm, a pb and j jig, and a chad shad to catch my fish.
  • Pat – My main baits were spinnerbait and frog fishing shallow

How far did you have to travel to find your fish – General area of the lake you chose?

  • Mason – Pretty much started fishing the main lake from my ramp around mid-lake and heading north. I did point hop for roughly 4-4.5 miles.
  • Chris – Upper end. Started fishing near the launch and covered a lot of water from there.
  • Lando – From my map study I thought I was gonna make a long run right off the bat. Once I launched I looked around a bit and decided to stay where I was at. I stayed there most the morning and ended up not going more than 10 minutes from where I started.
  • Zachary – North end on the east side. I did travel in the morning quite a ways to find some fish. They weren’t where I planned on them being and they weren’t feeding like I had hoped so most of my morning was wasted looking for fish. I had to push further toward the main lake and less into the cove. Also, deeper structure was key.
  • Pat – Saturday I was able to get a small limit in 30 minutes only about a 15-minute peddle from my launch…

What depth range were you looking for (what was your water temp/clarity)?

  • Mason – Every fish but one came from 4-6ft deep. 80° water temp, roughly. 15ft visibility.
  • Chris – 1-10ft, 78-81 degrees, 1-2ft visibility.
  • Lando – To start off I targeted 10′ and under. As the day got further along I slowly moved deeper. To end the day I moved over to a bluff wall where I caught my last two fish. I tried to make sure I was in somewhat stained water all day. I also avoided a couple of pockets that were quite a bit warmer than the points I had been getting bites on earlier in the day.
  • Zachary – Water temp was 79 to 80 degrees and easily 6 to 8ft water clarity. I was fishing in 8 to 10ft water.
  • Pat – Once the sun came out, I started to fish painstakingly slow in the 8-12 ft range on rock walls and points to cull a few more times.

Did the weather affect your bite?

  • Mason – I don’t feel it did. Boat traffic and fishing pressure from bass boats did though.
  • Chris – I think the heat and bluebird skies made the bite a little tougher.
  • Lando – Early in the week I thought things were gonna be a lot different weather-wise. As the week went on what I was going to throw changed. Once I was out there I just followed the fish out deeper as the day went on.
  • Zachary – Not really. It was hot and I think that made the bite a little slower than I anticipated.
  • Pat – Had to slow down after the sun came out.

Anything else special about the day?

  • Mason – Thankful to be able to have fished clean!
  • Chris – Just a beautiful day on the water.
  • Lando – The thing that stood out most to me was that I only ever saw one other competitor. I saw him when I launched and when I loaded back up. I thought for sure that morning I had made a mistake in my research.
  • Zachary – I was cruising through a cove when I saw a nice bass guarding some fry. I threw in a swimbait and it swiped at it and missed the hooks. As I went for another cast I got a phone call asking how the tournament was going and it wound up spooking the bass and I was very upset. I went around and fished the rest of cove and made my way back to the spot. To my luck and surprise the bass was still there I threw the chad shad in and right as it went by the fry the bass attacked it and I landed my biggest fish of the day. A solid 18in bass which enviably pushed me into the top 5.
  • Pat – After I got my limit I just covered a lot of water and I was fortunate to upgrade the rest of day. I think I culled 12 times

Big Bass Story?

  • Mason – About 2 hours left, scanning with my live scope. I saw 2 fish in about 18ft of water. I casted across a point to them. It landed just passed the fish. Immediately my jig became hung in the rocks. Trying to pull it out it wouldn’t budge. Finally I wrapped the line around my hand to pull it out or break it. It came loss. Unwrapping my hand the line was slack. Reeling the slack out, it became heavy and pulling back. Ended up being my 20.5 inch big fish. Talk about lucky!
  • Chris – Big drum story 🙂
  • Lando – No report
  • Zachary – No report
  • Pat – No report

See any wildlife worth mentioning?

  • Mason – Several Bald Eagles, love watching them!
  • Chris – Bald eagle
  • Lando – No report
  • Zachary – No report
  • Pat – No report

Lose any bigguns?

  • Mason – This time, thankfully no!
  • Chris – Fished clean! Very important with this bunch!
  • Lando – No report
  • Zachary – No report
  • Pat – No report

Do you plan to fish the remaining MoYak schedule?

  • Mason – I plan to fish everything from here on out. As long as work allows.
  • Chris – Absolutely!
  • Lando – I do plan to fish all of this year’s events. I’m a rookie this year for Mo-Yak and I would love to end up on top for the Rookie of the Year points!
  • Zachary – Yes! Shooting for rookie of the year and possibly a shot at angler of the year. I don’t think I will be able to achieve that one quite yet though.
  • Pat – I’m hoping to make some more events

Derby Stats
Anglers 88 (New Stockton Record)
Fish caught – 486
Total limits – 59 (67%)
Margin of victory – 2.75″
Trash Pot – Aaron Gardner (20″ Flathead)
Smallest Bass Award – William Abell 7″
Air temp at launch – 75
Air temp at takeout – 89
Water temps reported – Mid to High 80’s