Author: MoYak Fishing Series

Cornelius Crushes them on LOZ

Stop #2 of the 2022 MoYak Lake Series started off with several thousand BANGS!   Our second event of the season was not to be outdone by the 45mph winds at our earlier event on Table Rock.  Lightning, hail, gusty winds and rain in every direction was the order of the day on LOZ… but, hey, we didn’t have much boat traffic.  Your top three were

Michael Cornelius (93.5″)
Scott Kroger (91″)
Josh Keatts (90.5″ + Big Bass)

Let’s see how they figured it out;

What was your strategy going into the day.

Michael – I had a good feeling that with the stage of spawn and the beautiful weather that we were supposed to have, topwater was going to be it for the day. I prepped 4 rods with buzzbaits, 2 wake baits, a wacky rig, and 1 crankbait rod.

Scott – I had 3 patterns worked out and good to go but the weather wasn’t having it, so the night before I just decided to abandon all and just beat the bank in an area where I knew fish should be.

Josh – Fish fast and try to cover water in order to find the areas I thought would be holding fish.

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

Michael – I chose not to prefish this year and it seemed to help. The area I fished in I have been to in the past, so I had a good idea of what was there.

Scott – I was able to prefish one day just over a week prior but the water was chocolate milk with so much debris it wasn’t even worth doing.

Josh – Yes, I prefished my tournament spot and found a decent pattern using a KVD 1.5 on rock banks with wood. I’ve never fished boat docks before and decided not to make this tournament my testing grounds.

What was your best finish before this one?

Michael –  This is my best finish at LOZ and all time! This is my first win in a kayak tournament. My finish last year on LOZ was 30 something I think.

Scott – Last year I was able to finish 13th out of the 104 anglers.

Josh – I had never been on LOZ before, so I looked for water that is similar to what I’ve fished in the past on other lakes.

What was the general tackle you used to win?

Michael – Black Booyah clacker buzz bait

Scott – Since the weather was so bad I knew the topwater bite was going to be on fire so went with a good bait to call the good ones up and cover lots of water.  As soon as the rain stopped the buzzbait bite died so I picked up another favorite that covers tons of water…. Flatside OG .  After covering the same areas with the flatside i had to switch it up again went to the far back of a cove where the water was glass smooth and chucked a 5.5” walking bait, made about 5-6 walks and the whole cove exploded! Not really but the 20.25” got it!  After that, the bite just shut off and had to swallow some pride and pick up the sissy stick. 5” yum dinger!! Got another upgrade. Ended up catching at least 30-40 bass throughout the day.

Josh – Every fish was caught on a Sexy shad KVD 1.5

Anything else special about the day? Big Bass Story?

Michael – The nastier the weather got the better the bite. Both 20”+ came when I probably should have been under shelter and not tree canopies!
The big bass 20.5 inch fish came on Buzz bait. She completely ate it. Blade and all!  It was in the first major storm I came out to the point of the pocket to start working back in and threw up over some trees and she smacked it. Got it in the boat had to keep her in the net while I try to get situated to take a picture the rain came down even harder, got her submitted and finished on. Made it down The bank another 50 to 75 yards while catching in 18”,  17” caught the 20 1/4. All my big fish came on the Booyah buzz bait.

Scott – Yeah I like fishing in the bad weather but not quite that bad though any day out on the water is a special day, always something to learn. 20.25” isn’t quite into the big bass range but when she inhaled the walking bait it looked like a 5 gallon bucket sucked it down!


Josh Keatts LOZ 2022 Big Bass 21.75"Josh – While sitting in the truck waiting for the storm to pass I saw we would have about 30 min of a break between storms so I decided to head out and try to get to a row of docks before it got bad again.  On the way to those docks there was a small indent in the bluff wall that I decided to make a few cast (It looked like I had some time before the next storm cell got to me) caught a 13 and 2 cast later I caught the 21.75. I was trying to get my scale out to get a weight on her and the lightning started and it was close. My scale was stuck in my crate and as I was messing with it a strike of lightning hit the bluff on the other side of the lake and I decided it was time to go!!!  I took a quick release video and booked it for the docks, my big water pdl can cover some water!

See any wildlife worth mentioning?

Michael – Just the big girls in the water!

Scott – Actually nothing more than the occasional water snake.

Josh – More snakes than I care to talk about!

Lose any bigguns?

Michael – Luckily fished clean and didn’t have the issue this tournament

Scott – Had lots of short strikes on the buzzbait and had 10-12 hooked up but still lost them even with a trailer hook ….. no idea the sizes though.

Josh – Around 1 pm I lost an upgrade to my 16… probably 17-18inches.  100% my fault, my treble hooks were dull and I didn’t check them.  May have cost me 2nd place.

How far did you have to travel to find your fish, what depth range did you target and are you willing to share the general area of the lake you chose?

Michael – I covered about a mile back-and-forth from the ramp out hitting the natural banks with laydowns on them. I did not fish any dock or catwalks this go around. All my fish came from 4 to 6 feet which seemed to be the old shoreline before the water came up.

Scott – I launched at PB2 and only had to go to the edge of the cove where the no-wake zone ends. With the weather being how it was I knew I didn’t need to waste any time deeper than 3-6’

Josh – The creek I was expecting to fish was about 1.5-2 miles from my launch.  I owe my success for the day to the storm.  Since I caught a couple of fish in that small area near the dock I decided to fish it again once I saw a break in the storm.  On the way back I caught 2 that were each 17.25 and an 18.25. I caught 87.5 inches in a stretch no more than 200 yards.  The crank bait had to be digging in order to get any action, as long as there was wood under 6ft depth I cast at it.

Did the weather affect your bite?

Michael – The harder it rained and flashed the better the bite got. Once the rain stopped my bite slowed down tremendously.

Scott – Absolutely, when it was raining they were hammering the buzzbait, when it stopped raining I couldn’t buy a bite on it!

Josh – Once the storms passed the big bite slowed but I caught more fish than I can count.

Do you plan to fish the remaining MoYak schedule?

Michael – I will be at the remaining MoYak tournaments looking for redemption at Truman as I finish 10th there last year.

Scott – Absolutely. I’m planning on all the live events “On the Lakes” looking forward to seeing everyone there.

Josh – Absolutely!

Derby Stats
Anglers 86
Fish caught – 505
Total limits – 64 (74%)
Margin of victory – 2.5″
Smallest Bass Award – Daniel Schaedel 9.5″
Air temp at launch – 58
Air temp at takeout – 65
Water temps reported – Upper 60’s

Results — 2022 Lake of the Ozarks

TeamInchesBig BassPlacePoints
Michael Cornelius93.51300
Scott Kroger912295
Josh Keatts90.53295
Johnathan Dominguez894285
Garrett Reid88.755280
Joe Mersky88.56276
Joe Hayes877272
Jeremy Truitt878268
Frankie Dailey86.59264
Tommy Probst84.7510260
Lance Irwin84.2511257
Broc Van Tassell8412254
Mike Dent8413251
Christopher Moyher83.7514248
Kyle Savner83.7515245
Alexander Jackson83.516243
Jacob High83.517241
Mason Brock83.2518239
Troy Enke8319237
Danny Johnson82.7520235
Frankie Miller82.7521233
Richie McMichael82.7522231
James Wilson8223229
James Iken8224227
Isaac Comer8225225
Dorman Hughey81.526223
Aaron Noble8028219
Lance Burris79.529217
Dave Neal79.2530215
James Curtis (Ozark)79.2531213
Jacob Johnson78.532211
Trevor Motzkus7833209
Phil Schaefer7834207
Lawrence Dent7835205
Chad Davison77.7536203
Mark Springer77.537201
Preston Maples77.2538199
Cole Armer76.539197
Michael Sandlin75.7540195
Matt Yates74.541193
Adam Witte7442191
Sam Young73.543189
Eric Easter73.544187
Steve Van Tassell73.2545185
Kristofer Moody73.2546183
Mike Tichenor7347181
Christopher Robbs72.549177
Brian Hillman72.550175
Nathan Head7251173
Jacob Pruett70.2552171
Brandon Heimericks70.2553169
Steve Sisson70.2554167
Kerry Evans69.2555165
Joe Walters68.7556163
Josh Keithley68.557161
Ryan Reed68.558159
David Pilgrim67.7559157
Teresa Kuranda64.560155
Anthony Brown64.561153
Anthony Byers64.2562151
Daniel Schaedel6063149
Darian Beedle53.2564147
Christopher Cramsey38.7565145
Sarah Johnson38.2566143
Hunter Harvey2767141
Zo Gingerich2768139
Robert Bruewer1669137
Stephen Sisk13.570135
Zachary Armstrong072133
Jake Bollinger073133
Levi Cline074133
Chad Hartman075133
Shannon Jernigan076133
Heather Leotaud077133
Andrew Leotaud078133
Jason Payne080133
Travis Randall081133
Chad Rogers082133
Billy Schlobohm083133
Jason Shifflett084133
Michael Smith085133
Tyy Ward087133

Results — 2022 Lake of the Ozarks Team

TeamInchesBig BassPlacePoints
The Midwest Sticks1751300
Dink Whisperers174.752295
Shake & Bake1693290
Anchor Management 2167.754285
Burrito Banditos165.755280
Bourbon and Bass163.56281
Slappin Da Bass160.57272
Honorable Mention157.258268
Team Bonafide1529264
CoMo Crushers150.2510260
Soggy Bottom Boys140.511257
Double D’s138.7512254
Eco Fanatics10015245
Motor Promoters86.2516243
The Chatter Boys79.2517241
Team RippaLip018239
Wet Hookers019239
Pomme de Terre

Mercy! What a finish for Mersky on Pomme

Wildfires out west provided a hazy start to the morning for Stop #7 on the Mo-Yak Fishing Tournament Series.  After the smoke cleared, Joe Mersky came out on top after tying Justin Coon with 84.25″!  Let’s see how he did it…

What was your strategy going into the day.
I had planned to go out first thing with a topwater arsenal. Just in case I would bring my chatterbait for shallow and mid-range, and a Texas rig for the deeper fish. I actually didn’t stick to my topwater plan as I wasn’t feeling it, I think I threw a bluegill swimbait 3 times. After that I committed to the chatterbait and Texas rig.

Were you able to prefish and did you find anything that helped you on game day?
I didn’t get any time on Pomme before the tournament. I had done a bit of research on topography maps, also reading that the bass were moving to the holes.

What was your best finish before this one?
Stockton, I had placed 6th.

What was the general tackle you used to win?
I fished a 1/2oz sprayed grass Jackhammer with a candy grass d bomb trailer primarily. When the bite would slow I threw a 1/4oz Texas rig with a 10″ green pumpkin curly tail.

Anything else special about the day?
Within the first hour, I landed my biggest bass. I had thrown my jackhammer in 2 feet of water onto some rocks. I was slowly working it as a jig and once I started to retrieve the lure, right next to my boat the fish blew up, luckily I had my drag set. I was able to tire her out and land it.  I ended up losing about 3 to 4 more big ones, due to the Texas rig and the bite being weird with it. But when it worked, it produced 14 to 16 inchers.

How far did you have to travel to find your fish?
I really only traveled about 2 miles, I just stayed where I was because the boats weren’t bad at all, and there were only a few of us there.

What depth range were you looking for?
I was shooting for very shallow to 3 feet in the early morning. Once 10 am came around I switched to 3 to 8 foot and 10-15 foot.

Did the weather affect your bite?
Traveling first thing in glass calm water made getting set up very easy. Once the wind had picked up, I was ready to come back, it was blowing in the direction I needed to go. The wind definitely helped with the chatterbait bite.

Do you plan to fish the remaining MoYak schedule?
Unfortunately due to some very recent issues, ill only be fishing the remainder of September online, KBF national, and the AAKS. With hopes of coming back soon.

Are there things that MoYak can do better?
I think everybody running Moyak is doing a great job. This is a very fun competitive club to be a part of. The only thing I would ask, and I am grateful for the past 2 tournaments, is that we stay as far from the rain as possible! Thanks for having me!

Derby Stats
Anglers 77
Fish caught – 404
Total limits – 50
Margin of victory – 0″
Smallest Bass Award – Trevor Fanning 4.75″
Air temp at launch – 71
Air temp at takeout – 89
Water temps reported
Up river – mid 70’s
Main lake – 80’s

Results — Pomme de Terre

TeamInchesBig BassPlacePoints
Joe Mersky84.251310
Justin Coon84.252295
Jason Shifflett83.753290
Chad Davison804285
Dorman Hughey77.255280
Danny Johnson76.756276
Jason Yiznitsky73.57272
Lance Burris73.58268
Alexander Jackson739264
Troy Enke72.2510260
Johnathan Dominguez71.511257
Broc Van Tassell71.512254
Mike Dent70.2513251
Steve Earls70.2514248
Christopher Moyher7015245
Brian Hillman69.516243
Jared Fosnow68.517241
Evan Washburn68.2518239
Jared Geary6820235
Tommy Probst67.7521233
Christopher Robbs67.2522231
Scott Kroger66.7523229
Jerry Cornelius66.7524227
Lance Irwin66.525225
Sam Young6626223
Eric Easter6627221
Patrick Campbell65.7528219
Michael Sandlin65.7529217
Ryan Reed6530215
Richie McMichael64.7531213
Michael Cornelius6433209
Frankie Dailey63.534207
Isaac Comer63.2535205
Jacob Johnson63.2536203
John Evans63.2537201
Trevor Fanning6240195
Tyy Ward6242191
Mike Keafer61.7543189
Stacy Jordan61.2544187
Joe Hayes60.7545185
Joe Walters60.546183
Jacob Pruett57.7547181
Bill Dipman5648179
Larry Lee55.7549177
Jay Harman53.2550175
Dave Neal51.2551173
Jeff Mellencamp49.552171
Jacob Ruggles49.2553169
Patrick Troutman47.7554167
Darian Beedle44.2555165
Chris Siebenmorgen43.7556163
Shannon Jernigan41.558159
Zachary Armstrong4159157
Mike Tichenor3860155
Matt Bryant3861153
Zachary Reynolds34.7563149
Steve Bryant30.2564147
Kerry Evans26.2565145
Donald Schwartz24.566143
James Perrin24.2567141
Kyle Savner23.2568139
Levi Cline22.2569137
Anthony Jordan13.7570135
Wesley Cody9.2571133
Chris Woehl872131
Cole Armer073129
Mason Brock074129
Jim Harding075129
Justin Wright077129

Results — Pomme de Terre Team Trail

TeamInchesBig BassPlacePoints
The Furious Drum Snatchers141.751300
Team Bonafide135.253290
The Bream Team133.54285
PB & Jigs132.255280
Crankin & Spankin130.756276
Slappin Da Bass126.757272
Honorable Mention1238268
The Bass Bandidos114.259264
The Chatter Boys113.2510260
Wishbone Raiders10611267
Tackle Junkies97.7512254

Tiebreaker goes to McClain!

In a nailbiter on a beautiful Ozarks day, Morgan McClain wins on Stockton at stop #5 of the Mo-Yak Fishing Series presented by Everharts Outdoors. With this win, McClain is in the hunt for Angler of the Year and will be one to watch as we wrap up at Truman this fall.

What was your strategy going into the day?
Going into the day, I didn’t have much of a strategy. The only thing I knew for certain was that I wasn’t going to fish deep. I decided to focus on steep banks since that is one place I can always find fish any time of year.

Were you able to prefish and did you find anything that helped you on game day?
Prefishing was actually helpful because I was able to rule out deep fishing and I had some misses on the buzzbait early both days so I made a minor adjustment to it and it helped me get close to a limit early on tournament day.

What was your best finish on Stockton before this one?
I had fished one tournament on Stockton before and I ended up 13th out of about 60. It was the first kayak tournament I fished.

What was the general tackle you used to win?
I used a buzzbait and glidebait early and a finesse jig later to get a few crucial upgrades.

Anything else special about the day?
I caught my big bass in a pretty unusual way. I had a fish miss my buzzbait right by a big boulder, so I cast my glidebait past the boulder and then burned it back and the fish hit it right by the boulder. It turned out to be 18.5″ and was the tiebreaker fish for me. The only notable wildlife I encountered was the insane amount of mayflies when I launched. Thankfully, I did not lose and big fish, my only miss was a fish on the jig that I set the hook on and missed.

How far did you have to travel to find your fish?
I didn’t have to travel far to start catching fish, probably 1/4 of a mile at most.

What depth range were you looking for?
I caught my buzzbait/glidebait fish right on the bank early and I expected them to move out later in the day. However, the fish I caught later on the jig were right on the bank next to fallen timber.

Did the weather affect your bite?
The weather definitely affected my bite because the topwater bite died as soon as the sun came up and the fish transitioned to fallen timber.

Do you plan to fish the remaining MoYak schedule?
I will unfortunately not be able to fish Pomme, but I am looking forward to the championship and AAKC.

Are there things that MoYak can do better?
As for MOYAK, I think that Mr. Boothe, Mr. Enke, and everyone else that helps them out do an excellent job. My only request would have been a winter series, but that was recently announced to be coming this winter!

Derby Stats
Anglers 68
Fish caught – 260
Total limits – 28/68
Margin of victory – 0″
Smallest Bass Award – Jacob Ruggles 4″
Air temp at launch – 71
Air temp at takeout – 86

Results — Stockton Lake

TeamInchesBig BassPlacePoints
Morgan McClain81.751300
Chad Davison81.752295
Justin Coon81.253300
Dorman Hughey78.754285
Christopher Robbs77.755280
Joe Mersky77.756276
Tommy Probst76.757272
Jacob Osborne73.58268
Jeff Mellencamp739264
Christopher Moyher7210260
Lance Irwin71.7511257
Stacy Jordan71.512254
Tyy Ward70.513251
Jim Harding6914248
Cole Armer68.2515245
Richie McMichael68.2516243
Zachary Reynolds67.517241
Joe Hayes67.518239
Zachary Armstrong67.2519237
Jacob Johnson66.520235
Jerry Cornelius66.2521233
Broc Van Tassell65.2522231
Jason Shifflett64.7523229
Dave Neal63.7524227
Jared Geary62.7525225
Josh Martin62.526223
Eric Easter5927221
Scott Kroger58.7528219
Shannon Jernigan5629217
Larry Lee5430215
Patrick Campbell5331213
Ryan Reed51.532211
Donald Schwartz50.5033209
Trevor Fanning49.534207
Jerry Miller-Davis4735205
Troy Enke46.2536203
Michael Cornelius44.537201
Joe Walters39.7538199
Mike Tichenor3939197
Johnathan Dominguez3440195
Jacob Pruett33.7541193
Jay Harman33.2542191
Mike Dent32.2543189
Sam Young30.2544187
James Curtis (Ozark)26.545185
Alexander Jackson26.2546183
Jeremy Truitt25.547181
Mike Keafer24.549177
Wesley Cody2450175
Joe Rippe23.551173
Chad Hartman22.7552171
Lance Burris20.7554167
Jacob Ruggles17.555165
Michael Sandlin1756163
Chris Siebenmorgen16.557161
Kerry Evans16.2558159
Isaac Comer12.7559157
Mel Ashe060155
Darian Beedle061155
Diana Dobbs063155
David Dow064155
Brandon Prince065155
Bob Sturgeon066155
Keaton Voeghtly067155
DJ Williams068155

Main lake bite proves successful for Davison

Torrential downpours brought up to seven inches of rain to parts of the lake during the days leading up to and including gameday on Truman. The wind and rain only helped Chad Davison hold on for a mid-summer win on the Mo-Yak Fishing Series presented by Everharts Outdoors. Here’s how he solved the puzzle…

What was your strategy going into the day.
My plan was to start with topwater. I had a good topwater bite on a whopper plopper early. After the rain ended, I caught a lot of fish on wind-blown 45 deg rock banks with a squarebill.

Were you able to prefish and did you find anything that helped you on game day?
Yes, I prefished one area on Thurs and didn’t catch much. I tried a different area on Fri, and found some biting fish. It definitely helped for game day having an area that I felt had fish and some confidence baits.

What was your best finish on Truman before this one?
I have won some bass boat events on Truman before…mostly bass club events.

What was the general tackle you used to win?
Mainly a whopper plopper, a bluegill Crank Wraps 2.5 squarebill, and a mag trick worm on an Omega Mag Shaky Head.

Anything else special about the day?
Awesome to get my first kayak event win.

Big bass story?
My big bass came on the mag trick worm pitched to a big tree on a main lake point. After I hooked it, it jumped several feet out of the water and made my heart stop!

Lose any bigguns?
Lost one early on topwater right at the net that would have helped but ended up not needing it

How far did you have to travel to find your fish?
Within a couple miles of launch

What depth range were you looking for?
Fish were in 5’ or less

Did the weather affect your bite?
Definitely rain and wind were key to my bites.

Do you plan to fish the remaining MoYak schedule?
100%, YES!

Are there things that MoYak can do better?
I have been really impressed with MOYak. Just keep doing what you are doing…it is obviously working!

Derby Stats
Anglers 82
Fish caught – 330
Total limits – 38/82
Margin of victory – 1.25″
Smallest Bass Award – Troy Enke 8″
Air temp at launch – 71
Air temp at takeout – 91

Yaktive Duty stays close to home for Team win on the river

The very first team event of the Mo-Yak River Trail Series presented by FeelFree Kayaks kicked off Saturday, May 15, 2021. Jeremy Mitchell and Jason Yiznitsky continued their success on the team side of things by sticking close to home in the Waynesville/Lebanon area. Here’s their story…

What was your strategy going into the day?
Jeremy: “My strategy was to fish as close to home as humanly possible. I’ve traveled way too much this year and any chance to fish close to home is a rare gift. I knew the majority of people would be on the bigger water so I wanted to have a stretch of smaller water all to myself.”
Jason: “Fish a 12-mile section of the river and focus on deeper water next to rock.”

Were you able to prefish and did you find anything that helped you on game day?
Jeremy: “I did not prefish, I have a good amount of experience on the rivers and creeks in this area so Jason and I decided to hit a section of river that we both have some great history with. He fished the next stretch upriver from me and picked me up with my van at the end of the day.”
Jason: “I scouted the section I planned to fish throughout the week. I just had to really keep an eye on the gauges to make sure I could run it safely. There are some tough sections that can easily lead to falling in the drink.”

Care to share the river you fished?
“Pulaski County has some great rivers and creeks. They are all just as productive for fish as they are for their scenic qualities. But as far as naming them, I think we’ll let everyone do some research on Google.”

What were the water conditions?
“Slightly above average. Pushing very well with a little bit of extra green stain. 3-4 foot visibility. 60° water temp”

What was the general tackle you used to win?
Jeremy: “Trophy Bass company jig with a Tackle HD craw and a Yo-Zuri 3DB Pencil (Spook clone).”
Jason: “1/2 oz BOSS flipping jig, Tackle HD 3/8 oz Worldwide Buzzbait.”

Anything else special about the day?
Jason: “Any chance to be on the river is special. I got my start as a kid fishing rivers out West. The Ozarks have some of the best rivers in the country.”

Lose any bigguns?
Jason: “Lost a good one when I made a cast in current. I had a bad hookset as I was out of position.”

Did the weather affect your bite?
Jeremy: “I think river and creek fish get more aggressive when the weather isn’t the best. That’s probably the biggest reason why I was able to find a topwater bite all day long.”
Jason: “I think it helped. Kept all the loud floaters and fair weather jet boaters home.”

Are there things that MoYak can do better?
Jeremy: “Get more people excited for rivers! Kayaks and skinny water go together like lamb and tuna fish.”
Jason: “I’m proud of this club, everything has been run exceptionally well. I have nothing but positive things to say about MoYak. I am also glad Jim Harding won. I’m happy he’s recovering well. Great job man.”

Derby Stats

Teams 8
Fish caught – 92
Total limits – 12/17
Margin of victory – 3.5″

Win on the river just what the Dr. ordered for Harding

The very first Mo-Yak River Trail Series sponsored by Everhart’s Outdoors kicked off Saturday, May 15, 2021. Anglers had a full 12 hours and were allowed to fish any moving water between Hwy 65 and 63 in central Missouri. Nearly 30 individual anglers and eight teams accepted the challenge and had a great day of paddling adventure. In this first-of-its-kind event, for Mo-Yak, one of its’ earliest members triumphed over great personal adversity to take the win. Just weeks off major surgery and probably against his doctors’ wishes, Jim Harding bested Jeremy Mitchell by a mere quarter of an inch on this rainy Saturday on “River X”. Here’s his story…

For the river series, I fished a river that I would like to keep secret. It is full of quality size Largemouth for the size of the river, just a special place. I didn’t do any pre-fishing, I just knew the spot I was going to has produced in the past and I was going for broke.

I didn’t start fishing until about 10:00 because of the heavy rain in the area. I concentrated on about a mile-long pool of water. I caught all my fish flipping a Yum Dinger in June Bug color on a Titan tungsten 1/16th Oz worm weight and a 3/0 Falcon EWG hook. I was flipping sawdust and log debris piles that had piled up from recent high water. The piles were loose enough that you could cast on top of them and your lure would sink underneath them that’s when the fish would hit. I was using a medium-heavy bait caster with 15 lb test so I could get the fish out of heavy cover.

A couple of fish gave me a run for my money when they hung up in the bushes and I had to go use my hands to get them out. It was a nice day on the river and I had it all to myself except for a bobcat and some wild turkeys.

I only had five bites all day and landed all five. The fish were active in the morning during the light rain but as soon as the rain quit the bite shut off completely. All my fish were in one to three feet of water

I think the river series is going to be fun for all who enter!

Derby Stats

Anglers 27
Fish caught – 141
Total limits – 18/27
Margin of victory – .25″
Smallest Bass Award – Cooper Rodman 7″

Dent crushes the field at LOZ

Another one for the record books as Mo-Yak sees 102 kayak anglers take to the waters of Lake of the Ozarks for the 3rd stop on the Mo-Yak fishing series sponsored by Everhart’s Outdoors. Mike Dent came out on top in this one… Here’s his story…

What was your strategy going into the day?
My strategy going in was to target areas behind boat docks.

Were you able to prefish and did you find anything that helped you on game day?
I was actually not able to prefish at all I didn’t get down till about 6 pm fri night so I ate some dinner and got to bed.

What was your best finish on Lake of the Ozarks before this one?
My best finish at Loz was 3 in a bass tournament my best out of a kayak was my first time ever In a kayak last year I believe it was 40 something.

What was the general tackle you used to win?
I was throwing a senko all day and picked up my last two fish on a jig.

Anything else special about the day? Lose any bigguns?
I lost a really good fish barely had it hooked and it came loose.

Big bass story?
I skipped my senko behind a dock and it got hit on the fall I set the hook and knew right away it was a good one I was fishing 8 pound line so when she jumped I just prayed it wouldn’t catch the cable but everything was good and got her in clean .

How far did you have to travel to find your fish?
I caught all my within 5 min of the ramp

What depth range were you looking for?

Did the weather affect your bite?
No, the bite was really good until later in the morning when the sun broke so I moved to a secondary point and picked up two good bites.

Do you plan to fish the remaining MoYak schedule?
Yes, I plan to make all of the remaining tournaments this year.

Derby Stats

Anglers 102
Fish caught – 698 – Another new Missouri kayak club record!
Total limits – 83/102
Margin of victory – 4″
Smallest Bass Award – Jeremy Mitchell 8.5″
Air temp at launch – 54
Air temp at takeout – 77

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

Yiznitsky Fights the Bull and Wins!

Late March, full moon at launch, then later, beautiful sunny skies and a mild 75 degree day greeted the 103 anglers, Mo-Yak’s largest field ever, for the first stop on the 2021 Mo-Yak Fishing Series presented by Everharts Outdoors.

Despite the excellent weather on game day, it wouldn’t be a spring derby on Bull Shoals without some curveballs. Anglers were faced with a 10+ foot rise from recent cold spring rains and crazy winds during practice. The winds scattered flooded debris all over the main channel making the morning run more treacherous for all who ventured there. Water temps were reported to be from the 40’s early to over 60 in the afternoon.

At the end of the day, it was Waynesville’s Jason Yiznitsky standing in first place with an impressive 93″ and big bass! Jason took home over $2,000 in winnings and propelled he and Jeremy Mitchell (81.5″) his “Yaktive Duty” teammate to their first win on the team side.

Jason broke down his day for us here.

1. What was your strategy going into the day?

I planned on finding the warmer, stained water and staying off the main lake because I anticipated the fish should be moving shallow. I was planning on locating pre-spawn fish in staging areas and to use reaction baits, predominantly Squarebills, to cover water quickly until I could find some fish stacked up.

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

No. A great buddy and team trail partner was giving me good reports on water temps and how the lake was fishing. I also spent many hours on Google Earth and Navionics during the week in preparation.

3. What was your best finish on Bull Shoals before this one?

Never fished the lake before.

4. What was the general tackle you used to win?

My Smallmouth came on a Reaction Innovations Spicy Beaver and the rest of the fish came on a Lucky Craft 2.5 Squarebill.

5. Anything else special about the day? Big bass story? See any wildlife worthy of mentioning? Lose any bigguns?

I landed all of my larger fish. One came unpinned that might’ve culled my smallest one. As for wildlife, just the amazing fish that Bull Shoals produced. It was an amazing fishery and I’ll definitely be back.

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

1/2 mile from my launch location.

Derby Stats

Anglers 103 – New Missouri kayak club record!
Fish caught – 296
Total limits – 27/103
Margin of victory – 3.25″
Smallest Bass Award – Steve Earls 7.5″
Air temp at launch – 48
Air temp at takeout – 86
Reported water temp ranges
48 main lake
Low 60’s in backs of coves

Tommy Tames Taney

The first annual Taney 20 started off with an icy shotgun start Saturday, March 20. Seventeen of the twenty who qualified last season battled it out on frigid and flooded Lake Taneycomo in Rockaway Beach, Mo.

In the end, it was Tommy Probst who claimed the victory with 76.75 inches and a 19.5″ Big Bass.

For his efforts, Tommy won $500 cash, Big Bass award and an engraved medallion that he promised to wear at every live event of 2021… we have witnesses, Tommy!

Mr. Probst was gracious enough to answer some questions after the tournament. Here are his replies;

1. What was your strategy going into the day.

I thought the lake was going to be muddy so I packed up for fishing muddy water. I was planning on dragging creature baits along the grass lines, throwing a lipless, or a square bill where the bull ties into the main lake.

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

No. Didn’t want to go out in the storms the weekend before and had to work all week

3. What was your best finish on Taney before this one?


4. What was the general tackle you used to win?

Caught 3 on a 7″ power worm
1 on a jig
1 on a 3″ Senko

5. Anything else special about the day? Big bass story? See any wildlife worthy of mentioning? Lose any bigguns?

I was not smart enough to check the weather forecast in enough detail to see how cold it was going to be in the morning. Didn’t have anything on except a sweatshirt over a thin long sleeve shirt and sweatpants. Luckily I got a late start so I missed the worst part of it but I was freezing until I finally started getting bites. Caught 4 of my fish from 8:44 to 10:04 and then didn’t have another bite until 2:45 when I had pretty much given up and was going to call it a day.

Big bass story?

Caught the big bass from a steep bank area that I’ve never had a bite on and on a lure that I probably haven’t thrown in 3 or 4 years.

Lose any bigguns?

No. I missed the first bite I had on the power worm but caught everything else that bit. The 19.5 had me worried, It was a very healthy fish and I forgot to load my net before I left home. Had to play it a lot longer than I wanted and then had to flip it into the kayak by grabbing the line because it wouldn’t calm down enough for me to lip it.

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

Traveled up Bull creek a little past the island. Once I saw the bottom in 9-10 of water I turned around.


Tournament Stats

Fish caught – 47
Total limits – 4/17
Margin of victory – 7.5″
Air temp at launch – 27
Air temp at takeout – 60
Reported water temp ranges
42 main lake
Low 50’s in backs of coves