Probst squeaks out a win on the Bull!

We finally had decent weather for a tournament with low humidity, light winds, and clouds to start the day.  This helped the field fish more comfortably and the numbers improved greatly from our last two live events.  Bull Shoals, a flood control lake for the White River chain, is notoriously high most of the year but we had near normal pool for this early September event. Most anglers chose to fish in Missouri waters for this event with several opting to find the coolest water they could. Our FPA (fish-per-angler) was 4.76% and 67% of the 67 angler field submitted a limit of bass.

Stop #6 of the MoYak Fishing Series came down to the wire with Tommy Probst coming out on top by a mere inch against runner-up Chad Davison.  Chad got big fish honors with a 22.25″ Bull Shoals beast and secured his fourth top ten finish this season!

On the team side, Team Bonafide (Mike Keafer & Lance Burris) went back to back for the win by 12″ over the COMO Crushers.

Chad Davison’s 22.25″ big bass!

Here are your top ten for the 2022 MoYak Stop #6 Bull Shoals presented by Everhart’s Outdoors.

  1. Tommy Probst 87″
  2. Chad Davison 86″ + Big Bass
  3. Lance Burris 85.5″
  4. Tyler Cokley 84.5″
  5. Mike Keafer 83″
  6. Jake Pruett 82.5″
  7. Justin Coon 81.25″
  8. Dorman Hughey 81.25″
  9. Stony Floyd 80.75″
  10. Eli Powers 79.5″

Team Winners

  1. Team Bonafide (Lance Burris & Mike Keafer) 168.5″

Let’s see how the top five figured it out;

What was your strategy going into the day.

Tommy – Hoping to catch a few on topwater and then drag jigs and soft plastics after the sun came up.

Chad – My plan was to throw a plopper and head knocker buzzbait early.  After the sun got up, I planned on pitching to trees.  I had found some decent fish in practice, so just tried to hit areas I got bites in and expand on it.

Lance – Find the coolest water I could and throw moving baits as fast as possible. Even purchased a 10:1 reel so I could sling a buzzbait faster and keep up with the kayak.

Tyler – My goal going into the day was just to get five key bites on glide baits

Mike – Fishing cooler water looking for that top water bite.

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

Tommy – Yes but I decided to launch at a different spot for the tournament. I had caught over 90 inches prefishing 3 weeks ago but they dropped the lake to a point I didn’t think I’d be able to catch anything out of a couple of lay downs that I had caught my 2 biggest fish out of. 2 of my submitted fish including my biggest came from an area that I never fished prior to the tournament.

Chad – I found an area on Friday where I got a couple 18″ bites. I didn’t get a lot of bites, but I felt like there was potential for a good limit. I was back in a creek and water had good color to it. In practice, it was calm and sunny, and I was catching fish by pitching a big worm to trees on channel swing banks and flats near the channel. The bite changed in the tournament, so I had to change tactics, but the fish stayed in those areas.  During the tournament, I caught them primarily on the buzzbait, but one good one on plopper, and one on big worm.  The big bass was on the buzzbait.

Lance – Didn’t get any time to prefish? Just fished a familiar area so I at least knew how the structure was.

Tyler – No I was not able to pre-fish

Mike –  Did not prefish but checked recent fishing reports which helped with my decision.

What was your best finish on Bull Shoals before this?

Tommy – 7th or 9th I believe

Chad – ​This was my 2nd time fishing a tournament on Bull, and last year in the Spring Moyak Bull Shoals event was my 1st live kayak tournament ever.  I finished 26th out of 100+ in that one.

Lance – I won one event in 2017 or 2018 I believe.

Tyler – This was actually my first time competing on Bull Shoals and my first time going out and fishing from a kayak and Bull Shoals

Mike – 7th back in 2019.

What was the general tackle you used?

Tommy – Buzzbait, jig, and texas rigged plastics

Chad – ​Crock-O-Gator Headknocker Buzzbait, Plopper, and Big Worm.  (I caught them on a Spinnerbait on Sunday in the AAKS Day 2)

Lance – Most everything was caught on a CrockOGator Headknocker buzzbait or vibrating jig. Kistler rods are the only rods I throw anything on.

Tyler – I caught my first fish in the morning on a chompers football head green pumpkin and purple haze jig and then the rest of my fish came On glide baits

Mike – Top water all day. Caught my first three at low light on a black Drunken Mullet by Chasebaits. Then spent the rest of the day burning a white buzzfrog by War Eagle.

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

Tommy – Only traveled about a mile but did pack up and launch again at another spot for the last hour and a half. Upper end of the lake in Missouri

Chad – ​I fished the upper end of the lake and traveled about 8 miles round trip.

Lance – I didn’t catch fish in any particular spot just cover probably 10 miles of shore line. I was on the north end of the lake.

Tyler – I actually fish pretty close to the dam I just ran a big creek arm and just covered as much ground as I possibly could with glides and just look for five fish that were willing to bite

Mike – Caught my first two not 50yds from the boat ramp, north end of the lake.

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

Tommy – All of my submitted fish came out of less than 10 fow. The water had a little bit of greenish color to it. Didn’t really pay attention to the temp

Chad – My fish were in 1′ to 2′ of water on laydowns – the boat would typically be sitting in around 4′.  Water visibility was around 1′ to 2′.  Water temp was upper 70’s.

Lance – Depth was 5′ and less and clarity varied from 6 inches to 6 feet.

Tyler – I was fishing up shallow anywhere from 2 to 8 feet of water around cover around bushes and a little ledges

Mike – 2 to 5 feet deep was my target area, water temp 67° to 70°, water clarity was stained to murky.

Anything else special about the day? Big Bass Story?

Tommy – I could not get my phones to work right so I thought I was going to miss the upload deadline. I even drove up to Mcdonald’s in Forsyth and logged onto their wifi and couldn’t get my pictures to upload. I knew I had a pretty good day but didn’t think I had enough to win until my pictures actually went through. Big bass was caught on a jig around a laydown.

Chad –   ​I have a great video of the big bass catch that I am working on editing so stay tuned for that.

Lance – Nothing too special besides catching two over 19″ in the same day is usually rare for me. I like average-sized fish. I did find a pretty new Spro BBZ-1 swimbait floating and an Evergreen pencil popper so basically my entry fee in two lures. Watched my second 19.25″ come out of a tree and eat my vibrating jig but before I could set the hook I watched her spit it out. Tossed right back in and she ate it twice.

Tyler – This is my first time ever competing in a lake event on a kayak I just recently got into the River Series and was able to win first in the last three that I competed in on those so I jumped in this event and I was able to get a fourth which I’m pretty happy about. My biggest fish came from a little gravel secondary point with a gradual slope bank there was a rock pile and a little isolated Bush threw my Glide bait up there and switched it two or three times and it just hammered it

Mike – The best fishing day I’ve had in a long time. Conditions were perfect, catching my limit in the first hour or two, culling multiple fish and it was a topwater bite all day.

See any wildlife worth mentioning?

Tommy – Not really

Chad – Several times a bunch of ducks would fly over my head and the sound of their wings flapping would scare the crap out of me.  I chuckled every time.

Lance – Some solo pro guys but other than that not much else.

Tyler – No

Mike – No

Lose any bigguns?

Tommy – Lost 3 that would have helped me. Don’t think any were as big as the one Chad caught but 1 of them had me cursing and throwing a fit. I had caught a 19 out of the same laydown the weekend before and this one was bigger. I felt the thump when the bait cleared the top of the limb and I set the hook. Line started singing as it headed towards the middle and then it just ripped free I guess. At that point, I only had around 80 inches so I thought I had let another tournament slip away. Luckily I stumbled across the 18.5 and a 17.25 on the way back to my truck which upgraded me enough to get the win.

Chad – Luckily no, but a number of misses on topwater that seemed to be big ones.  One of them, if it was a bass, was for sure a giant.  The gar were EVERYWHERE.

Lance – Nope just 13-14″

Tyler – Throwing around a Glide bait all day you can say that you lost a lot of fish but the truth is you get a lot of Bites and a lot of followers but hook up ratios are not the best on them but I did have a 5 to 6 pound fish come out from a dock float and hit the glide and miss it and then at the very end I lost another fish that would of been upgrade and put me in contention with first

Mike – Lost two kickers at the boat that would have gained me at least 4in and potentially cost me 1st. That’s just how it goes.

Derby Stats
Anglers 67
Fish caught – 319
Total limits – 45 (67%)
Margin of victory – 1″
Smallest Bass Award – Johnathan Dominguez 3″
Air temp at launch – 65
Air temp at takeout – 85
Water temps reported – Low 70’s to Mid 80’s

Trash Fish Winner – John Evans $100 for this giant Gar

Results — 2022 Bull Shoals

TeamInchesBig BassPlacePoints
Tommy Probst871300
Chad Davison862300
Lance Burris85.53290
Tyler Cokley84.54285
Mike Keafer835280
Jacob Pruett82.56276
Justin Coon81.257272
Dorman Hughey81.258268
Stony Floyd80.759264
Eli Powers79.510260
Steve Van Tassell7911257
Lawrence Dent7812254
Broc Van Tassell77.7513251
Sam Young77.514248
Ryan Reed77.2515245
Garrett Reid77.2516243
Zachary Armstrong7717241
Mason Brock7718239
Trevor Motzkus76.7519237
Tyy Ward75.7520235
Scott Kroger7421233
Cody Huffman73.7522231
John Denton73.2523229
Levi Cline72.524227
Michael Sandlin72.2525225
Mike Dent7226223
Cole Armer7127221
Troy Enke70.7528219
Christopher Robbs70.529217
Kerry Evans70.2530215
Brian Hillman7031213
Michael Cornelius69.2532211
Dave Neal6933209
Eric Easter68.534207
Lance Irwin67.7535205
James Curtis (Ozark)6736203
John Evans66.537201
Anthony Brown63.7538199
Stephanie Penick63.7539197
Jerry Cornelius62.2540195
Michael Smith6041193
Josh Keatts58.542191
Jeremy Truitt58.2543189
Joe Hayes57.2544187
Jake Bollinger51.546183
Nathan Head46.7547181
Danny Johnson44.548179
Frankie Miller4449177
Mike Tichenor4350175
Shannon Jernigan42.2551173
Darian Beedle36.7552171
Johnathan Dominguez3653169
Donald Schwartz29.555165
Jason Payne23.556163
Andrew Leotaud22.2557161
Daniel Schaedel18.559157
Robert Bruewer17.7560155
Jacob High1062151
Jason Shifflett064149
Patrick Troutman065149
Jason Wolfe067149

Results — 2022 Bull Shoals Team

TeamInchesBig BassPlacePoints
Team Bonafide168.51300
CoMo Crushers156.52295
Shake & Bake154.753290
Anchor Management 2151.254285
Sandbaggers145.55280
The Chatter Boys144.756276
Burrito Banditos140.757272
Crankin & Spankin132.58268
Slappin Da Bass125.759264
BassAckwards10710260
Motor Promoters100.2511257
Soggy Bottom Boys99.7512254
Shearwater Sure Shots84.513251
Bass Lives Matter72.514248
Eco Fanatics4715245

MoYak Stop #5 – Norfork Recap

The drought of 2022 continued as 59 anglers ventured south of the border to Norfork and for some, this drought included a lack of quality bites to go along with another blast furnace of temps pushing 100 at takeout.

The dog days of summer continued as our FPA (fish-per-angler) was 3.97 and only 46% of the field submitted a limit of bass.

Micah Funderburgh takes Big Bass honors with his 21″ largemouth

After the dust settled, Eli Powers from Arkansas came away with the victory by over 3″.  Eli didn’t respond to the questionnaire we sent but if he does happen to follow up, I’ll add his responses below. Here are your top ten for the 2022 MoYak Stop #5 Norfork Lake presented by Everhart’s Outdoors.

  1. Eli Powers 86.25″
  2. Chris Gilbert 82.5″
  3. Tommy Probst 76.25″
  4. Micah Funderburgh 75.25″ + Big Bass
  5. Jeremy Truitt 74″
  6. Lance Burris 73.75″
  7. Joe Hayes 73.75″
  8. John Evans 73.25″
  9. Josh Keatts 73″
  10. Mike Dent 73″

Team Winners

  1. Team Bonafide (Lance Burris & Mike Keafer) 146.5″

Let’s see how FOUR OF the top five figured it out;

What was your strategy going into the day.

Chris – I planned on catching 90 inches on a big swimbait before 9pm, and my Plan B was more of an emergency plan if I couldn’t get a bite on the Big Swimbait. Plan B was to throw a jig.

Tommy – Just trying to catch a limit since I haven’t done that in the last couple of tournaments.

Micah – Catch quantity and hope that a few quality fish popped up in the back of a river arm.

Jeremy – My only strategy was to grind it out and throw different lures until I found some type of bite. I am not a power fisherman so I tend to slow down and throw creature baits.

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

Chris – Yes I got 3 hours of prefish in the afternoon three days before the tournament. I mean sort of but not really, I would’ve done the same thing if I hadn’t prefished. In prefish I caught a 14  incher on a jig, then threw the big swimbait to locate fish, which I did.

Tommy – Was not able to prefish but did stop and look around at the ramps of a couple of spots that I had picked out.

Micah – Yes, prefished the main lake and the back of a creek arm the day before and decided to not fish the main lake because I’m not as comfortable with it and it didn’t produce as well in prefishing.

Jeremy – I don’t get a chance to really pre-fish any tournaments due to work and kids. So, this one was not any different.

Had you ever fished Norfork before this?

Chris – Not really, the only experience I had before the tournament was that three hours of prefish three days before, and honestly that was just more of almost exploring rather than fishing.

Tommy – No

Micah – No

Jeremy – This was my first time Norfork. It was a great-looking lake and to me, it fished similar to Bull Shoals Lake.

What was the general tackle you used?

Chris – I used one brown and blue jig with the same okeechobee craw on the back all tournament, and caught one on the big swimbait

Tommy – Texas rigged plastics

Micah – Spinning rods with slow finesse presentations. Ned rig, shakey head, drop shot.

Jeremy – My day started with throwing a white quad buzzbait for the first hour or so. I caught a nice 15-inch bass within the first few casts. I missed a few blow-ups and then it shut off. From there I slowed down and started throwing a jig and soft creature baits. I never got a hit on the jig (which is my go-to bait).

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

Chris – Started at the ramp and went left, but I ended up catching my last fish a couple miles away from the ramp.

Tommy – I stayed within a half mile of the ramp, Upper end. It looked like areas that I would fish around here

Micah – About a 10 min peddle in a creek arm.

Jeremy – I put in at Cranfield and went up East Pigeon Creek. I don’t know how far I went on the water but I didn’t go up the creek too far.

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

Chris – I was fishing, at most, 4ft usually less, but if I wasn’t sitting in 15ft I wasn’t getting bit. I could see around 12ft most places, my water was mid to high 70’s

Tommy – I fished everything in the area. My 2 biggest fish were caught early and shallow; everything else was in about 10′ of water. Water temp was around 76 in the morning and warmed up to around 81 before I got off the lake. The water looked a little green around the ramp but cleared up towards the river.

Micah – The water temp moved a lot throughout the day.  I want to say it was 86°-89° and I was fishing 4-8ft of water with 2-3ft of visibility.

Jeremy – Most of my fish were caught in the 2–10-foot water depth. Later in the day I started fishing a little deeper 15-25-foot depth. I caught my 18.25″ bass in about 20-foot of water. I keep it simple and don’t really pay attention to water temp or clarity. I just try to fish the water I’m in.

How did you stay cool out there?

Chris – I didn’t stay cool, heat wise of menatlly wise. Lost my 5th fish twice and that really got to me, because they were back-to-back casts, but the skill of keeping a cool head probably comes with age I imagine.

Tommy – Had a lot of drinks in the cooler and I dunked my feet a few times to help stay cool. I got off the lake around noon because I was going to try and change spots but decided it wasn’t worth the effort after driving over to the other spot. Ended up just going to Wendys for lunch.

Micah – People stayed cool out there? There must be a secret I don’t know about.

Jeremy – I kept hydrated and I tried to find shade when I could. I was tempted to stop and take a dip but I couldn’t make myself stop.

Anything else special about the day? Big Bass Story?

Chris – The fifth fish, I caught it by casting behind 3 bushes sticking out of the water, and about 4 seconds after it bit I was panicking on how I was going to get this 3lber in, and it just made a probably 2ft jump over the bushes, it was pretty cool.

Tommy – Happy with the way it turned out but if I had it to do over I probably would have launched somewhere else or tried running up the river right after I made my first pass along the bank where I caught my big bass. 5 or so others launched at the same ramp and pretty much everyone headed up the river as soon as they could take off. I just made a quick circle of the area to try and see what was around and made my first cast along the rip rap of the boat ramp. I got desperate around 1030 or so and started to head up the river but gave up once it got to about 5′ of water. I’m sure there were probably some good holes further up but Lance Burris and others had already picked them apart so I figured it would be a waste of time.

Micah – I gave up my spot to some teens on a bass boat that hadn’t caught anything yet. I was catching a lot of small bass and decided to move off that school to have a chance at something bigger. 2 min later I landed the Big Bass of the day at 21″. Filmed this and the rest of the day on a GoPro, just posted the video on my new channel. https://youtu.be/UtfrSlVe1KQ

Jeremy -Nothing really special at all. I decided to leave my house at 12:30am and got to the ramp around 2:45am. Then I took a truck nap at the ramp. One of these days I will get a chance to pre-fish and stay the night somewhere closer to the lake. My 18.25″ bass was caught on a Trench Hawg. I had to boat flip it because when I grabbed my net it got stuck in my 360 light. Luckily, I didn’t lose it.

See any wildlife worth mentioning?

Chris – No

Tommy – Had a beaver swim to within a couple feet of me without it clapping its tail. It just swam on by.

Micah – A couple eagles and lots of turtles and gar.

Jeremy – I saw a few deer but that was it.

Lose any bigguns?

Chris – No

Tommy – Only missed a couple of fish but don’t think they had any size to them

Micah – Lost a few fish in the 13″-15″ range but nothing big.

Jeremy – I didn’t lose any fish. I only caught 5 fish in total.

Derby Stats
Anglers 59
Fish caught – 234
Total limits – 27 (46%)
Margin of victory – 3.75″
Smallest Bass Award – Anthony Brown 8.25″
Air temp at launch – 78
Air temp at takeout – 97
Water temps reported – Mid 80’s

Trash Fish Winner – Steve Earls (His 2nd event in a row as the garbage man!)

Results — 2022 Norfork

TeamInchesBig BassPlacePoints
Eli Powers86.251300
Christopher Gilbert82.52295
Tommy Probst76.253290
Micah Funderburgh75.254290
Jeremy Truitt745280
Lance Burris73.756276
Joe Hayes73.757272
John Evans73.258268
Josh Keatts739264
Mike Dent7310260
Mike Keafer72.7511257
Trevor Motzkus7212254
Michael Smith71.7513251
Justin Wright69.2514248
Sam Young6816243
Lance Irwin67.517241
Cole Armer67.518239
Scott Kroger67.2519237
Tyy Ward6720235
Michael Sandlin66.2521233
Christopher Robbs6522231
Dorman Hughey6523229
Richie McMichael63.2524227
Nathan Head6325225
Dave Neal59.2526223
Ryan Reed55.7527221
Kerry Evans5228219
Troy Enke50.2529217
Jerry Cornelius50.2530215
Stony Floyd46.2532211
Stacy Jordan43.7533209
Johnathan Dominguez41.534207
Jason Shifflett39.7535205
Jason Payne39.2536203
Darian Beedle39.2537201
Mike Tichenor36.2538199
Anthony Brown33.2539197
Brayden Cravens25.7540195
Steve Earls25.2541193
Brandon Locke24.542191
Levi Cline2443189
Christopher Moyher14.7545185
Cody Huffman14.2546183
James Curtis (Ozark)13.7547181
Danny Johnson11.7550175
Zachary Armstrong051173
Eric Easter053173
Trevor Fanning054173
Shannon Jernigan055173
Sarah Johnson056173
Patrick Troutman058173
James Wilson059173

Results — 2022 Norfork Team

TeamInchesBig BassPlacePoints
Team Bonafide146.51300
Shake & Bake143.752295
The Chatter Boys126.253290
Burrito Banditos113.54285
BassAckwards91.255280
Dink Whisperers826276
Eco Fanatics777272
Slappin Da Bass73.758268
Wet Hookers63.759264

Fosnow’s Freak breaks the tie on Stockton

If you thought stop #3 on Truman was hot, yikes!  78 at launch, water temps in the mid 80’s and an air temp over 100 degrees at awards had all 80 of us and the most of the bass a little stunned.

Another grinder derby was the dock talk as many anglers who prefished were finding numbers but not much quality.  Those who found both were very quiet about it. The dog days lived up to their name as our FPA (fish-per-angler) was 3.25 and only 39% of the 80-person field (a new Stockton kayak tournament record!) submitted a limit of bass.

In the end, we had a tie for first broken by Jared Fosnow’s absolute Stockton Lake Freak, a 22″ largemouth he said hit a spook early Saturday morning.  Here are your top ten for the 2022 MoYak Stop #4 Stockton Lake presented by Everhart’s Outdoors and hosted by The Bait Shop.

  1. Jared Fosnow 83″
  2. Troy Enke 83″
  3. Chris Robbs 79.5″
  4. Chad Davison 79.25″
  5. Micah Funderburgh 78.75″
  6. Scott Kroger 78.25″
  7. Lance Burris 77″
  8. Tyy Ward 76.25″
  9. Zach Woolverton 75″
  10. Chris Moyher 73.25″

Team Winners

  1. COMO Crushers (Chris Robbs & Chad Davison) 158.75″
  2. Burrito Banditos (Richie McMichael & Troy Enke) 154″

Let’s see how the top five figured it out;

What was your strategy going into the day.

Jared – The plan was to throw topwater until daylight then to make laps up and down a series of bluff points and small cuts in the bluff working a jig and shakey head. With hopes of being in the right places at the right times to get in on the schooling fish busting shad like practice.

Troy – The forecast that I saw said clouds most of the day.  I tied on several topwater lures and just went fishing.

Chris – My strategy was to stay in the creek channels near deeper water, I figured between the heat and the water dropping they would want to be near deeper water. I also wanted to cover water quickly in the morning while the fish were shallower and more active because I had a feeling that once the sun was up and the heat turned on, the bite was going to slow down. Part two of the plan was to when the bite slowed, so would I, then start picking apart the areas similar to where I was getting bites or go back to areas where I got bit.

Chad – It seemed like the bass were feeding up on baitfish, and I felt like the early topwater bite would be critical.  I had 4 rods rigged up with various topwater baits.

Micah – Fish shallow flats and secondary points early targeting bass feeding on shallow baitfish and then I didn’t really have a plan after that.

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

Jared – My first time bass fishing Stockton was last weekend. I got about 6 hours of prefishing in but on a totally different arm of the lake. But it really helped me narrow down the baits that were working and structure that was holding fish. It was probably one of the best days of fishing I’ve ever had. Mid morning I found some above average size fish schooling up and busting shad in the middle of two large pockets/small coves. There would be 3-5 fish completely out of the water at one time busting shad. It was a unreal bite that lasted for just over an hour before the wind shut it down. One thing I found was that dragging the Shakey Head worm and football jig instead of shaking or hopping them was really key to getting bites. The smallies I caught wanted it almost sitting still.

Troy – No

Chris – I was able to pre-fish. I got down to the lake later Thursday evening and got in the water for just an hour or two just to try and get a feel for it. Went to another area early Friday morning to do some recon and found a pattern early in the morning and then just covered a lot of water the rest of the morning to find similar areas where I had found bites and to rule out as much water as possible. What I think was the biggest help was actually ruling out as much water as I did within the area, which helped me stay focused on the areas where I got bites come tournament day.

Chad – I did prefish on Friday, and I had a really bad practice only catching one bass and losing a few.   The topwater bite was the only thing I had success with.

Micah – Since it was my first tournament I made it a point to get a good day of prefishing in earlier that week. I pretty much did exactly what I did when I prefished because it worked.

What was your best finish before this one?

Jared – This was my first bass tournament on Stockton. 20 years ago I did take the win over some buddies on a weekend camping/walleye trip 🙂

Troy – 6th in 2020

Chris – Stockton has probably been my best lake since I started fishing MoYak in 2020. I believe in 2020 I had like a 20th place finish there and then last year I also cashed a check with a 4th place finish.

Chad – I had a 2nd place finish last year – tied for 1st but lost the tiebreaker.

Micah – First tournament

What was the general tackle you used to win?

Jared

  • Heddon Super Spook in Chrome/Pink with the saltwater hooks replaced with Gamakatsu TGW trebles.
  • 3/8 oz CrockO-Gator Head Knocker buzzbait with the factory old school Black skirt and Gold blade.
  • Zoom Magnum Finesse worm in Green Pumpkin on a 1/4 oz Crock-O-Gator Shaker Football Head. I dyed the last 3/4” of the tail with Chart Spike-It and also lathered it in Garlic Smelly Jelly.
  • Dobyns Spotted Bass Special jig in PB&J living rubber with a Strike King Rage Craw trailer in Green Pumpkin Purple Swirl.
  • Rainy Day Jigs hand tied Grey bucktail/hackle jig for casting to suspended fish using LiveScope.  All thrown on Ark Invoker Pro and Ark Essence rods with Daiwa Tatula reels spooled with Seaguar Invizx fluorocarbon.

Troy – 1/2 oz white buzzbait with a gold blade, 3/8 oz Misfit hand-tied jig with beaver trailer, Whopper Plopper (Bone), 1/2 oz Jackhammer black and blue with a rage menace trailer

Chris – Got on them early with a buzz bait. Spent the rest of the day dragging a jig and a worm looking for upgrades.

Chad – All of my fish except one was on a topwater popper wrapped in Crankwraps Spotted Tail Shiner.  The other was on a fluke when the fish missed the popper.

Micah – 7ft spinning rods with top waters and then mostly deep cranks and drops shot later in the day.

Anything else special about the day? Big Bass Story?

Jared – A couple things.

The First would be making the last-minute decision Friday evening to fish it or not because of the forecasted temps. On Thursday afternoon the AC quit for the third time on my truck. Which was a tough choice knowing I had already made the hard decision to scrap my practice location and fish brand new water I had never seen. Deciding to not let the heat get me down and then having that area pay off after the hours I put into researching it was pretty special.

Next would is getting to see/talk to all the guys and gals at the awards. It just never seems to be enough time to see and talk to everyone. Getting to meet new people and catching up with friends we don’t get to see much is the part I have always enjoyed the most over the years while traveling all over the country for crappie and bass events.

The coolest part of the whole day but also a little bit disappointing. I was about 10 minutes into the morning and maybe 50 yards from the ramp. I was throwing topwater just off the bushes along the bank when I heard some fish blow up behind me. When I turned the kayak around I saw what looked like a stump sticking out of the water with the moonlight shining on it. It later turned out in the daylight to be a 15’-20’ tree that had washed up in the shallow water. I picked up the Spook and made a cast to the right of it and then to the left. Just as it made it past the “stump” it got slurped under and it got me wrapped up in the tree. I see-sawed it back and forth a few times and it came right up and out of the water. Not much of a fight really until it hit the net. A little disappointing because it would have been cool to see it happen in the daylight but probably a good thing I didn’t see how big it was which could have led me to do something different than what I did.

Troy – I went up a creek and found a channel swing with a pocket of deep water and a bunch of brush.  I threw the buzzbait near the brush and began the retrieve and a bass blew up on it but didn’t get it.  I was about 10 feet from the brush and my trolling motor was taking me right into it, I threw in again and brought it close, the fish smashed it again and now I had a problem. I had to fight the fish and get the Xi3 remote in my other hand and turn on spot lock before I hit the tree. About that time the fish lunged and the reel malfunctioned and I had an immediate backlash…. CRAP.  I then had to reel through the backlash and try to net the fish.  It was a clown car sh*t show.  Danny Johnson was right around the corner from me.  I’m sure he heard me having a come-apart.

Chris – One good thing about the extra early start was getting to see the entire sunrise, it was a beautiful morning sky. Also got to spend some time talking and goofing off with the other guys at the boat launch which is always fun.

Chad – I was really impressed with my team partner, Chris Robbs.  He located the area that was holding fish for us which led to both of us cashing a check and getting the team win. My big bass was the last bass I caught of the day.  It was 18″ and I caught it at 7:04am.  I couldn’t get anything going after that.

Micah – No

See any wildlife worth mentioning?

Jared – Other than the 1742 deer I dodged on my 1 1/2 hour drive down to the lake. I did get to see a water snake eating a small frog along a bluff.

TroyA wild Croc

Chris – No

Chad – No

Micah – I saw a family of otters during my prefish and the momma otter tried to chase down my top water.

Lose any bigguns?

Jared – Just one in the 15 1/2”-16” range on the Spook when trying to reach the net to the wrong side of the boat to land it.

Troy – I lost 3 on topwater but I don’t think they would’ve helped-at least that’s what I’m telling myself, lol.

Chris – No

Chad – I caught 6 and lost 1 – seemed like a good one, but no idea how big it was.

Micah – My first fish of the day hit about 4 feet from the yak and, as I was fumbling around for the net he came off… She wasn’t massive but definitely would have helped my cause. Learned to put my net in a better spot.

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? What was your water temp/clarity?

Jared – I covered about a 3/4 mile stretch of bluffs and went back to some key points and cuts several times throughout the day. Not 100% sure but I believe it was the Big Sac arm. Kind of mid-lake.

On the bluff points and cuts, the key was 8’ to 12’. That seemed to be where the drop-off was into deeper water. They were holding on top of the drop early and then suspended just over the edge of the drop-off later in the day.

The schooling fish were mostly in 25+ feet of water and I caught several right out in the main lake channel in 45+ feet of water. I would motor to where I saw them busting and then used the LiveScope to stay on the bigger schools of shad that had bass under them. I would wait for the bass to start breaking them up and push them to the surface.

I would call it pretty clear and over a foot of visibility but I’m used to fishing in the mud at Truman. Not sure on temp. I am replacing my 9” Garmin with a new Humminbird but ran out of time to get it installed before this event and I don’t have a temp sensor on the 1222 LiveScope unit.

Troy – I launched in the Son’s creek area south of Ruark and went upstream about a mile then worked my way back to the ramp and tried to fish anything that looked juicy.  We had about 6 inches of visibility and a ton of bait.  Around 10 am I began fishing the rip-rap and landed 3 upgrades in five casts on the buzzbait.  Then I fished about 2 miles toward main lake hitting cuts and coves and trying to get as many casts as I could.  Spot lock helped me in the wind and I was able to get one upgrade on the jig by picking a main lake pocket full of laydowns apart with it.  I think I traveled around 5 miles total.

Chris – It was about a 30 minute drive from where me and my teammate Chad stayed. I chose to fish a creek arm off of the main lake and just started covering as much water as possible from close to where I launched. Super shallow up against the bank in the morning then anywhere between 8-16 feet the rest of the day.
Water Temp: 83-86 degrees
Clarity: 2-3 feet visibility

Chad – I didn’t go far from the ramp.  Upper end of the lake. Topwater – pretty shallow.   Water was mid-80s and less than 2′ of visibility

Micah – About a 10 min peddle to my starting spot, fished a smaller finger in the upper lake portion. I caught almost all my fish in 1-3 ft of water early and then failed to locate/catch them after that.

Did the weather affect your bite?

Jared – It affected where I ended up fishing. I was on much better quality fish last Saturday while prefishing the Mutton Creek area. But with the predicted winds out of the Southwest I knew the other area would probably be unfishable. So I spent several hours each night studying maps and google earth at the end of the week trying to find something that would setup the same as what I found last weekend.

Troy – I was hoping for more clouds and was very thankful when they covered up the sun.  My Hobie’s air conditioner has never worked.  The wind was fishable where I was and I can’t say enough good things about spot lock.  I’m very happy with that purchase so far.  It’s not going to beat Burris in a drag race but sometimes the tortoise wins.  Let’s just hope I don’t get too comfortable standing up while cruising along at 3 mph and end up turtling the whole yak.

Chris – The hot sun getting up in that clear sky definitely slowed things down for me, but I was still able to catch fish throughout the day.

Chad – Early morning was key – once the sun was high, it got tough.  I thought the wind would help, but didn’t help me.

Micah – The heat and wind definitely didn’t help.

Do you plan to fish the remaining MoYak schedule?

Jared – I try to fish everyone I can but between work and chasing my youngest daughter around a couple states for traveling volleyball and soccer it makes it tough. I do have several weeks of vacation left I need to start using so maybe Pomme, Bull Shoals and for sure the state championship on Table Rock.

Troy – Norfork will depend on the weather.  I should be able to make the rest if my elbow doesn’t fail me again.

Chris – That is the plan. My goal is to crack that top 10 in AOY and I am currently hovering just outside of it and need to get rid of 1 or maybe 2 scores that I currently have to get that done with all these great anglers we have!

Chad – Definitely

Micah – I plan on being at Norfolk and Pomme but my schedule won’t line up for the other events.

Derby Stats
Anglers 80
Fish caught – 260
Total limits – 31 (39%)
Margin of victory – 0″
Smallest Bass Award – Nathan Head 3.5″
Air temp at launch – 78
Air temp at takeout – 101
Water temps reported – Mid 80’s

Trash Fish Winner – Steve Earls

Results — 2022 Stockton

TeamInchesBig BassPlacePoints
Jared Fosnow831305
Troy Enke832295
Christopher Robbs79.53290
Chad Davison79.254285
Micah Funderburgh78.755280
Scott Kroger78.256276
Lance Burris777272
Tyy Ward76.258268
Christopher Moyher73.2510260
Cody Huffman73.2511257
Broc Van Tassell7312254
Zachary Armstrong71.513251
Richie McMichael71.514248
Levi Cline69.7515245
Stony Floyd69.516243
Mike Dent69.2517241
Steve Van Tassell68.2518239
Michael Sandlin67.519237
Mike Keafer66.7520235
Jeremy Truitt66.2521233
Darian Beedle64.522231
Josh Keatts62.7523229
Jake Bollinger62.2524227
Lance Irwin61.7525225
Nathan Head6126223
Brandon Heimericks59.527221
Eric Easter59.528219
Trevor Motzkus59.2529217
Dorman Hughey57.530215
Frankie Miller5631213
Kerry Evans55.7532211
Jason Shifflett54.533209
Steve Earls53.534207
Brandon Locke5336203
Jerry Cornelius51.2537201
Joe Mersky47.538199
Tommy Probst44.539197
Michael Smith4440195
Stacy Jordan41.7541193
Lawrence Dent41.542191
Dave Neal40.2543189
Jacob Johnson39.7544187
Ryan Reed39.545185
Michael Cornelius38.7546183
Sam Young2948179
Chad Fleer28.549177
Danny Johnson27.7550175
Erik Fischer27.2551173
Trevor Fanning2452171
Tyler Myers23.7553169
Joe Walters22.554167
Joe Hayes21.7555165
Donald Schwartz19.556163
Anthony Brown1857161
Frankie Dailey1658159
Jacob High13.2559157
Jason Payne1360155
Jacob Pruett1261153
Mike Tichenor11.2562151
Jordan Albers064149
Angela Carman065149
Christopher Cramsey066149
James Curtis (Ozark)067149
Zo Gingerich068149
Ryan Groeller069149
Jay Harman070149
Kyle Harvey071149
Shannon Jernigan073149
Preston Maples074149
Billy Schlobohm075149
James Shoemaker076149
Stephen Sisk077149
Mark Springer078149
Patrick Troutman079149
James Wilson080149

Results — 2022 Stockton Team

TeamInchesBig BassPlacePoints
CoMo Crushers158.751300
Burrito Banditos1542295
Dink Whisperers151.53290
Team Bonafide143.754285
Wet Hookers124.255280
BassAckwards120.256276
The Chatter Boys116.507272
Shake & Bake106.258268
Double D’s999264
Western MO Sticks98.2510260
Crankin & Spankin9011257
Slappin Da Bass81.2512254
Bourbon and Bass7413251
RoosterCat72.514248
Hookset Ninjas69.2515245
The Midwest Sticks63.516243
Bassless Chaps27.2718239
Reel Amateurs019237

Early Summer Sizzler on Truman

The third stop of the 2022 MoYak Lake Series was a scorcher! Sixty degrees at launch and a forecast of mid 90’s greeted 89 MoYak anglers at this early June event on Truman Lake.

With the lake flooded 11 feet and a quiet practice for many, this one was set up to be a grind. The numbers bore this out as we had an FPA (fish-per-angler) of 3.72 and 46% of the field submitting a limit of bass. By comparison, at our2021 June Truman event 82 anglers were fortunate to put 4.02 (FPA) on the leaderboard with, again, 46% of the field fielding a limit. It’s the start of a troubling trend for Truman in June if you look back to 2020 where we had 58% of the 78 yaks with limits, Jim Harding breaking 100″ and an FPA of 4.97.

Not only did we have to deal with the elements and a fish population in transition, but connectivity issues plagued most of the field all day. Several anglers reported their inability to get fish submitted—even though their phones showed bars of 5G service!

The top of the field found a way to overcome these obstacles—with yours truly coming out on top. Here are your top ten for the 2022 MoYak Stop #3 Truman Lake presented by Everhart’s Outdoors and hosted by Bucksaw Marina.

  1. Troy Enke 87″
  2. Lance Irwin 82″
  3. Trevor Motzkus 81″
  4. Chad Davison 80.5″
  5. Johnathan Dominguez 79.75″
  6. Jeremy Truitt 79″
  7. Chris Robbs 78″
  8. Frankie Dailey 77.5″
  9. Joe Hayes 77.5″
  10. Cole Armer 77.25″

Team Winners

  1. Burrito Banditos (Richie McMichael & Troy Enke) 162.5″
  2. COMO Crushers (Chris Robbs & Chad Davison) 161.25″
  3. Shake & Bake ( Lance Irwin & Tommy Probst) 150″
Three 20’s were caught with Broc VanTassel coming away with Big Bass Honors for his 21.5″ largemouth.

Let’s see how the top five figured it out;

What was your strategy going into the day.

Troy – Truman has always been a mystery to me so this time I just decided to enjoy the fact that we were not dodging lightning bolts and hailstones and instead just go fish.

Lance – Fishing shallow in a small area for less bits but bigger fish

Trevor – My main strategy going in was to ride out the topwater bite; throwing a buzz bait and popper, until it quit, and then junk fish after that. The top water bite didn’t pan out, so I picked up my flipping stick and went to work.

Chad – Start off early with Head Knocker buzzbait on flooded grassy areas – my topwater bite from practice wasn’t there. Caught 2 on a fluke.

Johnathan – I really had no strategy. Just came with an open mind set and was going to fish as hard as I could.

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

Troy – I usually fish the Pomme arm but with the lake up so high and lots of muddy water, I decided to try spots nearer the dam area.  I only had a few hours to practice, with most of that visiting ramps and checking water clarity.

Lance – I pre-fished the weekend before the tourney. I was able to find fish but was unsure how much the water would drop before the tournament. My pre-fishing did help my confidence but didn’t help me to replicate the same bite.

Trevor – I was not able to pre-fish due to work, but I did come up the night before and look at boat ramps, along with attempting to find cell service opportunities for a few hours. Where I chose to put in, I knew it would be more of my style of fishing, and I ran with it.

Chad – Absolutely – found an area that was holding some better fish – caught 2 in practice and left so I didn’t know what it’s full potential would be.

Johnathan – I fished Truman 2 weeks prior to the event. Other than that there wasn’t much prefishing.

What was your best finish before this one?

Troy – I’ve never had a top twenty here before this. 24th out of 79 in 2020 was my previous best.

Lance – 7th in 2020

Trevor – I had never fished Truman in my life before Saturday morning. This was only my third MO-Yak live tournament.

Chad – 1st in 2021

Johnathan – Before this event there has been no best events. It’s been more like catch one fish and go home with your tail between your legs. Truman is a different animal.

What was the general tackle you used to win?

Troy – Funkbuster buzzbait (white) with gold blade, Jackhammers 1/2oz white with white trailer and 3/8oz green pumpkin with blue swirl rage menace trailer

Lance – Megabass top water and Blaukat jig

Trevor – I flipped numerous baits but the only things I could get a bite on was the trusty Brush Hog and Pit Boss. Most catches were on heavy braid and a big tungsten weight. I did catch a pair on a big worm and a flipping jig.

Chad – All of best 5 fish caught flipping a Crock-O-Gator Muskrat in GP/Blue Swirl

Johnathan – I started early with a Buzbait and was able to get a couple bites. Quickly switched over to a bladed jig. My best bite came flipping a secondary point with a MOtion Fishing HawgIlla.

Anything else special about the day? Big Bass Story?

Troy – Special? Can’t beat the outcome. Nothing better than being able to share a win with family over the phone on the drive home. My biggest bass came at the very back of a creek in about a foot of water under a rootwad of an inside channel swing. She crushed the chatterbait soon as it hit the water.

Lance – My big bass was DQ. I took three 1 second videos instead of photos. This is a good reminder for everyone to check your photos before you release your fish. Other than that, I fished clean.

Trevor – I was fortunate enough to have my wife along on the trip, and it was great to do well after I got her up at 4 AM. I know the day was hectic for everyone as far as service and submitting fish, but my plan to get off the water early and find service worked in the end. I was able to fish fairly clean, only losing one keeper
and a spinnerbait. Not really any big bass, but I did catch a 22’’ walleye flipping bushes.

Chad – I feel like current flow had changed. My area dirtied up overnight, bite changed, and more trash in the water. I think they may have slowed or stopped flow temporarily and backwashed into my area.

Lost my 2nd biggest fish – was in the boat and then it wasn’t. Funny video of it on my FB/IG pages

See any wildlife worth mentioning?

Troy – I was visited by a 4lb drum at around 2 pm on the end of my chatterbait as I drug it past a laydown. My heart can’t take that kind of crap. #Gooooooooo

Lance – No

Trevor – I saw more carp than I had ever seen in my life.

Chad – Nope

Johnathan – No

Lose any bigguns?

Troy – I lost one at the boat that would have probably given me 90+

Lance – Just the DQ

Trevor – Just one small one, possibly 12”. I was very fortunate.

Chad – Yes, see above

Johnathan – No

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?

Troy – Dam area. Tried to fish shaded cover in 4 feet or less. My spot was about a half mile from the ramp.

Lance – I caught all my fish within 300 yards of where I launched in 1-5 ft.

Trevor – I fished the southern end of the lake, most of my fish were within a mile or so from my ramp. But I covered almost 7.5 miles. I wasn’t too worried about depth; I was more worried about finding bushes that were submerged up by the bank, or any bush/brush that had the top out of the water. Most of my fish all came off of bushes that had a few leaves out of the water, or I could visibly see the top just underneath the surface. With the water clarity I was dealing with, I had to have dropped it right on some of them.

Chad – Lower lake, dam area in 3-6′

Johnathan – Grand River arm. Typically fishing the creek I was in is like playing plinko with kayak but since the water was so high I was able to save some time crossing a peninsula. Early I was just staying in an area where I was seeing fish bust. I was in about 11ft of water fishing a shallow area with flooded brush.

Did the weather affect your bite?

Troy – It forced me to the shade and luckily the bass were there too. I caught fish steadily—about every 20-30 min—throughout the day with my last ~3″ upgrade coming in the last 5 minutes.

Lance – I would say yes. Bluebird sky had me fishing a jig for the last four hours of the day. I would normally not do that. I caught three upgrades with the jig.

Trevor – I believe so, I had a decent limit by 7:30 and then the heat turned up. I went almost 3 hours after that without any bites. I caught my last fish around 1:15. I only managed 8 Bass, a walleye and a white bass, the heat definitely affected the bite.

Chad – As sun got higher bite got tougher.

Johnathan – Yes, once the sun came out the bite slowed down alot. Later in the afternoon the wind picked up and that seemed to help the afternoon bite.

Do you plan to fish the remaining MoYak schedule?

Troy – Only if Josh delivers perfect weather and feeds us properly. We’ve suffered long enough. 😛

Lance – Absolutely

Trevor – I currently plan on fishing all Monthly and live MoYak tournaments the rest of the year.

Chad – 100%

Johnathan – I am hoping to make all the events this year!

Derby Stats
Anglers 89
Fish caught – 331
Total limits – 41 (46%)
Margin of victory – 5″
Smallest Bass Award – Zachary Armstrong 8.5″
Air temp at launch – 60
Air temp at takeout – 93
Water temps reported – Mid 80’s

Trash Fish Winner – Jake Johnson

Results — Truman Lake

TeamInchesBig BassPlacePoints
Troy Enke871300
Lance Irwin822295
Trevor Motzkus813290
Chad Davison80.54285
Johnathan Dominguez79.755280
Jeremy Truitt796276
Christopher Robbs787272
Frankie Dailey77.58268
Joe Hayes77.59264
Cole Armer77.2510260
Joe Walters76.7511257
Kerry Evans75.7513251
Richie McMichael75.514248
Cody Huffman75.2515245
Broc Van Tassell7516248
Jacob Pruett7517241
Preston Maples74.7519237
Brandon Heimericks73.2520235
Tyy Ward71.7522231
Danny Johnson7123229
Joe Mersky70.7524227
Jason Shifflett70.525225
Eric Easter6927221
Levi Cline68.7528219
Tommy Probst6829217
Michael Cornelius6830215
Erik Fischer6731213
Garrett Reid66.2532211
Steve Earls6633209
Ryan Reed65.2534207
Kyle Savner65.2535205
Sam Young6536203
Zachary Armstrong63.7537201
Michael Sandlin63.538199
Dave Neal63.539197
Stony Floyd6240195
Darian Beedle60.541193
Nathan Head6042191
Scott Kroger59.2543189
Jay Harman5644187
Jacob Johnson54.2545185
James Iken52.546183
Ryan Groeller50.2548179
Michael Smith48.549177
Christopher Moyher4850175
Jerry Cornelius44.551173
Anthony Brown39.7552171
Robert Bruewer38.2553169
Lance Burris37.7554167
Josh Keatts35.555165
Shannon Jernigan33.2556163
Frankie Miller3257161
Adam Witte2958159
Mason Brock28.559157
James Wilson27.7560155
James Curtis (Ozark)27.561153
Brandon Locke27.2562151
Donald Schwartz25.564147
Matt Yates24.2565145
Stacy Jordan19.7566143
Jacob High1567141
Ryan Mackey14.7568139
Christopher Cramsey14.569137
Mike Tichenor13.2570135
Chad Hartman12.7571133
Jason Payne1272131
William Atchison073129
Jake Bollinger074129
Anthony Byers075129
Angela Carman076129
Clifton Crib077129
Mike Dent078129
Dorman Hughey079129
Mike Keafer080129
Andrew Leotaud081129
Aaron Noble082129
Nicholas Robinson084129
Phil Schaefer085129
Billy Schlobohm086129
James Shoemaker087129
Jennings Sirmon088129
Brett Walker089129

Results — 2022 Truman Team

TeamInchesBig BassPlacePoints
Burrito Banditos162.51300
CoMo Crushers161.252295
Shake & Bake1503290
The Midwest Sticks148.254285
Slappin Da Bass146.55280
Wet Hookers1396276
Honorable Mention1397272
Double D’s138.58268
BassAckwards136.259264
The Chatter Boys135.2510260
Hookset Ninjas127.7511257
Bassless Chaps117.2512254
Motor Promoters113.2513251
Crankin & Spankin112.514248
Dink Whisperers107.2515245
Eco Fanatics94.7516243
Anchor Management 294.7517241
Western MO Sticks51.7518239
Bourbon and Bass48.7519237
Wiggle Wart Warriors40.2520235
Team Bonafide37.7521233
Reel Amateurs022231

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 Bass163.56276
Slappin Da Bass160.57272
Honorable Mention157.258268
Team Bonafide1529264
CoMo Crushers150.2510260
Soggy Bottom Boys140.511257
Double D’s138.7512254
RoosterCat13313251
BassAckwards122.514248
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
BassAckwards70.513251

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″