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