TBF, HSF Saturday Midday Update - Major League Fishing

TBF, HSF Saturday Midday Update

Tough fishing hasn't stopped the TBF's best from putting on a show
Image for TBF, HSF Saturday Midday Update
April 16, 2016 • MLF • Archives

The 14 divisional finalists – seven boaters and seven co-anglers – winding up the 2016 The Bass Federation National Championship’s final round on Table Rock Lake fished under a sullen gray sky in Saturday’s morning session.

As has been the case all week, the weather forecast calling for partly cloudy skies and higher temperatures was inaccurate. As predicted, though, the wind is building and making sight-fishing for bedding bass a bit more problematic.

Joseph Webster, the current leader in the boater ranks, had his limit by 10:30 and was hoping to cull a small 15-inch keeper before he had to call it quits.

“This is the first time I’ve thrown an A-rig [umbrella rig] all week,” said the Mississippi angler after catching his second 3-pounder on it this morning. Webster is matched with co-angler leader Adam Wood of Georgia, who had one keeper in the well.

Otherwise, fishing was slow and catches were considerably spread out. Jon Griffith, the Southwest Division’s top boater, was rumored to have a solid limit, but he and Webster apparently are the only contestants catching fish consistently.

The TBF boaters and co-anglers fishing today already have been assured spots in the FLW Bass Fishing League All-American set for June on Lake Barkley. However, the top boater today also wins a $100,000 “Living the Dream” package that includes boater entry in the 2017 Walmart FLW Tour and other prizes. The top co-angler will receive paid entry into the Costa FLW Series division of his choice in 2017.

This afternoon’s 3 p.m. TBF weigh-in at Port of Kimberling Resort & Marina will be preceded at 2 p.m. by the first-day weigh-in of the TBF/FLW Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship that got underway today. Twelve teams from various regions are vying for that title.

All 12 boats in the high school event headed toward the upper reaches of Table Rock Lake when released from the takeoff area this morning. They were looking for the clear water in the area from the mouth of the White River upriver to Baxter Boat Dock, and from the mouth of Aunt’s Creek to Cape Fair.

Conditions have not been kind to the young anglers. The finicky bass throughout Table Rock Lake have been difficult to catch because they have not yet committed to the spawn and remain scattered. Anglers have had little success as of midday, and bags are expected to be light.

The few keepers caught were fooled by finesse baits presented on shaky-head jigs. Some of the anglers continue to target prespawn bass in 6 to 10 feet with crankbaits, though with poor results.

Both weigh-ins will be streamed live at bassfederation.com.