Table Rock Lake, aka “The Rock,” challenged all 192 pros who fished the 2016 Costa FLW Series Championship. From unusually high water temps and near-summery weather in practice to a cold front and a fog delay during the tournament, anglers had a lot to deal with. Ten of them showed out and managed to make the cut to the final day mostly using classic Ozark baits such as crankbaits, jigs and buzzbaits.
You might consider giving some of these baits a shot if you head to the Ozarks in early fall.
1. Champion Pat Fisher, a former Walmart FLW Tour pro, used just two baits to ply shallow wood cover up the James River. He worked the surface with a white 1/4-ounce Boogerman buzzbait. If they wouldn’t eat the topwater, he threw a green pumpkin green Zoom Trick Worm on a shaky head.
3. In search of his second Costa FLW Series Championship win, Zack Birge ran up the James River and did work with a 6th Sense Crush 50X square-bill crankbait in the chrome shiner color, a 6th Sense Crush Dogma topwater bait and a peanut butter and jelly-colored Santone Lures Texas Finesse Jig with a Missile Baits Baby D Stroyer trailer.
5. Central Division standout Christopher Jones used a handful of baits at Table Rock. The list includes: Heddon One Knocker Spook in the Z-Shad color, XCalibur square-bill in foxy shad, tinfoil-colored YUM Christie Critter and 1/2-ounce Booyah Finance Jig with a green pumpkin skirt and YUM Bad Mamma trailer.
7. Top-10 machine Jeremy Lawyer, who lives just down the road from Table Rock, surprised no one by catching some of his fish on a River2Sea Whopper Plopper custom-painted with a black body and blue accents by Fallcreek Lures. He also fished standing timber with a YUMbrella Rig and dragged around a 1/2-ounce Freedom Lures Live Action Hybrid Jig with a Zoom UV Speed Craw trailer.
8. Bradford Beavers made the haul from South Carolina to Missouri and earned a top-10 finish by cranking with a Strike King 6XD in either blueback herring or chartreuse sexy shad, and by tossing a 5/8-ounce blue craw Katch-Her Lures jig with a Zoom Super Chunk Jr. trailer.
9. Brad Cook rocked a sexy shad Strike King Premier Plus spinnerbait, a 3/8-ounce black Hart Tackle buzzbait and a Bass-X 1/2-ounce jig with either a Zoom UV Speed Craw or Gene Larew Biffle Bug for a trailer.
10. Local pro Brent Algeo fished his way to the final day with two baits. The first was a 1/2-ounce Chompers jig with a peanut butter and jelly skirt trailed with a Chompers Super Jig Trailer (twin-tail grub) in rootbeer green. The other was a Cotton Cordell Red-Fin that was custom-painted by Dave’s Custom Baits.