Well, the forecast was quite accurate, and that’s not a good thing.
All the talk leading up the final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks was about the weather. And Mother Nature did not disappoint.
Torrential rains, gusting winds and a strobe-light’s worth of lightning delayed the takeoff until 8:15 a.m., and even then the rumble of thunder rarely dissipated throughout the morning as more weather continued to roll through the area.
Fortunately, the rain let up for a solid two hours, before what looks to be another significant wave of storms hits this afternoon. But while the conditions were decently comfortable, the fishing was not.
Sure, some guys were catching plenty of fish, especially up shallow, but they’re all small. In fact, our on-the-water crew didn’t talk to a single angler with a limit by the time they got off the water. Instead, they talked to a number of pros with zero fish in their livewells, including some local favorites likes Casey Scanlon and Stacey King.
Chuck Stratton had the best bag of anyone we talked to, but it’s almost by default, as he had four small keepers while fishing a topwater and a shaky head. Dylan Hays also had himself at least three, including a 3-pounder, working a mixture of docks and the bank.
Mike Roller started out shallow catching small fish but made a move out deep, where he had a large school sitting on a well-known ledge that went from 10 to 60 feet. Yet, while they were glued to the bottom all of practice, he says the school has suspended up 20 feet off the bottom of the ledge, and he couldn’t get them to bite. Jay Melton was nearby also trying to get his deeper fish to go on a giant flutter spoon, but all he could muster was one, which was one more than Roller had.
We found Marcus Sykora first thing in the morning and watched him flip docks hoping the fish would suspend under them, and he managed a couple small keepers doing that.
Then there were the contingent of guys fishing super shallow. Robert Shockley, Ronny Webb and Mike Dove were all fishing a shallow creek near takeoff that was absolutely loaded with shad. The schools were rippling all over the surface, with bigger fish busting them routinely. Dove went the shallowest and reports there were millions swimming up in inches of water far in the back. All of them were catching dozens of small fish, but the three didn’t have a limit combined (two for Dove, one for Shockley and none for Webb).
So, like we said, the forecast of weather and tough fishing certainly has come true, and with even more storms set to roll in throughout the afternoon, it should be a wet and interesting weigh-in come 3 p.m. CT.