You’re not going to find a better day to be out on the lake in the fall. Unfortunately, the warming trend paired with bluebird skies, plenty of sun and very little wind hasn’t produced very good conditions for catching fish.
Due to an hour-and-a-half-long fog delay this morning, the top 10 pros and co-anglers in the Toyota Series Central Division finale missed out on the early morning bite, which has really helped anchor a lot of anglers’ bags this week. The results were predictable: Just about no one was catching ‘em in the first couple hours of fishing.
Our first stop of the day was with tournament leader Blake Smith, who was working his primary school on a large flat in the Wolf River. It’s from that school that Smith pulled a limit within the first 15 minutes of fishing yesterday. Today, he had just a couple keepers in the first hour and added a couple more around 9:45 for 7-8 pounds.
Smith says his school is still there, but the fish have started scattering out a bit, potentially due to the bright sun and clear skies. “There’s about 40 of them but they’re scattered,” he remarked. “I’m going to give it about two hours and come back and check.” At that point, he picked up and ran further up the river. If he caught his limit fish after that is anyone’s guess.
Also in the Wolf River, Billy Hall was working his way back in a creek beating the bank with an umbrella rig. He hadn’t caught any keepers to that point (around 10:15), but his co-angler, Travis Parrott, caught a nice smallmouth out of a laydown tree.
Elsewhere, Nick Ratliff was struggling to get anything going this morning. We found him around 10:45 with no fish in the box. “They’re still sitting on all my places,” he said. “I just cannot get them to bite.” Ratliff has been fishing a lot of individual targets this week. Ten minutes after we found him, he decided to go fish something new that he hasn’t explored yet this week.
Adam Wagner was fishing docks with a spinning rod in hand when we found him around 11:15. That’s an usual tactic for Wagner, but it seems to be working all right. He had two keepers for about 5 1/2 pounds.
Chris Malone was without a fish first thing this morning when we moved on. Dakota Ebare, however, was having a little better luck. He had three keepers for 8 pounds a little before noon.
What the rest of the field (Marshall Deakins, Drew Boggs and Jonathan Bowling) has is a mystery, though we know where Boggs is fishing, He’s the only angler in the top 10 who ran up the Obey River – and he’s way up the river. We’ll find out what he has on the weigh-in stage.
Overall, it’s safe to say the ever-changing weather conditions this week just didn’t help anyone, nor did the fact that Dale Hollow is just in a weird October funk common for this time of year. We’re still a couple hours from weigh-in, so it’s possible someone gets on something between now and then. Just don’t expect to see any mega-bags come across the stage.
To watch the weigh-in and see pro and co-angler champions crowned, tune it at flwfishing.com at 3 p.m. CT, and thanks for following along this week.