Craig Torkleson and Charles Capehart will be headed to; Anderson, S.C. for the B.A.S.S. Nation National Championship in October of this year. The following is a breakdown on how they approached the 2017 B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional at Lake of the Ozarks.
After 3 1/2 days of practice I decided to fish between the Glaize arm and Gravois. I felt I could catch a limit by C rigging a hoo daddy on secondary gravel points or throwing a jerk bait on break walls or the end of long docks. My best chance for a 4+ bite was throwing a magnum tattle tail worm on a shakey head to the back of docks.
The plan up until I went by the check dock was to head to the jerk bait fish. While idling out this little voice said ” there’s no wind, go to the docks.” So we did and got off to a good start. When the wind started we picked up a spinnerbait then finished my limit with the jerk bait. Toward the end of the day we headed back to where we started and I caught a 4# with about 5 minutes left to fish which got me to 17#
Started where we caught spinnerbait fish the day before and ended up catching three on a jerk bait between docks. At 1:45 I still had 3 and made a 30 run to the Gravois. I caught one on a C rig then flipped my 5th fish off a dock on my last cast. I ended day 2 with 13#
I was glad to be fishing day 3 but felt I had exhausted everything I had just to make the cut. I headed back to the cove where I caught the jerk bait fish. After idling in for about 50 yards I turned around and threw a crank bait on the point and lost a good one. I looked behind me and saw a long stretch of shaded bank I hadn’t fished and decided to go over there. Two hours later I had caught all but 1 of my weigh in fish and it came later off a dock. I ended with my best day of 18#
The key to the week boiled down to faith way more than technique. To copy Gerald Swindles AOY speech, ” If you have faith in God, faith in your abilities and surround yourself with good people anything can happen.” All week I fished relaxed and never doubted that little voice in my head. After last minute catches the first two days and a complete change of plans day three I am glad I listened to that little voice and never second guessed myself.
I was very fortunate, my Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 boaters were all nice guys and very good fisherman. They all gave me plenty of water and I learned from each of them.
Day 1 – I talked to my boater the night before and he said we would be fishing the Osage. I was excited because this seemed to be the area I practiced in and I felt confident there. However, when we took off things did not look familiar. We soon passed Hurricane deck bridge and kept going! 45 minutes later we arrived at our spot. We pulled into a large cove (Bollinger) and the water was pretty close to chocolate milk. My boater began fishing shallow docks throwing a spinner bait. I had two Carolina rigs and two shaky heads tied on. I thought to myself, what am I going to do! I cut off one of my c-rigs and tied on a spinner bait. It just didn’t feel right, so I switched to a chartreuse/black back squarebill. I backed the drag off to compensate for using a 7 ½ ft. heavy rod. I had my 3 fish limit in less than an hour by running the square bill under the back corner of the docks. The front of the docks were in 5 feet of water and the backs were in 2 feet.
Day 2 – I talked to my boater the night before, and this time I clarified the water color and depth we would be fishing! We headed toward the dam and my boater began flipping docks. It was a tough day of fishing, very few bites. My boater was great, even though we were flipping docks, he gave me plenty of water to fish. I flipped jigs and shaky heads behind, in front of, and between docks. … we just couldn’t make anything happen. Neither of us brought fish to the scales.
Day 3 – I talked to my boater the night before and he said we would be fishing open water on the main lake. I tied on a spinner bait, jerk bait, c-rig and a couple of shaky heads. We didn’t run very far when we came to our first stop. We started off by fishing the floating wind/wave breaks protecting marinas and main lake boat slips. My boater fished his Megabass jerk bait all day long. It didn’t take him long to boat his first two very nice keepers ( 3.5 and a 4+). I had a Megabass tied on I was throwing. I was fishing the corner of a wind break and got my Megabass caught on the chain of the floating break. It was down too deep and I had to break it off. I tied on another Megabass. About 15 minutes later, same thing! I got it caught on another chain down deep and had to break it off. So, I tied on my last Megabass and about 3 cast later I broke the bill off as I casted into the side of the wind break! Three Megabass jerk baits gone in less than 30 minutes! I had a smaller Rapala jerk bait I tied on and I soon landed a healthy 4.5 fish in open water close to a main lake bluff end. The boat was probably in about 40ft. of water and we were casting to approx. 15-20 ft. We began running that pattern the rest of the day and my boater caught 2 more really nice keepers. If we got close enough to a bluff wall, I would throw my shaky head to the base of the wall and was getting bit a lot, but they were all short Kentucky’s.
Once again, I would highly recommend fishing the Kansas State qualifier at Grand Lake this October. This experience has created life long memories!