2017 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship qualifiers

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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.

Craig Torkleson

 Wow, what an experience!  I would highly recommend fishing the KS BASS Nation State Qualifier this fall to make the state team to get a chance to fish a regional tournament.  This was my first one, and it was an amazing event.  It’s like you are fishing a big league event.  BASS makes it an experience you will never forget!I would like to thank my practice partners, Jeremy Montgomery and Matt King.  During practice we established a pretty good pattern of dragging Carolina rigs and shaky heads across secondary points in coves off the Osage toward the dam.  The water was relatively clear.  It seemed like the last significant secondary, pea gravel point was the best.

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 1

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!



No one could have predicted that the 106 fishermen competing in Ray Scott’s first tournament in 1967 would one day turn into a membership organization more than half a million strong. It would have been just as impossible to predict that the B.A.S.S. newsletter, first distributed in 1968, would evolve into Bassmaster Magazine, the bible of today’s bass fisherman — but it happened.

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