Lake of the Ozarks FLW College Tour Recap

Michaela with a bass she caught while pre-fishing Lake of the Ozarks.

Michaela with a bass she caught while pre-fishing Lake of the Ozarks.

Pro-staff Contributor: Michaela Anderson

Last weekend I competed in the first FLW College Central division qualifier on Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. The field was limited to 50 college teams from the Midwest. It was a tough tournament to say the least! It took four fish, totaling 12.14 pounds, for Missouri University of Science and Tech’s team to take the win. To be in the top 15, which qualifies you for the Central Invitational in July, you needed 4.07 pounds. Unfortunately my partner and I tied for 26th because we were not able to find any keeper bass that measured at least 15 inches.

Pre-Fishing

Tournament waters go off limits the Monday before the event; so in order to prepare, we fished the waters during a long weekend prior to the event and had a lot of success. The weather was in the 50’s with water temps in the high 30’s to low 40’s in some spots. On Friday, we spent most of our time fishing secondary points with jerk baits. Later in the day I caught our biggest fish with a ghost colored, size 10, X-Rap on a brush pile in about five feet of water. This made us think that the fish may have been shallower than we expected. On Saturday, we started to key in more on this pattern. We were able to catch a limit of keepers fishing pea gravel banks around brush piles and docks. We were a little surprised to have found so many keepers on these banks because they are normally where the fish will go to spawn, but the water temps seemed too cold for that. There was a down pour all morning on Sunday, but we fished for a few hours before we had to head back home in order to make it to our classes on Monday. Even with the rain, we were able to catch three keepers in about four hours on new pea gravel banks so we were feeling pretty confident in our pattern by the time we left the lake.

Tournament

The weather leading up to the tournament was consistently in the high 60s and even reached 83 on Friday. We figured that the sunshine meant that the brush piles and banks we had found successful during the previous weekend would still be productive.  A cold front blew in on Saturday, bringing the temps down to 40 and dropping, but I was still super excited when we got to the ramp; full of optimism that we would be able to have a good day on the water. We started the day at 7:30am—hitting all the spots in which we had previously caught fish. But we soon found that we were not getting bites in these locations. We only caught two short fish out of eight key spots. We threw the same X-Rap that had worked so well in the past, as well as jigs and flutter worms around the key brush piles with no luck. After we determined that our key pattern did not stick through the week, we made a change to some steeper chunk rock banks where we had graphed huge schools of shad. We were able to catch five short fish off of these banks but could never connect with anything over 15 inches.

Unfortunately, we ended the tournament with an empty bag. But we’re looking forward to the next qualifier on May 4th at Pickwick Lake in Alabama. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on our progress!

Michaela Anderson is a college angler fishing the FLW, B.A.S.S. College Circuits and select FLW Walmart Tour events representing krugerfarms.com, Trigger X and the University of St. Thomas. You can follow her on Twitter (@MichaelaFishing) and like her on Facebook (facebook.com/MichaelaAndersonFishing).

Is the New Scatter Rap Worthy of the Hype?

Pro-staff Contributor: Rich Lindgren

Every year, we are all inundated with a myriad of new fishing lures, shapes and sizes, some designed to catch anglers and others designed to catch fish. Within these new options each year, theScatter Rap Shadre are always a few true winners in the bunch. As anglers, it’s our job to try to filter through the marketing, packaging and hype to determine ultimately what ends up in our tackle boxes.

Of the new baits launching in 2013, I have to say I am genuinely intrigued by the new Scatter Rap series from Rapala. These items have come with plenty of hype as of late, but that is not always bad, and Rapala has a pretty strong track record of putting out winners that are mainstays in my tackle boxes and most of yours.

The exciting premise of the Scatter Rap is that it has a natural “hunting” or “evasive” action–something anglers are constantly trying to create by running our lures into the bottom, wood, rocks, grass or anything else we can get our crankbaits to make contact with. If it moves as advertised, this new line of baits will wander randomly, simulating this action of baitfish that triggers reaction bites from predator fish.

As a bass angler, I am most anxious to try the Scatter Rap Shads early this spring while the water temps are still in the 40’s to lower 50’s. The original Shad Rap is a known spring time producer for early season bass, so I can only imagine what the new Scatter Shad could do. Once we get past the spawn, my attention is likely to shift toward the Scatter Rap Crank as a mainstay for covering water and catching bass until the late fall!

If you live in Minnesota, come visit krugerfarms.com at the Northwest Sports Show for your chance to be one of the first anglers to get your hands on baits from the Scatter Rap series as well as other great show specials! We will have a limited number of these baits at the show.  If you can’t make it to the show, the Scatter Rap is also available for pre-booking on krugerfarms.com now!

Rich Lindgren is a tournament bass angler living in Lakeville, MN chasing bass all over Minnesota and its adjoining states. Bass blogger, podcaster and fishing promoter. You’ll see him fishing the Minnesota bass tournament scene representing krugerfarms.com and Dobyns Rods among others. You can follow him on Twitter (@HellaBass) and like him on Facebook (facebook.com/bassinblog).

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