Kayak Anglers of Missouri (KAMO) stop 3 was held on a gorgeous Saturday in May on Lake of the Ozarks. Twenty-four anglers would need to find the top five fish in 54,000 acres of lake holding 646,000,000,000 gallons of water to take the crown. Not an easy task. Add to that the fact that Lake of the Ozarks is the most popular recreation lake in the state of Missouri, and those anglers would have their work cut out for them.
The day started like any other tournament. Calm winds, very little boat traffic, and nearly perfect conditions. Anglers had their choice of fishing shallow or deep. Chunk rock was plentiful. Docks were everywhere. It didn’t matter what your strength was, Lake of the Ozarks offered prime bass fishing habitat for all of the KAMO anglers. A peaceful day where everyone could concentrate on just pulling in bass without any distractions. And then the clock struck 11am.
Like some sort of a cruel joke, the weather changed and the wind became a huge factor for the competitors. The strong wind made it a challenge for all to keep their kayaks anchored, even if they were deep into coves. Calm water suddenly turned into Gulf of Mexico like conditions, complete with rolling waves and the occasional whitecap. Yep. It just got real. But Lake of the Ozarks wasn’t finished yet.
Remember the part about Lake of the Ozarks being the most popular recreation lake in the state? Seems as if all of those recreational boaters remembered it as well, because they all seemed to launch at the same time and hit the lake in force. While it isn’t unusual to fish a tournament surrounded by boats, Lake of the Ozarks adds a special twist. It just happens to be incredibly popular with the owners of cigarette boats. We all know the wake a jon boat can create. The kayak anglers at Lake of the Ozarks all now also know the kind of wake a 48’ long cigarette boat travelling at 80 mph can create as well. And they often run in packs. At one point during the day, I saw two of them running at full clip in the main channel and pointed them out to Steve Leaman who was fishing nearby. Those two were followed by at least another dozen traveling just as fast. Just to make sure we knew that we were fishing on “their” lake, they had a helicopter following them for just a bit more impact. Only on Lake of the Ozarks.
Although the really big fish seemed to be hiding well, there was no shortage of smaller fish and this would be the theme throughout the day. Pulling a 15” bass into the kayak could have a significant impact on the anglers standing on the leader board and the leader board changed often during the day. In the end, Travis Ueke would pull out the win with 81.75.
Travis was followed by Jarred Saffle in second with 75.25 and Billy Reynolds rounding out the top three with 70.25.
Kevin Rockwell would take home a check for big bass by hooking on to a 19.25.
The top ten and their prizes are listed below…..
4th - Justin Coon from Springfield, Mo. 69.75"
5th - Aaron Sims from St Robert, Mo. 69.00"
6th - Steve Leaman from Herculaneum, Mo. 66.50"
7th - Simon Tapprich from Nixa, Mo. 64.00
8th - Kori Whitchurch from Quincey, Il. 63.75"
9th - William Bastura from Springfield, Mo. 60.50
10th - Tyler Hibdon from Lees Summit, Mo. 58.50
A special thank you goes out to all of the sponsors. KAMO has become extremely popular and continues to grow and much of that growth is because of the solid support offered by the sponsors. This is the real deal folks. While everybody loves to take first place, every KAMO tournament is a fight to get into the top ten thanks to the valuable prizes offered up by the sponsors. This has helped turn the competition into high gear because everyone fishes until the final minute knowing that there is a good chance of being rewarded for their efforts.
Next Stop........ KAMO Stop 4 Memorial Weekend Special Event Online Challenge. But until then
Tight Lines everyone!
Article Credits: KAMO member Billy reynolds from St Louis, Mo.
Billy Reynolds www.billyreynoldsfishing.com
JanPro of St. Louis