“It’s looking like its going to be cold,” said Chevy pro Dion Hibdon of Sunrise Beach, Mo. “We just recently got a couple of snowfalls and it has cooled the water temperature way down. But the fish bite pretty well here when it’s cold, so I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. Normally the cold weather doesn’t even bother the bite, but it’s the temperatures that will dictate what depths the fish are holding in.
“The lake is thriving and it is really full of bass,” Hibdon continued. “Stringer weights are up, and I have seen 20 to 25 pounds a day to be pretty easily obtainable. There is just a lot of those type of fish in the lake right now. Nothing would surprise me. A lot of stuff can change based on the weather a few days before the tournament. A few sun-shining days can make a huge difference this time of year. It can move the bass up into 5 feet of water in the blink of an eye. But if it stays good and cold, they might be out there holding in 10 to 15 feet.
“It will take good weight no matter what takes place,” Hibdon went on to say. “Somebody will figure it out. If it does warm up a bit, those shallow fish are the ones that you want to be chasing. They are up there looking for something to eat. The tournament will probably be dominated by a crankbait and jerkbait bite. It should be pretty exciting to see.”
Anglers will take off from Grand Glaize Recreation Area located at 711 Public Beach Road in Osage Beach, Mo., at 7 a.m. daily. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will be held at the takeoff site beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Walmart located at 4252 Highway 54 in Osage Beach beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
Pros will fish for a top award of $40,000 plus a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger Z117 with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.
The EverStart Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title, which allows them to fish the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup.
The EverStart Series tournament on Lake of the Ozarks is hosted by the Tri-County Lodging Association.
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