Current Means, White Bass Fishing

The timing of this years spring rain wasn't ideal. In late April, just when the crappie where setting up to move to the bank, the storms and heavy rains hit the Ozarks! Area lakes rose several feet in a matter of days! And for most of us who waited all winter for the crappie spawn, were disappointed things didn't go as we had it planned. And as they say, what goes up, must come down, and area dams have been releasing water trying to bring the lakes back down.

These massive water releases create bigtime current both above and below the dam. Fishing can be good in this moving water in the tailraces below the dam. On the lake side, huge schools of shad gather near the dam. And where there's shad, predators will gather. The best approach is to fish around these massive schools of baitfish. Also too, take a minute to check out the size of the bait your fishing around. If the shad are 3-5 inches long, toss a shad imitation crankbait just under that size. You want to "match the hatch" but most white bass, and smaller hybrids, can't consume a shad that size so your offering will be more appealing.

It's too early for this year's shad fry to start to school up, but when they do, the whites will target the smaller more bite-sized prey. It's important too your offering is similar in size to the shad. In this situation, the Rat-L-Trap in the "Tiny Trap" size is the best bait to throw. Yes, you'll catch a lot of small whites, but it's still a lot of fun and the perfect situation to get your kids on the water.  Of course, 1/8oz Road Runners, Rooster Tails, small spoons, and other baits will catch them too. Good luck, and "happy fishing!"

Be sure and catch my Ozarks Outdoors podcast! We're talking fishing and other fun ways to enjoy the great outdoor opportunities here in southwest Missouri!


The Strive For Success Scholarship

I had the opportunity to travel to my old high school and MC the "Strive For Success" Scholarship presentation. What made the event extra special, aside from being back at Weaubleau High School, was the fact that the event had a very "fishy" feel. John Greife, the organization's founder is a former Major League Fishing Boat Official. The speakers were Tracy Slagle, Jon Hickman, and Jackie from Liberty Utilities. Plus, the Drury University Panthers Fishing Team Head Coach, Rick Emmitt and team member Clay Henderson.

Each shared their passion for what they do and effort they each put forth to reach their goals. Which leads us to the foundation of the "Strive For Success" scholarship, "The 3 P's." Plan, Passion, and Prayer. First, you must have a "Plan", without a plan you will have no path for success. Second, "Passion", It's the fuel required to keep you on your path along your journey to success. Third, and most importantly "Prayer", because without it you will never know how far your path can take you.

A very important "special guest" via the phone and video, was Bassmaster Elite Series Champion and 2-Time "Angler Of The Year" "The Prodigy" Brandon Palaniuk. He shared his story of a young angler from Idaho that one day dreamed of being a professional fisherman to becoming a champion. He shared that he lives by the "3 P's" everyday and it was that foundation that lead him to the very top of pro fishing!

It was a very special event indeed attended by Weaubleau students from middle school though 12 grade. Seniors were asked to write an essay about themselves and their future goals based on "The 3 P's." One deserving student will receive the scholarship graciously donated by John Greife. Thanks again for allowing me to be a part! Don't forget, if you love fishing, catch my Ozarks Outdoors podcast!


The Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expo and More!

There's so much more to The Bassmaster Classic than the tournament. This event also includes one of the largest Outdoors Expos in the industry! And not only is the "World Champion" of professional bass fishing crowned, the High School and College Series team championships were decided last weekend as well.

 

The 2024 Strike King Bassmaster High School Classic was won by the Louisiana Bossier Parish Bass Team of Carsen Adcock & Jase White! Neither had fished Keystone Lake before establishing a pattern early and riding it to the top with a Saturday 5-fish limit weighing 19lbs 12ozs! The University of Montevallo team of Tyler Cory and Scott Sledge emerged victorious with the five-bass, 22lb limit from Keystone Lake to take the Strike King Bassmaster College Classic championship presented by Bass Pro Shops.

Recognized as fishing's biggest consumer shows, the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo presented by GSM Outdoors had more than 200 exhibitors from all over the world! During the 3 days of the Classic fans got to wander the giant  Cox Business Convention Center and check out boats, lures, tackle, and much, much more! It was amazing to see all this great outdoor stuff under one roof! Don't forget, if you love fishing check out my Ozarks Outdoors podcast! You can find it at The Bull 105.1, Around The Ozarks, Spotify, Google Podcasts...pretty much anywhere you get your podcasts!

 


Truman Lake Winter Crappie

This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to hop in the boat with touring crappie pro and local guide Amos Livingston. When we first looked at the forecast earlier in the week it called for light winds and a high temperature around 52. Neither was the situation when we arrived at the lake that morning. A steady northeast breeze and cloudy skies kept things uncomfortable and the pesky breeze seemed to follow us no matter where we stopped to fish.

Despite the conditions, we did managed to catch some nice fish, just not the numbers we anticipated. Having been fishing all my life, its amazing how much the introduction of forward facing sonar has impacted our approach to finding fish. In the past, you had go solely on history and experience on where to fish. Now, with the ability to see the fish you're trying to catch, it all comes down to putting the right bait in front of them.

No question Live Scope is a time saver. Being able to know you're presenting your bait in front of a fish helps your confidence but as Amos said "a lot of people think that using Live Scope is cheating, it doesn't make them bite." We saw just as many turn up their nose to our jigs as we did bite them. Out on the water during the backside of a cold front had the fish not as willing to take our offerings.

We did manage to put some quality fish in the boat. There are several weeks of winter fishing left, so get out there when you can. It won't be long before the schools will start to break up as water temps edge up and get the crappie thinking about spawning. But like they say "a lousy day fishing is still better than a good day at work."

 


Lake Life Expo!

One of the better cures for cabin fever is attending a boat show! I made sure to make time to stop by this weekends Lake Life Expo at the Springfield Expo Center. Now that January is behind us, spring is feeling more in reach! On this past rainy Sunday, I spent a few hours wandering around and checking out the boats, kayaks, boat lifts, and more. On display were boats of all kinds and styles from fishing boats, cruisers, pontoons, and personal watercraft.

It's amazing how popular wake boarding has become. When I was younger, it was all water skiing, now everyone's wakeboarding. Many of these boats are custom designed just for it. They'll cruse at a slower speed and have ballast tanks onboard to help with the boats ride and stability.

The pontoons today aren't anything like your grandpa's ole "Sun-Tracker"! These tri-toons are bigger, better riding, with custom paint jobs, and 200+ HP outboards on the back! Plus, most have the latest tech and killer sound systems! Hang in there! Spring's right around the corner and boating season will be here before you know it!


Randall King Rocked The House Thursday Night At The Midnight Rodeo!

Can an artist ask for any bigger endorsement than Garth Brooks saying "This kid is what country music is all about"? I don't think so. And not just Garth, it seems the entire country world can't say enough good things about this west Texas native. Randall King has amassed over 300 Million streams of songs “You In A Honky Tonk,” “Hey Cowgirl” and “Mirror, Mirror,” and others! It was pretty cool to hear the entire Midnight Rodeo singing along with "Mirror, Mirror"! Everyone knew every word.

I don't know what it is about the Texas panhandle but some amazing music has been coming out of that part of the country! Flatland Calvary, The Josh Abbot Band, who will be at The Midnight Rodeo on February 22ed, Willman Clark Green, and others, are all from that part of the country and have solidified themselves as some of the best Texas Country there is.

Another cool thing about most of these guys too, is most are Kansas City Chiefs fans! It's the Patrick Mahomes-Texas Tech connection. Most of these guys were going to school there or hanging around when Mahomes was slingin' it for the Red Raiders. Randall Kind noticed my cap right away and proceeded to tell me about his trip to the AFC Championship game! That's right, he was there when The Chiefs knocked off the #1 seed Baltimore Ravens to advance to the Super Bowl!

Crews and I got to hang out with Randall before the show and talked football among other things. Cool dude! Up next at The Midnight Rodeo is Red Dirt Country star Corey Kent! That show's on Saturday night February 17th! Get those tickets and more info by clicking HERE!

 

 


Wade Bowen Rocked The House Friday Night!

It was a cold evening in The Ozarks but that didn't keep the fans away from the Midnight Rodeo Friday night! Springfield's own Hunter Hathcoat opened the show. Oklahoma native Cam Allen Music was up next. These five guys put on a great show! If you're not familiar with their music, be sure and click the link and check'em out! Of course, reigning Texas Country "Male Vocalist Of The Year" Wade Bowen was his usual awesome self!

The crowd was on their feet and singing along to every song. If you love Wade Bowen and that Texas Country music, don't miss Radio Texas, LIVE every Sunday evening from 7PM to midnight on 105.1 The Bull! Wade Bowen was just the first of several great shows coming to The Midnight Rodeo! They're the sponsors of Radio Texas, LIVE and "The Kings of The Red Dirt and Texas Country concerts!" Up next, it's Jackson Dean! Saturday, January 27th and many more to come! Don't forget to sign up to win your way on the 105.1 The Bull guest list and get more info and your tickets by clicking HERE!


The 2024 Springfield Boat Show

The best way to cope with the freezing temps over the weekend was to head to the Springfield Boat Show! Nothing like wandering around and checking out all the cool new boats, fishing gear, and talking all things boating, to help get your mind right. You never know who you might run into as well.

It was good to catch up with a former Ozarks Outdoors podcast guest and Major League Fishing pro, James Watson. He says he'll be back in the studio soon to update us on the upcoming 2024 MLF season. This year's show featured boats of all kinds! Everything from cruisers, pontoons, to kayaks and more!

It's that time of the year. Boat Shows, Fishing Expo's, Sports Shows, and more are coming soon! Get out and support as many of these events as you can. Not only does it help cure a case of "cabin fever" it's also a reminder that winter won't be here forever and that spring's right around the corner!

 


Russell Dickerson Rocks The New Wilson Logistics Arena!

It was a fun night inside the new Wilson Logistics Arena at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds Thursday evening. Russell Dickerson had the crowd dancing and singing all night! Several thousands came out to check out the new arena and take in the show. You never know for sure how things are going to go when it come to a new venue. They are a lot of unknowns. How's the audio going to sound? Will the stage and lighting be adequate for the room? The good news is that everything looked, and more importantly, sounded great Thursday night!

Russell Dickerson, a Tennessee native received his BA degree from Belmont University in 2010. He's signed with the LA based talent agency Creative Artists Agency and released his first EP "Die To Live Again" in 2011. Things really took off with his release of his album "Yours" in 2015. That record produced hits "Blue Tacoma", "Every Little Thing" and the title track "Yours." He made his Grand Ole Opry debut in June of 2016 and has been on a roll every since.

There are several events already on the schedule for the new arena including the O'Reilly Auto Parts Outlaw National Monster Truck Show January 26th and 27th.  More events and concerts will be announced soon. It's great to have a new arena in town and keep it on 105.1 "The Bull" for more info and your chance to win your way to the shows!


Eric Massey Crappie Jigs, Handmade Right Here In The Ozarks!

Eric Massey is my most recent guest on The Ozarks Outdoors podcast. When he couldn't find what he was looking for in a crappie jig, he decided the only solution was to make them himself. This "hobby" soon became an obsession and if you're looking for the very best jigs, handmade right here in the Ozarks, Eric Massey Jig Co is where you've got to go.

The attention to detail is the first thing you notice. When you take a closer look, it's evident these jigs are made by a man who's passionate about what he does. These jigs are more like works of art than fishing tackle. And as we discuss in the podcast, you're first got to "catch" the fisherman, and these jigs do that, however, the real test of a fishing lure is it's fish catching ability. And trust me, I've bought my share of slick looking lures only to find they didn't put fish in the boat. Eric Massey Jigs absolutely not only look great, they catch fish! Sure, Eric Massey Jigs are going to cost you more than the mass-produced products on most tackle shop shelves but are well worth the few extra bucks!

 

If you're interested in acquiring a few of these to add to your tackle box, I'd suggest to get in touch with Eric right away. He may be a local lure maker but he sells his products all over the US and other countries around the world, so get your order in now! He even takes custom orders! In a couple months, the crappie will be on the move and as the days get longer and the nights warmer, they'll be more and more accessible.

Here's to a successful fishing year in 2024! Adding Eric Massy Jigs to your crappie fishing arsenal will put more fish in the boat! Happy fishing!