Truman Lake Tournament Challenges Missouri – The Bass Federation Anglers

Author: Dennis Maggart

Changing Conditions and Seasonal Patterns Dominate!

Harry S. Truman Reservoir can be one of Missouri’s most varied and challenging lakes for bass anglers and the second Missouri TBF Qualifier was no exception.  Twenty-nine anglers hit the water May 22-23rd for the last two-day Qualifier hoping to advance to the TBF National Semi-Final later this fall.  Anglers were greeted in practice with wet conditions and rising water on Thursday and Friday.  The lake was about 18 inches above normal pool to start the week but steady rain and only average discharge at the dam meant that water levels rose to almost 4 feet high by Sunday.  Rising water along with mud from the run-off changed pre-tournament conditions and challenged the anglers to adjust.  With muddy conditions up the Grand and Osage the main lake bush bite turned on as the water rose, while the Pomme arm remained fishable for those that chose to venture upriver.  With the bass in various stages of the spawn due to fluctuating spring weather and water temps it created a PhD level test for the anglers on Truman.   

Thursday and Friday’s weather was wet which limited the practice opportunities for the anglers but helped prepare them for the take off on Saturday.  Mild temps of 66 degrees with clouds and showers greeted the anglers at take-off along with variable wind from the south at 10-13 mph.  Rain was steady till about noon allowing for a pleasant weigh-in (79 degrees).  Day one results were solid with Mick Maples leading the pack with 5 fish for 14.89 followed by Jared Knuth with 12.61 and Mark Harper with 12.59 and big bass of 4.71.  Overall, the boaters produced 8 limits with a total of 65 fish for 141 pounds! On the co-angler side Grant Hinton lead the way with an impressive sack of 5 fish for 13.16 pounds. He was followed by Gary Martin at 11.80 (and big bass of 4.3) and Carl Metz with 11.48.

Sunday’s weather was a welcome relief from the prior 3 days of rain.  With calm winds and a brisk low of 64 degrees the day slowly brightened up to a sunny afternoon with highs of 83 degrees.  While this post-front conditions can sometimes make the bite tough, the rising water and steady current at the dam kept the fish biting for most of the anglers.  Jared Knuth followed up his first day success with a second day limit of 15.64, followed by Robert Hime 15.47 (and overall big bass of 4.99) and Ken Whitfield 14.06.  Our boaters bagged 12 limits on day 2 with 67 fish for 160.46 pounds.  Grant Hinton doubled up on the co-angler field leading Sunday’s co-anglers with 12.38.  Carl Metz and Jason Morisaki also had solid bags with 11.45 and 10.52 pounds respectively with Jason landing the big bass of the event on the co-angler side at 4.71 pounds!

Our winner on the boater side was Jared Knuth who put together two solid days, weighing in 10 fish for a total of 28.25 pounds.  Jared fished up the Pomme where the water was less stained.  Using topwater baits on Saturday he had a total of 8 keepers.  On Sunday, the top-water bite faded after sun-up, so he switched to a Strike King creature bait to finish with 5 solid keepers.  Jared concentrated on channel swing banks and back water flats to produce the larger keepers it takes to win an event like this. Jared is also a Ranger Awards Qualifier and will take home some additional cash from our friend at Ranger for his top finish.

Jared Knuth, Boater First Place

Second place on the boater side went to Ken Whitfield who sacked 10 keepers for a total of 25.79 pounds over the 2-day event.  He fished the Tebo arm and upper Pomme using a top-water bait and secret plastic creature bait to cull through 7 keepers on Saturday and 12 keepers on Sunday! His pattern consisted of mostly back water areas where he looked for cover that would hold post-spawn fish.

Ken Whitfield, Boater Second Place

Rounding out the top-3 was Robert Hime who brought in 10 bass weighing 25.01 pounds. Like most of the successful anglers, Robert used a buzzbait and popper on Saturday to land 5 keepers.  On Sunday, he adjusted to the conditions by moving away from the topwater bait after the early bite and switched to a Senko to cull through 10 keepers.

Robert Hime, Boater Third Place

Other boaters who finished with strong showings were Brad Tyer (10 fish for 24.3) and Mick Maples (10 fish for 24.29).  Since both Brad and Robert Hime had previously qualified for the National Semi-Final at our Table Rock event, Mick is the 3rd automatic qualifier from this event.  In addition to the top 5, Kevin Johnston (21.45) and Mark Harper (20.57) had 10 fish limits for the event and were in contention till the end. 

Dominating the co-angler field for the event was Grant Hinton who led both day one and day 2 weigh-ins with a total of 10 fish for 25.54 pounds.  Grant had 2 great boaters who put him around fish where he landed 7 keepers on day one and 6 on day two.  He used a 3/8 oz tungsten shaky head with a variety of green pumpkin worms/stick baits to boat his fish.

Grant Hinton, Co-angler First Place

The second-place co-angler also presented 10 keepers to the scale, Carl Metz.  His 2-day total of 22.93 pounds was equally impressive given the divergent pattern of his 2 boaters.  Carl used a combination of jigs and shaky head stick baits to adjust to the stained and clear water conditions presented to him by his boater on Saturday and Sunday.

Finishing in 3rd for the event was one of our newer anglers, Billy Ray.  He landed 8 keepers for 18.48 pounds.  He had 2 great boaters who helped him work a combination of shaky head and Texas rig presentations to land his fish.  Rounding out the top 5 in were 2 of our veteran co-anglers Jason Morisaki with 17.13 pounds (and our 3rd qualifier) and Gary Martin with 7 fish for 15.44 pounds.

Billy Ray, Co-angler Third Place

Angler of Year

As our final event of the year, Truman also closed the book on the 2021 Missouri TBF Angler of the Year race.  Following up a strong Table Rock finish (1st) with a solid performance at Truman (4th) lead Brad Tyer to the boater Angler of the Year crown for 2021 (394 points).  Brad landed solid limits each day providing both consistency and quality while culling through multiple keepers at each event.  Finishing a close second in back-to-back years is Robert Hime (392 points) who also had 20 keepers over the 4 days of competition.  Rounding out the top 3 was Mick Maples (380 points) who gutted out both events and delivered under a variety of conditions.

Brad Tyer, 2021 Boater Angler of the Year

The Co-Angler of the year race was won this year by Carl Metz (394 points).  Carl had great performances at both Table Rock and Truman to edge a strong field of co-anglers.  Finishing second with 382 points was Paul Huse and rounding out the top 3 was Jon Small (380 points).  Each of these co-anglers had to meet the difficult challenge of fishing a wide range of water behind a different boater each day.  Rising to this challenge takes a unique set of skills and these competitors rose to the challenge each day.

Carl Metz, 2021 Co-angler Angler of the Year

The MO TBF Board would like to thank all our sponsors for the support of this event, Ranger Boats, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Lowrance, TH Marine, Wholesale Batteries and Power Pole.  Finally, the Board would like to also thank all the anglers for their participation and support of the Missouri TBF.  While this is our last MO TBF state-wide event many of our clubs still have local tournaments scheduled in the next few months.  As club champions are crowned, we will be filling out our roster for the upcoming TBF National Semi-Final at Wilson Lake on October 2-3rd so stay tuned for more exciting news from MO TBF!

Lake of the Ozarks, Open Team Tournament Results

Missouri – The Bass Federation – Lake of the Ozarks Team Open Bass Tournament, April 25, 2021

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Entry Fee: $150 per boat, 80% payback

Optional Big Fish: $20, 100% payback

Registration and payment at the ramp.

Take off – 6:00 AM, Larry R. Gale Access

Weigh in – 3:00 PM, Larry R. Gale Access

Entry Form

Missouri The Bass Federation Qualifier Tournament Visits Beautiful Table Rock Lake

Ideal Spring Weather Makes for a Great Event!

Author: Dennis Maggart

Table Rock Lake is one of the crown jewel’s of the Ozark Impoundments and Mother Nature cooperated with some very nice spring weather for the Missouri TBF’s first Qualifier the weekend of March 27th and 28th.   Taking out of Port Kimberling meant the entire lake was available to the anglers, even with other anglers and recreational boaters hitting the water for their first taste of spring weather.  As is typical with the spring, a series of warm fronts followed by showers and cold fronts had put the fish in transition but with a strong population of Smallmouth, Largemouth and Spotted bass Table Rock provided the anglers with a range of options along with significant variables in their efforts to find and stay in contact with their fish. 

Table Rock usually offers very clear water but the spring rains provided stained run off in some of the river arms, letting anglers fish several sections of the lake to coordinate with their preferred technique.  Afternoon water temperatures varied based on this water clarity from 47 to 55 degrees with lower nightly temperatures cooling off the lake each night.  A fast moving cold front washed out some of the practice time on Thursday followed by bright skies on Friday and Saturday with air temperatures hitting 70 degrees on Saturday afternoon.  A second smaller cold front passed later Saturday providing a brief shower and cooling temperatures off for the second day.  Fish were being caught throughout the lake on a variety of baits but by Saturday it was clear that the Alabama Rig was going to be the dominant bait for most anglers.  Baits and presentation varied based on the water clarity, but the A-rig was providing the most consistent bite for both numbers and size.  Some fish were still being caught on jerk baits in clearer water nearer the dam and some shallow fish were still be hooked on Rock Crawlers in traditional crawdad colors.    

Saturday morning came bright and clear with calm winds and warmer overnight temperatures.  Takeoff was promptly at 7:00 AM to take advantage of our mid-lake location.  A total of 17 boaters and 15 co-anglers blasted off hoping to beat the other tournament anglers to their best spot.  Most of the field chose to stay close to the take-off with a solid bite in the mid-lake area but a few braved the boat traffic to run further up the river to more stained water.   A few anglers reported a solid early bite but as is typical in the spring, the bite really picked up once the sun came up and began to heat the water.  Anglers concentrated on main lake and secondary points to ambush staging fish that were just starting to think about entering the spawning coves. 

Brad Tyer, Boater First Place

With an Alabama Rig bite on it was predictable that the top spot on the boater side would go to Brad Tyer.  Brad was an early adopter of A-rig fishing and has consistently been competitive in winter and early spring tournaments in these Ozark impoundments over the last several years.  He concentrated on the mid-lake area where the larger fish were biting to finish out his day one bag at 13.47 and followed it up with a better sack on Sunday of 14.86 for a total of 28.33 pounds. Brad culled through multiple fish each day but knew he was around the kind of fish he needed to win a two day event.  He bagged at total of 10 fish along with a 4.33 pound kicker to round out his sack.  He focused on wind-blown secondary and main lake points with a Flash Mob Junior rig using shad colored swimbaits. 

Tom Kaufmann, Boater Second Place

Finishing second on the boater side was Tom Kaufmann.  Using a strong second day charge he was able to move up and snag second place with a total of 10 fish for 26.73 pounds.  Tom used an A-rig to bring a solid 5 fish day limit to the scale (9.71) but made a key adjustment on day two to bring in the largest daily bag of 17.02 on Sunday to charge up the leader board.  Using the wind to his favor, Tom made a switch Sunday morning to a jig that produced his impressive sack. The wind and watercolor were similar to the conditions he had fished before in the spring and knew that the jig bite could come on.  Picking up a ½ oz jig in brown craw color he landed several big fish on Sunday and left some to bite for his co-angler too.  

Robert Hime, Boater Third Place

Rounding out our qualifiers on the boater side was another perennial contender, Robert Hime with 21.78 pounds.  He used an A-rig on Saturday along with a single swimbait on bluff walls to cull through multiple keepers to get to a 5 fish bag of 11.12.  Sunday required a big adjustment for Robert as the wind made the bluff walls tough to fish with the swimbait.  Like all good anglers, Robert adjusted and found the fish inside the main lake pockets and was able to catch a limit for him (10.66) and his co-angler using the A-rig. 

Jon Small, Co-angler First Place

We were blessed with a very strong co-angler field at Table Rock and we were not disappointed with the bags.  Leading all of them to the scales was Jon Small with an impressive 2 day total of 10 fish for 25.41 pounds.  Jon caught multiple keepers each day to post a solid bag on Saturday of 12.12 pounds and followed it up with another great sack of 13.29 on Sunday culling through over 20 keepers!  Each bag also included the “Table Rock Trifecta” with keeper Largemouth, Smallmouth and Spotted bass.  All of Jon’s fish on both days came on homemade bladed A-rigs using Kietech swimbaits in several traditional shad type colors.  Each day he had to adjust the colors and how he worked the bait to key in on how to trigger these fish to bite.  

Paul Huse, Co-angler Second Place

Following in second was our day-one leader, Paul Huse with 8 fish for 21.32 pounds.   Paul’s day one sack of 5 fish for 14.34 pounds was outstanding but he struggled a little on Sunday and brought 3 fish to the scale for 6.68.  He caught most of his keepers on an A-rig also but also through a single swimbait. While the swimbait bite was there both days, the A-rig seemed to produce the better bites so he stuck with it to wrap up second place and a trip to the TBF National Semi-Final.

Carl Metz, Co-angler Third Place

Finishing in third place on the Co-angler side, after making a hard charge on day two, was Carl Metz.  Weighing only 2 fish on day one for 5.86 Carl shocked the field (and his boater) on Sunday by bringing in 4 fish that tipped the scales at an impressive 14.64 pounds! This gave Carl on outstanding bag of 6 fish for a total of 20.07 over two days. Like most anglers, Carl used the A-rig as his “go to” bait but also changed over to a jig on Sunday to land some of the better quality fish. 

We had several anglers that also had some nice bags over the weekend that I would like to mention.  Tom McGovern led day one with 5 nice keepers that totaled 15.08 pounds for the second biggest bag of the weekend.  One of our newest members, Clayton Sansoucie also brought 10 keepers to the scale at the event to finish just out of the top three in 4th place with 19.34 pounds.  Big bass awards were also given to Don Heiser for his day one toad of 5.5 pounds.  The big female was caught Saturday on a Rock Crawler up the White River arm.  The award for big bass on the co-angler side went to Troy Richter who landed a 5.2 pound lunker Sunday on an A-rig halfway back in a mid-lake creek between a couple of docks.

Carl Metz, Robert Hime, Paul Huse, Tom Kaufmann, Jon Small, Brad Tyer

Congratulations to our Top 3 Boater and Co-angler Qualifiers who have earned a spot on the Missouri TBF State Team to compete in the TBF National Semi-final at Wilson Lake, KS on October 2 & 3, 2021. This is the next step on the path to the TBF National Championship and the opportunity to compete in the MLF All American.

The MO TBF Board would like to thank all our sponsors for the support of this event, Ranger Boats, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Lowrance, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela, Berkley, TH Marine, Wholesale Batteries and Power Pole. A special “Thank You” also goes out to Port of Kimberling Resort for their help in hosting this event.  Finally, the Board would like to also thank all the anglers for their participation and support of the Missouri TBF.  Our next event is the annual Team Championship at Lake of the Ozarks on April 25th (Larry Gale Ramp).  We look forward to seeing everyone there and at our second Qualifier at Truman in May. If you are interested in joining Missouri TBF and putting yourself on the path to the TBF National Championship contact Dennis Maggart at