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Wednesday, May 31st
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PB2 Area Tournament Fishing. The Controversy And Possible Solutions.

For years, tournament fisherman have benefited and belly ached about catching released (often called retreads) big bass in the small coves close to PB2.   PB2 is the most used tournament take off and weigh-in area on Lake of the Ozarks.   While there are also other very popular tournament hosted areas like Workmans Cove (Alhonna) and Red Oak Cove, PB2 is the most heavily used cove for tournaments including most of the biggest tournaments hosted on Lake of the Ozarks.   Many of the bass fishing purest are in favor of making a broad swath of the area around PB2 off limits for fishing tournaments, as there are thousand of keeper bass, many 3-4-5-6+ pounders are released there every year, however many tournament trail directors are hesitant to do so as they are concerned about losing boats and entry fees from those fisherman that feel these areas are the only areas that an average fisherman may have to fish to effectively compete against the more experienced fisherman and simply better fishermen that fish LOZ tournaments. 

So what is the right answer?  What are the solutions?  What are the details, debate points and phsycology behind this issue from the average fisherman and the experienced fisherman.   Overall the issue has become quite heated as there are now, many local and experienced fisherman, with the seemingly good fishing skills to catch em anywhere on the the lake  that fish in this area for a full 8 hours each tournament, not just the average fisherman, but locals with plenty of experience and time on the lake to go figure them out in other areas of the lake have chose to sit on these never ending big fish replenishing areas to win.  Many that complain about these anglers surmise that  they want to make the money and to cash a check, maybe impress thier unknowing sponsors to keep sponsor money and spiffs coming thier way, maybe driven by  bragging rights including self esteeem, impressing friend n family, etc., they may feel if they don't fish these areas, someone else will and they will get beat or they simply want to win and this is a legitimate way to win.   Whatever the reason that these fisherman fish this area that contains the largest population of big fish per area on Lake of the Ozarks, it has become a highly contentious issue.

I personally witnessed and experienced the incredible advantage that a tournament fisherman has fishing these areas this past weekend.  My son and I whacked 23 pounds to win a very small tournament, fishing within and thankfully our best bites were just on the fringe of this area.  Without taking away from our success, which had a lot to do with bait selection and specific areas of a bank that we felt would produce best with that bank, we caught 18 keepers and were culling 3.5 pounders, this likely would not have happened on other areas of the lake, however I am confident the pattern would have produced a winning bag for us.   What I personally witnessed over two days of tournament fishing in and around this area, was that there are very big released fish to be caught and opportunistic experienced fisherman will and do exploit this to their advantage which puts the odds in their favor to win and/or cash a check regardless of their skill to catch them and consistently win fishing other areas of the lake.

So what are the solutions?   I will dig deeper into each of these issues over the coming months so stay tuned, but here are some thoughts after spending the past few days talking about this issue from some of the best fisherman on the lake.   Keep in mind that some of these greats will fish in the area around PB2 for a bit of time during tournaments to either catch a quick limit or catch a kicker fish, but most do not seem to sit there for 8 hours just waiting for the big ones to bite.

Solution Ideas, stay tuned for details:

1. All major tournament directors put all of these areas off limits.   Simple and effective and will grow thier number of boats versus losing boats.   They will pick up more boats against the few boats of fisherman that simply use this area to cash a check.   More details on this from my conversations with of the tournament directors, which I shall have in the coming weeks.

2. PB2/Tournaments Release Boat.  I am personally working on this solution, however it will take some time to finalize the logistics, MDC oversight and other general details to get this in operation.

3. Big Bass Relocation Bash Tournament, The Monster Mash Re-Locate Invitional.  I will execute this in the coming months.   Each Thursday/Friday ahead of any team tournament trails and other major tournaments (not club, closed or charity tournaments).   The summary is that by invitation only, I will invite 15 teams, 10 teams of the very best fisherman on this lake and 5 teams of Bassing Bob Members/Average Fisherman like me, to fish a tournament, (Big Bass Wins), to fish only the release area coves around PB2, with a 6 fish legal limit per fisherman, the tournament will be able to re-locate to any place of their choice outside of 10 miles from PB2,  180 big fish in these coves prior to a weekend tournament.  I already have committment from many of the top fisherman on this lake to participate.   We will hold several of these re-location tournaments per year, thus to remove as many big fish as possible and to deter this style of tournament fishing on LOZ.   Stay tuned for the detail regarding the first relocation tournament. 

As stated above, this is a very contentious issue for tournament fishing.   While there is good debate on both sides of this issue from fisherman and tournament directors, the spirit of tournament fishing is to reward the best fishing team that particular weekend.   While the rules of the tournaments put these areas within the legal rules of the tournament and therfore the fisherman that win within those rules are the legitimate winners of the tournament, many fisherman are deterred and/or agravated as they work hard to practice and establish a pattern to only be beat by those fishing the big bass hatchery area.

I want to emphasize that is article, controversy, potential solutions are not directed at any particular fisherman, fishing team or tournament trail.  It is simply a contraversy within our fishing community at Lake of the Ozarks and as a communication medium to the fishing community, this is simply worthy news to report and perhaps discuss.


Stay tuned for details and more info on this topic.



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