College Team Bass Fishing – Lake of the Ozarks is “On-Fire!”

  • Kansas State Collegiate Bass Team
  • A Day in the Life of a College Angler
  • Tournament Planning in Calculus Class
My Partner, Tyler Nekolny (left) and I weigh in 14-15 on Day 1, was exciting for our Kansas State Fishing Team.

By Hunter Whiteley

My partner and I took 11 days to fish the B.A.S.S. Carhartt College series Midwest regional and the FLW regional.  At Lake of the Ozarks, all I can say is, “The lake is on fire.”  The lake is fishing hot, better than I have ever seen it fish.  

Every single day, we landed a fish that went 5-pounds plus, with multiple days producing more than one.  Breaking down the lake was a handful.  We found the pattern to be secondary points that had the channel swing up against them with a flat on the other side.  It didn’t matter what type of rocks were on the flat.  Then for bigger bites we would back off to long tapering points that had structure on them.  These didn’t produce the numbers we needed but when you got a bite it was a good one.

Understanding these patterns had us feeling comfortable going into the B.A.S.S. regional which was a three-day event.  The first day we caught our limit early and moved out to find the bigger bites.  Culled once and lost a big one.  We weighed 14 pounds-15 ounces, good enough to put us in 20th place and good enough to put us inside the cut-line, but we needed another good day on Day 2.

Day 2 rolls around and we had a cold front move through and shut down our fish.  At about 10:30 we go to move and have motor issues.  This put a damper on our fishing and we only weighed two fish for 7 pounds-7 ounces.  This cut our tournament a day short due to not making the cut, but on the other hand – the bright side, this gave us a day to go over our plan for the FLW Regional and catch up on some sleep and school work.

Hunter Whiteley and Tyler Nekolny on the run to their next spot. Ronnie Moore Photo

The FLW started really well.  We roll into our first stop and put two fish in the box. On our next stop we fill our limit and cull three times. This is when I knew it was going to be a special day.  Then, surprisingly, the day got tough.  We didn’t have another bite till an hour before weigh in.  

We moved to key in on the bass pushing shad up against wave breaks.  We culled two more times before we had to weigh in.  Good stuff.

We walk up to the tanks and were listening to weights and knew that we had made the prize-cut, but not sure how high we would finish.  We weighed in 18 pounds- 2 ounces, good enough to put us in 4th place and make the cut to fish the national championship.

I would like to also congratulate two other teams from Kansas State:

Sheldon Rogge and Travis Blenn, on qualifying for the B.A.S.S. College National Championship.  

Quinn Fowler and Josh Schraad for qualifying FLW National Championship.

My next tournament is a club tournament on Milford Lake in Kansas.  It will be a tournament that is dominated by smallmouth bass and will help us learn more about how to compete using different fishing tactics.

Our Kansas State College fishing team members (left to right): Sheldon Rogge, Grant Srajer, Travis Blenn, Tyler Nekolny, Hunter Whiteley, Josh Schraad, Quinn Fowler, Payton Miller, Adam Fuchs, Shaun Finn.