2016 Oklahoma Open & AOY
Good evening ladies and gentleman, last weekend was the Oklahoma Open! It started off just after 6 am on Prague and Okemah lakes. 47 anglers fished hard til the 2:30 cards in bucket back in Payden, Oklahoma. There were quite a few things on the line at the open. Angler of the Year races concluded, prizes were boosted thanks to our fabulous sponsors, the spot on biggest bass was still up for grabs, and the top 10 anglers would receive an invite to the state championship. Anglers were met with typical early summer conditions, HOT with a little wind and a few clouds. Water temps were in the mid to upper 80's.
At the end of the battle Kevin Hutchinson emerged victorious with an astounding 89.5". more than 10 inches over the wrest of the field. We checked him for steroids shortly after and he tested clean.
Kevin on the days fishing:
All of my fish came off Fallin timber in about 4 to 6 feet of water. Blue flick color zoom finesse worm. Got broke off today also. Same bait.
Houa Xiong took home 2nd place with 75" and also had a nice 22" toad.
Small fish came on shaky head around the dam. The most rest of the fish came on swim jig on standing timber
Landon Johnston brought home the bronze with 73.75"
4.5" YUM sharpshooter dark green purple flake fished on a drop shot. Fish were caught along humps and ledges near the old lake dam. All larger fish were caught in 10-15 feet of water.
Randal Farley Sr. took home the Hook1 Big Bass this week with a 22.5" toad from Prague lake. Hook1 gave away a nice All Pro rod to the winner of the big bass this week! This fish was also the largest bass of the OKA spring series and landed Sr. a Life size replica mount of the piggy from Spot On Taxidermy!
A few stats for you guys from the 2016 season! We have a new attendance record set at 65. We had 245 entries into our spring series and each entry got you an entry towards the Jackson Paddleboard. 60 individuals from the central region and 42 from the northeast.
Our Angler of the Year race was tighter than ever for both trails, it came down to the last event.
Matt Penwright (CE) and Houa Xiong (NE) took home Angler of the Year honors! Matt held a solid lead after winning the Arbuckle event and rode it out to outpace Brent, Chris, Landon and a few other anglers who were nipping at his heels!
Houa came from behind early in the series to serge into first place in points after the open. Houa started his roll at W.R Holway and finished 2nd twice after that.
These guys each took home $400 cash to help pay thier entry fees into the TOC and KBF National Championship, a manley rod, and the coveted trophy blackpak! Great job guys!
Prefishing for Konowa Matt pulled in this GIANT!
Matt when asked how he stays so consistent:
Staying consistent throughout the season can be a tough task, especially when one of those unlucky days come about. I'm talking that day when you're hooking into 3-5 pounders and just can't land one. It's frustrating and discouraging to lose good fish, regardless of what happened I'd tell myself to stay calm and keep my head up and I did. Patience is a virtue and if spent in the right area, at the right time, no doubt is equivalent to success. I spent most my time covering as much water as I could, as fast as I could, until a pattern was found. By pattern I mean feeding fish, fish breaking the surface or running baitfish up on the bank. I would constantly look for baitfish, most the time I wouldn't make a cast unless there were bait fish present in the area. The secret for me was being persistent, sticking with what I know, and not changing baits every 5 seconds. I'm a shallow water fisherman and love to fish top, chartreuse and black buzz-bait by War Eagle did WORK!!! for me this season.
Houa with a W.R Holway special
Houa on staying consistent:
How to stay consistent is a hard task. Usually when I approach a new lake, I look at creek, pockets, lake points, and main lake cover. Pre-fishing the lake help locate area where to start fishing first. On the day of the tournament, I try to catch my first fish early. Put together a pattern and see if I can run with that pattern. While fishing the pattern, I'll just fish the moment like target fishing stomps, skipping docks, and slowing down for a big bite. Covering water seem to be a key of my mentality. Don't burn down on a good area or lost fish. Keep moving, keep searching and keep fishing . I use moving baits while I cover water. And slow down once I start catching fish in that general area. Once the bite stop, I fish on. I'll come back to check up on that area later. Most of the time I try catching a limit, put together a pattern, build confidence, and then look for big bites. Aim for big bass along the way. Bass fishing is a grind, so you gotta grind it out until the end.
As the spring series draws to a close we would like to say thank you to the OKA Board members, all our sponsors, and to the anglers who came out and fished. This wouldn't happen without you guys and gals! Next stop is Oklahoma vs. Arkansas!