Shawn Kowal Leads Final FLW Costa Event on Lake of Ozarks
October 12, 2017 by Jody White
Day one of the Costa FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks turned into a beauty, and a strong group of pros got off to a good start. Shawn Kowal of Linn Creek, Mo., paces the field after day one with 19 pounds, 9 ounces – just 5 ounces ahead of Steve Floyd in second place. Kowal has eight top-10 finishes in FLW competition on Lake of the Ozarks, and he appears to be headed toward another one.
Though a variety of patterns caught fish on day one, Kowal leaned on the venerable dock and brush bite that Lake of the Ozark always offers. He caught about 12 keepers on the day, mostly swimming a jig and tossing a worm, and says that 10 feet deep was his “magic” depth.
“It went pretty good, I caught a lot of a fish and didn’t really lose much,” says Kowal. “I laid off later in the day, but I was still catching them. The spots I wasn’t going to fish, I thought I’d go try ‘em, and I’d catch them there.”
Temperatures on day one started out in the 50s, rose into the 70s by weigh-in, and are projected to hit the mid-80s on Friday. Despite the variable weather, Kowal seems to have a decent handle on the fishing.
“It’s fishing okay, but the problem is the water temperature is 10 degrees too warm,” says the Lake of the Ozarks local. “It drops four or five degrees, and the bass start to think about chasing shad and then it comes right back up and they think it’s summer again. It’s fishing, you never know, But I think I can do it again. I don’t think they’re going to move, and if they move they aren’t going to go far.”
Kowal is currently sitting at 50th in the points, and another decent day would put him in the Costa FLW Series Championship for sure. Another good day will have him fishing for a win.
Top 10 pros
1. Shawn Kowal – Linn Creek, Mo. – 19-9 (5)
2. Steve Floyd – Leesburg, Ohio – 19-4 (5)
3. Roger Fitzpatrick – Eldon, Mo. – 18-12 (5)
4. James Dill – Sunrise Beach, Mo. – 17-13 (5)
5. James Watson – Lampe, Mo. – 17-12 (5)
6. Andrew Dickneite – Freeburg, Mo. – 16-13 (5)
7. Jeremy Lawyer – Sarcoxie, Mo. – 16-5 (5)
8. Dayton Taylor – Beebe, Ark. – 16-2 (5)
9. Philip Rein – Troy, Mo. – 16-0 (5)
9. Payden Hibdon – Sunrise Beach, Mo. – 16-0
Johnson heads up the co-anglers
Jeremy Johnson of Kansas City, Kan., caught a limit worth 15-6 to take the lead on the co-angler side.
“We started out in the mid-lake area, basically fishing docks today,” says Johnson, who finished fourth in the standings as a boater in the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Ozark Division. “In practice I hadn’t really caught anything on topwater, so I went straight to flippin’. Midday for about three or four hours it seemed we’d catch one here and one there, it wasn’t any big barrage, but it really died when the sun got up later in the day.”
Johnson says that slow baits around docks and brush did the trick, and says he caught eight keepers on the day.
Format: All boaters and co-anglers will compete for two days. The top 10 boaters and co-anglers based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner in each category determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.
Takeoff Time: 7:00 a.m. CT
Takeoff Location: Public Beach #2, 711 Public Beach Road, Osage Beach, Mo.
Weigh-In Time: Days 1 and 2 at 3 p.m. CT; Day 3 at 4 p.m. CT
Weigh-In Location: Days 1 and 2 at Public Beach #2; Day 3 at Walmart 4252, Highway 54, Osage Beach, Mo.