Outdoors

Want to find out who won this pro fishing tournament? Sorry, we can’t help you

Chris Jones with his fishing dog Angel, who passed away last year.
Chris Jones with his fishing dog Angel, who passed away last year.

So you want to find out who won the Major League Fishing event at Lake of the Ozarks last week?

You’ll have to wait until January when a show about it airs on the Outdoor Channel. Either that or you’ll have to pry the information out of one of the 24 pro fishermen who competed in the event, which isn’t likely.

“All of the fishermen and the staff had to sign nondisclosure agreements,” said Bailey McBride, a spokeswoman for Major League Fishing. “The final standings are a well-guarded secret.”

McBride did reveal one thing, though: Lake of the Ozarks fared very well in the national spotlight.

“Lake of the Ozarks definitely delivered,” she said. “We had high expectations going in, but this tournament exceeded those expectations.

“The fishing was outstanding.”

The pro field, which included such well-known fishermen as Casey Ashley, Jason Christie, Gerald Swindle and Brandon Palaniuk, caught 697 “scorable” (12 inches or longer) bass in the six-day tournament at the Missouri reservoir.

From the start the Major League Fishing event was unique in its format. The site of the tournament was unknown to the fishermen until the last minute. There was no practice for the event, and there were no weigh-in ceremonies with their large crowds and followers. Fishermen and their accompanying judges weighed fish on a digital scale, and a live leader board on each boat allowed them to know the standings at all times.

Competitors were allowed to weigh all bass 12 inches or bigger, and the fish were immediately released.

Television crews focused on the personal sides of the fishermen, featuring the challenges and victories that the competitors encountered during the week.

That format was established several years ago when fishermen from both major pro circuits, BASS and FLW, got together with producers from the Outdoor Channel. Programming got underway in 2011, and it has proved to be a hit with bass-fishing fans.

Remembering an angel

Angel, Chris Jones’ well-known fishing dog that died last year, will be remembered at the second annual Acccon Saturday at Lake of the Ozarks.

Jones, who runs the Catfish Pursuit Guide Service, established the tournament to honor his special dog, which often accompanied him on fishing trips.

Check-in will be from 8 to 9 a.m. at the Old Oar House near Warsaw, Mo. Fishing will start at 9:30 a.m., with weigh-ins at 3:30 p.m.

There will be a $50 entry fee. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Odessa Animal Clinic’s dog-rescue program.

The tournament also will feature live music from Big Square and RT, a classic rock band, from 5 to 9 p.m. And one special wrinkle: If the winning team has a dog aboard, there will be a special award for the canine.

For more information, call Jones at 816-807-1573.

Prairie life to be celebrated

The heritage of life on the prairie will be celebrated Saturday at Dunn Ranch and Pawnee Prairie in Harrison County in northwest Missouri.

During the Prairie Days celebration, visitors will get an up-close look at one of the last remaining tracts of prairie that once dominated the landscape of that part of the state.

There will be a guided bird hike from 5:30 to 7:30 a.m. at the Pawnee Prairie Natural Area, and tours and displays will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Dunn Ranch, owned by the Nature Conservancy.

The Prairie Days festival will get underway from 9 to 11 p.m. Friday with a social and mixer at the Dunn Ranch headquarters, 16970 W. 150th St., Hatfield, Mo.

Zebra mussels found at Hillsdale

Zebra mussels, the invasive mollusks that can multiply rapidly and cause problems in reservoirs, have been found at cccnear Paola, Kan.

A fisherman found an adult zebra mussel in the Wade Branch area and took it to the Hillsdale State Park headquarters. A subsequent examination by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism found more mussels attached to rocks and flooded timber in the area.

The population appears to be low-density at this time. There is no known way to rid a reservoir of the aquatic pests.

Brent Frazee: 816-234-4319, @fishboybrent

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