Sadler’s Big Limit Leads At B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional At Lake Of The Ozarks

Kentucky angler Drew Sadler fished his strengths rather than a pattern to take over the lead in the Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional presented by Magellan Outdoors at the Lake of the Ozarks.

The 30-year-old Bluegrass Bassmasters club member had never fished Lake of the Ozarks before, but he figured out how to catch a five-bass limit weighing 24 pounds, 4 ounces to move into first place in the boater division of the tournament.

Sadler arrived at the lake Saturday and spent his practice days scouting.

“I kind of went to all extremities of the lake,” Sadler said. “It is a big lake, so I wanted to see everything it has to offer. It is similar to my home lake, Lake Cumberland, so I wanted to know with the weather what options I would have if there was a cold front or if it was warm.”

The Sportco Marketing sales manager said his fishing was “slow and steady” with his keepers coming in pairs.

“The lake is not as consistent as I thought it would be,” he said. “It is a very ‘patternable’ lake, but I had to kind of fall back on personal strengths rather than doing what I thought I was going to do when I came here.”

Sadler said he covered a lot of water in one particular area and caught most of his fish in 5 to 15 feet of water.

The Richmond, Ky., angler thinks the weather change from the clouds and rain today to clear skies and cold Thursday might make fishing tougher for him.

“I could catch that (weight) again or not come in with anything,” he said.

The rest of the Top 5 in the boater division are as follows: Marcus Sykora, Osage Beach, Mo., second, 20-1; Kyle Christopher, Lancaster, Ky., third, 20-0; Beau Govreau, Cedar Hill, Mo., fourth, 19-15; and Ty Bowman, Mountain Home, Ark., fifth, 19-3. Bowman leads the Big Bass Award in the boater division with a 7-5 largemouth.

Leading the co-angler division with three bass weighing 14-3 is Gregory Ruff Jr. of Minnesota. The Big Bass leader on the co-angler side is Eddie Charleton with a 7-2 largemouth.

B.A.S.S. Nation club anglers from 19 states are competing in the event. The tournament will determine overall winners in the boater and co-angler divisions, the top finishing state team and qualifiers for the Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Championship presented by Magellan Outdoors. Advancing to the national championship will be the top boater and co-angler from each state.

The 20 anglers from Kentucky teamed up to catch 177 pounds, 4 ounces to take the lead in the team standings. Missouri moved into the runner-up spot with 168-12, and Arkansas is in third place with 163-6.

The tournament field will be cut to the Top 38 boaters and co-anglers from each state Thursday. Those competitors will fish Friday for overall titles and championship berths.

Thursday’s weigh-in will begin at 2:30 p.m. CT at the Lake of the Ozarks State Park Public Beach No. 2 access.

The event is hosted by the Tri-County Lodging Association.