OSAGE BEACH, Mo. — The host state continued its dominance of the 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional presented by Magellan Outdoors at the Lake of the Ozarks, with Missouri angler Beau Govreau winning the tournament overall title on Friday.
A day after the Missouri B.A.S.S. Nation state team won the team competition of the tournament, Govreau of Cedar Hill, Mo., was crowned the overall champion of the tournament with a three-day catch of 15 bass weighing 64 pounds, 11 ounces. The 36-year-old contractor took over the lead on Thursday by catching a five-bass limit weighing 21-13, and followed up Friday with a 22-15 limit to win the championship and finish as Missouri's top angler in the boater division.
The regional featured 20-angler teams from 19 states competing for top state honors and berths to the Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Championship presented by Magellan Outdoors. The top finishing boater and non-boater from each state qualified for the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship.
"My practice went really well up the (Osage) river," Govreau said. "I know from experience on this lake that they don't usually bite as well up there when it is windy, rainy and cloudy. My game plan was to run up (the Osage arm) and catch them the first day but the weather didn't let me do it."
The Day 1 weather of clouds, rain and wind caused Govreau to change his plans. "I stayed close and managed to catch (19-15) the first day so I was sitting pretty well," he said. "The second day I started close again because I caught them decent the first day."
After catching a quality fish down lake, Govreau decided to run up the river where he caught three keepers. "It just wasn't really jiving up there," he said. So the Lake St. Louis Bassmasters club member ran back down lake and caught two bigger bass at the end of the day.
Today's bluebird skies and calm weather prompted Govreau to run back up the river and stay there. "(The sunny, calm weather) put the fish where I could get to them and everything worked out," he said.
Govreau caught two quality bass on a white-and-chartreuse 3/4-ounce Chatterbait, but most of his fish each day were taken on either a watermelon-candy football jig (7/16 or 9/16 ounce) with a watermelon candy plastic craw or a 1/2-ounce shaky jighead with a beaver-style bait.
A slow presentation was the key to triggering strikes. "The water is still pretty chilly so most of my retrieves were pretty slow," he said.
The Missouri angler caught bass ranging from 1 1/2 to 16 feet deep along a variety of banks. For the shallow fish he keyed on any concrete or wood cover he could find. "The fish were in different areas every day and I had to figure them out," he said. "But once I figured them out they were all in the same type of spot. "
Paired with Govreau today, Frank Mixon of Abilene, Texas caught a three-bass limit weighing 10-14 to win the non-boater division. He finished with a three-day total of nine bass weighing 35-2.
The Big Bass Award of $500 in the boater division went to Ty Bowman, Mountain Home, Ark., with a 7-5 largemouth. Eddie Charleton of Alma, Ill., received the Big Bass Award of $250 in the non-boater division for catching a 7-2 largemouth.