KBF Central Trail on Mark Twain

2019 KBF Central Trail on Mark Twain Lake – Recap

The final stop for the regular season of the Kayak Bass Fishing Central trail series made its way to the Salt River Hills of north-central Missouri at Mark Twain Lake. 45 anglers from nine states would battle it out for those final points in this dog days of summer bash. KAMO (Kayak Angler of Missouri) would be the host partner club for the event.

Mark Twain is renowned for it’s beautiful scenery, and when the fishing is tough at least there is some nice nature to get lost in. Sprawling out over 18,000 acres and the water level being down 30-feet prior to the event, the anglers would really need to cover water during pre-fishing to find those key spots where the fish had transitioned to.

KBF Central Trail on Mark Twain: Alan Reed’s Approach to Pre-Fishing 

ANGLR Expert, Alan Reed, of Columbus, Indiana put in close to 3 days of pre-fishing, traveling to multiple launch points to dial in his bite. 

On my first day of pre-fishing, it took me about 4-hours to find my first bass. The sunfish were spawning and very aggressive towards any lure that came into their vicinity. I found a pattern of where they were staging and near those areas, I would find the bass.” 

On his second day of pre-fishing, Alan went up another creek arm and his pattern stayed the same. With another day of pre-fishing ahead he had his pattern dialed in and was feeling confident heading into Saturday’s event. 

“Now that I was confident in my pattern which was rocky banks with timber holding the bass, I upsized my lure to a 4-inch Snack Daddy Elite Tube and on the first cast I reeled in a 19” largemouth. I finished running the creek arm marking all the similar spots with my ANGLR Bullseye and decided to move to a different location to retest the pattern” said Reed.After putting into the water, I traveled over to the new location that met all the criteria to match my pattern. I decided to throw the tube to see if there were bigger fish in the area. Within 20 casts I I hooked into a good one right where it should have been, further strengthening my pattern to the spots within the spots.”

KBF Central Trail on Mark Twain: Richie McMichael’s Approach to Pre-Fishing

Richie McMichael from Kansas City, Kansas had one day of pre-fishing to dial in his pattern but it didn’t take him long finding limits in two areas. 

I fished the Shell Branch area early and caught a quick limit, so I packed up and went to the Little Indian area in the afternoon and caught a limit with a 19″ kicker so that’s where I decided to fish on tournament day.” 

Both Richie and Alan went into this event in the top 5 in points for the KBF Central AOY title and this event would play a key role in deciding who would be on top heading into the regional final at Table Rock at the end of September.

KBF Central Trail on Mark Twain: Tournament Day

Richie would start his tournament day off with a 3-mile pedal to his first spot at a channel swing in the back of a creek full of shad. The day didn’t start out well and he had 3 small fish jump off his board.  

“I couldn’t get the better fish to bite in that area so I decided to move to a few shallow pockets nearby. There were a lot of smaller baitfish in the smaller pockets so I picked up my fluke and senkos and started catching some better fish. By 9:30 AM I had a limit of 77″ and was able to get one more cull by about 10:30 AM.”

Reed would start his day off with a bang, landing his kicker fish and eventual big bass of the tournament. 

KBF Central Trail on Mark Twain(1)

Tournament morning, I headed out to my first spot which was where I had caught a 19” a couple days prior. Within 25 minutes, I had my kicker and big fish for the tournament at 21 inches on the tube.” 

Thrilled to get the big fish off the bat, Reed knew he had to keep his head down and fill his limit. He knew if he finished out his limit, he should be near the top of the board. By 9:00 AM, he had his limit. Between then and 12:00 PM, he had culled up twice by going back a forth between the tube and the Big TRD. After noon, he had a couple bites but nothing of any size to help.

McMichael would need to make a change mid-day to try and catch Reed.

I moved out to the main lake points and was able to get a decent fish to bite on a zoom fork tail worm but it spit the bait before I could get her in the net.”

The summer bite would prove tough for many anglers with only nineteen filling their five fish limits.

KBF Central Trail on Mark Twain(2)

In the end, Alan Reed would take the win, his first national trail win with 82.50”. 

Richie McMichael ended up settling into 3rd with 79.25”. His score would tie with Missouri native Jerry Cornelius, with Jerry edging out 2nd place based on biggest fish caught. “I ended up with 79.25″ which I was extremely happy with after hearing how tough Mark Twain Lake can be.” added McMichael. Jerry would take home 1st place honors for the KAMO portion of the event.

KBF Central Trail on Mark Twain(3)

Reed would also take home his 2nd KBF Pro Tour win of the year with Cornelius and McMichael finishing 2 and 3 respectively. 

It’s an honor to have my first Trail win. There are several great anglers at all of these events. To come out on top is very satisfying. The entire week things were falling into place and setting up for a good tournament. I show up to every tournament with the goal to win” says Reed. “It was a great event held in conjunction with the local club KAMO. The awards ceremony was nice and the local club had a cookout/pitch in and they invited us to partake in.”

Next up for the Central region angler will be the regional championship at Table Rock Lake on September 21st. Heading into the Central regional final, Richie and Alan are 1 & 2 respectively. Both are in contention for overall Angler of the Year with Richie sitting in 5th and Alan in 10th, putting both in the running for KBFs “The Ten”, an end of season shootout between the top ten anglers in Kissimmee Florida.

KBF Central Trail on Mark Twain: Top Ten from TourneyX

KBF Central Trail on Mark Twain(4)

This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert

Become an ANGLR Expert and apply here.

Brad Oswalt


I am an avid kayak tournament angler and aspiring outdoor writer. I enjoy traveling across the country to fish tournaments and meet new people. I got started in kayak fishing 2 years ago and have been full throttle ever since. In my first year, I won the KBF Indiana AOY title. I try to always be a student of the sport of bass fishing and share my failures and successes through my blog.

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ANGLR Expert, Brad Oswalt

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