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Think Big to Win Lake of the Ozarks Big Bass Bash

Ngy thinks big to win Lake of the Ozarks Fall Big Bass Bash

Osage Beach, Mo.—Throwing a big swimbait during the Lake of the Ozarks Big Bass Bash Oct. 6-7 resulted in a $100,000 reward for California angler Oliver Ngy.

The 36-year-old angler from La Puente, Calif., weighed in a 6.82-pound largemouth bass to win the $100,000 Big Bass Bash grand prize. He topped a field of 3,000 anglers including second-place finisher Travis Meyer who weighed in a 6.81-pound largemouth.

Ngy happened to be in the Midwest, and when told by a friend that the Bash was going on, he decided to jump in and take his shot at the $100,000 bass. The California angler had never fished Lake of the Ozarks before and when Ngy arrived at the lake he realized he had the wrong mapping package in his electronics. “I literally had to go in there blind for the most part and just figure out how to catch them,” Ngy said. Ngy also admitted he had to find his “groove and get back into the swing of things pretty quickly” after taking a break from bass fishing and spending the last five months saltwater fishing back home.

Ngy’s strategy for the tournament was to play to his strong suit and throw a West Coast-style magnum-sized swimbait. He knew if he worked a Megabass I-Slide 262T swimbait both days he would catch bass worth weighing in.

The first day Ngy keyed on docks and main lake structure with his 10-inch swimbait. The strategy produced a 4.21-pound bass that failed to win him any money.

The next morning sunny skies and calm weather made it difficult for Ngy to trigger strikes with his swimbait, but then a storm started brewing around 11:30 a.m. and Ngy felt it was time for a big bite.

While fishing closer to the weigh-in station at Alhonna Resort, Ngy targeted an open rocky bank and hooked the fish that would make him $100,000 richer. He immediately headed to the weigh-in station and discovered he had taken the lead with his 6.82-pounder.

After taking a polygraph test, Ngy ran back out in a “pretty gnarly squall” and just as he was shutting down his boat Ngy had a brush with disaster as lightning struck a nearby point causing his electronics to flicker. Undeterred by the close call, Ngy continued fishing but his luck ran out as he finished the day with two quality bass jumping off his swimbait including one he estimated was bigger than his winning fish.

The Fall Big Bass Bash had a total payout of more than $250,000 and paid out 280 places in the bi-hourly weigh-in sessions. Winning the $1,000 Ladies Division bonus money were Dana Gatton and Lauri Loop with 5.06-pound bass.

The Bash also features a kids division with prizes awarded to the top finishers. “We have a lot of kids 12 years old and under entered,” Tournament Director Randy Terrell said.

A portion of the proceeds from the event are also donated to various charities each year. “The Concord Village Lions Club does the food for us every year so we give them about $18,000, which they give back to charity,” Terrell said.

The Big Bass Bash is also a big boost to the host community. Terrell believes the statistics for his event are comparable to an FLW report that states FLW competitors spend about $500 per person while at one of their tournaments. “I believe our guys who come (to the Big Bass Bash) spend at least that,” he said. “Some of them come days ahead of time and some of them bring the wife and kids with them and they all spend money. So the arithmetic on the (economic) impact is in the millions for the area.”

The Big Bass Bash will be held at the following locations in 2019: Pickwick Lake, March 16-17; Lake of the Ozarks, April 27-28; Grand Lake, June 8-9; and Lake of the Ozarks, Oct. 5-6.

For more information about the Big Bass Bash, visit midwestfishingtournaments.com