Archive for Big Bass Bash

Big Bass Bash – Lake of the Ozarks 2019

Thomas Smith weighed in this 7.93-pound largemouth bass and earned $100,000 by winning the Spring Big Bass Bash April 27-28 at the Lake of the Ozarks. (Photo courtesy of Anglers in Action)

Smith’s personal best catch wins $100,000 in Lake of the Ozarks Big Bass Bash

Osage Beach, Mo.—The biggest bass he has ever caught resulted in a huge payday for Thomas Smith in the Spring Big Bass Bash April 27-28 at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Fishing for the first time in the Big Bass Bash, the 42-year-old Smith caught a 7.93-pound largemouth the first day of the event to win the big bass event and claim the grand prize of $100,000. The construction company owner from Old Monroe, Mo., also weighed in a 5.09-pound bass for 20th place during the 9-11 a.m. time slot April 27 and collected another $200.00.

While the Big Bass Bash was new to him, Smith had plenty of experience catching bass at Lake of the Ozarks. “My family has had a house down there for 30 years,” he said. Smith noted he competes in a bass club that holds four or five tournaments a year at the lake and he frequently fishes the lake on weekends throughout the year. His personal best catch before the Big Bass Bash was a 5.90-pound bass he also caught at Lake of the Ozarks.

A couple of successful outings at the lake before the Big Bass Bash prompted Smith to fish the tournament for the first time. “I was down there two weekends before and both weekends I was catching good fish on the (Crock-O-Gator Bait Company) Swamp Bug,” Smith said.

Smith and his dad, John Smith, planned on fishing the Bash in their own boats but when John Smith’s engine failed to start the first competition morning, they teamed up to fish in Thomas’ boat. Shortly after John Smith caught a 4-pounder, Thomas was pitching a green pumpkin Swamp Bug on a 1/4-ounce shaky jighead to an open chunk rock bank in Proctor Creek around 7 a.m. when a bass inhaled his offering.
The Missouri angler set the hook and immediately realized it was a big fish. “I said to my dad that I thought it was a big one and it took off up the bank,” Smith said. “I didn’t even try to reel. I just let it go and it was pulling my drag a little bit. Finally it started coming back and about halfway back to the boat it jumped and then I really started freaking out.” Fortunately for Smith, the big fish wore down quickly and his dad was able to net it.

When his scale indicated the fish weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces, Smith thought he had a good chance to win the Bash so he called his wife to let her know about his catch. Smith then mulled over when to make the run to the Ivy Bend weigh-in station. “Then it started down pouring,” he said.

Since he caught the big fish close to his dock, Smith decided to seek shelter in the dock until the rain subsided. While waiting for the rain to stop, Smith noticed his trolling motor had stopped working. When the rain ceased, Smith made the run to Ivy Bend and weighed in his fish, then ran back to his dock where they decided to fish in his dad’s boat and just use the trolling motor to move around.
However after fishing for a while in his dad’s boat, Smith wanted more mobility so he decided to go back to the dock and work on his trolling motor. He soon discovered a loose wire in the motor had burnt a connection, which he fixed and was able to get back on the water with his boat. Fishing the Swamp Bug the rest of the day, Smith caught the 5.09-pounder to finish the day with two money fish. After the final period weigh-in of the first day, Smith said “my hopes got up a lot higher” when he noticed his fish was still the overall leader of the tournament.

The second day Smith struggled to catch any bass worth weighing in as the cold front that had passed through the area shut down his fish. He spent the day fishing hard and listening to his radio for updates of the leaderboard. When the heaviest bass on the final day weighed in at 6.19 pounds, Smith beat a field of approximately 3,000 anglers to become $100,000 richer.

The Spring Big Bass Bash had a total payout of more than $265,000 and paid out about 300 places in the bi-hourly weigh-in sessions, Early Bird cash prizes and Ladies Division bonus money, according to Tournament Organizer Charlie Terrell. Winning the $1,000 Ladies Division bonus money was Pat Mosely with a 5.27-pound bass. The Bash also featured a kids division with prizes awarded to the top finishers.

A portion of the proceeds from the event are also donated to various charities each year. “We donated to the USO and the Concord Village Lions Club,” Terrell said.

The next Big Bass Bash will be held at Pickwick/Wilson Lake June 1-2, followed by the Grand Lake event, June 8-9, and the Fall Big Bass Bash at Lake of the Ozarks, Oct. 5-6.

For more information about the Big Bass Bash, visit

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