UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2015 - Ohio River

Reaching a new Hite

It’s thumbs up for Wal-Mart FLW Tour winner Brett Hite who crushed his competition by more than 20 pounds for the Lake Toho win.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Brett Hite of Phoenix could have never made a single cast on day four of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Toho and still won it hands down. While the other nine competitors feverishly frothed the waters of Toho and Kissimmee with a variety of lures, Hite could have taken the day off, lain out by the pool, enjoyed the Florida sunshine and swung by the Silver Spurs Arena at about 4 p.m. to collect his $125,000 winner’s check without weighing a single bass.

That’s because after two days of fishing, the other nine pro competitors in the Lake Toho top 10 still could not match what Hite caught on day three of the event – 25 pounds, 2 ounces. Of course, Hite did go fishing on day four, and after he weighed in his unneeded limit of 13 pounds, 7 ounces, he claimed victory with a two-day total of 38 pounds, 9 ounces – a record FLW Tour winning margin of 20 pounds, 4 ounces.

For winning the season-opening FLW Tour event on Lake Toho, Brett Hite earned $125,000. “This is what I’ve been striving for my whole career – a big win like this,” Hite said. “To win one is just a dream come true. I’ve been a consistent performer, but this win is going to help elevate my career to the next level.”

But Hite’s record-setting performance almost never happened. A month ago he was at home in Arizona, sponsorless and with no plans of attending the Toho event, when he was offered a Coppertone deal, which put him on his way to Florida.

“I really have to thank FLW Outdoors and Coppertone, or I would have never been here,” he said. “Everything has just worked out great. I can’t think of a better way to get Coppertone excited about bass fishing than to have one of their guys win the first event they’ve been a part of. It’s just been a dream week.”

As for Hite’s fishing, he stayed in Lake Kissimmee all week fishing near Scrub Slough.

“It’s one of the few areas I found that had a good mix of vegetation – hyacinths, lily pads and hydrilla,” he explained. “I was keying on lanes through the vegetation, especially in the hydrilla.”

Hite spent the week throwing a 3/8-ounce Phenix Vibrator Jig, a ChatterBait-like lure featuring a black blade with a green-pumpkin skirt. He teamed the vibrating jig with two trailers: a 6-inch Yamamoto twin-tail trailer and a Yamamoto swimming Senko, both green-pumpkin.

Brett Hite's key bait: a Phenix Vibrator.“I was fishing that vibration jig in 2 to 4 feet of water just like a Rat-L-Trap,” he noted. “The key for me was bumping that grass with the bait. Whenever I’d bump something, I’d give it a twitch; I’d speed it up and stop it every once and while, just changing up my cadence.”

He fished the jig on 20-pound-test Sunline Sniper fluorocarbon on a Performance Tackle “B. Hite Special” heavy glass rod, which is 7 feet, 4 inches in length.

Hite did weigh in one 7-pound-class fish on day four, but said he missed two other giants.

“One I saw boil up on the bait and she pulled off, and the other I just couldn’t do anything with,” he added. “I had her hooked for a few seconds, and when she took off, my line started ripping though the pads, just mowing them down – that one pulled off, too.”

Needless to say, Hite didn’t need either one of the escapees for his win.

Svebek second

Carl Svebek of Siloam Springs, Ark., came to Lake Toho with one thing in mind: Carl Svebek pro rode his Gambler Sweebo worm (junebug) fished wacky style for four days in the waters of Toho to finish second with a two-day total of 18 pounds, 5 ounces worth $50,000.the “swacky rig.” The Castrol pro rode his Gambler Sweebo worm (June-bug), fished wacky style, for four days in the waters of Toho to finish second with a two-day total of 18 pounds, 5 ounces worth $50,000.

“For some reason I did not get near as many bites on it today as I had been earlier in the week,” Svebek said. “In fact, I had just five bites on it today.”

Svebek mainly focused on points, pockets and clumps of Kissimmee grass where he felt pre- and postspawn fish were roaming.

Shuffield third PTSI pro Ron Shuffield of Bismarck, Ark., finished third with a two-day total of 15 pounds, 13 ounces worth $40,000.

PTSI pro Ron Shuffield of Bismarck, Ark., finished third with a two-day total of 15 pounds, 13 ounces worth $40,000.

For most of the week, Shuffield concentrated on outside grass clumps in Lake Cypress with a 10-inch Berkley Powerworm and a 10-inch Gambler worm, both junebug-colored and both tied to 15-pound-test Trilene fluorocarbon.

When a little breeze kicked up today, he made an adjustment that helped him finish a limit.

“I went to a Mann’s Baby One Minus in a black-shad pattern,” Shuffield said. “When that breeze picked up, it ruffled the surface a little, and that One Minus produced two keepers that helped me.”

Morgan fourth

Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., started his 2008 season off with a fourth-placeAndy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., started his 2008 season off with a fourth place finish worth $30,000. finish worth $30,000.

Morgan fished “trash” all week to make the top 10. That’s not to say his lures were trash, but his pattern was more of a run-and-gun, junk-fishing pattern. His main lures were a Zoom Trick worm, a Zoom Horny Toad and a Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper swimbait. The Skinny Dipper produced two of his fish today. Morgan rigged it with a 1/8-ounce slip-sinker and an Owner 5/0 twist-lock hook.

Fukae fifth BP pro Shinichi Fukae of Mineola, Texas, finished out his week with a fifth place finish worth $20,000.

BP pro Shinichi Fukae of Mineola, Texas, finished out his week with a fifth-place finish worth $20,000.

For most of the week Fukae used a “light” Carolina rig, made up of a 3/16-ounce weight and a Yamamoto prototype worm tied to Yozuri fluorocarbon.

“After I caught three fish today, I went looking for bedding fish,” Fukae said. “But I only found one fish on bed, and I could not catch it.”

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros in the FLW Tour event on Lake Toho:

6th: Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., two-day total of 15-2, $19,000

7th: Pat Fisher of Buckhead, Ga., two-day total of 14-1, $18,000

8th: Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., two-day total of 12-2, $17,000

9th: Shad Schenck of Waynetown, Ind., two-day total of 7-12, $16,000

10th: Randy Hadden of Jacksonville, Fla., two-day total of 5-4, $15,000

Coming up next The second FLW Tour stop of 2008 will take place on Lewis Smith Lake in Alabama April 3-6.

Tags: brett-hite  chatterbait  lake-toho  lake-kissimmee  spring  headline-story  rob-newell 

/news/2015-08-03-balog-back-on-top

Balog Back on Top

Joe Balog of Harrison Township, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division tournament on Lake St. Clair. For his victory, Balog earned $6,418. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-03-edwards-finally-brings-it-home

Edwards Finally Brings it Home

Gary Edwards of Milton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 11 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Hoosier Division tournament on the Ohio River. For his victory, Edwards earned $6,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-01-browne-sticks-to-the-bank-to-win

Browne Sticks To The Bank To Win

A lot would have had to happen for Glenn Browne to relinquish his hard-earned lead on the final day of the Rayovac FLW Series event presented by Plano on Lake Champlain. It turned out that a lot did happen, but with help from his friends and a great pattern, Glenn Browne socked 18 pounds, 7 ounces on the final day for a 63-pound, 8-ounce total and a payday of $34,097 plus a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-hp outboard. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-01-champlain-midday-update-day-3

Champlain Midday Update Day 3

Day three of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Plano on Lake Champlain started with a beautiful sunrise and light rain that had tapered off by the beginning of takeoff. For leader Glenn Browne, the beauty was soon marred by a breakdown that occurred shortly into his run south. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-31-top-5-patterns-from-champlain-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Champlain Day 2

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Plano on Lake Champlain definitely shook up the leaderboard. While Glenn Browne took a huge lead, the rest of the pack swapped around and remained pretty tight. Browne is catching his fish down south near Ticonderoga, but the north end has also produced very well for the rest of the field. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-31-browne-crushes-again-leads-by-6-

Browne Crushes Again, Leads By 6+

Averaging 20 pounds or more is a difficult thing to do in a multi-day tournament on Lake Champlain, but Glenn Browne might be on his way to doing it in the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Plano. After two days, the Ocala, Fla., pro has run to Ticonderoga twice and sacked up nearly identical bags for a total of 45 pounds, 8 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-31-champlain-midday-update-day-2

Champlain Midday Update Day 2

While day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Plano on Lake Champlain was wracked by high winds and rain in the morning, day two has been almost as good as Champlain can be. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-30-cioppa-leads-on-champlain

Cioppa Leads On Champlain

David Cioppa of Hopkinton, Mass., weighed 22 pounds, 13 ounces late in the weigh-in to grab the lead after the first day of the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Champlain. Cioppa weighed all largemouths and says that he caught the entirety of his weight by about 9 a.m. from one location in the northern end of the lake. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-30-top-5-patterns-from-champlain-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Champlain Day 1

Lake Champlain was rough and wild on day one of the Rayovac FLW Series event presented by Plano, and a bunch of the anglers still got it done in a big way. David Cioppa caught largemouths in the Inland Sea, but the rest of the top guys spread out all over the massive lake. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-30-champlain-midday-update-day-1

Champlain Midday Update Day 1

Takeoff was placid enough, with a beautiful sunrise and a light breeze in the slightly protected corner that is Plattsburgh. By about 6:30 a.m., day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Plano on Lake Champlain was already beginning to get rough. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-21-top-picks-from-icast

Top Picks From ICAST

A few days of walking the floor at ICAST is enough to exhaust a body, but it isn’t enough to know exactly what’s worthwhile. For that, you need some time to reflect and probably a few tournament seasons to fly by to see what rises up. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-renfrew-fished-to-win

Renfrew Fished to Win

Ian Renfrew of Phoenix, New York, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament on Oneida Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Renfrew earned $4,695. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-docks-and-rocks-key-for-synders

Docks and Rocks Key for Synders

Rus Snyders of Nashville, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Snyders earned $2,703. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-jig-crankbait-carry-powroznik

Jig, Crankbait Carry Powroznik

Ryan Powroznik of Prince George, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament on the James River. For his victory, Powroznik earned $7,507. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-persistence-pays-for-arning

Persistence Pays for Arning

Ray Arning Jr. of Walnut Hill, Illinois, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Arning earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-rod-roundup

New Rod Roundup

Rod companies continue to impress each year with a new crop of lighter, faster and more affordable (sweet!) rods. On the subject of price, these days, a tournament pro or an average angler could be fishing with rods that cost less than $100 apiece, but without giving up anything in the realm of quality. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-terminal-tackle

New Terminal Tackle

Don’t skimp where it counts the most – terminal tackle. Hooks, weights, jigheads and the like are the keys to taking all those new soft baits and swimbaits to the fish, hooking them and getting them in the boat. Here’s the best stuff we saw on the floor at ICAST 2015. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-flw-announces-2016-tour-schedule

FLW Announces 2016 Tour Schedule

FLW announced the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour regular-season schedule today in a live press conference held at the 2015 ICAST show in Orlando, Fla. With the help of six veteran Tour pros, the company unveiled each of the six events, one-by-one, to a crowd of observers gathered around the FLW booth. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-reels-to-try

6 New Reels to Try

Whether you need to replace an old reel or you’re just looking to add to the arsenal, here are some of the latest and greatest from ICAST. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-lines-from-icast-2015

6 New Lines from ICAST 2015

Line might just be the most important part of the package when it comes to landing fish. From presenting the bait to getting them in the net, your line is involved the entire way. If you’re looking for something new to try, the following lines are worth a shot. READ MORE »