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/2015-05-22-reneau-grabs-lead-on-seminole

Reneau Grabs Lead On Seminole

Though Reneau has weighed in 15-1 and 20-7 over two days for a total of 35 pounds, 8 ounces, he says he is only getting about six bites per day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-top-5-patterns-from-seminole-day-2

Top 5 Patterns From Seminole Day 2

A shake-up occurred on day two of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Lake Seminole. Day one was all about slow, summertime fishing in the lake’s deep timber. Overnight a frontal passage dropped water and air temperatures and left a north wind howling down the lake. As a result, the timber bite cooled off and those fishing shallower waters climbed up the leaderboard. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-22-lake-seminole-day-2-midday-update

Lake Seminole Day 2 Midday Update

The hot summer at Seminole turned back into spring this morning as a cold front blew through the area dropping air temps some 10 degrees with a blustery north wind. Sweatshirts were needed again as the cold air felt more like April than May. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-enfinger-leads-on-seminole

Enfinger Leads On Seminole

Enfinger said he got off to a “fast start” this morning, sacking a limit by 10 a.m., but he only upgraded twice after that, catching about eight keepers on the day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-top-5-patterns-from-seminole-day-1

Top 5 Patterns From Seminole Day 1

Bradley Enfinger took the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Lake Seminole fishing suspended bass in timber. Others in the top-5 fished both wood and grass on day one. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-lake-seminole-midday-update

Lake Seminole Midday Update

Lake Seminole is known to be more of a quality lake than a quantity lake and that trait showed on the morning of day one as anglers who were catching fish were not necessarily getting many bites, but 3-pound pluses seemed to be the norm for the ones hauled in over the gunnel. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-21-seminole-summer

Seminole Summer

Last week, the Walmart FLW Tour plied the waters of the Chattahoochee River on Lake Eufaula. This week, the Rayovac FLW Series moves 60 miles south on the “Hooch” to Lake Seminole for the final event of the Southeast Division. Running offshore brush piles was the dominant theme on Eufaula last week, leaving some to wonder if a similar pattern could work on Seminole, since the two legendary lakes are connected by the same river. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-ledges-lift-wilson-to-top

Ledges Lift Wilson to Top

Tim Wilson of Gas City, Indiana, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 29 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Guntersville. For his victory, Wilson earned $5,584. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-two-in-a-row-for-fox

Two in a Row for Fox

Dwight Fox of Gainesboro, Tennessee, weighed four bass totaling 16 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Cumberland. For his victory, Fox earned $4,463. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-bluff-walls-carry-meredith

Bluff Walls Carry Meredith

GROVE, Okla. – Mitch Meredith of Hulbert, Oklahoma, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Okie Division tournament of 2015 on Grand Lake. For his victory, Meredith earned $7,165. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-tidwell-slows-down-for-title

Tidwell Slows Down for Title

MCCORMICK, S.C. – Brian Tidwell of Seneca, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Clarks Hill Lake. For his victory, Tidwell earned $3,021. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-ginter-gets-the-win

Ginter Gets the Win

CELINA, Ohio – Gary Ginter of Maplewood, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament of 2015 on Grand Lake. For his victory, Ginter earned $3,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-19-jig-does-the-trick-for-roselle

Jig Does the Trick for Roselle

MARBURY, Md. – Mike Roselle of La Plata, Maryland, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2015 on Potomac River. For his victory, Roselle earned $6,235. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-18-top-10-patterns-from-lake-eufaula

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Eufaula

Bryan Thrift won the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula by keying on isolated pieces of cover – brush piles, stumps, logs, rocks, etc. – for four days and hitting as many spots as possible during competition hours. Others in the top 10 fished a very similar program, but there were a few wild cards. Here’s the rundown of Eufaula’s top finishers. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-17-thrift-by-3

Thrift by 3

The “numbers game.” It’s a term that Bryan Thrift used to describe his fishing on Lake Eufaula back in 2013 when he finished runner-up to Randy Haynes in a Walmart FLW Tour event. The method to his numbers madness was to hit as many solitary objects – stumps, brush piles, rocks, logs – on the bottom of Lake Eufaula as humanly possible in an eight-hour tournament day. When Thrift saw that Lake Eufaula was back on the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour schedule for May of this year, he grinned that patented Bryan Thrift grin because he already knew how to crunch the numbers at Eufaula. And Thrift is still grinning. After sacking up a final-day catch of 15 pounds, 5 ounces to top off 69-14 for the week, Thrift made the numbers work for his fourth FLW Tour win. He added another $125,000 to his bank account. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-17-lake-eufaula-day-4-coverage

Lake Eufaula Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Eufaula presented by Quaker State. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-morrow-thrift-neck-and-neck

Morrow, Thrift Neck and Neck

Georgia pro Troy Morrow brought in 15 pounds, 4 ounces on the third day of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula to increase his tournament total to 54-13. Morrow maintains his lead for the second consecutive day, but he won’t sleep comfortably tonight with North Carolina hammer Bryan Thrift just 4 ounces off the lead with 54-09. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-top-5-patterns-from-lake-eufaula-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Eufaula Day 3

Troy Morrow is leading the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula. However, with one day left to fish, he has a big problem going into the last day: Bryan Thrift. The Shelby, N.C., pro is just 4 ounces behind Morrow. Here’s how Thrift and the rest of the top five caught their fish. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-16-lake-eufaula-day-3-coverage

Lake Eufaula Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Eufaula presented by Quaker State. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-15-morrow-marches-ahead

Morrow Marches Ahead

Day two at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State at Lake Eufaula challenged anglers with tougher conditions as clouds and wind hindered much of the offshore bite. But while some of the top 10 struggled to duplicate their success from day one, Troy Morrow moved from second up into the driver's seat with a day-two catch of 18 pounds, 1 ounce. His total for the event stands at 39-09, giving him a 1-04 lead over day-one leader Clent Davis. READ MORE »