UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Champlain

Medlock’s jigging madness brings EverStart win on Big O

Brandon Medlock of Lake Placid, Fla., shows off his kicker bass to win the EverStart Series Southeast event on Lake Okeechobee.

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. - Mother Nature saved her biggest breath for the last day of the EverStart Series Southeast event on Lake Okeechobee. Today winds howled a sustained 20 mph out of the west, making fishing difficult for the top 10 pros fishing Saturday. For those trying to sight-fish, visibility was limited, and those who were punching mats found the winds had compressed their mats so tight that getting a bait through the canopy was more difficult than on previous days. But the sound of howling wind was music to the ears of Brandon Medlock of Lake Placid, Fla. That's because Medlock had the remedy for the conditions: a custom-made 1-ounce jig that was specifically designed to fish Florida's weedy waters on days just like this.The Champion of the first EverStart Series event of 2001: Brandon Medlock of Lake Placid, Fla., While wind hampered other pros' patterns, Medlock took advantage of the situation today, catching 19 pounds, 2 ounces on his dad's custom-made jig to win the EverStart event with a three-day total of 63 pounds, 8 ounces worth $35,000. "This is unbelievable," Medlock said after his victory. "This is my first EverStart event, and I was just hoping for a top-10 (finish). I owe it all to my dad's jig; it's custom made to fish Florida lakes, especially on windy days." The jig - called a Medlock's Double-guard jig and available at Fishing Headquarters in Okeechobee, Fla. - features a double weedguard protecting the hook from grabbing weeds. Medlock used a 1-ounce model in a standard black-and-blue color, trimmed with a black-and-blue chunk and tied to 65-pound-test Power Pro braided line. He pitched the jig to sparse, isolated clumps of reeds and cattails in the Horse Island area. Even though Medlock could not see fish on beds, he's certain that's what the fish were doing, given the light spots around the clumps. The method to Medlock's madness was to make long, accurate pitches to the clumps and get a reaction bite from unsuspecting bass. The technique was as simple as making a pitch, letting it drop one time and reeling it back for another pitch just as fast as he could. "Fish don't see many jigs on Okeechobee," Medlock said. "And with the 1-ounce model, you can zip it accurately, straight to the target you want to hit, even in heavy wind. The jig flares in the fish's face, and it's a total reaction bite." The winning lure: Medlock During the course of three days, Medlock weighed in 28-1, 16-5 and 19-2 on the jig. Of the 16-5 day, he said the only reason it was his lightest day is because he lost two giants. Medlock's key area in Horse Island was only a quarter-mile long and he milked it each day, noting that he caught multiple fish off certain clumps during the event. "I've fished the Horse Island area for the last 12 years," he added. "I know where they come in there this time of year to spawn. In practice I found one little area that had a male bass on nearly every reed, and I knew the big females were not far behind. Sure enough, that's where I won the tournament." McMillan second Brandon McMillan of Belle Glade, Fla., finished runner-up with a three-day total of 58-1. Day-two leader Brandon McMillan of Belle Glade, Fla., brought in 10 pounds, 11 ounces today, but it was not enough to hold off the hard-charging Medlock. McMillan finished runner-up with a three-day total of 58 pounds, 1 ounce worth $12,000. While the wind had also been McMillan's friend the last two days, piling up new mats for him to fish each day, today the strength of the wind had compacted the vegetation so tight that his efficiency of getting the bait through the canopy dwindled considerably. "Instead of making 500 clean punches, I probably only made 200 punches," McMillan said. "Even the small mats were so tight that I had to pitch the bait way up in the air to get it to go through instead of a nice subtle pitch and letting it slide through the mat." McMillan fished the North Shore area, and his key punching baits included a Gambler BB Cricket, a Crawdaddy and Bruiser Baits Swimming Shad. Windham third Despite a dislocated shoulder and broken trolling motor, Yancy Windham of Reform, Ala., rallied to third place. Despite already having a dislocated shoulder and then losing his trolling motor to rough water this morning, Yancy Windham of Reform, Ala., sacked up 17 pounds, 11 ounces today to jump from eighth place to third to earn $10,000 with a three-day total of 54-15. Windham dislocated his shoulder before leaving home, and when rough water destroyed his trolling motor this morning, he remained undaunted and managed to sight-fish his catch against all the odds. "I love sight-fishing," Windham said. "I do it a lot back home, and I win a lot of money looking at them. And the tougher the conditions, the better I like it because it makes sight-fishing a true challenge. When it's easy, like the first day, everyone can do it. But when it gets really bad like it was today, it becomes a whole new ball game in terms of seeing the fish." Windham's primary sight-fishing bait this week was a white Venom Lures Sweet Dream creature bait rigged on 65-pound-test Power Pro braid and 25-pound-test Seaguar fluorocarbon. Jenkins fourth Frank Jenkins of Fort Myers, Fla., finished fourth with a three-day total of 54-13. Frank Jenkins of Fort Myers, Fla., finished fourth with a three-day total of 54 pounds, 13 ounces worth $9,000. Jenkins spent his week sight-fishing with a Sweet Beaver and swimming a Skinny Dipper over flats in the North Shore area where bass were spawning. "This morning, it was on when I got to my primary area - they were eating it up," said Jenkins, who weighed 14-12 today. "But once the sun came up, it was over - I mean over. The first five fish I caught in the first hour of the morning were the ones I weighed in." Tharp fifth Randall Tharp of Gardendale, Ala., finished fifth with a three-day total of 54-12. EverStart pro Randall Tharp of Gardendale, Ala., finished fifth with a three-day total of 54 pounds, 12 ounces worth $8,000. This marks Tharp's sixth tournament visit to the Big O and his fourth top-10 cut. During the week Tharp assembled a trio of techniques that included sight-fishing, swimming a big worm and mat flipping. Today he caught all of his bass flipping mats to weigh in 11 pounds, 3 ounces on the day. His primary flipping gear included a 1 ¼-ounce tungsten weight, a Mystic Bug, a 4/0 Trokar hook and 70-pound-test braided line. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros in the EverStart Southeast event on Lake Okeechobee: 6th: Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Ala., three-day total of 53-10, $7,000 7th: Joey Thigpen of St. Johns, Fla., three-day total of 48-11, $6,000 8th: Rodger Beaver of Dawson, Ga., three-day total of 46-5, $5,000 9th: JT Kenney of Palm Bay, Fla., three-day total of 44-6, $4,000 10th: Derek Yasinski of Senoia, Ga., three-day total of 40-10, $3,000 The next stop on the EverStart Southeast schedule will be Lake Guntersville Feb. 24-26.

Tags: headline-story 

/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 »

/news/2015-07-16-icast-best-of-show-winners-

ICAST Best Of Show Winners

One of the highlights of ICAST is the annual “Best of Show” awards. Not everything at ICAST is of interest to bass anglers, but the below might end up being staples for a long time to come. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-10-new-frogs-and-toads

10 New Frogs and Toads

These days, frogs and toads aren’t just mimicking frogs and toads. They’re designed to be perfect imitations of rats, bream and various oddball creatures. New models at ICAST this season offer anglers some of these “alternative” species, as well as new sizes, colors, action types and degrees of realism. Here are 10 new models that we feel are of greatest interest. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »