UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Hite halfway home

Pro leader Brett Hite has a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 58 pounds, 7 ounces.

CLEWISTON, Fla. - Brett Hite has found success on Okeechobee in the past but never to the extent he is experiencing this week. The Phoenix, Ariz., pro is keeping the momentum rolling as he busted 23 pounds, 8 ounces today to take a commanding lead to the tune of 12-9 that he will carry into day three. While his day-two limit was substantially less than yesterday - over 10 pounds less - Hite is comfortable and confident with his pattern. "Things have been going right for me this week," said Hite. "I'm feeling relaxed and fishing the way I like. Nothing has really bothered me. I have a lot of boats fishing near me but I just tune them out." For years Hite has spent his time on the water watching media boats fly by in search of the Randall Tharps and JT Kenneys paying little respect to him. He knew that one day his pattern would produce when the time is right, and that time is now. "There are a lot of people not fishing the same style or pattern that I am," continued Hite. "I'm really keying in on a specific thing that I think is helping me get those bigger bites. "I still have some spots saved that I haven't fished. I'm not saying they are my best spots, but I have caught some of my bigger fish from areas I didn't think were that good. But I'm looking for places I call a salad bowl which is just a big clump of all different kinds of grass. When you find one there are big numbers of fish in it." Hite says these "salad bowls" consist of anything from eel grass to hydrilla and anything else you can find on Okeechobee. He has waypoints in these certain areas that he focuses on but hasn't quite figured out what is holding the bass on the particular spot. "You can go down a stretch to your waypoint and catch one right off it and leave. If you come back a little while later you can catch another one or even a few from that same area. It's crazy how it replenishes. I don't know what holds them there but it is something specific they like." The morning (usually one of the better bite windows) started off a little slower for Hite which he attributes to the cloud cover early in the day. He says that there is generally a lull from 10 to 1 o'clock before the fish fire back up in the afternoon. Hite is still tight-lipped about his presentations but is using three or four different baits to catch his fish. His two-day total weight stands at 58-7 putting him well on his way to hit the century mark this week. Honey badger makes his move The Honeybadger Randall Tharp shows off a couple of cobras from day two to move into second with a two-day total of 45-14.Randall Tharp is on a mission this week to reclaim his Okeechobee dominance. After a shortened day yesterday thanks to fog and mechanical issues, Tharp still managed to wrangle 23 pounds, 13 ounces worth of Okeechobee cobras (what he calls big fish). Today, after making a late-day move Tharp upgraded to 22-1 for the day - pushing his two-day total to 45-14. "I fished some areas today and had about 19 or 20 pounds before I decided to make a move," said the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup champion. "I used up the spots I had so I went to check some places that I thought would help me throughout the rest of the tournament. When I pulled in I made like five flips and caught a 7-pounder. I made a few more flips and lost a big one and a little later I lost another giant. That told me those fish are in there, which is what I was looking for." Losing one giant fish during the day would shake most anglers, let alone three (one he lost earlier in the day) but not the honey badger. Those fish he lost were due to the heavy cover they lived in which is the nature of the beast when flipping cover like that and Tharp knows this. His fire is fueled to get back out and hunt some more of those cobras. "The problem with these fish is that they live in real thick areas so you got to get creative on how to cast for them. I lost several big ones today and there was nothing I could do, it's just the nature of the game. They get so tangled up no matter what you do and come unbuttoned. It's not the equipment's fault or anything like that but sometimes the fish win in that cover." Tharp's day was actually pretty slow until he made that move around 2 o'clock. He caught around a dozen fish on the day - less than what he did on day one. Oddly, the bite has been better for him when the clouds stick around. The Port St. Joe, Fla., resident is one of the fiercest competitors on the Walmart FLW Tour and while the lead Brett Hite carries looks deflating, Tharp is up for the challenge. "This place is capable for 100-pound stringers over four days, and I should know because I've done it twice. I'm not on pace to hit that mark so far but I'm feeling good. I should have had a 30-pound bag today and if they are still swimming around out there, I'll find them." Herren up to third Third-place pro Matt Herren holds up his two biggest bass from day two on Lake Okeechobee.Steadily climbing the leaderboard is Trussville, Ala., pro Matt Herren who has been consistent over the past two days to settle in third place with nearly identical bags from days one and two - 20-6 and 20-13, respectively. Herren is focusing on the south end of the lake and is finding numbers of fish but working hard to get the quality. "I had a pretty good day today," said Herren. "I got fewer bites than yesterday and it was a fight to get the quality 3- or 4-pounder today." The Alabama pro is fishing a vast area and covering it with a variety of baits. "I have several things going - two definite patterns - but I just fish off instinct mostly. It's just a matter of the fish telling you what they want for that particular day and going with it." Like Hite, Herren is also experiencing certain feeding windows to capitalize on throughout the day. The windows may only be an hour or so long but the fish are fired up and you need to be in the right place when they get to chomping. Herren was reluctant to give up too many details but feels like his main area is replenishing by the day. He sat in 14th place after day one but now his two-day total stands at 41-3 to keep him near the top. Williams in fourth Leon Williams sits in fourth place after catching a two-day total of 41 pounds, 2 ounces.Leon Williams of Fairdale, Ky., made a huge leap in the standings today when he went from 22nd place on day one (18 pounds, 13 ounces) to fourth with a day-two bag of 22-5. "The wind was blowing hard this morning on the area I'm fishing," said Williams. "If the water would have been muddy I knew I was done, but luckily it wasn't. It took a little bit to figure out the fish had moved shallower into the thicker cover. Once I figured that out, it was an easy day." Williams is sticking close by not running too far from the launch area. He has had some company there this week but thanks to the wind this morning most people vacated the spot. The Kentucky pro's primary presentation is flipping to any cover he can find within his main area. It worked well enough that he culled three limits of bass from there today alone. Williams will carry his two-day total weight of 41-2 into day three. He is hopeful that his spot will continue to produce despite the abuse it has seen this week. Bohannan down to fifth Greg Bohannan on the hunt for an Okeechobee kicker.Kellogg's Pop-Tarts pro Greg Bohannan knew that today could be a struggle. He had to scramble on day one to find an area with fish - when he did he had to lean hard on it to pull his limit of 27-2 from it. The pressure took its toll as Bohannan could only manage 13-11 today which was still enough to keep him in the top five with a two-day total of 40-13. Earlier in the week Bohannan had thought he would be focusing his efforts up north. He tossed that idea out the window midway through day one and went searching. The place he ended up finding held a lot of bait and in return a lot of hungry largemouth. "I caught a whole bunch of fish yesterday from that area," explained the Rogers, Ark., resident. "I think it's a bedding area with a lot of tilapia and that is why those bass are in there feeding. I don't know how much I can rely on it anymore so tomorrow I might have to switch things up." This magic little spot went untouched yesterday - other than from Bohannan - but when he arrived in there today he had some company. The Pop-Tarts pro had to watch as another boat put nearly 24 pounds of bass in the livewell before departing. "I might spend some time around that place tomorrow but I'm not going to bank on it. I may run back up north and see if anything is happening, otherwise I'm going to keep covering water." Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros from day two on Lake Okeechobee: 6th: Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., 39-15 7th: Stetson Blaylock of Benton, Ark., 38-13 8th: Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark., 38-7 9th: Fred Roumbanis of Bixby, Okla., 38-4 10th: James Watson of Waynesville, Mo., 37-14 Weaver claims co-angler lead In his first event on the Walmart FLW Tour as a co-angler, Joshua Weaver of Macon, Ga., leads with a two-day total of 33-11.Joshua Weaver of Macon, Ga., took over the leader position today thanks to his 15-pound, 11-ounce limit. Matched with his 18-0 from day one, Weaver clinches a 33-11 total weight and a 1-14 lead heading into the final day. Weaver is fishing in his first ever Walmart FLW Tour event as a co-angler and couldn't be happier. "I really like fishing this event a lot," smiled Weaver. "It feels like I'm living the dream." While much of being a co-angler depends upon who you draw it tends to help when you can fish your style. "I have been throwing a swim jig and a swimbait all week. I like fishing fast and casting so this is my style for sure." Weaver caught a bunch more fish on the first day compared to today, but even still he was able to throw back three limits of fish. The key for the Georgia co-angler has been confidence in his bait. He fished a swim jig a lot in practice with much success and has since carried that through the event. "I've just been trying to keep my bait in the water at all times. I have been using a slightly slower retrieve than my boaters which has helped I think. I don't know what will happen tomorrow but if I get around some fish I can catch them." Kavros second Chuck Kavros of Grass Valley, Calif., had a marginal first day as he sat in 36th place with 11 pounds, 5 ounces. Kavros went on a tear today and sacked the largest bag of the tournament for the co-anglers with a whopping 20-8 to jump all the way to second place. He now stands just under 2 pounds from the leader. Hensley, Wolfe, Coats round out top five Nick Hensley of Cumming, Ga., caught 13-7 on Thursday to settle in 19th place. Paired with his weight from today of 16-2, Hensley now holds third place with a two-day total weight of 29-9. Cecil Wolfe of Scarborough, Ontario, sits in fourth with a two-day total of 29 pounds, 6 ounces. Ken Coats of Tulsa, Okla., rounds out the top five with a two-day total of 29 pounds, 5 ounces. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers after day two: 6th: Chad Randles of Elkhorn, Neb., 29-1 7th: Theo Corcoran of Independence, Mo., 28-5 8th: Nick Loeffelman Jr. of Valles Mines, Mo., 28-4 9th: Bryan Partak of Marseilles, Ill., 27-3 10th: Johnny Manning of Arkadelphia, Ark., 26-8 Saturday's weigh-in will be held at the Walmart located at 1005 W. Sugarland Highway in Clewiston beginning at 4 p.m. Fans will also be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at the Walmart on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-ins. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public. Also on Sunday, country music artist Josh Thompson will perform a free live concert on the Walmart weigh-in stage at 3 p.m.

Tags: headline-story 


Devere Takes BFL Wild Card Win

The decision of what to fish come tournament time can be difficult for most. For others – like Mike Devere – relying on a single bait that you have confidence in is all you need. Devere’s one bait, one rod method was strong enough to carry him to victory by nearly 2 pounds in the BFL Wild Card held on Lake Hartwell. READ MORE »


Hanselmania 4.0

Saturday, in Paducah, Ky., on the shores of the Ohio River, Ray Hanselman rewrote history for the second time this season. After winning all three 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division events, which had never been done before, Hanselman came to Kentucky and won the Rayovac FLW Series Championship. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 3 Coverage

The final day of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River will largely be fished on the Tennessee River, as all but two anglers rolled up it to chase smallmouths. READ MORE »


Hanselman on the Verge of Four-Peat

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River was fished primarily on the nearby Tennessee River and resulted in a major shuffling of the leaderboard. In the end, Ray Hanselman rose from second to first and will lead the top 10 into the final day with 30 pounds, 14 ounces. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 2

After two days of competition, Ray Hanselman leads the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River, but as the leaderboard has reflected, the river’s hefty smallmouths are certainly capable of producing some fireworks and providing some surprises. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 2 Coverage

Down at Paducah, the start of day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship was just about perfect – a light wind, temps in the low 40s and no fog. That’s not the case elsewhere. READ MORE »


Barnes Blasts 21 on the Ohio

On day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River David Barnes Sr. of China, Maine, hauled exactly 21 pounds of smallmouth across the stage to take the lead on a day that was tough for many. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 1

Shortly after David Barnes electrified the Rayovac FLW Series Championship weigh-in with his leading weight of 21 pounds of smallmouths, Ray Hanselman followed suit with an all-smallmouth limit weighing 19 pounds. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 1 Coverage

Updates from day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River. READ MORE »


McCaig Wins Neely Henry Regional

There are times that a little local knowledge helps you in a bass tournament, and then there are times it does not. And sometimes, it pays to ignore past experiences altogether, as Mark McCaig figured out en route to winning the Oct. 22-24, 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Neely Henry out of Gadsden, Ala. By disregarding what his local experience might have suggested he do and approaching the tournament a little differently, the Oxford, Ala., boater posted a three-day total weight of 45 pounds, 7 ounces to take home the $20,000 winner’s purse as well as a 2015 Ranger Z518C with 200-hp outboard. READ MORE »


Goodwin Wins at Lake of the Ozarks

Day-two leader Shonn Goodwin of Moore, Okla., held on to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Mercury at Lake of the Ozarks Oct. 22-24 by bringing four bass to the scale on the third and final day. Those fish weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces. His three-day total of 14 bass weighed 43-13. For the win, Goodwin earned $20,000 and a new Ranger bass boat. READ MORE »


Walters Wins Wateree BFL Regional

Todd Walters relied on a combo pattern to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional on Lake Wateree. The North Carolina boater fished rocky cover upstream and brush piles in the lake's clear lower end. The two-part program produced a three-day winning weight of 47 pounds, 4 ounces, which was 11 pounds better than second place. READ MORE »


Uribe By An Ounce

After Jody Jordan brought 24 pounds, 5 ounces to push his total past 66 pounds on the final day the crowd waited with bated breath for day two leader Joe Uribe Jr. to bring his fish to the scale. As Uribe transferred his third bass from the bag to the scale, he shook his head and whispered back “you’ve got it,” to the watching Jordan. READ MORE »


Anderson Wins KY Lake Regional

You might say there weren’t any surprises at the 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake Oct. 15-17. The techniques of the top 12 pros who fished the final day were typical of the Tennessee River in fall: surface fishing with frogs and Zara Spooks and winding Rat-L-Traps and ChatterBaits. The winners weren’t surprising either: Ryan Sykes of Hamilton, Ohio, won the co-angler division for the second consecutive year, and Tennessee pro Brent Anderson earned his sixth win on the Kentucky/Barkley system since 2009. READ MORE »


Grover Takes Co-angler Title on Clear Lake

Rick Grover of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., pulled in 55 pounds, 5 ounces of bass for the Rayovac FLW Series co-angler win on Clear Lake. All told, it was worth a new Ranger Z117 with a 90-horsepower outboard and $5,000. READ MORE »


Clear Lake Midday Update Day 3



Uribe Takes Lead and AOY at Clear Lake

Joe Uribe Jr. jumped into the lead going into the final day of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake. Uribe caught 20 pounds, 13 ounces on day two for a total of 44 pounds, 8 ounces and was the only pro to weigh more than 20 pounds both days. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

When the scales had closed after the second day of the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division tournament presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake, no doubt more than a few anglers breathed a sigh of relief that they were still in contention. READ MORE »


Clear Lake Midday Update Day 2

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake has been a little slower than day one. READ MORE »


Crutcher Cracks 29-9

Midway through a weigh-in that was noticeably lacking in super-sized bags, Mark Crutcher of Lakeport, Calif., lit up the leaderboard with 29 pounds, 9 ounces of Clear Lake goodness. READ MORE »