Jones’ perseverance pays

Co-angler champion Justin Jones holds up his 6-pound, 5-ounce kicker largemouth.

CLEWISTON, Fla. - Last year at the EverStart Series Southeast Division event on Lake Okeechobee, co-angler Justin Jones led the field on day one only to zero on the second day and tumble down the leaderboard. While he had a solid 5-pound lead at this year's Walmart FLW Tour opener, that same sick feeling returned today after several hours without a single keeper. This time, however, Jones would bear down and receive that pivotal bite. "That fish bit in the last 45 minutes of the day," Jones said of his lone keeper. "I was about to zero again; I was sweating bullets. I thought this is the Lake Okeechobee last-day curse." Fittingly, Jones has a tattoo on his arm that reads "perseverance," and that's exactly what it took for the 25-year-old from Apex, N.C., to pull out the victory. All week long Jones had been flipping a Bruiser Intruder (Knockout color). With an hour left in the day, For winning the 2013 FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee, co-angler Justin Jones earned $25,000. he finally gave in to the tougher conditions and switched to more of a finesse presentation - a weightless Zoom Magnum Super Fluke (Houdini color). "I just let it sit, basically dead-sticking it, and she picked it up." That lone fish weighed 6 pounds, 5 ounces and pushed his total weight to 39 pounds, 4 ounces. While the Fluke coaxed the kicker, the Intruder did the heavy lifting early in the week. Jones had two different setups for the same bait. When he was punching mats, he would Texas rig it with a 1 1/4-ounce weight and fish it on 65-pound braid. When he pitched around reeds, he would downsize to a 1/8-ounce weight and use either lighter braid or 20-pound fluorocarbon. His 9-pound, 7-ounce brute from day one went down as the heaviest bass of the tournament among the co-anglers. The Okeechobee behemoth fell for the downsized Texas-rig presentation. For the first win of his tournament career, Jones earned $25,000. "It feels awesome, especially after what happened last year." Peek rallies for runner-up finish Richard Peek started the day in 15th and after catching a pair of kickers, nearly pulled off a stunning Co-angler Richard Peek rallied up the leaderboard on day three by weighing three fish for an impressive 13 pounds, 9 ounces. That brought his cumulative total to 35-8, capturing the second-place spot and a $7,500 check. come-from-behind win. Along with one other small keeper, Peek's three bass Saturday weighed 13 pounds, 9 ounces. The three-time FLW winner finished the tournament with a cumulative total of 35 pounds, 8 ounces. "I did something different pretty much every day," said Peek. "The first day I flipped a Tightlines UV Beaver and pitched around a Texas-rigged UVenko with a 1/16-ounce weight. On the second day we mainly fished rattletraps and I fished the UVenko a little bit too. Today we were right in the middle of the lake so the wind was terrible. I switched up to a ChatterBait and a 1/2-ounce Bo's swim jig. I caught the 7-pounder on the ChatterBait, the 6-pounder on the swim jig and the 12-incher came on the UVenko again." Starting that far behind, Peek knew it was a long shot to complete the comeback. But anything is possible on a lake like Okeechobee with so many big fish. "All day long I was thinking I need some big bites. Sure enough, I got two of them." Peek won an FLW College Fishing tournament on Okeechobee back in 2009. "I've always enjoyed this place. And I'm happy with second. I fished clean all week; I don't think I lost but one fish the whole tournament. At least I beat my buddy (Anthony Goggins)." Peek's consolation prize is a check worth $7,500. Rest of the best Third-place co-angler Brook Pauley holds up his biggest bass from day three on Lake Okeechobee.Brook Pauley of Morgantown, W.V., rose from fifth to third with three bass weighing 8 pounds, 6 ounces. Pauley finished the tournament with 35 pounds event and earned $5,000. Mike Comeau of Winooksi, Vt., caught a limit Saturday weighing 10 pounds, 1 ounce that pushed him up to a fourth-place finish. Comeau's total weight was 34 pounds, 11 ounces and he earned $4,000. "I had a flight booked for today," said Comeau, whose hometown is buried in snow after winter storm Nemo. "But it would've been canceled anyway, so it's a good thing I made the cut." Anthony Goggins, an old college roommate and current travel partner of Peek's, finished in fifth place after catching a five-bass limit weighing 6 pounds, 9 ounces. Goggins, the Auburn, Ala., resident, finished the event with a total weight of 34 pounds, 8 ounces - earning $3,000. "It's going to be a long ride home," said Goggins of sharing a vehicle with Peek. "I jumped off a 4-pounder 15 minutes before we had to come in." Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers at the FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee: 6th: Greg Scott of Dearborn, Mich., 33-5, $2,500 7th: Greg Knick of Ansonia, Ohio, 33-3, $2,000 8th: Jim Short of Ocean Pines, Md., 32-15, $1,800 9th: Bill Cowart of Kissimmee, Fla., 32-1, $1,700 10th: Ronnie Green of Tampa, Fla., 31-14, $1,600

Tags: co-angler-headline 

/news/2015-03-21-o-donnell-earns-co-angler-win

O’Donnell Earns Co-angler Win

“Every time I would think “oh no, this isn’t going right,” I would catch a big one,” says O’Donnell. “I guess it was meant to be.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-06-randles-takes-co-angler-crown

Randles Takes Co-angler Crown

The whole premise behind being a successful co-angler is to fish the spots that the guy in the front of the boat hasn’t already hit. Here on Lake Toho and connected lakes – with their miles of lily pad fields and vast mats of various types of aquatic vegetation – finding such targets of opportunity is never a problem, though some co-anglers are better than others at mining the ones that actually have bass in them. Chad Randles of Elkhorn, Neb., proved he had what it takes to pry bass out of their Toho cubby holes as he won the co-angler title here in the Walmart FLW Tour season-opener presented by Mercury. Randles weighed in a pair of limits over two days that totaled 29 pounds, 15 ounces. Mark Holman of Cornelius, N.C., was second with 27-11, while John Hunter of Shelbyville, Ky., placed third with 27-7. READ MORE »

/news/2015-02-14-carrillo-cool-in-victory

Carrillo Cool in Victory

He’s probably the most relaxed competitor this writer has ever encountered in tournament fishing. Just don’t mistake his cool demeanor on the outside for a lack of intensity deep down inside. Ricardo Carrillo of Laredo, Texas, was all business on the water at this week’s Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event on Lake Amistad presented by Frabill. Carrillo caught 11 pounds, 15 ounces, 6-10 and 5-4 in three days for a tournament total of 23-13 to win the co-angler division by more than 3 pounds. For his efforts, Carrillo earned his very first bass boat, a Ranger Z117 with 90-hp outboard. READ MORE »

/news/2015-02-07-leue-lands-co-angler-title

Leue Lands Co-angler Title

Lake Havasu City, Ariz. – Believe it or not, Daniel Leue of Colusa, Calif., was the only co-angler to bring in a five-bass limit every day of competition this week in the first Western Division event on Lake Havasu presented by Mercury. Though, that doesn’t mean the second victory of his career came easy. The average quality of fish in Havasu kept Leue on his toes but thanks to his 16-pound, 2-ounce limit (the largest of the tournament) on the final day he walked away victorious. READ MORE »

/news/2015-01-24-clewiston-native-wilson-is-co-angler-champ

Clewiston Native Wilson is Co-angler Champ

He was born and raised in Clewiston, and for the last eight years Moses Wilson has been pouring his heart and soul into building a professional fishing career on his hometown waters of Lake Okeechobee. Today, Wilson took a long step forward in his quest by winning the co-angler division of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division event presented by Power-Pole on Lake Okeechobee. Wilson caught 13 pounds, 7 ounces today while fishing with pro Mark Daniels Jr. for a three-day total of 38 pounds, 2 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2014-11-01-callaghan-wins-co-angler-title

Callaghan Wins Co-Angler Title

ROGERSVILLE, Ala. – James Callaghan got matched up with the right pros when it counted the most here in the 2014 Rayovac FLW Series Championship on Lake Wheeler and his three-day total weight of 24 pounds, 3 ounces won him the co-angler title and the Ranger Z117 boat package that went with it. READ MORE »

/news/2014-10-04-cifuentes-wins-co-angler-title

Cifuentes wins Co-angler Title

ZAVALLA, Texas – Imagine traveling FLW Outdoor’s fishing circuits as a co-angler with legendary pro Larry Nixon…practicing with him…rooming with him…and just talking bass fishing 24-7 with one of the most decorated bass fishing pros in the modern world. READ MORE »

/news/2014-09-20-gillespie-claims-co-angler-crown

Gillespie Claims Co-angler Crown

LA CROSSE, Wis. – Carl Gillespie of Old Hickory, Tenn., couldn’t have asked for a better week. It seemed hard enough for many of the pros to connect with quality bites, let alone the co-anglers. But Gillespie stayed focused and posted double-digit limits every day of the event en route to his first title as a co-angler. READ MORE »

/news/2014-08-23-co-angler-crocker-sweeps-james-river

Co-Angler Crocker Sweeps James River

RICHMOND, Va. – Coming to the scales with only two bass on the final day of the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on the James River had Michael Crocker a little nervous, but strong performances the first two days enabled the Maryland co-angler to complete the wire-to-wire victory. READ MORE »

/news/2014-08-15-new-crowned-co-angler-champ

New Crowned Co-angler Champ

COLUMBIA, S.C. – When Bryan New left the dock at Dreher Island State Park this morning, he could hardly control his excitement. Before him lay an opportunity, and it was an opportunity he believed he could seize. After catching 7 pounds, 9 ounces on day one of the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray, New came into today’s competition atop the co-angler leaderboard by more than 2 pounds. All he needed to do was catch a couple of solid fish and he’d have a shot at the win. Three keepers would almost certainly seal the deal. After two consecutive top-five finishes at the Forrest Wood Cup, this was New’s best shot at the title. And he went out and earned it. READ MORE »

/news/2014-08-14-new-nets-co-angler-lead

New Nets Co-angler Lead

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Calling your day on the water a “grind” is one of the biggest clichés in the sport of bass fishing. However, it is probably the best way to describe day one of the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray presented by Walmart and hosted by Capital City/Lake Murray Country. When the scale closed Bryan New of Belmont, N.C., set the bar with four bass that weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces to take the lead by 2-5. READ MORE »

/news/2014-06-28-kelley-crowned-co-angler-champ

Kelley Crowned Co-angler Champ

PARIS LANDING, Tenn. – The third time was indeed the charm for Cody Kelley here at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude on Kentucky Lake, as the Arkansas fisherman won the co-angler title with a combined stringer weight of 54 pounds, 9 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2014-06-21-crowder-clinches-potomac-win

Crowder Clinches Potomac Win

MARBURY, Md. – Kermit Crowder, of Matoaca, Va. completed his wire-to-wire victory with the largest sack of day three, 12-15, and tallied a total of 39-8 in the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on the Potomac River. READ MORE »

/news/2014-06-07-co-angler-setzer-steals-the-show

Co-Angler Setzer Steals the Show

FLORENCE, Ala. – At just 26 years old, Braxton Setzer of Auburn, Ala., is experiencing a phenomenal sophomore season on the Walmart FLW Tour from the back of the boat. He already holds two top-10 finishes from Hartwell and Beaver Lake – where he came close to grabbing the title – and now he gets to taste victory after crushing 21 pounds, 5 ounces today to claim the $20,000 check. READ MORE »

/news/2014-06-07-sward-swings-connects-on-wilson

Sward Swings, Connects on Wilson

FLORENCE, Ala. – Everyone wants to be on top – and Justin Sward eventually got there at the BFL All-American presented by Walmart on Wilson Lake. But entering the final round one notch off the lead gave the co-angler from Birmingham, Ala., a sense of tranquility that no doubt contributed to his banner day READ MORE »

/news/2014-05-17-vieira-wins-delta-nail-biter

Vieira Wins Delta Nail-biter

BETHEL ISLAND, Calif. – In the final round of Rayovac FLW Series Western Division action on the California Delta, Darren Vieira learned how to through a punch. Actually, a punch bait, is more accurate and the co-angler from Martinez, Calif., used this knowledge to lock up his first FLW victory with a 3-day total of 42 pounds 2 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2014-04-26-acree-wins-co-angler-division

Acree wins Co-angler Division

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – What’s the fastest way to learn the most about bass fishing? Become a co-angler in FLW Outdoors events. READ MORE »

/news/2014-04-12-co-angler-title-taken-by-mcdonald

Co-angler title taken by McDonald

ROGERS, Ark. – Winning on the Walmart FLW Tour from the back of the boat is no small feat and often time highlights a career for that lucky person. This week, that honor belongs to longtime FLW angler Mike McDonald who tackled a tough Beaver Lake and came out on top. READ MORE »

/news/2014-04-05-co-angler-parker-prevails-at-grand-lake

Co-angler Parker prevails at Grand Lake

GROVE, Ok. – Topping the Co-angler Division, Charles Parker, of Broken Arrow, Ok. caught three fish for 10-7 to push his tournament total to 35-9 and secure the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division win on Grand Lake. READ MORE »

/news/2014-03-29-self-squeaks-out-co-angler-victory-on-sam-rayburn

Self squeaks out co-angler victory on Sam Rayburn

LUFKIN, Texas – If you are 24 years old and recently graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte there are endless options for what you could be doing. But for Eric Self, you would be fishing as a co-angler in the Walmart FLW Tour on Sam Rayburn taking home a cool $20,000 for capturing the top prize – not a bad graduation present. READ MORE »