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/2015-05-15-sweet-as-honeycutt

Sweet as Honeycutt

Keith Honeycutt knows how to fish his way to the tournament podium. The veteran Texas co-angler has won multiple FLW tournaments, including the 2013 Walmart FLW Tour event at Grand Lake. Still, when Honeycutt hoisted the FLW Tour co-angler champion’s trophy over his head on stage this afternoon at Lake Eufaula, he celebrated with great joy because he knows how difficult it is to attain that level of success against the best amateur anglers in the world. “It doesn’t come around very often,” says Honeycutt, who edged out Japan’s Hiroyuki Watanabe by just 2 ounces with a two-day total of 22 pounds, 12 ounces. “It’s hard to get two pro partners who fish a way that you can catch them too.” READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-09-farage-dominates-delta-co-anglers

Farage Dominates Delta Co-anglers

Adapt or die. That pretty well sums up co-angler Jack Farage’s runaway win at the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats on the California Delta this week. Obviously, the Discovery Bay, Calif., co-angler adapted – he changed baits every day – and made all the right moves. Farage opened the tournament with a massive 26-pound limit, followed with 11-11 yesterday and then blew the competition away with 16-14 today. His three-day total of 54-09 is 15-07 better than second-place co-angler Todd Kline’s. READ MORE »

/news/2015-05-02-big-day-one-catch-sets-up-lejeune-s-texoma-win

Big Day One Catch Sets Up Lejeune’s Texoma Win

No doubt, co-angler Ryan Lejeune, of Eunice, La., would have preferred two more days like his first, but a big opening effort set up his wire-to-wire win in the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division tournament on Lake Texoma. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-24-co-angler-dunkin-nearly-perfect-at-beaver-lake

Co-angler Dunkin Nearly Perfect at Beaver Lake

Having all the right lures and executing proper presentation are what catches fish in a tournament. However, Walmart FLW Tour co-angler Luke Dunkin knows that to win a Tour event and its $20,000 prize from the back of the boat, everything has to be darn near perfect. “It [perfection] starts with getting to fish your style of fishing, the right pro partner and not losing a fish during the tournament,” Dunkin says. Check, check and … almost check. Dunkin, of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., experienced as close to perfection as is possible this week on the way to winning the co-angler competition at Tour stop No. 3 on Beaver Lake. His only misstep was a single lost fish that he worried would cost him. It didn’t, and in the end his total weight of 18 pounds, 2 ounces was enough to hold off Tour veteran Todd Lee of Jasper, Ala., by just 3 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-18-triplett-takes-co-angler-crown-on-grand

Triplett Takes Co-Angler Crown On Grand

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/news/2015-04-11-wilson-tops-co-anglers-on-rayburn

Wilson Tops Co-anglers on Rayburn

Dan Wilson caught one of only three co-angler limits on the final day of competition to come back from fourth place and win the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Mercury. Consistency was key for Wilson, who weighed in 11 pounds, 1 ounce on day one, then followed with 13-04 and 14-15 on days two and three, respectively. His three-day total of 39-04 bested day-two leader Bryan New of North Carolina by 3 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-day-2-remember

Day 2 Remember

Brad Roberts didn’t just catch more weight than his pro. By the time day two was over, the co-angler had weighed in the biggest bag of any angler on the day. Leading the co-angler side going into the second day of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude on Lewis Smith Lake, Roberts sacked a giant 18 pounds, 13 ounces to complete a two-day sweep with an impressive 32-1. “This feels awesome,” Roberts says. “I could only fish three [FLW Tour] events this year, and I picked this one because it’s a lot like Dale Hollow and Lake Cumberland back home. Obviously, I picked the right one.” How impressive was what the Faubush, Ky., angler pulled off? His 18-13 beat the biggest pro weight on day two by 9 ounces (Jason Reyes, 18-4), and his 32-1 cumulative weight would have put him in fourth on the pro side after two days. READ MORE »

/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 »