FLW Tour Recap: Lake Okeechobee

Lefebre culls away by ounces.

(Editor's note: Kellogg's Frosted Flakes team pro Dave Lefebre has agreed to take time to share his insights into each FLW Tour event of the 2014 season. After every event, Lefebre will give his thoughts on tournament strategy, winning techniques and other behind-the-scenes stories/information that is compelling to our readers. The following blog represents his first installment of the 2014 FLW Tour season. Lefebre ultimately finished the Lake Okeechobee event in 176th place with a two-day total of 10 pounds, 3 ounces.) What a way to kick off 2014, although it was not exactly the way I'd envisioned it. I finished third from last, way down in 176th place. It would be easy to get all dejected and say that my whole season is now ruined, but when you consider that (day one on Lake Okeechobee) was the first FLW Tour weigh-in I've ever missed in 12 years as a pro, I'd say that's not too bad. I was overdue. I've been fortunate to run the most reliable boats and outboards throughout my career and my main issue on day one at Okeechobee was more about me not leaving enough time to fix a minor problem and not carrying the proper tools with me in my boat. I sometimes have to learn things the hard way I guess. I had to release my fish back into the lake, which was an extremely sick feeling. It made me think back to Jim Moynagh at the Potomac River event last year when his co-angler accidently dropped a fish into Jim's side of the livewell. I remember watching that show, seeing Jim throw 3-pounders back into the river, and thinking ... that sucks, I hope I never have to do that. The way he handled the situation was inspiring though, and he came back and caught another solid limit. I realize that things happen; it's over, and now it's time to move forward and get fired up about the next event on Lake Hartwell, S.C. The fishing on Okeechobee was really good as usual. My practice was not exceptional, but in checking many sections of the lake and trying different things, I was catching 15 to 18 pounds per day. I also had a couple big bites each day, not to mention a couple big ones caught by my co-angler fishing buddy, Alton Lackie, a.k.a. The Lack Attack, in the practice period. I always try to stay far away from the crowds on this lake. It usually works out pretty well for me and it was going to be all right this year as well. I found some better-than-average-sized fish in two separate locations, one near Cochran's Pass and one in South Bay. I was not able to get many flipping bites, but the Swimming Senko and frog bite were on fire. When I was in cleaner water, watermelon-red worked best and then when I fished in muddier areas it was all about black or Junebug. I was rigging it on a VMC weighted swimbait hook and using 50-pound Sufix 832 braided line. The three biggest fish I caught in practice all came on a black-and-blue, ¾-ounce Terminator Pro Series Jig. One was 8 pounds and was caught on my second flip of the morning on day three of practice while I was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. I posted the picture of that one on my Facebook page. A bunch of the bigger bags were caught on ChatterBaits and Terminator spinnerbaits. Dipper-style baits and Senkos were very effective too as always on Okeechobee. Guys really caught them in the north shore area and the Monkey Box - two places I can't stand to fish because of the crowds. But from what I was hearing those areas were loaded and 15 pounds or more was almost a guarantee if you were in the right spot. After zeroing on day one, I decided not to go back to catch 3-pounders. I also didn't want to get in someone's way on the north shore, so I crossed the lake toward the J&S lock and basically started over. It proved to be a bad move, but how would I know? I caught a lot of fish but only had 10 pounds when the day was over. I needed 26 pounds to get a check, so I had to try something. Dave Lefebre Angler SpotlightOne positive thing I can say is that my new Ranger Z521C handled the 2- to 3-foot white caps in the morning with ease. I passed another boat like it was standing still and the ride was unbelievably smooth. It might be the best boat I've ever had. I'll keep you posted on that, but it was impressive to say the least. I really can't wait to get her out on big bad Lake Erie! Thanks for all the support after this tournament as it means a lot to me. I'll talk to you all after the Lake Hartwell event next month. Hopefully I'll win it - at least that would make me feel a little better. You can follow Dave on Twitter @DaveLefebre and "Like" him on Facebook at Facebook.com/davelefebre

Tags: blog  dave-lefebre 

/tips/2015-04-24-blog-east-vs-west

Blog: East vs. West

I’m not going to say the West is better than the East, or vice-versa. However, I am going to say that where fishing is concerned, there are some distinct differences between the two. The list is long and I’m sure that you can think of many additional differences, but here are a few things I have found that separates the two locales. For the purposes of this blog, let’s make the dividing line the Mississippi River although I think we should include Texas with the East. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-21-blog-the-bucket-list

Blog: The Bucket List

I lived my first 25 years in the Midwest, and I used to get horrible cabin fever this time of year. Sitting in front of a television and watching Jimmy, Hank, Roland and Bill catch monster bass on a spinnerbait on every single cast only made it worse. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-14-blog-back-in-the-groove

Blog: Back in the Groove

It feels good to be in full swing of the tournament season again. We just finished the second stop of the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake, and it was an excellent event. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-14-5-pivotal-moments-in-my-career

5 Pivotal Moments in my Career

The FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake marked the beginning of my senior campaign. While it was great to get on some open water for the first time in months (though we didn’t finish very well), it also had me looking back at five events that, more than any others, led me to this point. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-14-a-year-of-new-firsts

A Year of New Firsts

There are a lot of firsts in my life now: my first full year on the Walmart FLW Tour, the first time not to fish any full B.A.S.S. circuit in many years, the first time to fish with co-anglers in a long while, the first time to compete at Beaver Lake, and so on. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-10-up-then-down-again

Up, Then Down Again

The highs and lows in this sport are amazing. They are amazing and sometimes hard to deal with. Sometimes you just have to test yourself on how thick your skin really is. For example, consider my highs and lows in the last few months. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-07-sweet-home-alabama

Sweet Home Alabama

Hey everyone, I'm just getting back and caught up from the second stop of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lewis Smith Lake. The lake was fishing like never before, and all the fish have grown up quickly on those blueback herring. Now that I've been back home a week and watched all the videos and read all the articles about the top 10 anglers I can say I have zero regrets! READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-02-when-everything-comes-together

When Everything Comes Together

Dave Lefebre describes what baits and techniques he used to win the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake in this week's blog. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-29-lefebre-wins-walmart-flw-tour-on-lewis-smith-lake-presented-by-evinrude

Lefebre Wins Walmart FLW Tour On Lewis Smith Lake Presented By Evinrude

JASPER, Ala. (March 29, 2015) – FLW Tour pro Dave Lefebre of Erie, Pennsylvania, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 19 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Walmart FLW Tour at Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude. Lefebre’s four-day total of 20 bass weighing 65-5 gave him a 1-pound, 14-ounce margin of victory over second place pro... READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-29-lefebre-lands-on-top

Lefebre Lands on Top

He left the dock this morning in 7th place, eight and a half pounds off the lead. And when he returned this afternoon, Dave Lefebre shocked the weigh-in crowd with a come-from-behind Walmart FLW Tour win that left his competitors shell-shocked. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-18-expect-change-and-adapt-to-it

Expect Change and Adapt to It

Ish Monroe explains how to adapt to changing conditions and recommends to always fish your strengths in this weeks blog. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-17-so-you-want-to-be-a-co-angler-

So You Want to be a Co-Angler?

First and foremost, I know I’m fishing the tournament as a co-angler and I make sure that I not only stay out of my pro’s way, but I do what I can to assist him throughout the day. This starts at the ramp with assisting him with the launch where possible. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-16-a-30-piece-puzzle-with-four-pieces-missing

A 30-Piece Puzzle with Four Pieces Missing

The whole time I was down in Florida during the FLW Tour opener on Lake Toho I felt like I was trying to put together a 30-piece puzzle with four pieces missing. The weather was right, the water temperature was right, the thousands of acres of vegetation looked right, but one thing was wrong: the fish! READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-12-a-clean-slate

A Clean Slate

The 2015 season opener of the Walmart FLW Tour wasn’t at Okeechobee, as in recent years, but at Lake Toho in central Florida. I was excited about the change, and even more pumped to start a fresh new season after blowing my motor on day one of the first event last year. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-11-lefebre-signs-with-quigley-4x4

Lefebre Signs with Quigley 4x4

Quigley Motor Company, manufacturer of four-wheel-drive conversions for Ford, General Motors and Nissan, announces its yearlong sponsorship with top-ranked professional angler Dave Lefebre. As part of the sponsorship agreement, Lefebre and his family will travel the Walmart FLW Tour in a Quigley 4x4 Van. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-27-toho-bound

Toho Bound

You have to understand that having home field advantage in fishing is the absolute worst. There are so many demons; you have too much information, you start fishing the lake’s history – it goes on and on and it’s very hard for a professional angler to mentally break that barrier. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-25-3-thoughts-on-toho

3 Thoughts on Toho

I was without power for three days after the first storm, but it snowed again this weekend and there is supposed to be more weather on the way. Suffice to say, I can’t get to Florida and Lake Toho fast enough. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-20-east-to-west

East to West

As a tournament angler, I realize that a primary aspect of my job is to be able to catch fish anywhere, in all types of fisheries, under a variety of conditions. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-12-from-swamp-pro-to-bass-pro

From Swamp Pro to Bass Pro

When most people hear the name “T-Roy Broussard,” they think of me as the Texan in the big green airboat on the reality television show Swamp People. Three years ago I was introduced to households across the world as a burly alligator hunter that made a living off of the land. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-01-29-here-we-go

Here We Go

The 2015 bass tournament season is officially underway and I am super-excited about the changing dynamics. There is no doubt that the economy is improving and the 250-boat field that fished the first Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Okeechobee is testament to that. READ MORE »