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 

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The "No Excuse" Guide

Chatter can be dock talk, personal abusive talk, hater talk, fan talk and everything in between. The list goes on. I truly believe tournament fishing is all a mental game. I feel that the most successful anglers know how to tune it all out and fish in the zone. It is crucial to know how to tune out all the chatter and shut up and fish. READ MORE »

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Missed Chances at the Finale

The final Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River was a tough event for me. After one of the strongest practices I’ve ever had there, or anywhere, really, I drove home scratching my head. READ MORE »

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My Lost-Fish Troubles Continue

Lake Chickamauga is loaded with big bass, and for the first time in three previous visits I felt really good after the practice period was over. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out for me, and I ended the event after day two by missing the top-20 cut by a mere 4 ounces. READ MORE »

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Blaukat on Climate Change

As many of you know, for years I’ve been an outspoken voice on environmental issues. As a result, I’ve been celebrated by some and ostracized by others. But what some think of me being the messenger is irrelevant. It’s not about the messenger – as much as detractors try to make it out to be – it’s about getting the message out. I want to start by saying that the debate of whether or not climate change is man-made is over. It’s real, and it’s right here in our faces. READ MORE »

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Running a College Club

The sport of college bass fishing is growing at an incredible pace. During my freshman year (2011-2012), tournament fields were limited to 50 anglers, and boats were supplied by Rayovac FLW Series volunteer competitors. During the end of my senior year this season, field sizes grew larger at every tournament, and we saw more colleges providing boats for student anglers – signs of growth for sure. READ MORE »

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Blog: I’m Hooked

When I was 10 years old I could only dream about being a professional fisherman. I would spend all my time outdoors playing sports, hunting and fishing. Then, in high school, I competed in my first bass tournament and I was hooked. From that moment, my goal was to become a professional angler some day. Now, almost three decades later, after much hard work and dedication I’m competing in the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour. And I’m more excited than ever. READ MORE »

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Blog: The First Time

This begins a series of blogs by Walmart FLW Tour co-angler Jaime Luengo of Mexico City. He joined the circuit in 2005 and has three top-10 finishes to his credit. Luengo is the author of La Magia de la Lobina Tecnicas Avanzadas, a book on bass fishing techniques, and is host and producer of Nuestra Pesca, a television series available on all cable stations in Mexico. READ MORE »

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Missed Opportunities at Beaver Lake

READ MORE »

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Blog: What Might Have Been at Eufaula

Lake Eufaula is in the books, but ever since the tournament I haven’t slept very well. If you know me, you know I just “love” losing fish, but I think this latest event was the worst of my career. I finished 12th, which isn’t so bad, but the “what could have beens” got me again. On the last day of practice, I caught nearly 30 pounds, including one around 10 pounds and a 7 1/2-pounder, making it a day I’ll never forget. READ MORE »

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Blog: Frogging of a Different Kind

As a bass fisherman, I have a special feeling for that time of year when I can start fishing a frog again. I’m not sure if the rush of adrenaline I feel is from that first explosion when a bass crashes the frog, or the anticipation of it. Whatever it is, I love it! READ MORE »

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Blog: Make a Plan and Work the Plan

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: I’m bombarded with an array of emotions and a new to-do list every day. I’m not good enough. I don’t have the money. Make a Facebook post. Call mom. I don’t have enough time. I’m too tired. I’ll be treated poorly. Rig rods. Do sponsor work. People won’t like me. My son will miss me. I’ll miss my family. READ MORE »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »