UPCOMING EVENT: ABU GARCIA COLLEGE FISHING - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

Three for three

Three for three
Billy Bowen Jr., of Ocala, Fla., used an 11-pound, 1-ounce catch to capture first place in the Pro Division heading into the finals.

Pro Billy Bowen Jr., lands in first place ... again

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. - Old habits are hard to break. Just ask Billy Bowen Jr., of Ocala, Fla. Bolstered by an 11-pound, 1-ounce catch, Bowen captured the lead in the Eastern Division EverStart tournament on Lake Okeechobee for the third consecutive day. However, to hear Bowen tell it, if it wasn't for a nagging voice that awoke him in the middle of the night, he might not be standing atop the leaderboard heading into tomorrow's all-important final round of competition.

"I had a fishing spot I was saving for today, but I woke up at 3 a.m. and something told me not to go there," said Bowen. "I didn't and I wound up catching a limit by 9:30 a.m. at the place I've been going to all week. For three days I've been to the same spot and have done pretty well. So I guess I'm going back there tomorrow."

Although Bowen has little to prove after posting three consecutive first-place finishes, he acknowledged that the pressure keeps mounting despite his previous triumphs.

"This is a very nerve-wracking experience for me," said Bowen, who has about as much experience fishing Lake Okeechobee as any angler in the tournament. "I've done well so far, but I realize that this is a four-day tournament. There are many anglers capable of doing very well."

While his nerves may be causing him sleepless nights, Bowen said that if the conditions are right, he likes his chances in tomorrow's competition.

"If everything goes right tomorrow, I should have a limit of fish," said Bowen, who has yet to lose a bite all tournament. "I'm looking forward to the finals. But to tell you the truth, I wish it was over now."

In like a Lamb, out like a lion

Pro Mark Lamb of West Palm Beach, Fla., used a 10-pound, 5-ounce stringer to leapfrog from seventh place to the runner-up position heading into the finals. However, unlike Bowen, Lamb doesn't think he'll have any problem sleeping through the night.

"I've been catching a bunch of fish and I should be able to catch a limit no problem tomorrow," said Lamb, who says he's been getting between 15 and 20 bites a day. "The key is to fish really slowly. With these conditions, if you think you're fishing too slowly, you need to force yourself to slow down some more."

Lamb, who has had success flipping a Gambler crawdad and casting a Junebug in about 3 to 5 feet of water, says he is excited to be in position to win the top prize of $15,000 and a new Ranger boat.

"Second place is not too shabby at this point," he said. "For me, the pressure is off. Tomorrow, I'm just going fishing."

Wayne Clifton of Goose Creek, S.C., finished in third place with a catch of 8 pounds, 6 ounces.

"I'm fishing hard, but I missed three fish today," he said. "Hopefully, I can catch a limit tomorrow."

J.T. Kenney of Frostburg, Md., took fourth place with an 8-pound catch while Jonathan Newton of Rogersville, Ala., finished in the fifth spot with a 7-pound, 12-ounce catch.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top 10 were Wesley Strader (sixth place) of Spring City, Tenn., with a catch of 5 pounds, 4 ounces; Jim Dalrymple (seventh) of Tavernier, Fla., with a catch of 5 pounds, 3 ounces; Vince Ingle (eighth) of Maryville, Tenn., with a catch of 4 pounds, 1 ounce; Brian Randall (ninth) of McCalla, Ala., with a catch of 3 pounds, 9 ounces; and Russ Bringger (tenth) of Pompano Beach, Fla., with a catch of 3 pounds.

Peifer storms his way into the Co-angler finals

While the majority of co-anglers struggled mightily on the fickle waters of Lake Okeechobee this afternoon, Robert Peifer had no such problems. Using a little bit of luck and some expert angling savvy, Peifer blew away the rest of the field with an amazing two-fish, 12-pound, 13-ounce catch.

"I guess I was just in the right place at the right time," said Peifer, a native of Lake Placid, Fla. "I was worried there for awhile. By 12:30 p.m., I still didn't have any fish in the boat. But then I caught two great fish in the next couple of hours. That's what made the difference."

What made the achievement more astonishing was the fact that Peifer was fishing in the first EverStart tournament of his career.

"I qualified for the EverStart tournament through the Wal-Mart BFL circuit and my goal was simply to make the top 50," said Peifer, of his pre-tournament goals. "When I qualified for the top 20 I was very happy. But to make the top 10, man, I'm doing backflips."

Standing in uncharted waters both figuratively and literally, Peifer said that he is going to have to calm his nerves during the final day of competition.

"Once I get a fish in the boat tomorrow, I should be alright," he said. "But I'm definitely going to be nervous. The key is to never give up."

Jamey Way, fresh off winning the Big Bass award in yesterday's competition, finished in second place with a catch of 6 pounds, 2 ounces. Way is a native of McLeansville, N.C.

Third place belonged to Mike Calloway of Titusville, Fla., who turned in a catch of 4 pounds, 15 ounces.

Sam Wisnewski of Kill Devil Hills, N.C., finished in fourth place with a catch of 2 pounds, 4 ounces while David Kent of Lumpkin, Ga., grabbed the fifth spot with a catch of 1 pound, 14 ounces.

Rounding out the top 10 were David Geeter (sixth place) of Augusta, Ga., with a catch of 1 pound, 13 ounces; Al Reed (seventh) of Tequesta, Fla., with a catch of 1 pound, 6 ounces; Joseph Webster (eighth) of Brilliant, Ala., with a catch of 1 pound, 6 ounces; David Bowersock (ninth) of Lake Worth, Fla., with a catch of 1 pound, 4 ounces; and Ed Sankowski (tenth) of Riverview, Fla., with a catch of 0 pounds.

Tomorrow's final takeoff is scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. at the Okee-Tantie Marina located at 10430 Highway 78 West in Okeechobee.

Related links:

Photos
Results
press releases
Day-three pairings

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2002-01-09-lake-okeechobee 

Strickland Hangs Tough on Harris

Strickland Hangs Tough on Harris

The final day of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain was a bit tougher than expected. After putting over 30 pounds on the scale on day two of the weather-shortened derby, Laramy Strickland worked up 15 pounds, 4 ounces on the final day for a 61-4 total to earn the win. For the win, the Bushnell, Fla., rookie took home $100,000 and a big win over a stacked top 30 that included some of the best anglers in the country and some superstar Floridians. READ MORE »

Harris Chain Day 3 Coverage

Harris Chain Day 3 Coverage

The weather-shortened Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers at the Harris Chain wraps up today with the top 30 pros. Follow along all day to see who can take home the hardware and $100,000. READ MORE »

Strickland Sticks 31-Pound Megabag

Strickland Sticks 31-Pound Megabag

Florida cold fronts are supposed to shut the fishing down, but that wasn’t the case for many of the leaders through two days of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain. Rocketing into the lead from 35th place, Laramy Strickland popped a 31-pound, 6-ounce megabag to put his leading total at an even 46 pounds. In second, Jimmy Washam stayed steady, weighing 21-13 for second and a 41-13 total. In third, Hunter Freeman also made a big jump, hammering out 25-14 on day two to get up to 39-6. READ MORE »

Harris Chain Day 2 Coverage

Harris Chain Day 2 Coverage

The weather has made a 180 here in Leesburg, Fla., for stop No. 2 of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain of Lakes. Follow along for updates on all the action. READ MORE »

Day 2 at Harris Postponed

Day 2 at Harris Postponed

Day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain has been postponed due to high winds. With a lake wind advisory in effect from 10 a.m. ET until later this evening, many pros believe staying off the water today was the right call. READ MORE »

Salewske Cracks 26 at Harris Chain

Salewske Cracks 26 at Harris Chain

Day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bab Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain was a catchfest, but it wasn’t quite the sight-fishing showdown that some hoped for. In the lead, Rusty Salewske weighed 26 pounds, 10 ounces. Just ounces behind him, Miles Burghoff wrangled 26-8. In third, Jared McMillan put 22-1 on the scale to kick things off. READ MORE »

Harris Chain Day 1 Coverage

Harris Chain Day 1 Coverage

Anglers are enjoying near-perfect conditions for a day-one slugfest in Leesburg, Fla., for stop No. 2 of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain of Lakes. Follow along for updates on all the action. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Harris Chain

FLW Live Leaderboard - Harris Chain

FLW Marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the second stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers at Florida's Harris Chain of Lakes. READ MORE »

Guyot Catches 23-8 for Murray Win

Guyot Catches 23-8 for Murray Win

Boater Scott Guyot of Fayetteville, North Carolina, brought five bass to the scale Saturday totaling 23 pounds, 8 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Murray in Prosperity, South Carolina. For his victory, Guyot earned a total of $4,359. READ MORE »

Flack Goes Finesse on Lewis Smith

Flack Goes Finesse on Lewis Smith

Local boater Jackie Flack of Cullman, Alabama, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 3 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lewis Smith Lake in Cullman. For his victory, Flack earned a total of $6,011. READ MORE »

Fitzgerald Finishes Strong at St. Johns

Fitzgerald Finishes Strong at St. Johns

Trevor Fitzgerald of Belleview, Fla., moved ahead one spot in the standings on the final day of competition at the St. Johns River to earn his first Toyota Series victory. His three-day catch of 57 pounds, 12 ounces earned him the win by a 6-pound margin. READ MORE »

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 3

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 3

Day two of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener on the St. Johns River brought more fish, bigger fish and eight bags over 20 pounds – a marked improvement over what we saw on day one. Day three could go either direction, though, as a small cold front overnight left behind bluebird skies and abundant sunshine today. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 2

It’s been a question of when, not if: When is the first big wave of spawners going to move up on the St. Johns River? That question may have been answered on day two of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener, as more and more anglers brought big fish across the weigh-in stage, with many of the bass coming from beds or shallow cover where fish are staging to make their big move. READ MORE »

Big Day Puts Blair Ahead at St. Johns

Big Day Puts Blair Ahead at St. Johns

Jason Blair caught 22 pounds, 3 ounces – the biggest limit of the tournament so far – to take over the lead at the Toyota Series Southern Division season opener on the St. Johns River. The West Palm Beach, Fla., pro has a two-day total of 39-15 and a 1-pound, 11-ounce lead over yesterday’s leader, Trevor Fitzgerald. READ MORE »

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 2

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 2

After a warm but windy day to start the Toyota Series Southern Division opener on the St. Johns River, day two brought lower temperatures, rain and a shifting wind that blew right up the chute early this morning. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 1

The St. Johns River is fishing tough, and while weights were down across the board on day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener, the top five found a way to get the job done with some impressive stringers of big Florida bass. READ MORE »

Fitzgerald in Front on St. Johns

Fitzgerald in Front on St. Johns

Trevor Fitzgerald of Belleview, Fla., took the lead on day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener at the St. Johns River with a five-bass limit that weighed 21 pounds, 2 ounces. Fitzgerald has previously won a Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on the St. Johns and is in contention to make his 12th top-10 finish with FLW. READ MORE »

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 1

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 1

As expected, the St. Johns River is still fishing pretty tough in the Toyota Series Southern Division opener, which kicked off this morning. The St. Johns holds plenty of good fish, but she’s not all that willing to give them up. READ MORE »

Littich Nets Big O Title

Littich Nets Big O Title

Boater Thomas Littich of Cape Coral, Florida, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 14 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Florida. For his victory, Littich earned a total of $7,220, including a $2,500 FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency award. READ MORE »

Dover Wins on Keowee

Dover Wins on Keowee

Boater Randy Dover of Buford, Georgia, brought five to the scale Saturday totaling 15 pounds, 10 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Keowee in Seneca, South Carolina. For his victory, Dover earned a total of $5,627. READ MORE »