UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Dale Hollow Lake

Okeechobee zigs; leaders zag

Okeechobee zigs; leaders zag
Stanley pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., blew the field away today with 21 pounds, 5 ounces.

Martin moves into lead at EverStart Eastern tourney

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. - Okeechobee's golden son, Scott Martin, of Clewiston, Fla., shined bright today in the Lake Okeechobee EverStart Series tournament. The Stanley pro brought in 21 pounds, 5 ounces on a day when the rest of the leaders got foiled by Okeechobee's bass.

Rounding out the top five pros are Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., (second) with 14 pounds, 4 ounces; Mark Lamb of West Palm Beach, Fla., (third) with 12 pounds, 6 ounces; Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., (fourth) with 11 pounds, 14 ounces; and Tony Christian of Hull, Ga., (fifth) with 11 pounds, 8 ounces.

A combination of shifting wind, muddying water and losing fish snared the leaders in day-three competition on the Big O. Martin was able to avoid all three pitfalls to bring in his big catch.

Martin said his intimate of knowledge of Okeechobee played a key role in his fishing today. Yesterday, just before weigh-in, Martin brought his Stanley-emblazoned Ranger boat off plane for just a few seconds to check the water color of a certain area he had been waiting on to clear up. When he noticed it was beginning to clear, he knew where he would start today.

"Knowing where the water is clearing based on wind direction is a huge advantage on this lake," Martin noted.

Martin started in the clearing area this morning. He caught 17 pounds quickly and figured he had enough to make the cut. But then the mind games began.

"The weather was nice, and I began thinking about Browne, and Vest, and Melvin - all those guys are awesome locals. They can pop a 20-pound bag here in minutes," Martin said. "That began to weigh on my mind, so I decided to go to my primary area that I fished the first day to see if I could get a 3-pounder for insurance. Well I caught a 6-pounder instead."

Between his two areas, Martin is confident about tomorrow. "I'm going to start on that clear water flat if the wind does not destroy it tonight," he said. "Then I'll go flipping for some big ones."

Andy Morgan forced his flipping bite today. He caught six keepers, but says he really had to work for them.

"I am afraid this warming weather is hurting me," he said. "I think my fish are leaving for the flats to go spawn, and there are no new ones coming in to replace them. I am really going to have to tough it out tomorrow."

Mark Lamb is catching his fish by flipping matted cattails. "The area I am fishing was sprayed about six or seven weeks ago," Lamb reported. "The cattails died, floated up and blew up against this other bank and formed a thick, dense mat."

Lamb said he is flipping a Gambler black-and-blue Crawdaddy with a 1 1/2-ounce Penetrator weight. He is using 12/60 Spiderwire on an 8-foot G-Loomis flipping stick.

Jacob Powroznik has caught nearly 12 pounds each day and continues to make the cuts. He is using a Senko on 10-pound test line in a clear water boat canal. "I am not catching any giants, but I am catching about 20 to 25 fish each day and culling up to about 12 pounds," he said. "Maybe I'll get a big bite tomorrow."

Leaders eliminated

Leader of the first two rounds, Glenn Browne of Ocala, Fla., said he simply could not put the fish in the boat today. "I had the bites," said Browne, who weighed in 2 pounds, 13 ounces today. "But I lost at least eight good fish."

Browne's enormous first round catch of 26 pounds, 3 ounces was caught on an Allen Lures Fireclaw and a Gambler Crawdaddy, both in blue. He flipped thick hyacinths with 50-pound test braided Battle Line, and his plastics were attached to a 1-ounce tungsten Penetrator weight.

Doug Vest, who also weighed in tremendous catches the first two days, brought in 5 pounds, 13 ounces today. "Basically, we had a wind shift and my water just got dirty," Vest said. "Like Scott Martin said, when the water gets dirty, you just can't catch them."

Vests initial weights were all caught flipping a Gambler Crawdad with a 1-ounce weight tied to 100-pound test braid on a Falcon Cara flipping stick.

In the Co-angler Division, Asa Godsey weighed in 9 pounds, 15 ounces to take the co-angler lead. He caught his two fish on spinner bait, including an Okeechobee lunker.

Also in the top five in the Co-angler Division are Jeff Wheeley of Lafayette, Tenn., (second) with 7 pounds, 2 ounces; Rob Boswell of Winder, Ga., (third) with 6 pounds, 7 ounces; Steve Poland of West Palm Beach, Fla., (fourth) with 6 pounds, 5 ounces; and Ernest Diaz of Fayetteville, Ga., (fifth) with 6 pounds, 3 ounces.

Tomorrow the top 10 pros and co-anglers go out to give it one more shot for the big money. Takeoff is at 7 a.m. at the Okee-Tantie launch site located at 10430 Highway 78 W. in Okeechobee.

Click here for a preview of day four.

Day-three links:

Photos
Results
Day-four pairings
Press release

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2003-01-08-lake-okeechobee 

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