UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Lake Erie

Browne hangs on to lead by 4 ounces

Browne hangs on to lead by 4 ounces
Glenn Browne of Ocala, Fla., clings to a slim 4-ounce lead in the Stren Series event on Lake Okeechobee.

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. - When Glenn Browne of Ocala, Fla., left the Stren Series check-out boat Friday morning, he had nearly a 3-pound lead over second place. When he returned to weigh-in with just 8 pounds, 4 ounces of bass this afternoon, his lead had been knocked back to just a couple of dorsal fins.

A hard southeast wind rocked Okeechobee today, making it difficult on many anglers who had grown used to drifting around in grass beds with a gentle breeze. As a result, anglers tried to dig in and hold their positions while catch rates fell way off.

Browne is still leading, but barely.

"No excuses, just no big bites today," said Browne, who now has a three-day total of 45 pounds, 6 ounces. "I caught plenty of fish, just no big ones. The water came up in my area a little bit with this hard wind, and there was a lot more boat traffic, but the big ones just didn't bite."

Browne says he plans to stick with his ledge-fishing game plan tomorrow.

"There's really no reason to change," he said. "I don't have anything else to go to, and I know there are some big ones still in there. I might try some other baits a little more tomorrow. But I'm not going to change locations."

Bass moves to second

Bringing in 15 pounds, 12 ounces today, Sam Bass of Section, Ala., moved into secondPro Sam Bass of Section, Ala., sits in second place with a three-day total of 45-02. place with a three-day total of 45 pounds, 2 ounces.

Bass is blind-casting to bedding fish, but he has discovered a key to his bite.

"The whole deal for me the last two days has been to bring the bait into the beds, or where I think they're bedding, with the wind," he said. "I'm fishing a Texas-rigged worm, and I'm throwing it into the wind past my target and just letting the wind kind of pull the bait into the strike zone naturally."

Bass has also scored several big bites, including his 9-pounder yesterday, on topwaters.

"I'm pretty excited about tomorrow," he added. "I think there's plenty of fish left in the area. I left them early today because I wanted make sure I made it back with this wind."

Browning bounces into third

Thanks to this 9-12, Scott Browning of Franklin, N.C., moved into third place with a three-day total of 44-8.Day one leader Scott Browning of Franklin, N.C., slipped off the pace a bit yesterday with a paltry 7-pound, 5-ounce catch. But he righted his ship back on course Friday with a 15-pound, 6-ounce catch (which included a 9-12) to put him in third place with a three-day total of 44 pounds, 8 ounces.

"I either catch little ones or great big ones and nothing in between," Browning said. "Days one and three are what happens when I get a big bite or two. Day two is indicative of what happens when I don't get a big bite."

Browning, who used day one's gentle breeze to his advantage, has been having trouble adapting to the wind over the last two days.

"In order to get those big fish to bite, I have to fish real slow and easy, and I can't do that with the wind pushing me along so hard. Late this afternoon, I made a bait change to something a little heavier that I can fish in the wind, and that's when I caught the big one."

Grigsby slides to fourth

Chad Grigsby of Maple Grove, Minn., followed up his 21-5 catch yesterday withPro Chad Grigsby of Maple Grove, Minn., is in third place with 42-8. 8 pounds, 3 ounces today, pushing him back to fourth place with a three-day total of 42 pounds, 8 ounces.

"I had my one big bite today and lost it," Grigsby said. "That's the difference between 8 pounds and 15 pounds."

Grigsby is fishing way offshore, so the wind impacted him as well.

"When the wind blows like this, your lane of where you can present your bait narrows substantially," he explained. "When drifting, I can't cast to the right or left without getting a huge bow in my line; I have to pitch straight out in front of the boat, and that greatly limits the number of targets you can hit with each drift."

Boyd climbs to fifth

Pro Robert Boyd of Russellville, Ala., moved into fifth place with one of the better stringers of day three - 17 pounds, 4 ounces.Each day of the Stren Southeast event, Robert Boyd of Russellville, Ala., has improved his daily catch. Today, he brought in his best limit of the week - 17 pounds, 4 ounces - which propelled him to fifth place with a three-day total of 41 pounds, 13 ounces.

"The reason for my improvements is that I've been able to get a few more big ones in the boat each day," Boyd said. "I've lost some giant bass this week - it's been unreal. They're bedding all around in my area, it's just a matter of not losing them."

Big bass

Gary Niemi of Lake Placid, Fla., caught the Snickers Big Bass on day three weighing 9 pounds, 13 ounces.

Rest of the best

Also fishing in the top-10 finals tomorrow:

6th: Michael Murphy of Gilbert, S.C., three-day total of 40-3
7th: Matthew Parker of Whitesburg, Ga., three-day total of 39-6
8th: Barry Isbell of Trussville, Ala., three-day total of 38-7
9th: Craig Dowling of Many, La., three-day total of 38-0
10th: Clark Smith of Pell City, Ala., three-day total of 37-9

Myhlhousen leads co-anglers

Ralph Myhlhousen of Orlando, Fla., now leads the Co-angler Division with a Ralph Myhlhousen of Orlando, Fla., leads the Co-angler Division with a three-day total of 33 pounds.three-day total of 33 pounds.

His main back-deck weapon this week has been dead-sticking a weightless Fluke behind his pros.

"I've been real fortunate over the last few days in that I've drawn partners who are fishing slow, which allows me to fish that Fluke the way it needs to be fished," Myhlhousen said. "If I draw someone fishing fast, I won't be able to soak that Fluke like I need to."

High five co-anglers

Aaron Fahnestock of Enterprise, Ala., held onto second place today with a three-day total of 29 pounds, 8 ounces.

Chuck Webb of Sarasota, Fla., moved into third place with a three-day total of 27 pounds, 10 ounces.

Al Reed of Tequesta, Fla., is in fourth place with a three-day total of 27 pounds, 6 ounces, and Austin Spurlin of Fayetteville, Ga., rounds out the top five with 26 pounds, 15 ounces.

Rest of the best

Also fishing in the top-10 finals tomorrow in the Co-angler Division:

6th: Brad Pegram of Henderson, N.C., three-day total of 26-12
7th: John Sisson of Brookeville, Md., three-day total of 26-3
8th: Danielle Kremer of Osteen, Fla., three-day total of 26-1
9th: Brady Nelson of Palmetto, Fla., three-day total of 25-11
10th: Brantley Peoples of Raleigh, N.C., three-day total of 25-11

Big bass

Tom Burks of Avon, Ind., registered the day-three Snickers Big Bass in the Co-angler Division weighing 7 pounds, 5 ounces.

The top 10 pros and 10 co-anglers will take to the water Saturday at 7:30 a.m. at C. Scott Driver Park for the final round of competition.

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2007-01-03-lake-okeechobee 

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