UPCOMING EVENT: FLW Pro Circuit - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

McMillan marches on

McMillan marches on
Jimmy McMillan of nearby Belle Glade, Fla., continues to lead the FLW Series BP Eastern with a three-day total of 57 pounds, 6 ounces.

CLEWISTON, Fla. - After a 45-minute fog delay Friday morning, Walmart FLW Series anglers got to their best fishing spots on Lake Okeechobee late only to watch the fog turn into rain, propelled by a chilly north wind.

Those conditions may not have suited the pros, but the bass did not seem to mind. In fact, it seemed to help the bite somewhat as five stringers over 20 pounds made it across the weigh-in stage today. Perhaps the bass were trying to grab one last meal before the water turned cold again behind the frontal passage.

Local Okeechobee legend Jimmy McMillan of Belle Glade, Fla., still leads the pack in the BP Eastern Division event. His catch of 14 pounds, 9 ounces today put him atop the leaderboard going into the last day with a three-day total of 57 pounds, 6 ounces.

McMillan caught his fish sight-fishing on the eastern side of the lake today. Yesterday he admitted that sight-fishing is not his strength, but with a few tips from fellow pro Koby Kreiger, McMillan has resorted more to sight-fishing this week than ever before.

"The main reason I've had to go to sight-fishing is because the water has become so clear on Okeechobee with all this new vegetation," he said. "Normally, I'd rather fish a little dirtier water and just cast around. But with the water so clear and the fish locked down on beds, it's actually more effective to just sight-fish for them. I caught everything sight-fishing today, including two off one bed."

As for tomorrow, McMillan plans to return to his primary area and check on a few more beds. But if that does not pan out, being a local who knows the lake well will allow him to fish on the fly if need be.

"I've got a couple of other areas I have not been to yet," he added. "And I might check on those areas tomorrow, especially with just nine other boats being out here."

Lunsford second

Day-one leader, Scott Lunsford of Calhoun, Ga., holds on to the second-place position Day-one leader, Scott Lunsford of Calhoun, Ga., holds onto the second place position with a three-day total of 56 pounds, 1 ounce.with a three-day total of 56 pounds, 1 ounce - just 1 pound, 5 ounces behind McMillan.

Lunsford brought in 16 pounds, 13 ounces today to stay within striking distance of the win.

The Evinrude pro is continuing to use a variety of swimming baits over the top of thick vegetation just a few miles from the marina.

"It's a total reaction bite," Lunsford said. "I'm fishing over thick jointgrass, hydrilla and reeds. I have a couple of different baits I'm using. The primary one, I'm going to keep quiet until tomorrow, but I have caught a few by swimming an Omega jig through that thick stuff. I'll pitch it into a hole, snap it hard to clean the grass off and then kind of bulge the surface with the jig, and the fish just explode on it.

"It's a pretty cool way to fish, but I'm still losing a lot of bass because the grass is so thick. I had 14 bites today, lost nine and boated just five."

Martin third

National Guard pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., caught his best limit of the week, 21 pounds, 10 ounces, today to move into third place with a three-day total of 53 pounds, 4 ounces.National Guard pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., caught his best limit of the week - 21 pounds, 10 ounces - today to move into third place with a three-day total of 53 pounds, 4 ounces.

Martin, too, is fishing a lot of moving baits along the surface to get strikes and has found the thick grass to be a real challenge as well. Like others, he has lost a lot of fish to the grass this week. But he has also found a unique way to use lost surface strikes to his advantage.

"Whenever I get a blowup on a surface bait and the fish misses it, I ease over to where the strike occurred very slowly and use my hydraulic PowerPoles to quietly anchor down and look for the fish," Martin described. "A lot of those surface strikes are from bedding fish. I'm using two PowerPoles to secure my boat and block the wind so I can see the fish better. One PowerPole is great, but the wind will still blow your bow around. With two PowerPoles I can kind of quarter the bed off the bow, anchor and block the wind to see the fish. Over half my fish have come that way this week."

Patti fourth

Carmen Patti of Davie, Fla., is in fourth place with a three-day total of 52 pounds, 12 ounces. Carmen Patti of Davie, Fla., is in fourth place with a three-day total of 52 pounds, 12 ounces. Ironically, he is getting a little help holding up his fish from Jimmy McMillan's son, Jarod.His catch of 17 pounds, 10 ounces kept him in the running today.

Patti is moving around to different areas of the lake a lot more than some of the other leaders who are planted in one area.

His reason for this is simply to stay ahead of the spawn and keep finding fresh fish that are just moving in from the main lake.

His main technique is buzzing the surface with Flapp'n Shads and Horny Toads.

"I went to one new place right at the end of the day with about 30 minutes left, caught three and culled twice," Patti said. "I really thought other boats would have found it, but when I went in there, I only saw one boat far away, so that was a pleasant surprise. I'll probably give that area a little more time tomorrow."

Kreiger fifth

Yet another Okeechobee local, Koby Kreiger of Okeechobee, Fla., rounds out the top five pros with a three-day total of 51 pounds, 4 ounces.

"I started the day with a Horny Toad, and it was game on for the first two and a half hours - I mean it was unreal," Kreiger said. "If I had landed everything that blew up on me in there, there's no telling what I could have weighed today."

Big bass

Ron Figueroa of Evans, Ga., caught the Big Bass in the Pro Division on day three weighing 7 pounds, 15 ounces for $500.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros in the Walmart FLW Series BP Eastern on Lake Okeechobee after day three:Tom Mann, Jr., of Buford, Ga., caught the biggesty limit of day three weighing 23 pounds, 7 ounces to qualify for the top 10 in sixth.

6th: Tom Mann Jr. of Buford, Ga., three-day total 50-10
7th: Shonn Goodwin of Moore, Okla., 50-5
8th: Mike Surman of Boca Raton, Fla., 50-4
9th: Shin Fukae of Mineola, Texas, 49-15
10th: Glenn Browne of Ocala, Fla., 49-14

Day four of the FLW Series Eastern will begin a 7 a.m. Saturday from Roland & Mary Ann Martin's Marina & Resort located at 920 E. Del Monte Ave. in Clewiston.

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2009-01-28-lake-okeechobee 

Carper Wins Big on St. Johns River

Carper Wins Big on St. Johns River

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine continued competition Saturday at the St. Johns River in Palatka, Florida – the first time that the Gator Division presented by A.R.E. has opened their season on the St. Johns River – and featured a major return on investment for the winner. READ MORE »

Lasyone Tops Record Field on Rayburn

Lasyone Tops Record Field on Rayburn

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine opened competition Saturday at the historic Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas, and featured a record-setting field size – 230 boaters and 230 co-anglers. The season opener, the largest field in more than 20 years, took off with multiple anglers left on the waiting list.  READ MORE »

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Weighing limits of 15 pounds, 13 ounces on day one and 15-3 on day two, Michael Miller of Greenville, S.C., overcame a tough-fishing Kentucky Lake to win the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card and qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

The Coastal Carolina University duo of Max McQuaide of Tyngsborough, Mass., and Grant Tattersall, of Conway, S.C., won the YETI FLW College Fishing tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Costa with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces. The victory earned the Chanticleers’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

By catching four quality smallmouth bass on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland, Missourian Chad Allison was able to come back from 10th place and win the co-angler division, earning more than $30,000. READ MORE »

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

For the second time this season, Andrew Upshaw is an FLW champion thanks to consistent days spent targeting big Southern smallmouths. The Tulsa, Okla., pro won the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Ky., with a three-day total weight of 42 pounds, 15 ounces. The win comes less than seven months after Upshaw won the FLW Tour event on Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW media staff provides unofficial weight estimates for the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Andrew Upshaw continues to roll on Cumberland. READ MORE »

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland was a bit tougher for some, given the post-frontal conditions featuring lighter winds, sun and cold temperatures. As projected, consistency has been the key and Andrew Upshaw continued to dial in his program adding 15 pounds, 1 ounce to his day-one bag of 14-15 for a total of 30 pounds even. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Championship proved to be about as challenging as many anglers anticipated after a tough practice period, but it wasn’t all bad. Zimbabwe’s Roger Cousens certainly wasn’t complaining. His tournament-leading 17-pound, 2-ounce bag was exactly what he had hoped for as the tournament kicked off, and he’s gunning for another big stringer today. READ MORE »

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

The FLW International Division is well represented in the Costa FLW Series Championship, and perhaps none represented the division better than Roger Cousens of Zimbabwe, who didn’t seem bothered by the stingy conditions of Lake Cumberland on day one. With the only bag that topped 17 pounds for the day (17-2), Cousens enters day two with a 3-ounce lead over Robert Nakatomi, who qualified from the Western Division. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

With rain early and a cold snap forecasted to move in this afternoon, the first day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland could present some unique challenges for the 193-boat field, especially after a fairly mild and pleasant practice period.  READ MORE »

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Roger Fitzpatrick has had quite a fall fishing season. He won the BFL Super Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks in September, then qualified for the All-American by winning the BFL Regional on Grand Lake in October. READ MORE »

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

The Drury University duo of Cole Breeden of Eldridge, Missouri and Cameron Smith, of Nixa, Missouri, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Pro Shops with a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Panthers’ bass club $2,650 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Mark Myers of Cedar Falls, Iowa, is no stranger to the victory circle with FLW, having previously won a BFL as a boater to go with two FLW Tour victories as a co-angler and two more as a co-angler in Costa FLW Series competition. But, his latest win at the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes is the realization of his long-time goal to qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

A severe storm backed up the tides and drained many of the best areas on the Potomac. Adjusting to the unusual conditions and grinding out daily limits were the keys to success in the BFL Regional. READ MORE »

New Dominates Seminole Regional

New Dominates Seminole Regional

Belmont, N.C., angler Bryan New, who’s regularly one of FLW’s top performers in the grassroots ranks, had established a dominant pace. New weighed in 22 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and added 20-2 on day two to carry a lead of 6 pounds, 15 ounces into the finals. A roughly 7-pound margin isn’t necessarily a sure thing on Seminole, but the fall bite was a bit slower than what the lake can produce, and it was obvious New was cruising. READ MORE »

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude was no walk in the park for the top 10 pros. With a cold front passing through at the start of the event, a high-pressure system settled in for the final round of fishing. While most struggled, Dylan Hays of El Dorado, Ark., sacked up 14 pounds, 6 ounces today – the biggest limit brought in during the final day – and finally was able to wrangle his first FLW title. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude is fixing to get fun based on what’s already happened today and what could happen. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Sure enough, with conditions changing from rain and clouds to sun and wind, the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks, which is presented by Evinrude, has made it tough on guys. Of course, day-two leader James Watson predicted that some of the biggest bags of the event would come in today despite the conditions, and he was right. READ MORE »