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Medlock’s jigging madness brings EverStart win on Big O

Medlock’s jigging madness brings EverStart win on Big O
Brandon Medlock of Lake Placid, Fla., shows off his kicker bass to win the EverStart Series Southeast event on Lake Okeechobee.

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. - Mother Nature saved her biggest breath for the last day of the EverStart Series Southeast event on Lake Okeechobee. Today winds howled a sustained 20 mph out of the west, making fishing difficult for the top 10 pros fishing Saturday.

For those trying to sight-fish, visibility was limited, and those who were punching mats found the winds had compressed their mats so tight that getting a bait through the canopy was more difficult than on previous days.

But the sound of howling wind was music to the ears of Brandon Medlock of Lake Placid, Fla. That's because Medlock had the remedy for the conditions: a custom-made 1-ounce jig that was specifically designed to fish Florida's weedy waters on days just like this.The Champion of the first EverStart Series event of 2001: Brandon Medlock of Lake Placid, Fla.,

While wind hampered other pros' patterns, Medlock took advantage of the situation today, catching 19 pounds, 2 ounces on his dad's custom-made jig to win the EverStart event with a three-day total of 63 pounds, 8 ounces worth $35,000.

"This is unbelievable," Medlock said after his victory. "This is my first EverStart event, and I was just hoping for a top-10 (finish). I owe it all to my dad's jig; it's custom made to fish Florida lakes, especially on windy days."

The jig - called a Medlock's Double-guard jig and available at Fishing Headquarters in Okeechobee, Fla. - features a double weedguard protecting the hook from grabbing weeds.

Medlock used a 1-ounce model in a standard black-and-blue color, trimmed with a black-and-blue chunk and tied to 65-pound-test Power Pro braided line.

He pitched the jig to sparse, isolated clumps of reeds and cattails in the Horse Island area. Even though Medlock could not see fish on beds, he's certain that's what the fish were doing, given the light spots around the clumps.

The method to Medlock's madness was to make long, accurate pitches to the clumps and get a reaction bite from unsuspecting bass. The technique was as simple as making a pitch, letting it drop one time and reeling it back for another pitch just as fast as he could.

"Fish don't see many jigs on Okeechobee," Medlock said. "And with the 1-ounce model, you can zip it accurately, straight to the target you want to hit, even in heavy wind. The jig flares in the fish's face, and it's a total reaction bite."
The winning lure: Medlock
During the course of three days, Medlock weighed in 28-1, 16-5 and 19-2 on the jig. Of the 16-5 day, he said the only reason it was his lightest day is because he lost two giants.

Medlock's key area in Horse Island was only a quarter-mile long and he milked it each day, noting that he caught multiple fish off certain clumps during the event.

"I've fished the Horse Island area for the last 12 years," he added. "I know where they come in there this time of year to spawn. In practice I found one little area that had a male bass on nearly every reed, and I knew the big females were not far behind. Sure enough, that's where I won the tournament."

McMillan second
Brandon McMillan of Belle Glade, Fla., finished runner-up with a three-day total of 58-1.
Day-two leader Brandon McMillan of Belle Glade, Fla., brought in 10 pounds, 11 ounces today, but it was not enough to hold off the hard-charging Medlock.

McMillan finished runner-up with a three-day total of 58 pounds, 1 ounce worth $12,000.

While the wind had also been McMillan's friend the last two days, piling up new mats for him to fish each day, today the strength of the wind had compacted the vegetation so tight that his efficiency of getting the bait through the canopy dwindled considerably.

"Instead of making 500 clean punches, I probably only made 200 punches," McMillan said. "Even the small mats were so tight that I had to pitch the bait way up in the air to get it to go through instead of a nice subtle pitch and letting it slide through the mat."

McMillan fished the North Shore area, and his key punching baits included a Gambler BB Cricket, a Crawdaddy and Bruiser Baits Swimming Shad.

Windham third
Despite a dislocated shoulder and broken trolling motor, Yancy Windham of Reform, Ala., rallied to third place.
Despite already having a dislocated shoulder and then losing his trolling motor to rough water this morning, Yancy Windham of Reform, Ala., sacked up 17 pounds, 11 ounces today to jump from eighth place to third to earn $10,000 with a three-day total of 54-15.

Windham dislocated his shoulder before leaving home, and when rough water destroyed his trolling motor this morning, he remained undaunted and managed to sight-fish his catch against all the odds.

"I love sight-fishing," Windham said. "I do it a lot back home, and I win a lot of money looking at them. And the tougher the conditions, the better I like it because it makes sight-fishing a true challenge. When it's easy, like the first day, everyone can do it. But when it gets really bad like it was today, it becomes a whole new ball game in terms of seeing the fish."

Windham's primary sight-fishing bait this week was a white Venom Lures Sweet Dream creature bait rigged on 65-pound-test Power Pro braid and 25-pound-test Seaguar fluorocarbon.

Jenkins fourth
Frank Jenkins of Fort Myers, Fla., finished fourth with a three-day total of 54-13.
Frank Jenkins of Fort Myers, Fla., finished fourth with a three-day total of 54 pounds, 13 ounces worth $9,000.

Jenkins spent his week sight-fishing with a Sweet Beaver and swimming a Skinny Dipper over flats in the North Shore area where bass were spawning.

"This morning, it was on when I got to my primary area - they were eating it up," said Jenkins, who weighed 14-12 today. "But once the sun came up, it was over - I mean over. The first five fish I caught in the first hour of the morning were the ones I weighed in."

Tharp fifth
Randall Tharp of Gardendale, Ala., finished fifth with a three-day total of 54-12.
EverStart pro Randall Tharp of Gardendale, Ala., finished fifth with a three-day total of 54 pounds, 12 ounces worth $8,000.

This marks Tharp's sixth tournament visit to the Big O and his fourth top-10 cut.

During the week Tharp assembled a trio of techniques that included sight-fishing, swimming a big worm and mat flipping.

Today he caught all of his bass flipping mats to weigh in 11 pounds, 3 ounces on the day.

His primary flipping gear included a 1 ¼-ounce tungsten weight, a Mystic Bug, a 4/0 Trokar hook and 70-pound-test braided line.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros in the EverStart Southeast event on Lake Okeechobee:

6th: Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Ala., three-day total of 53-10, $7,000
7th: Joey Thigpen of St. Johns, Fla., three-day total of 48-11, $6,000
8th: Rodger Beaver of Dawson, Ga., three-day total of 46-5, $5,000
9th: JT Kenney of Palm Bay, Fla., three-day total of 44-6, $4,000
10th: Derek Yasinski of Senoia, Ga., three-day total of 40-10, $3,000

The next stop on the EverStart Southeast schedule will be Lake Guntersville Feb. 24-26.

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2011-01-06-lake-okeechobee 

Lake County Drops 23-9 on Clear Lake

Lake County Drops 23-9 on Clear Lake

The Lake County High School Fishing Club duo of Cooper Goff and Nathan Phillips, both of Kelseyville, California, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 9 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Clear Lake Open. READ MORE »

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Clear Lake is always a fun place to fish, but wind, rain and cooler temperatures made things tough for the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats, and the famed fishery wasn't as kind as it can be with many pros struggling as the week went on. Kyle Grover, on the other hand, only got better as the tournament progressed. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Drop-shotting tules was the main pattern for Uribe and knowing how to reach the fish made all the difference. Adjusting to the conditions was definitely key on day two, and no doubt the rest of the top pros had to go with the flow to stay in sight of the title. READ MORE »

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

When weather woes nixed Joe Uribe Jr.’s initial objective, the resilient angler from Surprise, Ariz., refocused his effort and sacked up a limit of 19 pounds, 5 ounces to take over the lead on day two of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina with a total weight of 41-13. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake was in a foul, foul mood this morning for the second day’s launch of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. Absent was the drizzly rain of yesterday, but the tradeoff was a 15- to 20-mph northwest wind that turned the lake into a washing machine. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., benefitted from a double dose of Clear Lake kickers when he found the right set of docks in a major spawning bay. Finesse baits did the trick up shallow for the day one leader at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats. Other slow presentations served his brief offshore work. Handling the day’s weather challenges was a big part of Olson’s success.  Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., was able to separate himself from the pack on day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats with a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds. One of four anglers to crack 20 pounds, Olson leads second-place pro Joe Uribe Jr. by 2 1/2 pounds. The rest of the top 20 are packed together with just a few pounds separating them.  READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

The weather system pushing through northern California brought dreary, drizzly conditions interspersed with occasional steady spells of light rain for day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. The sun made only a few peeking appearances, but there were several bright spots in the morning’s activity. READ MORE »

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

The South Laurel High School team of Shawn Coots and Trent Keltner weighed 19 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and 13-4 on day two for a 32-13 total and the win in the 2019 Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) State Bass Fishing Championship on Kentucky Lake. READ MORE »

Manson Nets Third Win

Manson Nets Third Win

Scott Manson of Covington, Ohio, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 13 pounds, 4 ounces, to take top honors at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division opener on Grand Lake-St. Mary’s presented by Navionics. For his efforts, Manson netted $4,046. READ MORE »

Herron, Rutland tie on Lay Lake

Herron, Rutland tie on Lay Lake

Dusty Herron of Alabaster, Alabama, and Chris Rutland of Wetumpka, Alabama, each caught five bass Saturday weighing 16 pounds even to tie for the win at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bama Division tournament on Lay Lake. After contingency awards, Rutland earned $3,435, while Herron took home $2,435. READ MORE »

Shad Spawn Takes Elrod to Top

Shad Spawn Takes Elrod to Top

Bryan Elrod of Mechanicsville, Virginia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division tournament on Smith Mountain Lake presented by Navionics Saturday with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 1 ounce. For his efforts, Elrod pocketed $3,766. READ MORE »

Burroughs Dials Blueback Spawn

Burroughs Dials Blueback Spawn

Jason Burroughs of Hodges, South Carolina, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 16 pounds even win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River Division tournament on Lake Hartwell. For his efforts, Burroughs was awarded $3,572. READ MORE »

Wagner Makes it a Dozen

Wagner Makes it a Dozen

Adam Wagner of Cookeville, Tennessee, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 10 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament on Tims Ford Lake. Wagner took home $4,013 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 3

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 3

With just one keeper from his three primary pockets, leader Jake Morris might have left the door open on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division tournament at Table Rock Lake. His frog pattern might be fizzling out due to clear water and changing conditions. READ MORE »

Olliverson Triumphs on Table Rock

Olliverson Triumphs on Table Rock

Missouri pro Eric Olliverson came back from fourth place on the final day to unseat Jake Morris and company and win the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Power-Pole on Table Rock Lake. Olliverson’s 16-pound, 8-ounce bag on the final day gave him 46-3 for the tournament and the win by just 5 ounces over Dakota Ebare. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Table Rock – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Table Rock – Day 2

A few spawning bass are making their way to the scale in the top pros' bags, but most of the consistent action has come flipping or fishing topwater for largemouths, smallmouths and spotted bass at Table Rock. READ MORE »

Morris Still Rocking Table Rock

Morris Still Rocking Table Rock

Jake Morris of McKee, Ky., continues to lead the Costa FLW Series Central Division event at Table Rock Lake. Morris, who won the season opener at Kentucky Lake, has a two-day total of 32 pounds, 7 ounces. READ MORE »

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 1

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 1

Catching fish is hardly the problem right now at stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division at Table Rock Lake. It seemed like every pro our on-the-water crew pulled up on today, be it on the lower end or up the rivers, was setting the hook with reckless abandon. Unfortunately, the quality has been extremely lacking. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Table Rock – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Table Rock – Day 1

The vast majority of the field was able to scrounge up limits between 10 and 13 pounds, but getting over the 13-pound mark has been a challenge at the Costa FLW Series Central Division event, which is presented by Power-Pole and hosted by Explore Branson. READ MORE »