UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Osinski Leads Tough Day One

Osinski Leads Tough Day One
Tournament leader Val Osinski experienced a flurry of activity late this morning and capitalized for a 26-pound limit.

Day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division event on Lake Okeechobee saw perfect weather and produced some puzzling results. Local ace Val Osinski took the lead in the tournament, which is presented by Power-Pole, with an even 26 pounds, the best of only six limits that weighed more than 20 pounds. On a day that saw both McMillan brothers finish below 40th place and a ton of small fish brought in, Osinski managed to hammer out a more than respectable weight.

“It didn’t seem like I hammered them, but I caught some good fish,” says Osinski, the owner of Gambler Lures. “I got on one good stretch with fish coming in, and I culled everything I had in the boat in about 45 minutes.”

Osinski fished two spots before arriving at the area that held his big bag, and then spent the majority of the day there. Despite the temptation to look for off-the-wall places to cope with the 250-boat field, he felt that sticking with areas that had a track record of productivity was important.

“I was basically just flipping isolated reeds with a Gambler Lures Why Not,” Osinski says. “I’m not sure I can do it again tomorrow. I know a lot of other guys saw me catch those fish, and Joe Holland [the third-place pro] is in the area too, though he’s not fishing the exact same stuff. If we can find a way to split up those fish up and I have some space to work with I think I could do it again tomorrow.”

 

Trevor Fitzgerald is among a group of five Floridians who currently hold the top six spots on day one at Lake Okeechobee. He caught 24-1.2nd place – Trevor Fitzgerald – 24 pounds, 1 ounce

Adding on to a local-dominated top six was Belleview, Fla., pro Trevor Fitzgerald, who held the lead for under a minute before Osinski snatched it away. Fitzgerald’s day started slowly, but he managed to put together a solid limit before landing much of his bag later in the afternoon.

“I’m flipping mats and stuff like that,” Fitzgerald says. “When the sun gets up in the middle of the day it positions them where I need them. They’re just too scattered in the morning.”

Despite strong winds forecast for tomorrow, Fitzgerald says he has a number of protected areas to fish and isn’t too concerned about the change in conditions. Though he was understandably reticent about his exact presentations, he seemed confident in his ability to generate bites when others might not.

 

All the way from Maine, Joe Holland traded snow and ice for this 22-pound, 3-ounce limit of Florida hawgs. He's currently in third place.3rd place – Joe Holland – 22 pounds, 3 ounces

One of the few pros from the early flights to bring in a big bag, Jefferson, Maine, pro Joe Holland jumped out to a big lead early and held it for most of the weigh-in.

“This lake has been hot for months now, and it has been getting pounded,” says Holland. “A lot of the weeds look like they have been in a barbershop because of how many trolling motors have been over them, and I’m just looking for places that don’t have that effect.”

Holland says that after catching a small limit by fishing moving baits in the morning, he put his head down and flipped tight cover with a Gambler Lures Burner Craw, the same bait with a punch skirt and a Gambler Lures Why Not.

 

He won the inaugural Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee back in 1996, and Thursday Mike Surman put himself into position for a chance at another Big O victory. He's in fourth place with 20-12.4th place – Mike Surman – 20 pounds, 12 ounces

Mike Surman won the very first Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee 20 years ago, and he put himself in great position to be in the running for a Rayovac FLW Series win this week.

“Fishing was a lot tougher than I thought it would be,” the Florida pro says. “The weather was absolutely gorgeous. It can be tough when it slicks off, but it shouldn’t have been this tough.

“I feel confident for tomorrow, but it’s going to take a really good bag of fish to make the cut for day three. I would really like a 25-pound bag, and this lake has a lot of them, but they can be awfully hard to come by.”

Surman was shy about how he caught them, but he did have some slightly unusual timing, catching all but one of his big fish in the morning around 10 o’clock.

 

He's a legend, and he helped put Lake Okeechobee on the map. Now Roland Martin is within striking distance of the lead at the 2015 Rayovac FLW Series opener.5th place – Roland Martin – 20 pounds, 10 ounces

Legendary angler Roland Martin edged out his son, Scott, for fifth place and appears to be in great position for one of his highest finishes with FLW in a long while.

Martin reported catching a small limit early in the north end of the lake, but not upgrading substantially until about noon.

“I had some schooling areas that I really thought I would have better luck with,” he says. “I caught a limit, but they weren’t the size I thought they would be. Then I started pitching and flipping and went from there.”

Martin also seems to be fortunate in that he has his water to himself – a blessing not often found on Okeechobee.

 

Rest of the Top 10 Pros

6th place - Scott Martin - 19-14

7th place -  Hensley Powell - 19-13

8th place - Robert Knobb - 18-15

9th place - Ron Nelson - 18-4

10th place - Tim Frederick - 18-2

 

He had to wait for almost 500 other anglers to cross the stage before him, but Daniel Beebe's wait was worth it. The Niota, Tenn., co-angler took the early lead with a 22-5 limit.Beebe Takes Commanding Co-angler Lead

Daniel Beebe lit up the scales late in the day with an impressive 22 pounds, 5 ounces of bass to take more than a 5-pound lead over his closest competitor in the co-angler competition.

“I missed five of my first seven bites, but I didn’t get discouraged,” Beebe says. “Then we got into a school of them, and I caught all my fish in about an hour and a half. It was one after another. We were right off the main lake, and I caught about 15 fish. I fished here last year in the Rayovac and had about 2 1/2 pounds, so this is some great redemption.”

Beebe says that he ended up sharing the key bait with his pro and opted (probably wisely) to keep it a secret for now.

 

Rest of the Top 10 Co-Anglers

2nd place - Moses Wilson - 16-12

3rd place - Ken Crumpler - 16-2

4th place - Theron (Cody) Pinchin - 14-8

5th place - Michael Padgett - 13-9

6th place - Jody Moore - 13-7

7th place - Frelon Moore - 13-6

8th place - Douglas Conklin - 13-3

9th place - Donnie Dodd - 13-2

10th place - Johnny Nguyen - 13-1

 

Big Bass

Pro: Ryan Bowman - 9 pounds, 5 ounces

Co-angler: Theron (Cody) Pinchin - 7 pounds, 4 ounces

 

Complete Results

For complete results, click here.

Check out all the photos from day one. 

To see Clent Davis and Barry Wilson fishing on day one, click here

 

Details

Format:

All 250 boaters and co-anglers will compete for two days. The top 10 boaters and co-anglers based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.

 

Takeoff Time:

7 a.m.

 

Takeoff Location:

Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort

920 East Del Monte Avenue

Clewiston, FL 33440

 

Weigh-In Time:

Days 1 and 2 – 3 p.m.

Day 3 – 4 p.m.

 

Weigh-In Location:

Days 1 and 2 – Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort

Day 3 – Walmart 2484, 1005 W Sugarland Hwy., Clewiston, FL 33440

Tags: jody-white  headline-story  2015-01-22-lake-okeechobee 

How to Catch Winter Bass on Hair Jigs

How to Catch Winter Bass on Hair Jigs

“It’s hard to pass up smallmouths in the winter,” Slegona says. “When they get bunched up out there you can have a lights-out day. So, when that water temp drops below 50, I break out the hair jig box, and I put it away again in the spring when the water gets warm.” READ MORE »

Less Stress and More Fun

Less Stress and More Fun

After qualifying for the FLW Tour out of the FLW Series Northern Division for the second time in 2018, Slegona finally had the money lined up and hit the big leagues. So, he pointed his Tundra and Skeeter toward Texas in December to start an adventure that was a lifetime in the making. READ MORE »

Make a Tiny Swimbait Your Winter Go-To

Make a Tiny Swimbait Your Winter Go-To

Wintertime and late fall fishing can be super fun, especially up north, when smallmouths are often fat and fairly grouped up. However, it’s not the time of year when you want a ton of rods on deck, and having a confidence bait or two is a must. For Casey Smith, the go-to winter weapon is super simple: a little bitty swimbait on a jighead. 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 »

How to Rock Fall Largemouths

How to Rock Fall Largemouths

Smith says that the best time for fall largemouth fishing happens after the first big cold snap, when the water finally drops below 60 degrees.   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 »

Olson Scouts Cumberland

Olson Scouts Cumberland

At just 19 years old, Lane Olson is fishing in the Costa FLW Series Championship. Were he from Alabama or Texas or any number of other southern states known for their bass fishing, that wouldn’t be too surprising. But Olson is schlepping all the way to Kentucky from Oregon, where he finished second in the Western Division Angler of the Year standings, missing out on the top spot by just one point. 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 »

Roaming Cumberland with Davidson

Roaming Cumberland with Davidson

Davidson, a West Virginia native, qualified for the Costa FLW Series Championship out of the Northern Division and has fished the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division quite a bit. He’s spent a lot of time on Cumberland and nearby Dale Hollow in the cooler months. As such, he’s one of a handful that pundits are definitely keeping an eye on heading into the championship, and he was kind enough to let me tag along for part of the second practice day on the Kentucky reservoir. READ MORE »

The Layout of Lake Cumberland

The Layout of Lake Cumberland

The ninth largest reservoir in the U.S., Lake Cumberland is a perfect stage for the Costa FLW Series Championship. Home to all three bass species and over 1000 miles of shoreline, the lake can swallow up a big field with relative ease, and with the fall bite starting to pick up in earnest and the water level lower than usual, the fishing should be pretty good. 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 »