Live now : Sam Rayburn Reservoir - FLW Live Coverage

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 

Sam Rayburn Day 4 Coverage

Sam Rayburn Day 4 Coverage

John Cox was coasting through days one and two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit opener on Sam Rayburn. It wasn’t luck, but Cox simply had a spot that was doing a lot of the work for him. One cast, repeat, repeat again. That spot failed him on day three, and he scrambled just to scrounge up enough weight to retain the lead going into Championship Sunday. Now, Corey Neece and Darold Gleason are hot on his trail after both having put together spectacular performances yesterday. Either one could challenge Cox with ease today if their patterns and spots hold steady.  READ MORE »

Cox Losing Ground on Rayburn

Cox Losing Ground on Rayburn

READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Day 3 Coverage

Sam Rayburn Day 3 Coverage

The final 30 anglers are blasting off and headed to their first spots of the day. By the time the smoke clears this evening, we'll have 10 pros left to fish tomorrow, all chasing that $100,000 check and a huge jump start on the Angler of the Year points race. READ MORE »

Cox Leads by 5 pounds at Rayburn

Cox Leads by 5 pounds at Rayburn

Day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Sam Rayburn offered fairly tough conditions, but the cream of the crop still caught a lot of Texas bass. In first, John Cox stayed steady with an 18-pound, 12-ounce limit to get up to a 40-3. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Day 2 Coverage

Sam Rayburn Day 2 Coverage

After an overcast and calm start to the first day on Sam Rayburn, day two looks to be offering much different weather conditions. The forecast calls for sunny skies all day, though it should be as windy, or windier, than it was to close day one. That's potentially good news for a good portion of the field, as conditions should more closely resemble what anglers had to work with during practice. READ MORE »

Cox Cranks Up Lead on Rayburn

Cox Cranks Up Lead on Rayburn

In what had to be an ironic sight, while Cox watched others around him beat Sam Rayburn’s shallow brush, the DeBary, Fla., pro sacked up 21 pounds, 7 ounces and take the day one lead by focusing out deeper with a crankbait to kick off the new Pro Circuit season. READ MORE »

Cox Leads with 21 at Rayburn

Cox Leads with 21 at Rayburn

Day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit on Sam Rayburn provided plenty of fish, but none of the mega-bags that hit the scale in 2019. As is often the case, John Cox is in the lead after day one, with 21 pounds, 7 ounces. Behind him, are a strong collection of tour veterans, up-and-coming pros and local talent. In second with 21-4 is Greg Bohannan and close behind him is Darold Gleason with 21-3. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Day 1 Coverage

Sam Rayburn Day 1 Coverage

The 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit season is officially underway on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in East Texas. With the new season comes some fresh faces and familiar favorites, all of whom are looking to get a head start on the rest of the field in the 2020 Angler of the Year points standings. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Sam Rayburn

FLW Live Leaderboard - Sam Rayburn

FLW Marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the first stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

Wrapping up Practice with Osborne

Wrapping up Practice with Osborne

Last season, Jordan Osborne made the top 10 in the season opener on Sam Rayburn, and he’s got the chance to kick things off in a similar style this week. READ MORE »

Day 2 of Practice with Miller

Day 2 of Practice with Miller

At just 20 years old, Colby Miller is pretty young to be a rookie on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit. However, the Elmer, La., native isn’t lacking in accolades, as he’s now finished 24th or better in points in the Southwestern Division of the FLW Series two years in a row. Additionally, he’s starting the season close to home – Miller guides for bass and crappie on nearby Toledo Bend, and he’s got a lot of tournament time in on Sam Rayburn. READ MORE »

Riding Rayburn with Tutt

Riding Rayburn with Tutt

One of the nicest and most experienced pros on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, Jim Tutt has fished about everywhere, but he calls Texas home. Last year, Tutt finished fifth in the season-opener on Sam Rayburn, and it’s also where he earned one of his three FLW Series-level wins. READ MORE »

How to Prep Like a Pro

How to Prep Like a Pro

When it comes to getting ready for a season of tournaments, there are plenty of ways to do it. But, there’s no denying that for most people, being prepared will lead to better performance on the water. READ MORE »

2020 Harris Chain Preview

2020 Harris Chain Preview

One of the most fun places FLW visits, the Harris Chain is a collection of lakes in central Florida that includes Lake Harris, Lake Apopka, Lake Griffin, Lake Eustis, Lake Dora, Lake Carlton, Horseshoe Lake, Little Lake Harris, Lake Denham and Lake Beauclair. In all, the pros have the run of 10 lakes, plus the myriad residential canals, rivers and backwaters that spread out off of them. READ MORE »

2020 Lake Hartwell Preview

2020 Lake Hartwell Preview

Built on the Savannah, Tugaloo and Seneca rivers on the border of South Carolina and Georgia, Lake Hartwell is a fairly typical example of a Southeastern spotted bass and largemouth fishery. Though there are shad and bream, the primary forage is blueback herring. Hartwell has very little vegetation outside of flooded dog fennel, and the primary cover types are docks, rock, shoreline wood, brush and cane piles. READ MORE »

2020 Detroit River Preview

2020 Detroit River Preview

Though the Pro Circuit finale takes off from the Detroit River, that’s hardly the only place the pros will be fishing. Takeoff is near the southern mouth of the river, giving pros easy access to the west end of Lake Erie. At the other end of the river is Lake St. Clair, which has been home to some of the most epic smallmouth beatdowns on record in recent years. READ MORE »

Bulldog Division Kicks off at Lake Lanier

Bulldog Division Kicks off at Lake Lanier

Perhaps the hottest spotted bass lake in the East, Lanier should be rocking for the Bulldog Division opener. With lots of plump wintertime spotted bass coming to the scale, along with some largemouths, it would be no surprise to see a winning weight in excess of 20 pounds.   READ MORE »

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 »

Choo Choo Division Kicks off at Lake Guntersville

Choo Choo Division Kicks off at Lake Guntersville

According to pro Casey Martin, who once won a BFL on Guntersville with a whopping 40 pounds, 11 ounces, it’s not unreasonable to expect a mid- or upper 20s bag to win this time. READ MORE »

Check-In Time: Matt Becker

Check-In Time: Matt Becker

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with Matt Becker.  READ MORE »