UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Conditions are Changing on the Big O

Scott Martin puts the hammer down and heads out onto his home lake.

Day one of the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Power-Pole kicked off this morning out of C. Scott Driver Park. A full field of 250 pros and co-anglers blasted off in the first stop of the 2016 Southeastern Division, which is hosted by Okeechobee County Tourism. Competition will be tough as the anglers vie for the $60,000 top prize.

The lake has been on fire recently. Last weekend, the BFL series opener took a whopping 31 pounds to win. However, conditions have changed, and anglers are reporting a tougher bite in the wake of a cold front that moved in this week.

 

About the Fishery

Okeechobee is known as one of the best fisheries on the planet. It encompasses more t han 450,000 acres of grass-filled water, making the lake a big-fish factory. The lake has many well-known areas that hold fish – such as the Monkey Box, Harney Pond and South Bay – and they should all be players this week. Though it looks large on a map, the lake often fishes small come tournament time as anglers crowd in to popular community holes.

 

Current Conditions

It was a brisk 60 degrees at the 7:30 takeoff. The anglers will be battling post-frontal conditions today, but warmer weather is forecast for the upcoming days. However, the warmer air is predicted to bring wind and rain with it. Friday, the forecast is for heavy rain and a strong southern wind. A steady blow could raise the water level on the northern part of the lake by nearly a foot or more and throw a major wrench in many game plans.

 

Tactics in Play

It sounds like a decent wave of bass have already spawned. Anglers are seeing empty beds and fry swimming around. This cold snap will likely delay the next wave and push bass deeper into the vegetation. Flipping into the heavy mats with compact Texas-rigged plastics or heavy jigs will be the strategy of many anglers. If the water temps rise by Saturday, then moving baits – vibrating jigs, swim jigs and swimbaits – could be factors to put numbers of fish in the boat.

 

Critical Factors

Catching a heavy bag today will be crucial. Randy Haynes, who had a strong finish in this event last year, made that clear.

“You need a big bag on day one, probably around 30 pounds. Then maybe 15 to 18 pounds on the following days," he says. "I don’t see anyone staying consistent in this weather.”

The other big thing to keep an eye on will be the wind and how it affects water clarity. Strong winds can dirty up water in a hurry on this pond, and having an alternative plan to combat that is crucial. Guys with prior experience on Okeechobee or who put extra time in during practice developing a contingency plan have a strong shot at making it to Saturday.

 

Dock Talk

Catching a limit will not be hard. Anglers can catch small 13-inch males guarding fry until they are blue in the face, but finding the larger females will be the key to a winning bag. We’ve heard estimates from 59 to 65 pounds to be the winning weight.

 

Tournament 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: 7:30 a.m.

Takeoff Location: C. Scott Driver Park, 10100 West Highway 78, Okeechobee, FL 34972

Weigh-In Time: Days 1 & 2 & 3 at 3 p.m. ET

Weigh-In Location: C. Scott Driver Park, 10100 West Highway 78, Okeechobee, FL 34972

 

Big Money on the Big O

Lake Okeechobee has been like money in the bank for Costa FLW Series anglers – literally. It’s figured into some of the richest payouts in Series history, including what was then a record for a regular-season payout to the entire field: $417,000 for a Southeastern Division event in 2015.

 

This year’s tournament pays even more, given the new enhanced payout system that scales up proportionally across all places and pays out additional prize money for every 10 boats that enter beyond the 150-boat baseline. If all possible contingencies are paid out, plus Big Bass awards, the grand total of cash and prizes at the 2016 Costa FLW Series opener with its maximum field of 250 boats will be $466,050, with an impressive $105,000 in cash and prizes going to the winning pro.

 

Here’s how the paychecks break down at Lake Okeechobee this weekend, based on standings and the Big Bass prize money:

Place  Pro                   Ranger Cup                                            Co-angler                                Ranger Cup

1          $60,000            Ranger Z518C with                                 Ranger Z175 with

                                     200HP Outboard                                     90HP Outboard + $2,500         $5,000

2           $25,500                                                                           $7,500                                   

3           $17,000                                                                           $6,000                                   

4           $15,000                                                                           $4,500                                   

5           $14,000                                                                           $4,000                                   

6           $10,500                                                                           $3,500                                   

7             $9,000                                                                           $3,000                                   

8             $8,000                                                                           $2,250                                   

9             $7,000                                                                           $1,700                                   

10           $5,000                                                                           $1,450                                   

11           $4,700                                                                           $1,100                                   

12           $4,000                                                                           $1,100                                   

13           $3,500                                                                           $1,100                                   

14           $3,500                                                                           $1,100                                   

15           $3,500                                                                           $1,100                                   

16           $3,500                                                                               $900                                   

17           $3,500                                                                               $900                                   

18           $3,500                                                                               $900                                   

19           $3,500                                                                               $900                                   

20           $3,500                                                                               $900                                   

21           $2,850                                                                               $800                                   

22           $2,850                                                                               $800                                   

23           $2,850                                                                               $800                                   

24           $2,850                                                                               $800                                   

25           $2,850                                                                               $800                                   

26           $2,600                                                                               $700                                   

27           $2,600                                                                               $700                                   

28           $2,600                                                                               $700                                   

29           $2,600                                                                               $700                                   

30           $2,600                                                                               $700                                   

31           $2,200                                                                               $600                                   

32           $2,200                                                                               $600                                   

33           $2,200                                                                               $600                                   

34           $2,200                                                                               $600                                   

35           $2,200                                                                               $600                                   

36           $2,200                                                                               $600                                   

37           $2,200                                                                               $600                                   

38           $2,200                                                                               $600                                   

39           $2,200                                                                               $600                                   

40           $2,200                                                                               $600                                   

41           $2,180                                                                               $590                                   

42           $2,180                                                                               $590                                   

43           $2,180                                                                               $590                                   

44           $2,160                                                                               $580                                   

45           $2,160                                                                               $580                                   

46           $2,140                                                                               $570                                   

47           $2,140                                                                               $570                                   

48           $2,140                                                                               $570                                   

49           $2,120                                                                               $560                                   

50           $2,120                                                                               $560                                   

51           $2,120                                                                               $560                                   

52           $2,120                                                                               $550                                   

53           $2,120                                                                               $550                                   

54           $2,080                                                                               $540                                   

55           $2,080                                                                               $540                                   

56           $2,080                                                                               $540                                   

57           $2,080                                                                               $530                                   

58           $2,080                                                                               $530                                   

59           $2,080                                                                               $530                                   

60           $2,040                                                                               $520                                   

61           $2,040                                                                               $520                                   

62           $2,020                                                                               $510                                   

63           $2,020                                                                               $510                                   

64           $2,020                                                                               $510                                   

65           $2,000                                                                               $500                                   

66           $2,000                                                                               $500                                   

67           $2,000                                                                               $500                                   

BB1           $300                                                                               $200                                   

BB2           $300                                                                               $200                                   

 

Follow FLW

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Periscope

 

 

Tags: lake-okeechobee  chris-burgan  morning-story  2016-01-14-lake-okeechobee 

Boynton Beach’s Stevens Catches 32-Pound Limit, Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Gator Division Tournament on Lake Okeechobee

Boynton Beach’s Stevens Catches 32-Pound Limit, Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Gator Division Tournament on Lake Okeechobee

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – Boater Kail Stevens of Boynton Beach, Florida, caught a massive five-bass limit Saturday weighing 32 pounds, 10 ounces, to win... READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Okeechobee

Top 10 Patterns from Okeechobee

Whether it was a canal or small sections of the lake, each pro in the top chose to hunker down in an area and milk it for all it was worth in the season opener of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division presented by Power-Pole. Here’s a look at how the action unfolded. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Okeechobee

Top 10 Baits from Okeechobee

Lake Okeechobee wasn’t her normal self in the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division opener presented by Power-Pole. Bites were few and far between, but the top-10 pros dialed it in and got it done. Winner Nick Thliveros relied heavily on a crankbait and so did others, but Florida faithful’s like swim jigs, soft plastics and topwaters also fared well. READ MORE »

Niles Rallies for Co-angler Title

Niles Rallies for Co-angler Title

The Southeastern Division event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Power-Pole was a grind no matter if you were in the front of the boat or back. Bites were few and far between, and as a co-angler just catching a keeper or two kept you in the hunt. Niles started strong with an opening-day limit worth 18-9 to have him in the lead. On day two, he cooled off and brought a goose egg to the stage. Still, his day-one weight carried him to the final round where he started the day in fourth. Paired with Brett Preuett, Niles got to work Saturday. READ MORE »

Thliveros Brings it Home

Thliveros Brings it Home

Nick Thliveros led after day two on Okeechobee and after weighing his lowest weight of the week, he was able to seal the deal for his first Costa FLW Series win as a pro. READ MORE »

Nick Thliveros Wins Costa FLW Series on Lake Okeechobee presented by Power-Pole

Nick Thliveros Wins Costa FLW Series on Lake Okeechobee presented by Power-Pole

CLEWISTON, Fla. (Feb. 2, 2019) – Florida boater Nick Thliveros of Saint Augustine, Florida, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 10 pounds, 15 ounces – enough to win the 2019 Costa FLW Series at Lake Okeechobee presented by Power-Pole. Thliveros, son of legendary bass angler Peter Thliveros, weighed in 15 bass over three days of competition totaling 46 pounds, 1... READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 2

Fishing as a whole is still tough on the Big O, but there was definitely an improvement today – especially for the guys at the top of the leaderboard. READ MORE »

Thliveros in Charge on Okeechobee

Thliveros in Charge on Okeechobee

Nick Thliveros is one day away from taking the title in the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 1

Things are tough on Okeechobee, but these pros cracked some of the code to wrangle solid catches. READ MORE »

Roder Out Front on Big O

Roder Out Front on Big O

Okeechobee is normally the place of dreams. This week, however, it isn’t quite living up to its reputation. Day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event on the Big O saw plenty of fish, though the quality bites were hard to come by. Troy Roder of Brookeland, Texas, set the pace early with a 19-pound, 15-ounce limit to grab the lead in the season opener – presented by Power-Pole – with a lead of over 4 pounds heading into Friday. READ MORE »

A Different Okeechobee

A Different Okeechobee

Cold fronts, dirty water and lower water levels make for an interesting start to the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division season. READ MORE »

Spawn on the Horizon at Okeechobee

Spawn on the Horizon at Okeechobee

Florida is a familiar place for FLW competition, and Lake Okeechobee is probably the best-known fishery the Sunshine State has to offer. So there shouldn’t be many surprises when the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division kicks off the season Jan. 31–Feb. 2 on the Big O with an event presented by Power-Pole. READ MORE »

Fort Myers’ Anderson Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Gator Division Opener on Lake Okeechobee

Fort Myers’ Anderson Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Gator Division Opener on Lake Okeechobee

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Boater David Anderson of Fort Myers, Florida, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 1 ounce, to win the 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League... READ MORE »

Clewiston Readies for Costa FLW Series at Lake Okeechobee presented by Power-Pole

Clewiston Readies for Costa FLW Series at Lake Okeechobee presented by Power-Pole

CLEWISTON, Fla. – The 2019 Costa Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) Series Southeastern division is set to open next week at Lake Okeechobee, Jan. 31- Feb. 2, with the Costa FLW Series at Lake Okeechobee presented by Power-Pole. Hosted by Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina & Resort and the Hendry County Tourism Development Council, the three-day tournament will... READ MORE »

2019 BFL Season Kicks Off This Weekend

2019 BFL Season Kicks Off This Weekend

While much of the northern United States is locked in a deep freeze, Southern bass anglers will be kicking off their 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League season with the Gator Division tournament at Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Fla., and the Cowboy Division tournament at Toledo Bend Reservoir in Many, La. READ MORE »

Perfect Weather Now on Tap in Texas

Perfect Weather Now on Tap in Texas

Amistad is one of south Texas’ most famous reservoirs – the other being Falcon. Though it’s not the juggernaut that it was in the not too distant past, Amistad is still an incredible tournament fishery, with room to spread out and plenty of grass and rocky structure to target for big giant wintertime bass. READ MORE »

Harmony drops 20 on Big O

Harmony drops 20 on Big O

The Harmony High School duo of Grady Johnson and Dawson Turner, both of St. Cloud, Florida, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 20 pounds, 1 ounce to win the 2018 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Okeechobee Open. READ MORE »

Here Comes Fall in the Ozarks

Here Comes Fall in the Ozarks

Mother Nature will deliver a big part of the story this week as the 2018 Costa FLW Series season comes to a close on Lake of the Ozarks. The tournament, which is presented by Evinrude, will wrap up the Central Division and finalize the field for the 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship scheduled for Nov. 1-3 at Lake Guntersville. READ MORE »

Promising Tides on Tap at the Cal Delta

Promising Tides on Tap at the Cal Delta

It’s kind of a good news-bad news deal on the California Delta this week as anglers take on this vast and storied fishery for the final event of the Costa FLW Series Western Division. READ MORE »

Labelle’s Milicevic Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Gator Division Finale on Lake Okeechobee

Labelle’s Milicevic Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Gator Division Finale on Lake Okeechobee

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – Boater Gary Milicevic of Labelle, Florida, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division tournament on Lake Okeechobee Sunday with a two-day cumulative... READ MORE »