UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Okeechobee Practice with Scott Martin

Okeechobee Practice with Scott Martin

Scott Martin is heading into the first Walmart FLW Tour event of the season with a full head of steam. After earning what might be the first of many Angler of the Year titles in 2015, he gets to kick off the year sleeping in his own bed and fishing Lake Okeechobee, the place where he grew up and where he has caught more than 50 bass weighing more than 10 pounds.

As such, there’s no one better to tag along with for a morning on the Big O.

 

 

After launching outside of the lock at Clewiston (the lock is closed due to the unusually high water in the lake), Martin headed out into one of Okeechobee’s many vast reed flats. The flats rim much of the lake, and are of varying composition. Sometimes cattails are totally impenetrable, and other times they open into big fields filled with pads, wiregrass and other vegetation.

 

Once he’d started fishing, the Clewiston pro was catching fish right off the bat. He started out in one of the hayfields, moving across it with the wind in a rough zigzag pattern. The vast sameness of Okeechobee is a challenge for many, and while Martin certainly knows many of the productive areas, he still needed to fish through them to find bass.

Every so often, he’d get a couple bites grouped together or spot a few beds in the hayfield and drop a waypoint to mark the spot. He says that even though big sections look the same, the fish will often group up on more specific spots within them. Though he doesn’t have any scientific research to support it, Martin’s assumption is that schools of fish usually move into the hayfields together and simply stay close when they begin spawning.

 

The Florida veteran says that one of the biggest mistakes he sees made on Okeechobee is that anglers will often fish into the wind. The shallow Florida bass necessitate stealth, and Martin always kept the wind at his back as he drifted and trolled through the grass in search of concentrations of bass. Come tournament time, or if the wind was strong, this is where Power-Poles come in especially handy.

 

This fish came while he was on the phone with his dad, Roland Martin, who was checking up on his progress. Though Roland is certainly an interested party, Scott wants a win more badly than most this week. With a long history and one win already under his belt on Okeechobee, Scott for sure has the tools to make it happen. He’s also more nervous for this one than usual because Okeechobee isn’t the same as always. The high water has changed some things and opened up parts of the lake previously inaccessible to bass and anglers. With that change comes opportunity. Scott is happy to chase consistency and another AOY, but he knows he’s got a chance to win this round.

 

Deep in the hayfields the water is super clear, with visibility down to almost 6 feet. Despite the high water, the constant presence of clean water way back in the reeds has Martin thinking that a sight-fishing party might be about to break out. 

 

Martin started the day with a fair number of rods on deck, but nothing crazy by Tour pro standards. He knows what to throw on Okeechobee, and though the high water has changed some things, the Florida standbys still get the job done. When he did pause to make a change, he was very organized, with the plastics he needed in a plastic tote and a bag and all his hooks and weights neatly organized in their own tackle trays.

 

Okeechobee is famous for being a community hole lake, but that wasn’t apparent today. There was an angler or two in most areas that Martin stopped but never any crowding. Even when someone is fishing a couple hundred yards away as Wesley Strader is in this picture, you still might not see him due to an intervening clump of cattails.

 

Martin began the day casting moving baits and pitching lighter soft plastics to pockets in the wiregrass and pads. Once the sun began to peek out from the clouds, he picked up his flipping stick for some cattail clumps. The sunshine also gave him the chance to simply cruise a bit on the trolling motor looking for beds.

 

It didn’t take long for his new strategy to pay off with the best fish of the morning. Though not a tournament winner on Okeechobee, this one could be a sign that the fishing is getting better by the minute.

 

Midmorning, it was time for me to head back to Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort. Nevertheless, Martin still made a few stops along the way to check the water clarity. This water is good to go – dark and clear just like it should be. Martin may well be back in the area before the day is done to check it for bass.

 

Martin let his Evinrude eat a little as we rolled back to the ramp in earnest. Now that pros use their own boats all four days during Tour events, he’s hoping to be running down Okeechobee in this boat looking for the win on Sunday. 

Tags: scott-martin  lake-okeechobee    jody-white  pre-tournament  2016-02-04-lake-okeechobee 

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Potomac River Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

As is so often the case, the first day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits on the Potomac River wasn’t quite as bad as some predicted in practice. Though it was hot and humid as all get out, plenty of limits hit the scale and enough pros weighed 12 pounds or better to make things really interesting READ MORE »

Reese Leads on the Potomac

Reese Leads on the Potomac

Day one of the Potomac River event, which is the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits, featured plenty of limits, but getting quality bites was definitely an issue for some. In the lead after day one, Marvin Reese of Randallstown, Md., weighed 14 pounds, 12 ounces to get things underway. Behind Reese, Justin Atkins and Jason Kervin both weighed 14-5, and Robert Grike rounded out the 14-pound brigade with 14-4. Overall, just 11 pros cracked the 12-pound mark on day one of the tournament, which is presented by Lowrance, but 8- and 9-pound limits weren’t too hard to come by.  READ MORE »

Potomac River Midday Update – Day 1

Potomac River Midday Update – Day 1

As predicted, day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits event on the Potomac River has been fairly tough. Though most folks have a fish or two, and many will undoubtedly fill limits by weigh-in, it certainly hasn’t been a catch-fest. READ MORE »

Underway on the Potomac

Underway on the Potomac

For the tournament, the wind isn’t forecast to be too strong any day, and the tides will be fairly standard, but not ideal from a timing standpoint. Today, low tide was at 6:15 a.m., and low tide on Saturday will be at 8:15. That means that pros will mostly be fishing a rising tide through the tournament, with the best windows likely coming early on Friday and Saturday. READ MORE »

Curveballs at the Cup

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When the field of 52 anglers arrived in Hot Springs, Ark., for the official practice period for the 2019 FLW Cup, they were greeted with sunshine, humidity and brutal daytime temperatures in the upper 90s. Early in the week, there was little mention of anything other than the same – a typical Arkansas summer forecast of sunny and hot. READ MORE »

High Tide Takes Langford to Top

High Tide Takes Langford to Top

Todd Langford of Great Falls, Virginia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division tournament on the Potomac River Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 2 ounces. Langford took home $2,600 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Mills Works Wood at Ohio River

Mills Works Wood at Ohio River

Craig Mills of Hamilton, Ohio, took top honors at Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament on the Ohio River at Tanners Creek after catching five bass weighing 10 pounds, 4 ounces. Mills took home $5,466 for his win. READ MORE »

Great Falls' Langford Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Potomac River

Great Falls' Langford Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Potomac River

MARBURY, Md. – Boater Todd Langford of Great Falls, Virginia, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Shenandoah Division tournament on the Potomac River Saturday... READ MORE »

Pollak Plays Current for Big Muddy W

Pollak Plays Current for Big Muddy W

Joe Pollak of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien Saturday after catching five bass weighing 15 pounds, 1 ounce. For his win, Pollack netted $4,586. READ MORE »

Lake Geneva’s Pollak Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien

Lake Geneva’s Pollak Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wis. – Boater Joe Pollak of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien... READ MORE »

Hamilton’s Mills Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Ohio River at Tanners Creek

Hamilton’s Mills Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Ohio River at Tanners Creek

LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. – Boater Craig Mills of Hamilton, Ohio, took top honors at Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament on the Ohio River at Tanners Creek... READ MORE »

Another Potomac Rumble Looms

Another Potomac Rumble Looms

Moving south from Lake Champlain, the second stop of the 2019 Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits is on the Potomac River. The tournament, which is presented by Lowrance and runs Aug. 22-24, should offer a fairly standard set of August conditions for the anglers, with plenty of quality largemouths to go around. READ MORE »

Slow Down in Brush for More Success

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Many times, hitting as many brush piles as possible is the key to success, with Bryan Thrift’s 2015 FLW Tour win on Lake Eufaula serving as a prime example of that strategy. However, with the fishing pretty tough on Lake Hamilton, both Wade Strelic and Joel Willert turned to more methodical approaches to generate bites. READ MORE »

Cup Top 10: Osborne Fished Finesse

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Osborne spent the early visit graphing for brush in Hamilton’s lower end. In practice, it was more of the same, as Osborne spent only a couple of hours beating the bank. READ MORE »

Lawyer Loads Up on Cover Cash and Bonus Bucks at Cup

Lawyer Loads Up on Cover Cash and Bonus Bucks at Cup

Jeremy Lawyer’s fourth-place finish at the FLW Cup on Arkansas’ Lake Hamilton was enough to earn him an extra $1,000 from LEER Cover Cash and $3,500 from Toyota Bonus Bucks. The third year FLW Tour pro used a two-prong approach of fishing shallow with a topwater and probing deep brush piles with a drop-shot to notch his best finish to date in the Cup. READ MORE »

Cup Top 10: Douglas Fished Brush and a Buzzbait

Cup Top 10: Douglas Fished Brush and a Buzzbait

Minnesota pro Josh Douglas is regarded as an electronics expert. But while he put his Lowrance units to the test at the FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton to find offshore brush piles, even Douglas couldn’t resist spending some time in the mornings hunting shallow bass. READ MORE »

Thrift and Kripp to discuss FLW Cup

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FLW Tour pro Bryan Thrift, of Shelby, North Carolina, the newest FLW Cup champion, will break down his career-defining week... READ MORE »

Potomac River Set for Costa FLW Series Tournament Presented by Lowrance

Potomac River Set for Costa FLW Series Tournament Presented by Lowrance

CHARLES COUNTY, Md. (Aug. 15, 2019) – The Potomac River is set to host some of the top regional bass anglers Aug. 22-24 for the Costa Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) Series Northern Division tournament on the Potomac River presented by Lowrance. The... READ MORE »

Cup Top 10: Salzman Went Shallow to Deep

Cup Top 10: Salzman Went Shallow to Deep

Ryan Salzman earned an eighth-place finish at the FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton with a well-executed two-part strategy. READ MORE »

Thrift's First Podcast Interview Post-Cup on the We Fish ASA Podcast

Thrift's First Podcast Interview Post-Cup on the We Fish ASA Podcast

Bryan Thrift is the 2019 FLW Champion! He just won the $300,000 Forrest Wood Cup. He was on the We Fish ASA podcast last week, talking from the front of his boat while he was practicing for the Cup. Now he's the champ. Hear Bryan talk about how he achieved this stupendous victory... READ MORE »