UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Grand Lake

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 

FLW Closes Out Season at Lake Hartwell with Weekend of FLW Youth Bass-Fishing Tournaments

FLW Closes Out Season at Lake Hartwell with Weekend of FLW Youth Bass-Fishing Tournaments

HARTWELL, Ga. –Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) is set to return to Hartwell next weekend to close out their 2019 tournament season with two events for young anglers, Nov. 1-2, with the YETI FLW College Fishing tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Costa and the Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Hartwell Open... READ MORE »

Drury University Wins YETI FLW College Fishing Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Pro Shops

Drury University Wins YETI FLW College Fishing Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Pro Shops

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. – 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... READ MORE »

Ebare Eyes Strong Finish

Ebare Eyes Strong Finish

Ebare loves to fish. A lot. And he’s fished in 20 FLW events so far in 2019. His 21st will be the Costa FLW Series Championship at Lake Cumberland at the end of October, at which he hopes to earn his first win in FLW competition. 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 »

MLF shares details of FLW Pro Circuit 2020

MLF shares details of FLW Pro Circuit 2020

TULSA, Okla. (Oct. 21, 2019) Major League Fishing (MLF) hosted a conference call for the field of 150 FLW Tour anglers to share details and specifics about the evolution of the FLW Pro Circuit in 2020 as it relates to the acquisition of FLW by MLF.. READ MORE »

Iowa's Myers Wins T-H Marine BFL Regional Championship on Kentucky/Barkley Lakes presented by Evinrude

Iowa's Myers Wins T-H Marine BFL Regional Championship on Kentucky/Barkley Lakes presented by Evinrude

BUCHANAN, Tenn. – Boater Mark Myers of Cedar Falls, Iowa, brought a three-day total of 12 bass to the scale weighing 31 pounds even to win the no-entry fee T-H Marine FLW BFL Regional Championship on Kentucky/Barkley Lakes presented by Evinrude Saturday. For the win, Myers earned $70,000, including a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Evinrude... READ MORE »

Camdenton High School Wins Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake of the Ozarks Open presented by Costa

Camdenton High School Wins Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake of the Ozarks Open presented by Costa

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. (Oct. 22, 2019) – The Camdenton High School duo of Reece Waters of Camdenton and Caden Kowal, of Linn Creek, Missouri, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 11 pounds, 7 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake of the Ozarks Open presented by Costa... 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 »

South Carolina’s Bradford Beavers Wins T-H Marine BFL Regional Championship on Potomac River

South Carolina’s Bradford Beavers Wins T-H Marine BFL Regional Championship on Potomac River

MARBURY, Md. – Summerville, South Carolina’s Bradford Beavers, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 28 pounds, 8 ounces, to win the weather-shortened, no-entry fee T-H Marine FLW BFL Regional Championship on the Potomac River Saturday. The event was originally scheduled for three days, but tournament officials canceled competition on day one... READ MORE »

Ohio's Cole Floyd Wins T-H Marine BFL Regional Championship on Lake Guntersville presented by Mercury Marine

Ohio's Cole Floyd Wins T-H Marine BFL Regional Championship on Lake Guntersville presented by Mercury Marine

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – Boater Cole Floyd of Leesburg, Ohio, – an FLW College Fishing standout from Bethel University – brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 44 pounds, 15 ounces, to win the no-entry fee T-H Marine FLW BFL Regional Championship on Lake Guntersville presented by Mercury Marine Saturday. For the win, Floyd earned $71,200, including... READ MORE »

Floyd Cashes in on Guntersville

Floyd Cashes in on Guntersville

Last weekend, Floyd added to his already lengthy list of accomplishments with a T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional victory on Lake Guntersville – the tournament was presented by Mercury – with a 44-pound, 15-ounce three-day total, and it all came down to consistency and some really good decision-making. READ MORE »

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

A severe storm backed up the tides and drained many of the best areas on the Potomac. Adjusting to the unusual conditions and grinding out daily limits were the keys to success in the BFL Regional. READ MORE »

4 Easy Ways to Store Soft Plastics

4 Easy Ways to Store Soft Plastics

One of the easiest and most controllable ways to save time and be efficient on the water is to keep tackle organized and accessible. Hard baits are easy to organize in Plano boxes, but soft plastics can sometimes cause a bit of a headache. Here are some tips for doing it based on how I go about tackling the issue.  READ MORE »

B. Lat, MDJ Win Pan Am

B. Lat, MDJ Win Pan Am

Brian Latimer and Mark Daniels Jr. are best friends off the water, and it looks like they’ve got the makings of a deadly team on the water. Weighing five smallmouths for 21.16 pounds in the first session and 23.92 pounds in the second session, the pair totaled 45.08 pounds to win the individual competition in the Pan American Bass Championship on Lake St. Francis. READ MORE »

Canada Wins Gold at Pan Am

Canada Wins Gold at Pan Am

Though Team USA locked up the top three places, Team Canada placed six teams in the top 10 and averaged 38.98 pounds to win the Pan American Bass Championship on Lake St. Francis. Results were tallied based on the average weight brought in by each team in the two sessions of fishing, which almost guaranteed an extremely close finish. Earning a silver medal, Team USA finished just a hundredth of a pound back with a 38.97 average. READ MORE »

Canada Leads at Pan Am

Canada Leads at Pan Am

The first session of competition in the Pan American Bass Championship on Lake St. Francis was a roaring success. After the morning weigh-in, Team Canada is leading with an average of 21.16 pounds, Team USA is in second with a 19.6 average, Team Akwesasne First Nation is in third with 18.62 and Mexico had an up and down morning to accrue a 17.24-pound average. READ MORE »

More Than 400 Anglers to Visit Somerset and Burnside for Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland

More Than 400 Anglers to Visit Somerset and Burnside for Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland

BURNSIDE, Ky. (Oct. 17, 2019) – The Costa FLW Series will close out the 2019 season next week, Oct. 31-Nov. 2, in Burnside, Kentucky, at the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland. The no-entry fee bass-fishing championship, hosted by the Somerset Tourist & Convention Commission and the Burnside Tourism Commission, will feature more than 400 of the best regional... READ MORE »

Do you need a generator for bass fishing?

Do you need a generator for bass fishing?

Austin Felix has been running a generator for a few years now, and his primary use is during the spring in the North, when he’s spending mega-days on the water practicing for tournaments that feature bedding smallmouths. READ MORE »

Day 1 Delayed at Pan Am

Day 1 Delayed at Pan Am

Because of steady rain and hard winds at around 20 mph or more, day one of the Pan American Bass Championship has been canceled. With gusts up to 40 mph in the forecast, the organizers have decided to fish two sessions on Friday instead. READ MORE »

Pan Am Gets Underway in Canada

Pan Am Gets Underway in Canada

With the official training day in the rearview, the Pan American Bass Championship starts Thursday, Oct. 16, on Lake St. Francis in Cornwall, Ontario. Teams from Mexico, the Akwesasne First Nation, Canada and the United States will be competing the next two days for glory and country, but also to help along the movement to make bass fishing an Olympic sport. READ MORE »