UPCOMING EVENT: FLW Pro Circuit - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Top 5 Patterns from the Okeechobee Tour Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from the Okeechobee Tour Day 1

The Walmart FLW Tour has been coming to Lake Okeechobee for the better part of 20 years. And for a vast majority of those years, the north end of the lake has been the business end – where the business of fish catching is done.

Today, that tradition was derailed in the first round of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Hendry County Tourism Development Council. Though some boats did sample the Harney Pond area up north, many of the normal fish-producing haunts such as the Monkey Box, Dyess Ditch and Fisheating Bay were complete ghost towns.

High water and high south winds over the last two days have pummeled some of the north end hot spots. As a result, the south end of the lake received quite a bit of attention today.

All of those atop the leaderboard owned up to fishing mostly in the south end of the lake, including first-place angler Bradley Hallman, who sacked an even 25 pounds on the day.

Read about Hallman’s day-one pattern here.

What follows are the details of the rest of the top five pros from day one.

 

Complete results - click here

 

2. Brandon McMillan – Clewiston, Fla. – 22-08

Just 2 1/2 pounds behind Hallman lurks one of Okeechobee’s best sticks, former FLW Tour winner Brandon “Big Mac” McMillan.

With the water high – some 3 feet higher than at the Costa FLW Series event a few weeks ago – and the winds constantly shifting, McMillan says he had to lean hard on his history on the Big O for his catch Thursday.

“I really didn’t have anything special going into today,” McMillan says. “I just went fishing around the south end down here because it’s the area I know the best, and with that south wind today, it was the best chance to fish it. I actually fished some stuff today I haven’t fished in seven or eight years.”

McMillan says his fish came both from winding moving baits and flipping.

“I fished through a couple of spawning bays,” he says, “then ran back in and flipped some stuff and caught a good one that way. I went through a bunch of fish – maybe 30 or 40. Most of them were small, though.”

With a big change in the wind coming tomorrow – from the south to possibly 25 mph out of the north – McMillan says he’ll start from scratch again on Friday’s second day of competition.

“I really have no idea where my next fish is coming from tomorrow,” he adds. “I might just gas it up and go to Okeechobee [the city, at the north end of the lake] to find clear water.”

 

3. Alex Davis – Albertville, Ala. – 21-00

Alex Davis also prowled the south end of Okeechobee for his 21-pound catch on day one. He estimates that he caught 25 fish on the day, and of his weigh fish two came casting and three came punching.

“I’ve always heard that you can’t catch fish here in muddy water, but I kind of violated that rule today,” Davis says. “Some of the better ones I caught today came out of what I would normally consider to be water that is too muddy to fish for Florida. I guess after it’s been muddy for so long they just adjust to it and start spawning anyway.”

As for tomorrow’s big wind switch, Davis says he could be in trouble.

“It’s been blowing the same direction all during practice and today,” he adds. “Tomorrow it’s supposed to be a 180. And I don’t know this place well enough to say, ‘Oh, it’s out of the north, let’s go to King’s Bar where the water will be clear.’ I just don’t know, so I’m going to start down south again and see how bad it gets.”

 

4. Joshua Weaver – Macon, Ga. – 20-12

FLW Tour rookie Joshua Weaver started his pro career off on the right foot on day one with a fourth-place showing.

“Larry Nixon and Scott Martin started in the same place I did this morning,” Weaver reflects. “I’ve watched those guys on TV for years. Then to be fishing against them was surreal.”

After a few minutes of being starstruck, Weaver went on to wind moving baits for most of his catch out of the south end of the lake.

“I think I’m going to try to stick it out in there in the north wind tomorrow,” Weaver adds. “I might have to change colors if the water gets darker. But I think there are plenty of fish in there, so I’m going back.”

 

5. Ryan Chandler – Hebron, Ind. – 20-6

Ryan Chandler started his fishing day up on the north end of Okeechobee. After a couple of hours without a bite, he called an audible and made the long run all the way back to the south end. From there, things improved drastically.

“I didn’t catch my first fish of the day until 11:30,” Chandler says. “It was a 6 1/2-pounder, and that calmed me down considerably. I knew then even if I could just catch four more squeakers, I could salvage my day.”

A while later Chandler added another 6 1/2-pounder to his limit.

Like others fishing down south, Chandler says that a mixture of winding and pitching produced his catch.

 

Photo Galleries

Day 1 On the Water - click here

Day 1 Weigh-in - click here

 

Tournament Details

Presenting sponsor: Ranger Boats

Hosts: Roland and Mary Ann Martin's Marina and Resort and Hendry County Tourism and Development Council

Format: Walmart FLW Tour tournaments are four-day events. Co-anglers are randomly paired with pros and fish for two days, with the winner determined by heaviest cumulative two-day weight. All boaters fish the first two days as well, but only the top 20 after two days based on cumulative weight advanced to the third day. After three days, the top 10 anglers based on cumulative weight advance to the fourth and final day. The champion is determined by heaviest four-day total weight.

Takeoff Time: 7:30 a.m.

Takeoff Location:

Days 1 and 2: Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort, 920 East Del Monte Avenue, Clewiston, FL

Days 3 and 4: Clewiston Boat Basin & Launch, 709 Hoover Dike Road, Clewiston, FL

Weigh-In Time: Days 1 and 2 at 3 p.m.; Day 3 at 4 p.m.

Weigh-In Location:

Days 1 and 2: Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort, 920 East Del Monte Avenue, Clewiston, FL

Days 3 and 4: Walmart 2484, 1005 W Sugarland Hwy, Clewiston, FL

Follow FLW

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Periscope

 

Tags: flw-tour  okeechobee  bradley-hallman  brandon-mcmillan  alex-davis  joshua-weaver  ryan-chandler  rob-newell  headline-story  2016-02-04-lake-okeechobee 

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 »

Why I Chose FLW

Why I Chose FLW

My name is Richard Dunham, but most people know me as Dicky D. I currently live in Palm Harbor Florida where I work for the Folsom Corporation, one of the largest fishing distributors in the country. In 2020 I am fishing as a boater in Southern Division of the FLW Series. READ MORE »

Lasyone Tops Record Field on Rayburn

Lasyone Tops Record Field on Rayburn

The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine opened competition Saturday at the historic Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas, and featured a record-setting field size – 230 boaters and 230 co-anglers. The season opener, the largest field in more than 20 years, took off with multiple anglers left on the waiting list.  READ MORE »

Cash in on the Florida Prespawn

Cash in on the Florida Prespawn

Growing up on Lake Okeechobee, Jared McMillan loves to flip for big fish when the opportunity presents itself, but he’ll be the first to tell you that mid-November can be one of the best times to be on the water. 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

New Dominates Seminole Regional

New Dominates Seminole Regional

Belmont, N.C., angler Bryan New, who’s regularly one of FLW’s top performers in the grassroots ranks, had established a dominant pace. New weighed in 22 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and added 20-2 on day two to carry a lead of 6 pounds, 15 ounces into the finals. A roughly 7-pound margin isn’t necessarily a sure thing on Seminole, but the fall bite was a bit slower than what the lake can produce, and it was obvious New was cruising. READ MORE »

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude was no walk in the park for the top 10 pros. With a cold front passing through at the start of the event, a high-pressure system settled in for the final round of fishing. While most struggled, Dylan Hays of El Dorado, Ark., sacked up 14 pounds, 6 ounces today – the biggest limit brought in during the final day – and finally was able to wrangle his first FLW title. READ MORE »