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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

All-American Profile: Mike Devere

Mike Devere holds up two Lake Hartwell studs.

A self-proclaimed die-hard jig-and-pig man, Mike Devere is hoping his power-fishing specialty will serve him well during the FLW Bass Fishing League All-American being held June 9-11 on Lake Barkley. After all, his go-to technique enabled him to punch his ticket to the championship event.

The boater from Berea, Ky., earned his All-American berth by casting a 1/2-ounce Stan Sloan’s Zorro Bait Co. Booza Bug jig with a Zoom Big Salty Chunk trailer around rock and wood in 12 to 15 feet during the 2015 BFL Wild Card on Lake Hartwell. Rotating through three main areas and patiently working his spots yielded the winning weight.

“A lot of people were fishing very shallow, and I think I keyed in on some of the stuff that maybe some of the people weren’t fishing as hard,” he says.

We’ll circle back to the All-American outlook in a moment, but first, some background and personal stuff.

Deep roots: Born and raised in Berea, Ky., Devere graduated from high school in 1976, married his wife, Jennifer, a year later, and, in 1978, founded Berea Top Shop, Inc., the countertop business that he continues to operate today.

Interests: When he’s not fishing or working, Devere enjoys deer hunting near his family’s cabin in northern Kentucky.

Big bass: Devere’s largest tournament catch was a 9-pound, 15-ounce Florida-strain stud that ate a big worm on Lake Okeechobee in the early 1980s. During a fun-fishing trip on Cumberland Lake, he nabbed a smallie that went 7-14.

Favorite lake: Lake St. Clair, where it’s all about the jumbo smallies.

Bucket list: Devere says he’d like to fish one of Mexico’s toad factories for double-digit largemouths, but he finds northern California’s giant spots equally alluring.

 

Mike Devere proudly displays his BFL Wild Card trophy.

Tournament resume

Devere is an accomplished angler across FLW’s tournament circuits and in both the front and back of the boat.

He’s fished the Walmart FLW Tour as a co-angler since 2006 and notched six top-10 finishes on Tour, including his 2010 victory on Lake Guntersville and a second-place finish at Beaver Lake in 2014. He’s fished the Forrest Wood Cup four times and turned in his best performance in 2012 with a 15th-place finish on Lake Lanier.

In BFL Competition, Devere has competed in several divisions, but has spent most of his time in the Mountain Division, where he’s fished mostly as a boater since the 1990s. In addition to last year’s Hartwell victory, he also won the 2006 Mountain Division tournament on Lake Cumberland and has 20 top-10 finishes.

His previous All-American appearance was 2009 at the Mississippi River in Rock Island, Ill., where he placed fourth.

 

Family ties

Devere describes fishing as more than recreation; it enables family bonding. His job and that of his brother, John, a Tour pro and Berea area builder, keep the Deveres on the run, but traveling together for Tour events provides important catch-up time.

“My dad used to take us fishing all the time, so we grew up fishing together,” Mike says. “Just about anytime we’re not working, we’re fishing.

“That’s the most we get to see each other, when we’re traveling together or on the lake fishing. It’s the same way with my son [Lucas]. I spend more time with him when we’re on the water.”

Mike’s son Lucas, a BFL co-angler, has also proven himself as an angler with 12 top 10s, including wins at Lake Cumberland (2009) and Barren River (2010 and 2011).

This year’s All-American will be particularly meaningful for the Deveres. While Mike competes as a boater, Lucas will make his first appearance as a co-angler.

“I’m very honored to fish this event, and I hope to do well in it,” Mike says. “This one is kind of special because my son is fishing too.”

 

Expectations and game plan

Devere scouted Barkley several times recently, and he found that high water was delaying the offshore move that probably should have started. Instead, fish were still holding tight to cover in flooded bushes.

“The TVA might start pulling down the water by tournament time, and if they do, those fish will go out to the ledges,” Devere predicts. “If not, if those fish are still in the bushes, I’ll put a flipping stick in my hand and go to work.”

So, if that plan delivered big results, could an All-American title nudge this seasoned Tour co-angler to the front of the boat at the highest level?

“There have been times I’ve kicked myself for not fishing as a pro on Tour,” Devere reveals. “I would like to fish a couple years as a pro. I guess if I did really well in this All-American, I may try to fish the Costas or the Tour as a pro.

“I didn’t get into fishing to make a living,” he continues. “I just enjoy fishing, and I’ve made a lot of great friends through it. If I did well at the All-American, that would be an incentive to step up.”

Tags: bfl  all-american  lake-barkley  david-a-brown  pre-tournament  2016-06-09-lake-barkley 

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