UPCOMING EVENT: ABU GARCIA COLLEGE FISHING - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

Lake Okeechobee Top 10 Patterns

Lake Okeechobee Top 10 Patterns
Joshua Weaver

The Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event on Lake Okeechobee was won by Taylor Ashley of Warrior, Ala., who fished a swim jig “Alabama style” through reeds and lily pads.

Behind him, many other top-tenners were casting and winding as well. Here’s a closer look at how the rest of the top 10 got it done at the Big O.

Ashley’s winning pattern

Ashley's final day GoPro

Top 10 Baits

Complete results

 

Joshua Weaver, Scott Bern

2. Weaver weaves magic in South Bay

Joshua Weaver of Macon, Ga., stunned the weigh-in crowd on day two with an enormous 32-pound, 10-ounce catch of true Okeechobee giants. The big bag put him in the lead going into day three, but a scant 11-pound, 2-ounce catch in that final round left him in second place with a three-day total of 61-2.

Weaver’s week centered on what he likes doing best: casting and reeling moving baits in the scattered vegetation of South Bay.

His moving baits of choice were a 3/8-ounce 4X4 swimjig in McMillan Magic and a Spro Bronzeye Poppin’ Frog in Killer Gill. The 32-pound haul was mostly teased up on the popping frog.

When he got around holes in vegetation, Weaver sampled them by pitching a Zoom Speed Craw on a 1/2 –ounce tungsten. If he felt that he needed to punch, he went with a Zoom Z Craw on a 1-ounce tungsten.

All of his lures were tied to 65-pound-test braided line.

 

Derek Yasinski

3. Yasinksi Chatterbaits to third

Derek Yasinksi of Senoia, Ga., brought in a pair of 20-pounds-plus bags the first two days to enter the final day with a chance to win. But he struggled with just 11-15 in round three, leaving him in third place for the event with 61-1.

Yasinski staked his claim in the far northern end of the lake, casting Chatterbaits in scattered fields of vegetation in Eagle Bay. His primary bait was a 3/8-ounce Chatterbait with a Yamamoto Swim Senko. His alternated between black and blue and green pumpkin and tied the lure to 17-pound-test fluorocarbon.

He also used a 3/8-ounce Greenfish tackle swimjig teamed with a Rage Craw (Black/Blue) tied to 65-pound-test braid.

“The bigger fish seemed to be on the more isolated stuff in those backwater ponds,” Yasinksi says. “If there was a reed clump or some of those stickups sitting out there by themselves, that’s where the better fish were set up.”

 

Gary Milicevic

4. Milicevic goes Double Guard for fourth

Gary Milicevic of LaBelle, Fla., took an early lead in the Costa event on day one with a 25-pound, 5-ounce catch, then backed it up with two mid-teen limits that put him in fourth with a three-day total of 57-12.

Milicevic’s fished several areas around the lake for his catches. One spot set up well for pitching a ¾-ounce Medlock’s Double Guard jig trailed with a big Zoom Super Chunk (black/blue) to isolated reed clumps. His other productive water was more suited for a Spro Bronzeye Poppin’ Frog (black). He also caught a few weigh-in fish on a ½-ounce Chatterbait with a Gambler Big EZ (Copperfield).

 

Scott Byrd

5. Byrd punches to fifth

Scott Byrd of Ocklawaha, Fla., was the only pro to make the top-10 off of the punching technique, scoring daily weights of 22-13, 13-9 and 15-15 for fifth place.

Byrd’s primary punching weapon was a Fitzgerald’s 1 1/2-ounce Megajig teamed with a craw (black/blue) tied to 70-pound Vursa Braid on a 7-foot, 8-inch Fitzgerald’s Titan HD heavy action flipping rod.

 

Robert Beatty

6. Beatty battles to sixth

Robert Beatty of Clermont, Fla., rode a big day one of 23 pounds, 11 ounces to a sixth place finish with a three-day total of 51-4.

Beatty stayed in the north end of the lake, meticulously needling bedding areas for wary spawning females. Some of Beatty’s tactics included poling down and then sitting for a lowered profile to wait out the spawners. He made repeated casts to likely bedding spots with a Gambler Fat Ace topped with a 3/16-ounce tungsten weight tied to 15-pound-test fluorocarbon. When moving between beds, Beatty would cast a Bitter’s Vibe worm with a 3/16-ounce weight tied to 50-pound braid.

 

Brian Holder

7. Holder’s giant bass pushes him to seventh

Brian Holder of Denver, N.C., finished his week at the Costa event in seventh with a three-day total of 49-3. One-fifth of his total weight resulted from a 10-pound, 8-ounce giant he caught the first day.

“I had intended to pitch reed heads that first day, but I couldn’t get a bite doing it,” Holder says. “So I pulled out a spinnerbait to start covering water and that 10-8 just walloped it, so I stuck with a spinnerbait after that.”

Holder’s spinnerbait of choice was a ½-ounce War Eagle with gold blades. He also caught some weigh-in fish on a Spro Bronzeye Poppin’ frog and a Zoom Mag Ultravibe Speed Worm.

 

Buddy Gross

8. Gross winds up 8th

Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Ga., finished in 8th place with a three-day total of 45 pounds, 2 ounces.

Gross spent his week in the Eagle Bay area of Okeechobee, primarily using a ½-ounce homemade swimjig teamed with a Zoom Z-Craw tied to 50-pound-test braided line on a 7-foot heavy action Hammer rod.

 

Bill Tervin

9. Tervin takes ninth

Bill Tervin of Pocola, Okla., wound up ninth with a three-day total of 44 pounds, 14 ounces.

Tervin spent his week in the Monkey Box fishing a Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper with 3/16-ounce tungsten weight on a 5/0 Trokar hook. He also used a Gambler swimjig with a Skinny Dipper trailer in Houdini as well. He targeted small pockets of open water in and around the thick reeds.

On the way back to the weigh-in each day he stopped on a stretch of riprap in the rim ditch and cranked the rocks with a Strike King KVD 1.5 crankbait. Good move; he caught a couple of bonus bass, including a 6-pounder on the second day.

 

Ron Nelson

10. Nelson rounds out top 10

Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, Mich., finished out the top 10 with 44 pounds, 1 ounce.

Nelson spent his week on the west side of the lake targeting “wind trails” with a Zoom Magnum Ultravibe Speed Worm (junebug) topped with a 1/8-ounce weight.  

“I was fishing shallow hydrilla and eelgrass where bass were bedding,” Nelson recalls. “The openings and lanes where they were bedding were given away by a little ripple on the water – I just call them wind trails.”

Nelson also pitched a ¾-ounce Dirty Tackle No-Jack Punching jig with a Damiki Knockout trailer to any small reed or cattail clumps he happened across.

Tags: lake-okeechobee  top-10-patterns  rob-newell  post-tournament  2017-01-26-lake-okeechobee 

Top 10 Patterns from the St. Johns

Top 10 Patterns from the St. Johns

The Toyota Series Southern Division opener on the St. Johns River potentially missed some stellar fishing opportunities. Despite being the time of year when big green fish start to move up to the banks en masse to spawn, changing weather conditions and multiple cold fronts kept fish coming and going all week, opening small windows on which pros and co-anglers needed to capitalize. READ MORE »

Sharp Blasts 40 Pounds to Win on Rayburn

Sharp Blasts 40 Pounds to Win on Rayburn

Winning a tournament is always pretty cool, but winning the way Anthony Sharp did in the second Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event in the Cowboy Division presented by A.R.E. is next-level. Weighing 40 pounds, 6 ounces of Sam Rayburn bass, the Village Mills, Texas, angler beat second place by more than 21 pounds. For the win, which was his first with FLW, Sharp took home a total of $7,000.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the St. Johns

Top 10 Baits from the St. Johns

The St. Johns River was in a bit of a funk for the Toyota Series Southern Division opener. Instead of a full-on spawning slugfest, a couple cold fronts and quickly changing wind and water conditions kept fish moving in and out. The anglers chasing them had to stay on their toes. Plenty of pros did find quality fish, though, and they did so with a lot of familiar baits when it comes to late-winter fishing in Florida. Right now, it’s all about the black and blue plastics on the St. Johns. READ MORE »

Cape Coral’s Littich Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Okeechobee

Cape Coral’s Littich Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Okeechobee

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Boater Thomas Littich of Cape Coral, Florida, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 14 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Florida. For his victory, Littich earned a total of... READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Toledo Bend

Top 10 Patterns from Toledo Bend

The general consensus before the first Toyota Series Southwestern Division stop on Toledo Bend was that local knowledge could go a long way being the Sabine River impoundment was a little fickle. That was spot on. Aside from winner Cody Huff, the rest of the top 10 was an all-star cast of locals.   READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Toledo Bend

Top 10 Baits from Toledo Bend

Fishing offshore was the way to go for the majority of the top pros and because of that a Carolina rig, football jig and deep-diving crankbait were the main players for most of the field. Getting the win, Cody Huff relied on a jigging spoon and his graphs to hunt down suspended fish, proving that heavy metal never goes out of style for bass. READ MORE »

Wooten Wins Marshal Contest on Rayburn

Wooten Wins Marshal Contest on Rayburn

You’re never too old to try something new. Just ask Ron Wooten. Wooten, who’s 71 years old and retired from the offshore oil construction industry, heard about the FLW Marshal program from a couple friends who had previously marshaled FLW events. They recommended it, he took their advice, and now he has an extra $2,500 to show for it. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Even when the bite is tough, Sam Rayburn is a power-fishing lake through and through. Sure, a spinning rod showed up here and there throughout the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit opener, but it was Carolina rigs, lipless crankbaits and vibrating jigs that dominated in the hands of the top 10 pros. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Patterns from Sam Rayburn

Sam Rayburn is one of the best bass fishing lakes in the country, but it sure didn’t show its full potential during the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit season opener. Cold fronts, high winds, fluctuating water temps and transitioning fish had the fishing jumbled. The patterns the top 10 pros employed throughout the week followed suit. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Cumberland

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Cumberland

Smallmouths dominated at the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland. Oklahoma’s Andrew Upshaw led the way with brown bass caught on a jig and a Ned rig on bluff bank transitions in the reservoir’s lower end. Behind him, only a couple of pros hedged their bets on targeting largemouths. The rest fished for smallies and considered green bass to be bonus fish and spotted bass to be limit fillers on the tough days. READ MORE »

Lake Cumberland Top 10 Baits

Lake Cumberland Top 10 Baits

In classic Southern smallmouth fashion, crankbaits and jigs dominated the top 10 at Lake Cumberland during the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship. The only exceptions were a few finesse baits and the tackle used by two pros who targeted largemouths. Here’s what worked. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks

Top 10 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks

Considering this was the fourth year in a row Lake of the Ozarks had hosted a Costa FLW Series Central Division event in October, everyone pretty much knew what to expect. And then the weather happened. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake of the Ozarks

Top 10 Baits from Lake of the Ozarks

Fall in the Ozarks is prime time to throw a buzzbait. Sure enough, plenty of the top guys did just that during the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Grand Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Grand Lake

Curt Warren knew what he wanted to do, and it had nothing to do with weeding through a bunch of small fish up shallow. Rather, he focused his attention on deeper Grand Lake spots with chunk rock and brush and amassed a three-day total of 46 pounds, 7 ounces to win the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 caught their fish and earned their checks on Grand. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

A cold front moving in at the start of Grand Lake’s fall transition put a damper on seeing a bunch of big weights during the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, but plenty of pros managed to find the right fish to make things exciting on the final day. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Cal Delta

Top 10 Patterns from the Cal Delta

The Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta featured all the typical Delta tactics. Punching, vibrating jigs, finesse and even a frog made an appearance in the top 10. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Cal Delta

Top 10 Baits from the Cal Delta

The Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta had a lot of punching as usual, but it was far from the only thing going. Due to the lush grass and windy and touch conditions, vibrating jigs and finesse played a big role as well. READ MORE »

Naples' Donny Bass Wins Two-Day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Okeechobee

Naples' Donny Bass Wins Two-Day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Okeechobee

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Boater Donny Bass of Naples, Florida, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 40 pounds, 9 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division super-tournament on Lake Okeechobee Sunday. Bass earned $6,137 for his efforts... READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the St. Lawrence River

Top 10 Baits from the St. Lawrence River

Regardless of how far anglers ran, whether 95 miles or 5 miles, the Costa FLW Series Northern Division finale on the St. Lawrence River presented by Gajo Baits really came down to a battle of deep versus shallow. Here’s a look at the baits that helped the top 10 get the job done on the St. Lawrence. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the St. Lawrence River

Top 10 Patterns from the St. Lawrence River

There were two big choices anglers had to make this week: how far should they run and should they fish deep or shallow. READ MORE »