UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Santee Cooper

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

FLW Tour Readies to Kickoff 23rd Season at Lake Okeechobee

FLW Tour Readies to Kickoff 23rd Season at Lake Okeechobee
Scott Martin

CLEWISTON, Fla. – When Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) co-angler Nik Kayler lost his life in an unexpected tragedy in an event in early January, it saddened the entire bass-fishing industry. Now, FLW is tasked with moving forward through the grief and getting back to competition on the water next week in their return to Lake Okeechobee.

 

“We’ve had thorough and thoughtful internal discussions as a company and the decision was made that we need to get back on the water,” said FLW President of Operations Kathy Fennel. “We are still grieving as an organization, but fishing tournaments are what we do. It is what Nik loved, too. Getting back on the water, at Lake Okeechobee, is a way to help with the grieving process. Nik and his family will be on the minds of every single angler and staff member throughout the tournament.

 

“We will honor and remember Nik and his family throughout the weekend, as well as encourage our staff, anglers and fans to donate to the GoFundMe campaign that has been organized for Nik’s family. We will honor Nik by continuing to pursue the sport that we all love.”

 

The FLW Tour, the most competitive Tour in professional bass-fishing, will launch its 23rd season next week, Jan. 25-28, with the FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Evinrude. Hosted by Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort and the Hendry County Tourism Development Council, the tournament will feature 374 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals and co-anglers casting for top awards of up to $125,000 cash in the pro division and up to $25,000 cash in the co-angler division.

 

The FLW Tour has visited Lake Okeechobee 20 times previously, with 2018 marking the 21st visit in FLW’s 23-year history. The total purse for the FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Evinrude is more than $930,000, including $10,000 through 60th place in the Pro Division.

 

“Lake Okeechobee is fishing quite a bit differently than the last six or seven times that the FLW Tour has been here,” said local FLW Tour pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, a 17-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier with more than $2.7 million in career earnings in FLW competition. “The water levels are much higher this year, and we lost a good amount of our vegetation in some of the more traditional places due to the hurricane last fall. The wind and water clarity are going to play a big role in this tournament and a lot of guys that have been coming here for years are going to have to approach this tournament quite a bit different than they normally would.

 

“The good news is that the fish didn’t leave, and they still have to eat,” Martin continued. “Some of the traditional areas will still be good, but there will definitely be a few new wildcard areas. Somebody is going to figure out a way to catch them in the stained water.”

 

Martin said that due to stained water and lost vegetation, he expects moving baits to play a larger role than normal this time around.

 

“I think moving baits like Rat-L-Traps and ChatterBaits will be pretty good,” he said. “Flipping will also play a big factor this year. We’re fishing a little earlier than we normally do, and January is still prime flipping season. With some stable weather being forecast, I could also see another wave of bass moving up to spawn and sight-fishing playing a role as well. It’s going to be an interesting tournament.

 

“The weights may be down just a little bit, but it’s still Lake Okeechobee and the potential is always there for a mega-bag, especially if you can find a wildcard area to yourself,” Martin went on to say. “I think the winner will likely have a four-day total around 74 to 76 pounds, but if a guy can find the mega-juice flipping or out in open water, the potential is always there to challenge 100 pounds.”

 

Anglers will take off at 7:30 a.m. EST each day from Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort, located at 920 E. Del Monte, Ave., in Clewiston. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins, Jan. 25-26, will be held at the resort beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins, Jan. 27-28, will also be held at the resort, but will begin at 4 p.m.

Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Evinrude will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) March 28 from Noon-1 p.m. EST. The Emmy-nominated

 

"FLW" television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide.

Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 27-28, FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort from noon to 4 p.m. each day. The Expo is a chance for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.

 

Also for youth, the FLW Foundation’s Unified Fishing Derby will be held at the marina on Saturday, Jan. 27 from 9-11 a.m. The event is hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour anglers, and is free and open to anyone under the age of 18 and Special Olympics athletes. Rods and reels are available for use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one. The 1st and 2nd place anglers that catch the biggest fish will be recognized Saturday on the FLW Tour stage, just prior to the pros weighing in.

 

As part of the FLW Tour’s community outreach initiative, FLW Tour anglers will visit patients, guests and staff at the Hendry Regional Medical Center, located at 524 W. Sagamore Avenue, in Clewiston on Wednesday, Jan. 24 from 8:30-10 a.m. to interact with guests, snap photos and sign autographs for patients, give away some goodie bags and share fishing stories.

 

In FLW Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The full field of 374 anglers competes in the two-day opening round. Co-angler competition concludes following Friday’s weigh-in, while the top 30 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2018 Forrest Wood Cup will be on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Aug. 10-12 and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.

 

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the sport’s top anglers on the FLW Tour on FLW’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube and Snapchat.

 

About FLW

FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, and South Africa. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube and Snapchat.

 

# # #

Tags: flw  -flw-tour  -lake-okeechobee  -evinrude  -scott-martin  flw-communications  press-release 

Latimer, Cobb Honored by Visit Anderson

Latimer, Cobb Honored by Visit Anderson

Latimer represents Green Pond Landing and Event Center (on Lake Hartwell) with logos on his boat and jersey, and, with Hartwell serving as Latimer’s home lake, he’s being honored with a press conference on April 22 at Green Pond Landing to celebrate his recent success. READ MORE »

Cup Bubble Boys with Two to Go

Cup Bubble Boys with Two to Go

The top 40 pros in the 2019 FLW Tour standings qualify to fish the FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton Aug. 9-11. For about a dozen pros, the final two events of the season will decide whether they make it in or out. READ MORE »

Smith Mountain Lake Set for Weekend of FLW Youth Bass-Fishing Tournaments

Smith Mountain Lake Set for Weekend of FLW Youth Bass-Fishing Tournaments

BEDFORD, Va. – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) is set to visit Bedford next week, April 26-27, with the YETI FLW College Fishing event at Smith Mountain Lake presented by Costa and the Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Open at Smith Mountain Lake. The tournaments, hosted... READ MORE »

Costa FLW Series Heads to Santee Cooper Lakes for Tournament Presented by Power-Pole

Costa FLW Series Heads to Santee Cooper Lakes for Tournament Presented by Power-Pole

SUMMERTON, S.C. – The top bass anglers from around the region are set to fish Santee Cooper Lakes April 25-27 for the Costa Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) Series Southeastern Division finale on Santee Cooper Lakes presented... READ MORE »

Cherokee Has Been Good to Jason Bridwell

Cherokee Has Been Good to Jason Bridwell

Jason Bridwell fishes in the Volunteer Division of the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League, and his track record on Cherokee, a lake at which he considers himself a local, is nearly spotless, especially after a win in the FLW Tour Marshal program contest. READ MORE »

Apex’s Joyce Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Opener on Kerr Lake

Apex’s Joyce Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Opener on Kerr Lake

HENDERSON, N.C. – Boater Keith Joyce of Apex, North Carolina, caught five bass Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 5 ounces, to win the... READ MORE »

Dallas’ Smith Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Event on Toledo Bend

Dallas’ Smith Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Event on Toledo Bend

MANY, La. – Boater Ken Smith of Dallas, Texas, caught five bass Saturday weighing 21 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy division tournament on Toledo Bend. Smith... READ MORE »

Little Rock’s Clark Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Hamilton Presented by GEARED

Little Rock’s Clark Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Hamilton Presented by GEARED

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Boater Randall Clark of Little Rock, Arkansas, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 15 pounds, 11 ounces, to win... READ MORE »

Macon’s Lanier Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Sinclair

Macon’s Lanier Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Sinclair

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – Boater Justin Lanier of Macon, Georgia, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 1 ounce, to win... READ MORE »

Floyd Central High School Wins 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Cumberland Open

Floyd Central High School Wins 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Cumberland Open

BURNSIDE, Ky. – The Floyd Central High School duo of Zach Rose of Prestonsburg, Kentucky, and Cameron Crider of Dwale, Kentucky, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 16 pounds, 10 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Cumberland Open... READ MORE »

Oklahoma’s Upshaw Leads Wire-To-Wire, Wins FLW Tour on Cherokee Lake Presented by Lowrance

Oklahoma’s Upshaw Leads Wire-To-Wire, Wins FLW Tour on Cherokee Lake Presented by Lowrance

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Pro Andrew Upshaw of Tulsa, Oklahoma, won the FLW Tour at the Cherokee Lake presented by Lowrance after catching five bass Sunday weighing 15 pounds, 6 ounces. Upshaw’s four-day cumulative total of 20 bass weighing 67 pounds, 10 ounces, was enough... READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Cherokee Lake

FLW Live Leaderboard - Cherokee Lake

FLW Marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for stop No. 5 of the 2019 FLW Tour at Cherokee Lake. READ MORE »

Cherokee Lake Day 4 Coverage

Cherokee Lake Day 4 Coverage

Andrew Upshaw has a chance to go wire-to-wire for the win at the FLW Tour event presented by Lowrance on Cherokee Lake. The Oklahoma pro has led for three days thanks to his smallmouth pattern. The rest of the pros are catching mixed bags of largemouths and smallmouths. Many of the fish are spawning. READ MORE »

Murray State University Wins YETI FLW College Fishing Central Conference Opener on Lake Cumberland presented by Costa

Murray State University Wins YETI FLW College Fishing Central Conference Opener on Lake Cumberland presented by Costa

BURNSIDE, Ky. – The Murray State University duo of Hunter McKinley of Murray, Kentucky, and Brendan Bingham of Louisville, Kentucky, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Cumberland presented by Costa Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 8 ounces. The victory earned the Racer’s bass club $2,400 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National... READ MORE »

Upshaw Leads Field into Final Day of FLW Tour on Cherokee Lake Presented by Lowrance

Upshaw Leads Field into Final Day of FLW Tour on Cherokee Lake Presented by Lowrance

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Pro Andrew Upshaw of Tulsa, Oklahoma, maintained his lead Saturday at the FLW Tour at the Cherokee Lake presented by Lowrance after catching five... READ MORE »

Cherokee Lake Day 3 Coverage

It's a catch-fest at Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee, as the top 30 pros kick off the weekend rounds. Weights are packed together. The fish are spawning and eager to bite. It should be an exciting day of action. READ MORE »

Cherokee Day 3 Coverage

Cherokee Day 3 Coverage

It's a catch-fest at Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee, as the top 30 pros enter the weekend with hopes of catching Andrew Upshaw, who has led for two days. Largemouths and smallmouths are both spawning, and they are eager to bite. READ MORE »

Upshaw Holds Lead at FLW Tour on Cherokee Lake Presented by Lowrance

Upshaw Holds Lead at FLW Tour on Cherokee Lake Presented by Lowrance

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Pro Andrew Upshaw of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is still on top at the FLW Tour at the Cherokee Lake presented by Lowrance after catching five bass weighing 17 pounds, 14 ounces. Upshaw’s two-day total of 36-4 will lead the final 30 pros into the third day of... READ MORE »

Cherokee Lake Day 2 Coverage

Cherokee Lake Day 2 Coverage

Day one of the FLW Tour event at Cherokee Lake was a doozy. Pros hammered impressive numbers of largemouth and smallmouth bass on what was a perfect spring day in east Tennessee. Now, it's cut day, and everyone is hoping to make it into the top 30 and fish again on the weekend. READ MORE »

Cherokee Lake Day 1 Coverage

Cherokee Lake Day 1 Coverage

The FLW Tour visits Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee at the perfect time for a spring showdown. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are ready to spawn, and practice reports suggest a lot of fish will be caught. READ MORE »