UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

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Okeechobee Top 5 Patterns - Day 1

Okeechobee Top 5 Patterns - Day 1
Britt Myers

Florida’s fish and Lake Okeechobee are known to be fickle. Both held true Thursday on day one of the FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude on Lake Okeechobee. An awful practice period turned into a great first day, with 10 bags cracking 20 pounds, led by Bryan Schmitt’s 24-11.

Of course, a fickle nature means things can change overnight, and with a heavy wind switch forecast for day two, it just might. That said, many of the top 5 – though pleasantly surprised by their weights – are still optimistic for the remainder of the tournament.

Schmitt’s leading pattern

Complete results

 

2. Mark Rose – West Memphis, Ark. – 24-0

Rose certainly knows how to start strong.

Last year he won the first two Tour events of the season, and he’s started off 2018 in similar fashion with his second-place bag on day one. However, much like Schmitt, he was surprised by the uptick in weights compared to practice.

“I thought if I could catch 15 pounds I’d be doing well,” says Rose. “But in practice you’re rolling through areas quickly just looking for bites. That’s not how to succeed in Florida. You have to put your Florida Face on and slow down. That’s what I did today, really picking apart my area.”

It wasn’t so much a bait or pattern for Rose, as he caught his limit on a number of different lures. It was all about being methodical and getting a pair of key big bites – a 6-8 and 6-13 – from one key area with clean water on the north end.

Unfortunately, Rose is pretty sure that clean water will disappear on Friday. Fortunately, he has a backup plan.

“I have a couple other areas that are similar,” says Rose. “So I may not go back to today’s area. It all just depends on the weather.”

 

3. Christopher Brasher – Longview, Texas – 22-0

Brasher knew from practice that his main area had some quality. It just took a simple switch in tactics to be able to show it off.

Late in practice, Brasher located an area on the north end where he shook off what he felt were some bigger bites. Thursday, however, those bites didn’t come. Figuring the fish didn’t leave, Brasher switched from one technique to another and immediately connected.

“I probably caught 15 keepers today,” says Brasher. “My co and I would catch some small ones, and then one of us would catch a big one, like the 7-pounder I had.”

Brasher – like most pros – is worried about the wind. Like Rose, he has a backup plan, but he doesn’t figure it has near the quality of his main area.

 

4. Britt Myers – Clover, S.C. – 21-8

Myers had an awful practice like everyone else, only his was for different reasons.

“I was sick with the flu,” says Myers. “One of the days I went to bed at 5 p.m. and physically couldn’t get out of bed until 7:30 a.m. the next morning.”

With little practice time or strength, he chose to hunker down and not leave one area on the north end where he’d gotten a couple bites. Turns out, it was the right choice.

“I had 15 pounds by 9 a.m. and then I think the adrenaline kicked in,” says Myers. “That got me through the rest of the day.”

Unfortunately, his area began muddying up later on Friday, and with a limited practice he may have to scramble a bit for a backup plan.

 

5. Tyler Stewart – West Monroe, La. – 21-2

Talk about making an entrance.

The 23-year-old rookie had the tournament day of his dreams on his very first day as a pro. In fact, almost from the very first cast.

“Within the first 20 minutes I had 18-19 pounds,” says Stewart, who won two regional events fishing in college for the University of Louisiana-Monroe. “I had to stop myself to realize what was happening. This is my first tournament straight out of college. Today was incredible. It was the epitome of what I’ve wanted to do my entire life.”

Of course, like everyone else, Stewart’s practice left much to be desired. Fortunately, late the final day he came upon an area on the north end that looked the part.

“I went in there today with an open mind and am doing something different than everybody else,” says Stewart. “It went exactly as I always dreamed. It was unreal.”

 

Tags: sean-ostruszka  headline-story  2018-01-25-lake-okeechobee 

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