UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Grand Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Schmitt Drops 24-11

Schmitt Drops 24-11
Bryan Schmitt

There’s no denying the effects Hurricane Irma had on the Big O.  Massive sections of vegetation and reed lines are gone, torn away by the storm. Throw in heavy winds throughout the winter churning up most of the lake, and it’s little surprise that doom-and-gloom was on everyone’s lips during practice for the FLW Tour Event presented by Evinrude on Lake Okeechobee.

If you listened to the dock talk, you’d have thought the anglers were fishing the Dead Sea. Fortunately, changes aside, Lake Okeechobee still can produce like few other fisheries, and she certainly showed off Thursday on day one of the 2018 FLW Tour’s kickoff event, as nine anglers cracked the 20-pound mark, with leader Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Md., weighing in a 24-pound, 11-ounce bag.

Practice with Schmitt

Top five patterns 

Complete results

“This was not expected,” says Schmitt. “I never caught a good fish in practice, but the final afternoon I found an area where I got a ton of little bites. Apparently, those fish grew up today.”

Starting off, however, the fishing didn’t come easy. It wasn’t until he made a key bait switch after an hour and a half that the “lightbulb went off.” Then it was game on, with his bag eventually being anchored by twin 6-pound, 13-ounce fish.

As pleased as he is with his first day of fishing for the season, there is cause for concern. The forecast for day two calls for more heavy winds and a direction shift. That shift, if it comes true, could force a lot of muddy water into Schmitt’s area.

“I don’t know if [the area] will be toast or not,” Schmitt says. “It’ll be close, as the wind today was just scraping it. If it switches it may be done.”

Schmitt still figures he has to start there Friday based on what it produced, but if it gets trashed, he’ll be forced to make a tough decision, as his only other productive area is so far away it makes him question if he’ll have enough gas to fish both.

Regardless, the shallow grass fisherman from the Potomac River says he was due to finally have a day like Friday.

“The last two times I’ve been here I called my wife after practice to tell her to buy plane tickets to get down here, because I thought I’d found the mother lode,” says Schmitt. “Then this lake burned me both times.

“This time I thought the fishing was terrible and it wasn’t. It was a great change. I’ll take it.”

 

Top 10 pros

1. Bryan Schmitt – Deale, Md. – 24-11 (5)

2. Mark Rose – West Memphis, Ark. – 24-0 (5)

3. Christopher Brasher – Longview, Texas – 22-0 (5)

4. Britt Myers – Clover, S.C. – 21-8 (5)

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

6. Michael Neal – Dayton, Tenn. – 21-0 (5)

7. Cory Johnston – Cavan, Ont. – 20-11 (5)

8. Brandon Mosley –  Chocktaw, Okla. – 20-9 (5)

9. Cameron Gautney – Muscle Shoals, Ala. – 20-5 (5)

10. Bradley Dortch – Atmore, Ala. – 19-9 (5)

Complete results

 

Roberts’ Late Heroics take Co-angler Lead

Twenty minutes changed Dustin Roberts’ day from good to a lifetime memory.

Fishing with pro Shane Lineberger, Roberts was sitting on three fish with only 20 minutes until they had to head back to weigh-in. Granted, one was a 9-pound, 7-ounce giant that took Simms Big Bass honors on day one, so he was still pretty happy. Then everything just went right.

“We made a short move and I caught two fish on back-to-back casts,” says Lineberger, whose 23-pound, 13-ounce bag would’ve put him in third on the pro side. “When that happened, I said I was done and packed up all my gear. When I finished, Shane said we still had a minute. So I stood up, made a cast and caught a 6-pounder. It was incredible.”

Making things even more incredible is Roberts lost another giant that could’ve pushed his bag toward the 30-pound mark. 

Complete results

 

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

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 »

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 »

Co-Angler Fernengel Finishes Strong

Co-Angler Fernengel Finishes Strong

He got bumped from the top spot by an ounce on day one, and slipped the third on day two. But Erick Fernengel of Lake Waukomis, Mo., finally ended up on top when it mattered most.  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 »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude is fixing to get fun based on what’s already happened today and what could happen. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Sure enough, with conditions changing from rain and clouds to sun and wind, the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks, which is presented by Evinrude, has made it tough on guys. Of course, day-two leader James Watson predicted that some of the biggest bags of the event would come in today despite the conditions, and he was right. READ MORE »

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Weather has been the storyline leading up to the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude. With storms and rain blowing through yesterday ahead of a cold front, the cooler weather set in today making fishing tough on some, but others took advantage of the change. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

A cold front that brought temperatures in the 40s, rain and wind has the bass in a funk on day two of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Even some of the best locals were driving the struggle bus all day trying to find ways to adapt to fish that moved thanks to the heavy storms. Yet, some guys did adapt well, with the best being Ladd Shannon and his 19-pound, 6-ounce tournament-leading bag. READ MORE »

Shannon Leads the Ozark Charge

Shannon Leads the Ozark Charge

After losing over an hour of fishing time due to a massive thunderstorm that rolled through the area early this morning causing a lightning delay, day one of the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake of the Ozarks looked to be a grinder of an event. The tournament, which is presented by Evinrude, saw plenty of fish catching by midday, but no size to speak of. Ladd Shannon of Atkins, Ark., managed to scrape up a limit worth 19 pounds, 6 ounces by the end of the day and sits in first by 1-11 over FLW pro Greg Bohannan. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

All the talk leading up the final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks was about the weather. And Mother Nature did not disappoint. READ MORE »

Stormy Start at Lake of the Ozarks

Stormy Start at Lake of the Ozarks

The final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks will launch right as a massive cold front arrives. How massive? The forecast has been calling for heavy rain and a high of 74 today, and so far hasn’t been wrong. A major thunderstorm greeted anglers this morning and delayed takeoff by an hour and fifteen minutes thanks to abundant lightning. Tomorrow? A high in the mid 40s. READ MORE »

Rampey Stays Red Hot on Hartwell

Rampey Stays Red Hot on Hartwell

After winning a T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Super Tournament on Lake Hartwell a few weeks ago, Jayme Rampey of Liberty, S.C., was certainly one of the favorites heading into the BFL Regional on the same pond this past weekend. Lo and behold, he wouldn’t disappoint, and notched his 11th career BFL win – five of which have come on Hartwell – and won a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower motor, plus $20,000 cash for his efforts. READ MORE »

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Curt Warren was a paragon of consistency over three days at Grand Lake, and the result was a victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. Warren turned in limits of 14-5 on day one and 16-9 on day two, but it was his day-three limit of 15-9 that was the most impressive – no other pro even cracked the 13-pound mark battling the tough post-frontal conditions Grand had to offer on day three. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

When conditions changed, Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas completely scrapped his day-one pattern, caught a limit that weighed 13-11 and took over the lead of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event, presented by T-H Marine, with a two-day total of 32-14. Here’s what the rest of the top five was up to on day two. READ MORE »

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

After his sizzling day-one pattern fizzled, Cody Bird adjusted his focus to a completely different scenario and sacked up a limit of 13-11 on day two to take over the lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, with a two day total of 32-14. Going into Saturday’s final round, Bird holds a 7-ounce lead over day-one leader and Grand Lake stick Jason Christie. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., leveraged his intimate understanding of Grand Lake’s tendencies to catch a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces to take the lead on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event Presented by T-H Marine. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Oklahoma stick Jason Christie overcame the unsettling effects of a passing cold front to sack up a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces for the day one lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

After several weeks of hot, sunny conditions, anglers launched with cloudy skies, stout winds and air temperatures in the low 60s. By midday, the temperature rose into the mid to upper 60s and the wind started to subside, however, the first couple of hours saw Grand Lake’s temperamental side. READ MORE »