Okeechobee Day 3 Coverage

Okeechobee Day 3 Coverage
Tim Frederick

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2:10 Shuttering the blog for the day

We’re killing the blog for now, but there’s still about an hour of fishing time left before check-in at 3:15 p.m. ET. The fishing has been a little more up and down today, but it looks like we’re going to have a very interesting weigh-in, with a tight race to make the top-10 cut and a possible new leader in the form of Tim Frederick. For that action, you’ll want to head to flwfishing.com at 4 p.m. ET or come on down to Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort.


1:55 Brasher and Cory Johnston limit

Chris Brasher finally filled out his limit with a little one and Cory Johnston did the same a short while ago. Both have fallen off the pace today in a big way, but with more than an hour left to fish they’ve still got a good shot to make something happen.


1:50 Frederick is living right

Tim Frederick just backlashed his way into a 3-pounder to cull up to nearly 23 pounds (perhaps more). After deadsticking his bait while he picked it out he reeled up on it and got her in the boat.


1:30 Real Deal is back at it

Michael Neal has been plugging away all day and recently upgraded to around 14 pounds. That’s going to help him out a lot in his efforts to make the cut from 18th place and it unofficially has him in eighth at the moment.


1:20 Big moves at the top

Tim Frederick is backing up his promise to do work today. Another 5-pounder a minute ago pushes his total over 20 pounds and he’s now unofficially in the lead. He’s methodically pitching to isolated cattails and whatnot and it really seems to be paying off.


1:10 Rose adds again, Cory J has his fourth

Mark Rose just pulled a 3-pounder into the boat to get his limit to about 12 pounds. Rose is really mixing it up today with a few different moving baits, mostly targeting sparse buck brush around hydrilla. Meanwhile, Cory Johnston finally caught his fourth fish, a quality 3-pounder, and is now back in the running to make the cut.


1:05 Williams roundup

David Williams has had a really good day. He’s trying to make the cut out of 28th place, and he’s unofficially in 15th with about 15 pounds in the livewell now. He’s fishing way over on the east side of the lake with a spinnerbait and a swim jig and has been catching pretty steady all day long.


1:00 Stewart looks for the cut

Tyler Stewart seems on pace to make the cut. He just added a 4-pounder to his total and has a bag in the teens now. That should be enough to hold him in the top 10 and will make for an awfully impressive rookie debut.


12:44 Rose makes it happen

Mark Rose is back in action with a 5-pounder. He’s struggled this morning, but the afternoon should offer the best fishing of the day and a double-digit limit should keep things tight heading into Sunday.



12:30 Don’t give it to Schmitt just yet!

We’ve got some shootout potential now. With Bryan Schmitt fishing better (despite colder weather blowing in), Tim Frederick decided to step up his game. He stepped it up with a 7-pounder to bring his limit up around 17 pounds. That closes the gap between him and Schmitt considerably and makes things very interesting for the rest of the afternoon.


12:21 Rose is culling

Mark Rose has finished and is culling up with a small limit. Our estimate here isn’t that great, but it seems like he’s just got a small limit now and hasn’t really tangled with anything big yet.


12:17 Schmitt is feeling it

Our fearless leader just stuck a 2-pounder to cull up another half-pound. He also missed another big one a few minutes ago. All told, he seems to be well on his way to retaining and perhaps significantly widening his lead for the final day.


12:08 Martin stuck on two

Scott Martin isn’t making the most of his home-lake advantage so far. He seems to have made the cut fairly handily, but he only has two small keepers in the boat so far today. It’s been a struggle.


11:50 Morgenthaler is moving

Chad Morgenthaler has kept the pressure on today. He culled a minute ago with a 4-pounder and has about 16 pounds in the boat. He’s looking to go from 17th to the cut, and it looks like he may well do it. He’s been down south all day flipping, and there really isn’t much pressure in that area now at all.




11:41 Schmitt!

Someone finally caught a good one. Bryan Schmitt just put a 7-pounder in the boat to roar ahead. He’s unofficially over the 60-pound mark now and into the low teens for the day.


11:38 Chris J puts one in the ‘well

Chris Johnston had to measure his fourth keeper to make sure it’d go, but now he’s one shy of a limit. He’s WELL shy of the 28-7 he weighed yesterday, but there’s a lot of time left.


11:30 Cory J with a keeper, some location tweaks

Cory Johnston finally caught his first keeper. It’s small, but it’s a start.

Over at Harney, our leaders are working deeper into the reeds as the day goes on. It’s a slight change, but maybe going a bit shallower will be the key to some bigger bites.


11:25 Morgenthaler culls

Chad Morgenthaler is always good in Florida and he’s just jumped up the board a little more with a solid 4-pounder. He’s up into the teens now and could be on track to make the cut if the fishing stays tougher.


11:08 Scanlon with a 4-pounder

Casey Scanlon has really come into his own since his switch to the FLW Tour and today he’s doing pretty well again. Though he’s shy of a limit, he just caught a 4-pounder for his third fish. A few more good ones and he could swing up from 13th into the cut.


11:05 Meyer limits, condition report

Cody Meyer just pushed into the low teens with a 3-pounder. He’s looking more sure for the cut all the time.

It’s warm on Okeechobee now, but the wind is still rolling and some clouds are starting to move in. The water conditions in Harney Pond look good, but the fishing hasn’t really met expectations thus far.


10:55 Kenney limits

JT Kenney just filled out a limit for about 11 pounds. He’s got all decent fish and no real dinks, but he’s lacking the kickers he toted to the scale on day one. Nonetheless, the Florida stick is certainly chipping away.


1:38 Williams, Frederick limit

David Williams just filled things out with a solid 3-pounder to get up around 13 pounds. It seems like he’s going to make a run at the cut today. Tim Frederick has finished his limit now with a couple of skippers and is just ounces off the unofficial lead.


10:35 Cory J is looking for a limit

Cory Johnston left Harney Pond and the leaders to make a quick run to Moonshine Bay in an effort to catch some keepers. He says Harney Pond is better in the afternoon, and if he’s playing it right it could be a very good move.


10:30 Schmitt adds a fourth

Bryan Schmitt’s fourth fish is a small keeper. It bit his vibrating jig a few times before he managed to get it to stick.


10:28 ULM limits, McMillan catches a good one

Tyler Stewart and Brett Preuett both graduated from the University of Louisiana-Monroe after decorated college careers and both have finished out small limits early on day three. Brandon McMillan has four, but his fourth was a 4-pounder and he seems to be gaining steam on the flipping side of things.


10:13 Cory J is on the move

Cory Johnston just left Harney Pond without a fish in the box. We’ll see where he heads, but that’s certainly a noteworthy change.


10:00 Leader update

The leaders have had a fairly slow start so far. Chris Johnston and Mark Rose each have a pair of keepers. Cory Johnston is chilling with an empty livewell and Christopher Brasher has just one. Bryan Schmitt has three small ones. Tim Frederick is really the only one in the top five doing much, but again, it’s very early.


9:50 Williams wops a big one

David Williams has three in the boat and just caught a 5-pounder that crushed his bait right by the boat. That’s exactly the size he’ll need to move from 28th into the top 10 for another day of fishing.


9:40 Morgenthaler culls first

Chad Morgenthaler limited out a bit ago and just culled up from one small keeper to another small keeper. That gives him a total on the day of about 11 pounds.

9:32 One shy of a limit for Mosley

Brandon Mosley had a rough rookie season, but he’s off to a great start in his sophomore year on Tour. The Oklahoma pro has four small ones in the ‘well right now and is hunting a hammer or two.


9:15 McMillan adds a 4-pounder

Jared McMillan is off to a pretty decent start with a 4-pounder he just caught and a couple other keepers. He hasn’t gotten the notoriety of his older brother, but he’s a hammer on the Big O and is one to watch for sure.


9:10 We’ve got a ton of fish on the board

There are fish catches pretty much across the board at this point. Brett Preuett has a pair in the boat. Scott Canterbury and Chad Morgenthaler each have four. Both McMillans have fish. Tyler Stewart has a pair now, James Watson has a 3-pounder in the ‘well and Scott Martin just boxed up his first keeper. 


9:00 Frederick has a big start

Tim Frederick got lost to start, but he’s started well. He’s got a 6-pounder and a smaller keeper in the box already and seemed ultra-confident about the day. So, it could be a good one.


8:50 Schmitt has three

Bryan Schmitt is working fast this morning with three keepers, but it’s likely that none of them will make the ride back to weigh-in. Christopher Brasher has one small one, but the rest of the leaders are still fishless.


8:45 Hammerbury action

Scott Canterbury just caught another 4-pounder. He’s got more than 10 pounds in the boat with just three fish and is looking for more.  


8:35 Schmitt is on the board

Bryan Schmitt is the first of the leaders to get one in the boat. It’s just a 2-pounder, but you’ve got to start somewhere.


8:28 Meyer and Hammerbury strike

Cody Meyer is cooking this morning. It’s very early, but he just put a 4-pounder in the boat and it sure seems like he’s headed for a fourth day of competition down here on Okeechobee. Scott Canterbury is also rocking early with a 4-pounder and a 3-pounder in the boat as well.


8:17 Everyone is in and fishing

All the top five pros have set down now and started fishing. All told, they’re within about 300 yards of each other. Bryan Schmitt is fishing isolated clumps of reeds, but the rest of the crew is just out rolling in the hydrilla.


8:12 Almost time up north

The leaders should just be starting fishing now, so expect some giants in short order. It’s warm and fairly calm and it feels like a perfect day for a pile of big females to swim up. The water looks nice and clear, and though there are plenty of locals kicking around there ought to be enough space for everyone.


7:59 Another for Meyer, Morgenthaler goes big

Cody Meyer has another decent keeper in the boat to start off and Chad Morgenthaler just popped a chunky 3-pounder to get his day rolling. With that, we’ve also got the live estimates rolling.


7:49 Meyer strikes first

In typical fashion, Cody Meyer is on the board quickly with a 2-pounder. We’ll have a ton of updates coming in today, but the California pro has the honor of being the first. It’s a lovely day in Clewiston and with FLW Live starting at 8:30 a.m. ET it should be a great day on Okeechobee.


7:30 Just the top 30 fish on day three

Lake Okeechobee sure showed out on day two of the FLW Tour presented by Evinrude. With another nine bags over 20 pounds and Chris Johnston’s massive 28-pounder, the lake seems to be firing on all cylinders heading into the final two days of the season opener.

Leading the pack, Bryan Schmitt and Mark Rose are neck and neck and a really huge day could legitimately put either of them on track to break the century mark. Of course, no lead is actually safe on Okeechobee, as the lake can be fickle and almost anyone can catch a giant bag on a given day. While keeping an eye on the leaders will be key, the downfield movement will be just as interesting. With 30 pros fishing day three, the top 10 spots for Sunday are at even more of a premium than in years past. Pretty much everyone in the top 30 now has demonstrated remarkable consistency or had at least one exceptional day – now pretty much everyone past 15th place is gunning for it.

Most of the damage is being done up around the north end of the lake in hydrilla with moving baits, but we’ve seen plenty of catches on flukes and Senkos as well. Because it’s Okeechobee, the top 10 also includes some of the best flippers in the world, like Chad Morgenthaler, Brandon McMillan and JT Kenney. So far, hydrilla and moving baits have won out, but that’s not necessarily going to continue.  



Temperature at takeoff: 64 degrees

Forecast high: 75 degrees

Sky: mostly cloudy

Precipitation: 0 percent chance of rain

Wind: east at 16 mph


Tournament Details

Folgers Morning Takeoff: 7:30 a.m. ET at Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort, 920 East Del Monte Ave., Clewiston, Fla.

Weigh-in: Thursday and Friday at 3 p.m. ET at Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and 4 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday at Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina

FLW Expo: 12 to 4 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday at Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina

FLW Live: Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. ET to 12:30 p.m. ET

Complete details

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

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