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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Freeman Best From the Back

Freeman Best From the Back
Steve Freeman

The first time Steve Freeman of Eddysville, Ky., laid eyes on Lake of the Ozarks was just a few days ago. Now, he’s heading back to Kentucky with some hardware and a certificate for a Ranger Z175 with a 90-horsepower Evinrude outboard, plus $5,000 cash for being Ranger Cup qualified for winning the co-angler side of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude.

Jeremy Lawyer's winning pattern

Complete results

Freeman is used to fishing from the front of the boat on Kentucky Lake, though he’s no stranger to co-angler competition with FLW. In fact, he’s got four other top 10s from the back of the boat.

Being that this was his first trek to Lake of the Ozarks, finding some common ground between it and home helped speed the learning process.

“The first time I saw the lake was on Tuesday,” Freeman says. “I got off work at 4 a.m. Tuesday morning and drove right over. I was on the water by 9:30 a.m. It was new to me, but it kind of fits how I like to fish. I’m used to fishing ledges back on Kentucky Lake, so since I could drag something around and feel brush, I was confident I could catch fish.”

Freeman fished the first day with Jason Vance to catch 11 pounds, 4 ounces to sit in 8th. On day two, he was paired with Ozark hammer Jason Sykora to catch 16-10 – his biggest of the tournament – to take the lead. Today, with Stacy King he only managed three fish, but they were enough to get the job done.

“I fished a Zoom Magnum Trick Worm on a Texas rig with a ½- or ¾- ounce weight most of the week,” says the 51-year-old. “When I felt brush, I’d soak it in there and usually get a bite.

“I got a tip from my buddy, Drew Sanford (who fishes as a boater), before coming here that a lot of co-anglers use light weights. He said to try heavier so you can get down there quicker and feel brush better, so that’s what I did.”

Aside from the Texas rig, Freeman also caught a key fish on day two and three on a ½-ounce bladed hair jig. It’s something he’s used to fishing at home and provided a different offering to the heavily pressured bass on Lake of the Ozarks.

Freeman made a deal with his nephew, Lance Freeman, that if Lance fished the Central Division as a boater he would sign up to be a co-angler. The deal held, both are heading to the Costa FLW Series Championship in a few weeks and now Freeman has some extra money in his pocket.

“I had a lucky week, but a good week,” Freeman says. “I need to thank Ranger for what they do along with FLW and Ron Lappin. I know Ron is retiring after this year and a lot of guys won’t get to see him anymore, but I still will because we live close to each other and that’s a benefit to me. Ron is a super nice guy and one of the best to ever be in his position.”

 

Top 10 co-anglers:

1. Steve Freeman – Eddyville, Ky. – 33-12 (13) –  $27,350 + $5,000 Ranger Cup

2. JP Sims – Cookeville, Tenn. – 30-15 (13) – $5,250

3. Phil Williams Jr. – Jamestown, Ky. – 28-14 (9) – $4,250

4. Scott Parsons – Roger, Ark. – 28-14 (11) – $3,600

5. Max Wilson – Everton, Mo. – 28-0 (11) – $3,100

6. Mike Youngblood – St. Louis, Mo. – 25-9 (11) – $2,600

7. Brad Hostetler – Franklin, Ill. – 24-6 (9) – $2,100

8. Jason Sandidge – Centerton, Ark. – 23-7 (10) – $1,800

9. Joshua Dyrland – Imperial, Mo. – 22-2 (8) - $1,520

10. Tyrone Phillips – Little Rock, Ark. – 20-1 (10) - $1,270

 

 

Tags: kyle-wood  co-angler-headline  2018-10-11-lake-of-the-ozarks 

Check-in Time: Jeremy Lawyer

Check-in Time: Jeremy Lawyer

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with Missouri pro Jeremy Lawyer.  READ MORE »

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Roger Fitzpatrick has had quite a fall fishing season. He won the BFL Super Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks in September, then qualified for the All-American by winning the BFL Regional on Grand Lake in October. READ MORE »

Morris Locks up Central Division AOY

Morris Locks up Central Division AOY

It’s not often an angler wins a Strike King Angler of the Year title in a Costa FLW Series division by chance, and while skill is what carried Jake Morris to his first Costa AOY title, chance definitely brought him to the opportunity. 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 »

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 »

Meador Repeats Co-Angler Win on Grand

Meador Repeats Co-Angler Win on Grand

Defending his title as co-angler winner in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, was impressive enough, but the way Steven Meador did it was truly remarkable. After earning the 2018 win on Grand by 3 pounds, 6 ounces, the Bentonville, Ark., co-angler repeated the victory with a three-day total of 27-15 for a much slimmer winning margin this time around – just 10 ounces. READ MORE »

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 4

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 4

The final five T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Super Tournaments took place over the weekend, bringing BFL regular-season competition to a close. Regional tournaments will kick off Oct. 10, and by the end of the month the majority of the field for the 2020 All-American will be set.  READ MORE »

Farage Earns Fourth Co-Angler Win

Farage Earns Fourth Co-Angler Win

Weighing 14 pounds, 2 ounces on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta, Jack Farage totaled 37-2 to edge ahead of Cesar Laguna for the co-angler win. The win is Farage's fourth as a co-angler at the FLW Series level and he took home a brand new Ranger boat because of it.  READ MORE »

The Cal Delta is Looking Good

The Cal Delta is Looking Good

This week the Costa FLW Series Western Division will conclude with the final event of the season on the California Delta. The tournament, which is presented by Power-Pole, should showcase a different side of the Delta, given that most of the Western Division tournaments on the famed fishery take place in the spring. That said, last year’s event on the Delta fell on nearly identical dates as this year and could be a good tease for how things may shake out this time around. READ MORE »

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 3

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 3

The third round of T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Super Tournament action saw smallmouths, spotted bass and largemouths all make an appearance as six divisions put a bow on the season with their respective two-day events. Here’s a quick recap of what all played out in the action spanning from the Detroit River down to Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 2

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 2

The second weekend in September saw seven more T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) divisions conclude their seasons with two-day Super Tournament events. From the Tennessee River to the St. Lawrence River and a few places in between, here’s a quick look at how the seven events were won. READ MORE »

Big Smallmouths, Big Water for Season Finale

Big Smallmouths, Big Water for Season Finale

Any tournament with smallmouths in it is a good one, but when the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits heads to the St. Lawrence River it's usually a show-stopper. This year’s event, which is presented by Realtree Fishing, shouldn’t be any different as the Northern Division looks to close its season out on one of the best smallmouth fisheries in the world September 19-21. READ MORE »

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 1

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 1

College football, hooded sweatshirts and the conclusion of the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) regular season are what come to mind as the calendar turns to September. This past weekend, six divisions put a feather in their cap for the year with their two-day Super Tournament events – where the payouts are bigger – but, more importantly, it’s the last chance to accumulate points to qualify for the Regionals this October. READ MORE »

How to Finesse Weed line Largemouths

How to Finesse Weed line Largemouths

When it comes to finesse baits that put fish in the boat, the Ned rig has certainly earned a spot as a go-to for bass anglers across the country. While it catches pretty much everything that swims, most of the attention gets put on catching northern smallmouths or Ozarks-region largemouths and spotted bass with it.   READ MORE »

The Smallmouth-Alewife Connection

The Smallmouth-Alewife Connection

Smallmouths across the Great Lakes region and North Country have no shortage of food to eat, but while they’re very opportunistic, they can also get locked in on certain forage from time to time. One of their favorites, when present, is the alewife. READ MORE »

Short Tops co-anglers

Short Tops co-anglers

Weighing a limit on day one and two bags of just four fish each over the next two days was enough to earn Jim Short the co-angler title in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits on the Potomac River. Weighing 9 pounds, 15 ounces on the final day for a total of 29-9, Short took home a new Ranger Z175 and $5,350 in cash. READ MORE »

Thrift Roams Hamilton on Day 2

Thrift Roams Hamilton on Day 2

In seemingly any tournament that Bryan Thrift shows up to he is without a doubt one of the favorites to win. With two FLW Tour Angler of the Year titles, six Tour wins and five Costa FLW Series wins – including his most recent on Lake Champlain just a few weeks ago – it’s easy to understand why. READ MORE »

Review: Storm 360GT Largo Shad

Review: Storm 360GT Largo Shad

While the 360GT Searchbait made some noise in the bass world, the Coastal line offers a swimbait that looks more than juicy for bass of all shapes and sizes. Enter the Largo Shad. After hearing some rumors about how good the swimbait is – and even some comparisons to Keitechs – I got my hands on a few packs and took them for a test ride. READ MORE »

Pre-Practice Report from Hamilton

Pre-Practice Report from Hamilton

For some, preparation has been in the form of map study and online research, while others have made the trek to Lake Hamilton to get eyes on the playing field, which went off limits July 22. READ MORE »

McKee Takes Co-Angler Title

McKee Takes Co-Angler Title

Weighing in 16 pounds, 2 ounces on day three, Henry McKee beat out co-angler superstar Gary Haraguchi for the win in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division on Champlain. With a 47-8 total, McKee won a $1,050 and a brand-new Ranger Z175 with a 90-horsepower outboard. READ MORE »