UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

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 

The Weather Factor: Rayburn

The Weather Factor: Rayburn

Weather is a storyline in almost every tournament throughout the course of the year, but from winter through spring it can often be the biggest influencing factor in a tournament. Warming trends and cold snaps can send fish flooding to the bank or retreating to the safety of deeper water in no time. READ MORE »

Rookie Profile: Laramy Strickland

Rookie Profile: Laramy Strickland

Being a rookie on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit can be daunting no matter what age you are. This year, there are 28 newcomers eager to prove themselves against some of the best in the game. And while the bulk of them have been chasing the dream for a while, 22-year-old Laramy Strickland of Bushnell, Fla., will be one of the younger pros looking to make a name in the industry. READ MORE »

2020 Cherokee Lake Preview

2020 Cherokee Lake Preview

Built in the 1940s by the Tennessee Valley Authority, Cherokee Lake is nestled in the hills of east Tennessee. The Holston River impoundment lies roughly between Norris Lake to the northwest and Douglas Lake to the southeast. The clear waters of Cherokee can fluctuate about 30 feet between winter pool and spring flooding, which sounds like a lot, but isn’t out of the ordinary for the average east Tennessee reservoir. So, depending on the water level, Cherokee has about 400 miles of shoreline and 28,780 surface acres. READ MORE »

2020 Lake Martin Preview

2020 Lake Martin Preview

Lake Martin was created back in 1926 when the Martin Dam was completed on the Tallapoosa River. At the time, the 44,000-acre reservoir was the largest man-made body of water in the world, though it obviously no longer holds that distinction. READ MORE »

2020 Sam Rayburn Preview

2020 Sam Rayburn Preview

Sam Rayburn has a reputation as a phenomenal bass fishery and a giant in the tournament world. At more than 114,000 acres, it’s the largest reservoir contained entirely within the borders of the Lone Star State. READ MORE »

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade - Part 2

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade - Part 2

From start to finish, the last decade was a wild ride for fishing. The top stories are amazingly diverse, with huge business changes, some incredible tournament feats, and entirely new techniques and lures taking center stage. READ MORE »

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade

The Top 50 Stories of the Decade

From start to finish, the last decade was a wild ride for fishing. The top stories are amazingly diverse, with huge business changes, some incredible tournament feats, and entirely new techniques and lures taking center stage. READ MORE »

Running Ditches for Winter Bass

Running Ditches for Winter Bass

There are a lot of excuses to not go fishing this time of year. Though, if you like catching bass and avoiding the crowds, you should definitely consider keeping the boat hooked up to your truck instead of the 4-wheeler. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Tom Monsoor

Check-in Time: Tom Monsoor

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 Wisconsin pro Tom Monsoor.  READ MORE »

Nixon Ready for Fresh Start

Nixon Ready for Fresh Start

Except 2020 will be different for the General. He’ll miss the season opener on Sam Rayburn and stop No. 2 at the Harris Chain. In fact, he might not get to launch a boat for the 2020 Pro Circuit until stop No. 4 or 5 in April. READ MORE »

Review: VMC Tokyo Rig

Review: VMC Tokyo Rig

When the VMC Tokyo Rig first debuted at ICAST in 2018, a lot of folks didn’t know what to make of the weird-looking contraption. Some thought of it as a gimmick. I kind of felt that way at first until some industry friends told me about their success with it. It didn’t take long before I had a few in hand and was ready to take it for a spin. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Kurt Mitchell

Check-in Time: Kurt Mitchell

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 Delaware pro Kurt Mitchell.  READ MORE »

Wall Back to Building Baits

Wall Back to Building Baits

The offseason for many professional anglers is a time to hang out with family and take a step away from a bass boat, while some even swap time on the water for time in a deer stand or duck blind. Not so for Jacob Wall, who just wrapped his first year as a professional angler. READ MORE »

How the Pros Spend Thanksgiving

How the Pros Spend Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy the company of family and friends – especially those we might not get to see that often. And, of course, it’s time to indulge in some delicious food while giving thanks for what we have in our lives. For professional anglers, the holiday is even more special because it lands during that small portion of the year when they’re not on the road and can spend a little extra time relaxing at home. READ MORE »

Cash in on the Florida Prespawn

Cash in on the Florida Prespawn

Growing up on Lake Okeechobee, Jared McMillan loves to flip for big fish when the opportunity presents itself, but he’ll be the first to tell you that mid-November can be one of the best times to be on the water. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Bradford Beavers

Check-in Time: Bradford Beavers

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 South Carolina pro Bradford Beavers.  READ MORE »

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 »