UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Champlain

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 

Review: Strike King Thunder Cricket

Review: Strike King Thunder Cricket

Ever since Z-Man released the ChatterBait anglers haven’t really had the need to broaden their vibrating jig horizon – and not for lack of options, but simply because the ChatterBait is so good that you don’t really need anything else. With the launch of the Z-Man ChatterBait Jack Hammer a few years ago and the instant buzz surrounding it, the bar was set high for any other vibrating jigs entering the market. READ MORE »

Dudley Wins Historic 4th AOY

Dudley Wins Historic 4th AOY

Taking to the second to last day of the 2019 FLW Tour season, David Dudley finally did it again, triumphing over John Cox to win a historic fourth FLW Tour Angler of the Year title. Winning his first AOY in 2008, and then going back-to-back in 2011 and 2012, Dudley is now the only pro with four titles to their credit, surpassing both Clark Wendlandt and Andy Morgan. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Pros caught fish everywhere from in the middle of flooded jungles of brush to deep main-lake drops. The top finishers pretty much all power fished with soft plastics, crankbaits and frogs. READ MORE »

Co-angler Crown Goes to Freeman

Co-angler Crown Goes to Freeman

Three solid draws and three solid days of adjusting to different areas of the lake helped Arkansas co-angler Zack Freeman earn his second FLW win and his first at the Costa FLW Series level this week at the Sam Rayburn event, which is presented by Mercury. READ MORE »

High Water, Good Fishing at Rayburn

High Water, Good Fishing at Rayburn

Thanks to Mother Nature, the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division, which was originally scheduled to take place on Grand Lake, will now take place at Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Rayburn was supposed to host the division finale, but extreme high water on Grand forced the swap. The tournament, which is presented by Mercury Marine, kicks off on Thursday. READ MORE »

Co-angler Dacey Wins Wire-to-Wire

Co-angler Dacey Wins Wire-to-Wire

Winning the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American is a feat in itself, but to win wire-to-wire from the back of the boat is a whole different level. With 11 pounds and 11 ounces on the final day, Ben Dacey of Chesterfield, Va., closed out his win with a total of 38-2. For the win, Dacey earned $50,000 and also qualified for the Costa FLW Series Championship this fall. READ MORE »

Huntze Closes Door for Co-angler W

Huntze Closes Door for Co-angler W

Logan Huntze, the youngest competitor in the co-angler field, showed that age is just a number, as the 19-year-old earned a convincing Clear Lake victory at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats by amassing a three-day total of 57 pounds, 15 ounces. READ MORE »

Co-Angler Parsons Wins for Brother 

Co-Angler Parsons Wins for Brother 

Co-angler Scott Parsons won the Costa FLW Series Central Division event at Table Rock Lake with a combination of smallmouth and largemouth bass. He dedicated the win to his late brother, Dustin, who died of cancer in 2016. READ MORE »

Spawn in Full Bloom on Table Rock

Spawn in Full Bloom on Table Rock

Stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division should shape up to be quite the catchfest. Coming off of the division opener on Kentucky Lake, where pros were challenged with tough fishing, this week’s event, which is presented by Power-Pole and hosted by Explore Branson, should be stellar in terms of both numbers and quality of fish.  READ MORE »

Tapp Nets Santee Title and COY

Tapp Nets Santee Title and COY

Fast forward to today, and Tapp is back in the winner’s circle again, having won the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event presented by Power-Pole on Santee Cooper. His two-day weight of 32 pounds, 10 ounces didn’t just blow away the field and give him the tournament win, though. It also crowned him the 2019 Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division Co-angler of the Year. READ MORE »

2019 Lake Chickamauga Preview

2019 Lake Chickamauga Preview

Lake Chickamauga in east Tennessee is a big-bass playground where anglers regularly catch trophy fish that surpass 10 pounds. In early May, it'll host the FLW Tour for the third time in six years. Previous events were held in June, so this stop promises to offer a different look at the Chick. READ MORE »

Co-angler Bickers Wins by Ounces

Co-angler Bickers Wins by Ounces

One fish is unlikely to win a three-day tournament, but the right one can help an angler dig out of a hole. Just ask co-angler Troy Bickers, who rebounded from the dreaded day-one goose egg to go worst-to-first in the Costa FLW Series Central Division opener presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake with a winning weight of 20 pounds, 14 ounces. READ MORE »

Kentucky Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Kentucky Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Question marks are about the only certainty for day three of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake, as the top 10 pros scattered and left us lean on details on a day where changing weather could see changing fortunes. After two dreary days of cloudy, dim conditions, the final round brought lots of the bright, sunny stuff that pushes fish tighter to cover and makes them easier to target. Also, considerably more warmth may very well put the giddy-up on seasonal progression. No one’s getting too crazy with visions of heavy bed-fishing, but accelerated prespawn movement is certainly possible. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Kentucky Lake – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Kentucky Lake – Day 2

Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and vibrating jigs fished on rocky staging areas has been the primary pattern for catching big prespawn largemouth bass on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley at the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lawrence. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Day 3 Coverage

Grand Lake Day 3 Coverage

Bailey Boutries leads the FLW Tour event presented by Mercury at Grand Lake in Oklahoma heading into day three. Today's forecast is for cold, with some thunderstorms, so it's going to be a challenging day for sure. It'll take a real effort to make it into the top 10. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Day 2 Coverage

Grand Lake Day 2 Coverage

Kyle Weisenburger has a big lead heading into the second day of competition at the FLW Tour event presented by Mercury at Grand Lake in Oklahoma. Follow along to see if he can maintain his pace. READ MORE »

2019 Grand Lake Preview

2019 Grand Lake Preview

Grand Lake is situated in Northeast Oklahoma among the foothills of the Ozarks. The impoundment was created in 1940 when the Pensacola Dam was finished along the Grand River. The 46,500-surface-acre reservoir now hosts plenty of recreational opportunities, but more importantly, is also home to some of the best bass fishing in the country. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Seminole

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Seminole

Prespawn bass were the main storyline for the third stop of the FLW Tour on Lake Seminole presented by Costa. Finding areas that held concentrations of staging bass was vital to fishing all four days and most of the pros rode individual spots to their respective finishes. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Seminole

Top 10 Baits from Lake Seminole

Vibrating jigs and Texas-rigged soft-plastic creature baits, along with a few finesse baits, were the primary tools used to catch prespawn bass from hydrilla beds on Lake Seminole in March. Learn how to put more early spring fish in the boat with the lures used by the top 10 pros. READ MORE »

B. Lat Becomes a Champion

B. Lat Becomes a Champion

The final day of the FLW Tour presented by Costa on Lake Seminole was fireworks from start to finish. All day long, Braxton Setzer, Sheldon Collings and Brian Latimer traded blows, landing one big one after another. In the end, Brian Latimer weighed 21-3 for an 80-15 total – enough to hold on to his lead and earn the first Tour win of his career. READ MORE »