UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Erie

Thliveros Brings it Home

Thliveros Brings it Home

Back in 2013 Nick Thliveros earned the first win of his FLW career. He was a co-angler at the time, though getting that first trophy and check helped reinforce his desires to move to the front of the boat. In 2016, he committed to that dream, and now in his fourth year as a pro fishing the Costa FLW Series, Thliveros has a second win under his belt – this one from the front of the boat at the 2019 season opener for the Southeastern Division on Lake Okeechobee.

Complete results

Heading into the final day of the tournament, which was presented by Power-Pole, Thliveros clung to what would normally be considered a small lead on Okeechobee – just 4 pounds, 7 ounces – and figured he needed to catch a solid bag to have a shot to win. In fact, most pros had high hopes for big weights on the final day. However, the fishing didn’t quite live up to the hype, and Thliveros’ 10-15 catch was more than enough to lock up the W and earn a check worth $54,000.

The key for Thliveros was to take advantage of the conditions the lake presented: cool, dirty and low water. He took his search outside the main body of the lake and settled on a canal area between Henry Creek and J&S.

“I wanted to find consistent water, and that area I caught them is where I caught them last year when the lake wasn’t normal [high and dirty from a hurricane],” Thliveros says. “I was catching prespawn fish that were waiting to pull up, and they were feeding. I was cranking rock, and all of my fish were within 5 feet of the bank.”

The canal system produced some good fish, but it was a key bite on day two that really gave him confidence to keep doing it.

“I was getting a reaction bite from a lot of fish,” continues the 25-year-old pro. “I’d feel them bump the bait or they’d be hooked on the back hook, and I didn’t feel like it was right. On day two, my co-angler caught a few on a Senko, and I missed a few early. I was thinking maybe I needed to change. I flipped for a bit, but went back to the crankbait, and a few casts in I caught my first keeper. It was a 6-pounder. That fish told me I didn’t need to put the crankbait down, so I kept it in my hand.”

Later on day two, Thliveros caught another solid fish back near Clewiston while cranking a rock spot that is part of the original rock from the rim ditch. Those clutch bites put him up to the 19-pound range and ultimately would help give him the win.

Cranking rock got him to day three, but that bite was fading as warmer weather finally got the bass out of their funk and thinking about spawning. That’s when Thliveros made the best decision of his career.

“Jason [Abram] and I were sharing water all week, and it was fine,” explains Thliveros. “Today, Jason and I were fishing toward each other. As we came together he caught a 9-pounder. We were so close that I just gave him a high five. It stung a bit because I only had two little keepers. But I didn’t get spun out. It got my wheels turning because he caught that fish flipping, and I saw more fish up cruising, and I knew my cranking bite was over. So, I pulled the plug and ran to the lake.”

At 10:45 Thliveros scrapped the plan that got him to the final round and ran to the Monkey Box to a place fellow competitors and friends Darrell Davis and Tim Frederick had told him about. It was a shallow area where fish were setting up to spawn, and Thliveros figured worse case he could scrounge up a few 2-pounders to save the day. It worked.

“I was going for broke,” he says of the move. “As soon as I got in the area I saw fish cruising and rubbing on beds. I stayed in there and got some good bites. It was a key move that won the tournament for me.”

Thliveros cranked a Lucky Craft silent square-bill. There was a fair amount of people fishing where he was the first two days, and he believes the silent crankbait got him a few more bites. He also used a 7.1:1 gear ratio reel, which allowed him to run the trolling motor at a higher speed and still crank efficiently, but also get a better reaction bite when he slowed down in an area.

Today, he relied on a Nichols jig with a blue bug-colored Strike King Rage Craw and a Texas-rigged black, blue and silver-colored Bitters Salty Sling with a 1/32-ounce Bullet Weights tungsten weight to catch his fish.

While the money is a nice perk that goes along with the win, for Thliveros there’s so much more to it. The son of legendary FLW Tour pro Peter T, Nick says having his dad compete in the tournament and be there alongside him during weigh-in was better than any amount of money.

“The fact is that my dad is my mentor and my hero,” Nick says. “He has as many hours on the water as anyone who chases bass. To be able to finally put it together and win with him here is a special moment. I’ve always wanted to win as a pro with him here. I take a lot of pride in it, and I see it as a bit of a passing of the torch in a way.

“To celebrate we’re going to the Elks lodge in Clewiston for steak night, and I’ll tell you what, I’m buying for everyone.”

 

Top 10 pros:

1. Nick Thliveros – St. Augustine, Fla. – 46-1 – $54,000

2. Cody Nichols – Fayette, Ala. – 42-0 – $22,200

3. Jason Abram – Piney Flats, Tenn. – 42-0 – $15,350

4. Brett Preuett – Monroe, La. – 39-9 – $$13,250

5. Sandy Melvin – Boca Grande, Fla. – 38-2 – $12,250

6. Bryan New – Belmont, N.C. – 38-2 – $9,625

7. Lance Oligschlaeger – Gallatin, Tenn. – 38-1 – $8,300

8. David Parsons – Dothan, Ala. – 35-10 – $7,300

9. Billy Hall – Greenback, Tenn. – 34-6 – $6,300

10. Val Osinski – Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – 32-4 – $4,700

Tags: kyle-wood  headline-story  2019-01-31-lake-okeechobee 

Lake Erie Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Lake Erie Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Day one of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie was not dominated by St. Clair as some expected. Though St. Clair did produce the lead for Scott Dobson, a hodgepodge of techniques and locations got it done for the other top pros on Erie. READ MORE »

Michigan Division Kicks Off on St. Clair

Michigan Division Kicks Off on St. Clair

There’s nothing better than clear water and big smallmouths, and that’s exactly what the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Michigan Division plans to deliver this year. The division, which is presented by ARE, is set to open the season July 18 on Lake St. Clair in what should be a heavyweight showdown of smallmouths. READ MORE »

Dobson Takes Slim Lead on Erie

Dobson Takes Slim Lead on Erie

The weights on day one of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie were about what folks expected: plenty of quality fish, but a lack of the plump 4- and 5-pounders that Erie is so known for. Weighing one of only two bags over 20 pounds, Scott Dobson put 20-12 on the scale after a day of fishing that took him as far from Sandusky as the mouth of the St. Clair River. READ MORE »

Hoosier Division Heads for Ohio River

Hoosier Division Heads for Ohio River

After kicking off the season on Lake Monroe with a double-header at the end of June, the Hoosier Division of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine turns east for stop No. 3 on the Ohio River at Tanners Creek. READ MORE »

Everything in Play on Mighty Miss

Everything in Play on Mighty Miss

The Mississippi River is the staple venue of the Great Lakes Division in Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine competition. Come July 18, the division will take its first crack at the Mighty Miss in what could shape up to be a diverse event. READ MORE »

A Dream Come True

A Dream Come True

On June 27, 16-year-old Noah Crogan’s big wish came to fruition at the Apple Island Marina on Lake Champlain when he became the owner of a brand-new Tracker aluminum bass boat. Thanks to Make-A-Wish Vermont, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and local anglers – including Phoenix Bass Fishing League and Toyota Series angler Cole Harris – Crogan was surprised at the marina with the boat, along with plenty of rods and tackle to get him on the water. READ MORE »

Pirowski Flips for Potomac Title

Pirowski Flips for Potomac Title

Boater Alex Pirowski of Occoquan, Virginia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 3 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. For his victory, Pirowski earned a total of $5,337. READ MORE »

Richmond Wins on Ouachita

Richmond Wins on Ouachita

Boater Russell Richmond of Sheridan, Arkansas, brought three bass to the scale Saturday totaling 11 pounds, 5 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Ouachita in Mount Ida, Arkansas. Richmond topped his nearest competitor, Stephen Browning of Hot Springs, Arkansas, by 1-pound, 1-ounce and earned $4,394 for his victory. READ MORE »

McClain, Drake Take Hoosier Double-Header

McClain, Drake Take Hoosier Double-Header

It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Bloomington with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Lake Monroe events presented by Fish-Intel. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced the organization to pause competition in mid-March. READ MORE »

Okie Double-Header on Arkansas River

Okie Double-Header on Arkansas River

It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Muskogee with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on the Arkansas River events. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced the organization to pause competition in mid-March. READ MORE »

Losee, Tweite Close out High School Championship

Losee, Tweite Close out High School Championship

The Riceville (Iowa) High School team of Lawson Losee and Kooper Tweite won the 2020 Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River out of La Crosse, Wis., with a three-day (three bass per day) total weight of 30 pounds, 4 ounces. Losee and Tweite topped 194 of the top high school teams in the country. READ MORE »

It’s All Wheeler on Chickamauga

It’s All Wheeler on Chickamauga

You’re not going to find a bass angler on a hotter streak right now than Tennessee’s Jacob Wheeler. Prior to this week, the 29-year-old pro had won five multiple-day tournaments since the start of the 2019 season. Today, the No. 1 ranked angler in the world added a sixth victory to his impressive run by dominating the first-ever Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga. Wheeler’s four-day total of 93 pounds, 12 ounces earned him the win by a margin of more than 11 pounds. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 4 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

Losee, Tweite Take Over High School Lead

Losee, Tweite Take Over High School Lead

Lawson Losee and Kooper Tweite of Riceville High School in Riceville, Iowa, have the lead going into the final day of the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wis. Their two-day total of 19 pounds, 2 ounces (three-fish limit per day) has Losee and Tweite 1 pound, 1 ounce ahead of the second-place team. The top 10 teams compete tomorrow for the title.  READ MORE »

Wheeler Crushes 25-12 to Retake Lead

Wheeler Crushes 25-12 to Retake Lead

Day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament was another banner day on Chickamauga, but it was a really stupendous day for Jacob Wheeler. Weighing 25-12 with a 10-pounder for a 72-6 total, Wheeler cruised back into the lead with no problem. Heading into the final day, Wheeler has a 4-13 edge over Jason Reyes, who weighed 17-11 and dropped to second with a 62-3 total. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 3 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

Mains, Chapman Lead High School Championship

Mains, Chapman Lead High School Championship

Legacy Christian Academy (Lenexa, Kan.) anglers Ryder Mains and Mason Chapman have the early lead at the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wis. With a three-fish limit worth 11 pounds, 11 ounces, Mains and Chapman lead the second-place team by 1 pound, 9 ounces.  READ MORE »

Reyes Surges Ahead

Reyes Surges Ahead

The big fish bit on day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga. While the first day featured plenty of good fishing, both Jason Reyes and Cole Floyd caught bags that crossed the 25-pound mark on day two. Weighing 27 pounds, 4 ounces, Reyes surged into the lead with a 49-14 total. READ MORE »

High School Championship Under Way at La Crosse

High School Championship Under Way at La Crosse

La Crosse, Wis., has been inundated with bass boats this past week as young anglers pre-fished and boat drivers got them into casting position on the mighty Mississippi for the FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite National Championship. This three-day lure-slinging event, June 24-26, 2020, is likely to showcase this area’s amazing bass fishery, as well the diversity of techniques that can be used to catch them in early summer.  READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 2 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »