UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Wylie

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 

Abram’s Dream Comes True

Abram’s Dream Comes True

All week on Lake Martin for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit the weights have been close, so it was only fitting that the final weigh-in followed suit. READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 4 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin in Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

Abram One Day Away

Abram One Day Away

Day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Lake Martin was a bit tougher for the 30 pros on the water, and while quality has been tough to come by all week, that was especially the case today READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 3 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin in Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

Abram Out Front on Martin

Abram Out Front on Martin

Same story, different day on Lake Martin for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit. When it comes to catching fish, Martin is on fire at the moment. However, just like on day one, big bites are tough to come by on the Alabama fishery. READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 2 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin in Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

Adams Leads at Martin

Adams Leads at Martin

Catching fish wasn’t going to be the issue for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Lake Martin and after day one that certainly was the case. With the entire field catching a limit, the weights are stacked with a little over 4 pounds separating 100th and 10th. Finding a Lake Martin kicker was Barron Adams, who sacked 17 pounds, 2 ounces to take the lead – thanks in large part to his 8-13 Berkley Big Bass. Just 15 ounces back is Derrick Snavely and the weights tighten up a lot from there. READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 1 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin kicks off a day early from Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Martin

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Martin

FLW media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the third stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Martin. READ MORE »

FLW Shifts Start Date at Lake Martin

FLW Shifts Start Date at Lake Martin

FLW announced today that this week’s Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event at Lake Martin, originally scheduled to start Thursday, has been shifted and will now begin competition Wednesday. Hosted by the Alexander City Chamber, the tournament will remain a four-day event and will now run through Saturday. This decision is based on a desire to allow pros, who began practicing for the tournament March 15, to safely complete the event and return home as quickly as possible amid evolving COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control. READ MORE »

Practice Report: Lake Martin

Practice Report: Lake Martin

March in Alabama can be boom or bust in terms of weather, but luckily this week’s forecast calls for mostly gorgeous springtime weather for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Martin. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits and Patterns from Havasu

Top 10 Baits and Patterns from Havasu

Results from the Toyota Series Western Division event at Lake Havasu probably didn’t surprise any Western anglers who are familiar with the fishery. For folks in other parts of the country that might only have followed FLW’s early February events on the Colorado River reservoir, the tournament results might have opened some eyes to just how good the fishing can be on Havasu. Particularly on day one, the lake delivered, kicking out 12 limits of more than 20 pounds, including Tai Au’s limit of 26 pounds, 1 ounce. The success on day one resulted from a perfect storm of conditions for catching spawning bass on beds.  READ MORE »

Dice Gets it Done on Smith Mountain

Dice Gets it Done on Smith Mountain

Jack Dice of Lynchburg, Virginia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 22 pounds even to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Smith Mountain Lake in Huddleston, Virginia. For his victory, Dice earned a total of $5,246. READ MORE »

Steckler Claims Ozark Title

Steckler Claims Ozark Title

Cory Steckler of Rocky Mount, Missouri, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 7 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri. For his victory, Steckler earned a total of $13,457, including the lucrative $7,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus contingency award. The victory was the second win of Steckler’s FLW career. READ MORE »

Graham Wins on Dale Hollow

Graham Wins on Dale Hollow

Brett Graham of Cold Spring, Kentucky, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 18 pounds, 11 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Mountain division opener at Dale Hollow Reservoir in Byrdstown, Tennessee. For his victory, Graham earned a total of $6,000. READ MORE »

Au Finishes Strong at Lake Havasu

Au Finishes Strong at Lake Havasu

Tai Au of Glendale, Ariz., weighed in a five-bass limit worth 16 pounds, 15 ounces today to finish off a wire-to-wire win at the Toyota Series Western Division season opener on Lake Havasu. Au’s three-day total was 61-3.  READ MORE »

Medlock Brings it Home on Big O

Medlock Brings it Home on Big O

Weighing the biggest limit of the final day worth 19 pounds, 4 ounces, Brandon Medlock locked up his third Toyota Series title in the Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee. With 54-4 overall, Medlock won comfortably and was essentially the only pro to put together two very good days of fishing, with a 13-9 catch on day one as his worst day. READ MORE »

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 3

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Okeechobee is proving to be just as tense as expected. With the entire top 10 less than 4 pounds apart, anything can happen, and it’s entirely possible that someone in ninth or 10th catches a big bag to come from behind. READ MORE »

Au Stays Ahead on Tougher Day Two

Au Stays Ahead on Tougher Day Two

Tournament leader Tai Au managed to stay in first place by recognizing key environmental factors and knowing when to change up his baits. Yesterday, four of the five bass that Au weighed in were bass he caught sight-fishing. Today, he didn’t look at any of the bass he brought to the scale. Au still managed to weigh in 18 pounds, 3 ounces, taking his two-day total to 44-4. He’s searching for his first FLW victory this week.  READ MORE »

Medlock Ahead on Okeechobee

Medlock Ahead on Okeechobee

Despite nice weather this week, which has been a rarity for FLW tournaments in Florida this year, the fishing on Okeechobee just hasn’t been what the lake is capable of producing. Still, Okeechobee hammer Brandon Medlock rallied on day two dropping 21 pounds, 7 ounces on the scale to take the lead in the Toyota Series Southern Division event on the Big O with 35 pounds even. READ MORE »