UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Tuesday Tour Update: Bohannan hoping to build off opener

Tuesday Tour Update: Bohannan hoping to build off opener
Greg Bohannan battles an Okeechobee largemouth.

After competing in regional tournaments at a high level for many years, Greg Bohannan fished his first Walmart FLW Tour season in 2008. Each of his first three years on Tour was productive and concluded with trips to the Forrest Wood Cup. But instead of continuing that progression, Bohannan's last three seasons have largely been substandard.

When Bohannan quit his job in 2007 as a plant manager at Tyson Foods to pursue pro fishing full time, most believed the transition would be an easy one. In addition to being affable, Bohannan was known as a fierce competitor in the Ozarks - dominating on rocky, clear lakes such as Table Rock, Beaver and Lake of the Ozarks. The FLW Tour schedule features more diverse fisheries and Bohannan quickly learned he needed to improve his grass game.

"All of my success, with the exception of my Rayovac win on the Columbus Pool, was Ozark related," said Bohannan. "And even the Columbus win came on a buzzbait so I was real comfortable there. When I started fishing the Tour I was lost as a grass fisherman. I couldn't tell coontail moss from duckweed. I couldn't identify hydrilla or eelgrass. I didn't know what any of that stuff was. My first FLW Tour event was on Toho and it was very intimidating. Everything out there looked the same to me; it was tough to distinguish anything in terms of cover. I think I finished third from last; it was basically disastrous.

Greg Bohannan lifts a bass out of the thick reeds."By no means am I a grass expert, but I understand the environment now - things like edges and mats. For the last several years I've been picking the minds of guys like Rose, Tharp and Tutt."

While Okeechobee is one grass lake that has been kind to him over the years, this season's second-place finish was an impressive performance. After catching 27-2 on day one, the largest tournament stringer of his career, Bohannan brought in an average 13-pound, 11-ounce bag on day two. After he and other competitors pounded his area hard for two days, the Kellogg's Pop-Tarts pro was thinking it was time to call a mid-tournament audible.

Bohannan's area was located at the mouth of Uncle Joe's Cut and the vast majority of the top 10 was fishing up around the North Shore and Harney Pond. He was about to jump ship and join the party.

"I'm beginning to think I've exhausted the area," recalled Bohannan. "I only had 13 pounds and there are boats everywhere and I can see everyone catching them. I'm wondering if the big fish are going to keep coming. I started there the third morning and by 10 a.m. I only had three little ones that basically weighed nothing. At this point I'm battling if it's exhausted or not. I really thought about going up north. I actually started the tournament up there around the mouth of the Monkey Box. I had a spinnerbait bite going but I had zero in the first couple hours so I quickly ran back south. As I was debating leaving in my mind, I missed one on a Gambler Big EZ. I was upset I missed the fish, but more importantly it told me I would be dumb to leave. Staying there was the difference between being second or finishing somewhere down in the lower teens."

Bohannan's second-place finish wasn't about lures or presentation at all really. He fan-casted the Big EZ almost exclusively, which is perhaps the most common soft plastic used on Okeechobee other than the Beaver. His success was tied to that little sweet spot in Uncle Joe's - but more so about his Second-place finisher Greg Bohannan holds up a good Lake Okeechobee largemouth.decision making not to leave it.

"I only caught one 4-pounder there in practice, but I caught a ton of little 14-inch males. The one thing I've learned over the years in Florida is that if you get that many bites, there are big ones there too."

Exhibiting that kind of decision making over the course of a season is the next step Bohannan wants to take.

"The last three years have been tough on me as a competitor. I used to think I could close my eyes and cash a check. Then I went through a stretch where I couldn't catch five if you put them in a bathtub. I don't like excuses, but I think part of my slump had to with my son Brock. I felt really guilty leaving home after he was born. Now he's in school so I feel a little better about it, but being away still pulls at me. Through it all, my wife has been a rock. No matter what happens, she's always positive."

Bohannan doesn't view his second-place finish as any sort of breakthrough, instead simply a promising performance.

"I need to continue to just stay relaxed and have fun. I'm so competitive I've thought a lot about why I can catch them so well in the Rayovacs but I struggle on Tour. To me, slumps in fishing are a lot like hitting a baseball. When you're seeing it, you're hitting it; it's normal. When you start thinking about it you go down a bad road. That extra thinking made me so uptight."

Equipment wise, Bohannan is pleased with the performance of his Ardent Apex reels and Denali Kovert rods - two new sponsors. In the past, he thought he understood the power needed to pull Okeechobee giants out of the thick vegetation, but in hindsight he was "bringing a knife to a gun fight."

Greg Bohannan on the hunt for an Okeechobee kicker.In addition, Bohannan credits a renewed commitment to time spent on the water.

"I now realize I wasn't fishing enough. I'm a guy that needs to fish more at home to feel confident. You're just more in tune with the conditions and that helps you make those critical decisions. I don't want this to sound like some sort of milestone. Finishing second is a great way to start the season, but my goal is to stay consistent and make the Forrest Wood Cup. Missing the championship the last three years has been so painful."

Notes:

Bohannan thanked Al and Rosemary Purvis, a Missouri couple who retired to south Florida, for their hospitality.

"Mark (Rose) and I have been staying with them the past few years and they've become like family. In fact, two years ago Al took me out on Okeechobee and really taught me the lake. We didn't fish, but we rode around and he showed me all the different areas. It's easy to be intimidated on a lake that vast. Al really helped me dissect it.

Tags: brett-carlson  article 

Check-in Time: Brian Latimer 

Check-in Time: Brian Latimer 

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 Brian Latimer.  READ MORE »

Big Little Boats

Big Little Boats

There is a massive surge in innovation in the fishing kayak industry, as evidenced by a showroom floor packed with canoes, kayaks, boats – and, in many cases, a combination of all of them – at ICAST 2019. READ MORE »

4 Hot New Reels from ICAST

4 Hot New Reels from ICAST

2019 is the year of the trolling motor at ICAST, but it wouldn’t be ICAST without at least a few next generation reels from some of the best manufacturers in the business. READ MORE »

New Baits from ICAST 2019

New Baits from ICAST 2019

Here’s a primer on some of the baits that we thought stood out at the show. It’s not a comprehensive list. Rather, it’s just a taste of what will probably make a splash on the market in the coming months.  READ MORE »

Sign up for Polaris Sportsman Giveaway

Sign up for Polaris Sportsman Giveaway

FLW has teamed up with its partners at Polaris to give away a Polaris Sportsman® 570 EPS valued at approximately $7,799. This special giveaway offer is being shared with FLW members and fans. READ MORE »

Ouachita to host Dee Zee FLW/KBF Cup

Ouachita to host Dee Zee FLW/KBF Cup

The Dee Zee FLW/KBF Cup presented by YakAttack will feature up to 238 of the top kayak bass anglers from around the country who have qualified for the event through the FLW/KBF Kayak Open, the KBF National Championship, the KBF Trail and the KBF Pro Tour. They will be competing for a total prize package of $18,000 – a $3,000 Dee Zee gift card and $15,000 in cash. READ MORE »

Winning Baits from the 2019 FLW Tour

Winning Baits from the 2019 FLW Tour

Before we shift our focus to previewing the 2019 FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton, let’s start with a look back at the baits that were used to win the seven FLW Tour events this season. READ MORE »

First 2020 FLW Tour Invites Sent

First 2020 FLW Tour Invites Sent

Today, FLW sent out 119 invitations for the 2020 FLW Tour to the top performers from the 2019 FLW Tour. These invitations are in alignment with the 2019 FLW Tour rules that were announced last summer that transitioned the Tour to a qualification system, as well as one amendment made to accommodate changes in the pro bass fishing industry. The amendment was announced to pros at the registration meeting for the season finale on Lake Champlain last week. READ MORE »

2019 FLW Cup Roster

2019 FLW Cup Roster

With Casey Scanlon’s win at Lake Champlain in the books – not to mention the crowning of David Dudley as Angler of the Year for the fourth time and Ron Nelson as Polaris Rookie of the Year – the 2019 FLW Tour season is complete. Now, focus turns to Hot Springs, Ark., and the 2019 FLW Cup August 9-11. READ MORE »

Cortiana Recovering from Wreck

Cortiana Recovering from Wreck

Oklahoma pro Kyle Cortiana was involved in an accident near Indianapolis on his way home from the FLW Tour event at Lake Champlain on Saturday. He has since been released from of a local hospital and is now in a hotel room recovering and waiting for a ride home to the Sooner State.  READ MORE »

Melissa Browne’s First Look at Champlain

Melissa Browne’s First Look at Champlain

When Browne passed away last month after a difficult fight with cancer, there was one item on his list with regard to Champlain that remained unchecked. And it had nothing to do with actually competing there.  Glenn never got to take his wife, Melissa, to visit Champlain and spend time together in the Adirondack region. She’s remedying the situation this week by participating in the FLW Marshal program. READ MORE »

Jonathan Henry, 1982-2019

Jonathan Henry, 1982-2019

Professional angler Jonathan Henry of Grant, Ala., lost his battle with cancer today. He was 36 years old. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Buddy Gross

Check-in Time: Buddy Gross

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 Buddy Gross.  READ MORE »

FLW Spain Championship Recap

FLW Spain Championship Recap

The 2019 FLW Spain Championship took place June 1-2 in the waters of the Garcia Sola reservoir. The event, which was the qualifying route to the Costa FLW Series Championship, was hosted by the municipality of Herrera del Duque. The team of Mario Sánchez and Juan Luis Sánchez topped the field with a total weight of 19 pounds, 9 ounces. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: David Williams 

Check-in Time: David Williams 

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 David Williams. READ MORE »

Reserve Your FLW Cup VIP Pass Now

Reserve Your FLW Cup VIP Pass Now

If you’re an FLW member, now is the time to start planning your trip to Hot Springs, Ark., for the 2019 FLW Cup Aug. 9-11. Act now to take advantage of special members-only VIP benefits by signing up for a special VIP pass. READ MORE »

Cox and Dudley on their AOY Chances

Cox and Dudley on their AOY Chances

Every angler starts his season with the hope of being in contention for AOY by the final tournament. Mathematically, only a handful of anglers are still in it this year, but realistically, as the FLW Tour heads to its final stop of 2019 at Lake Champlain, it’s a two-angler race. READ MORE »

Rapala Varsity Bass Premieres at 2 p.m. CT

Rapala Varsity Bass Premieres at 2 p.m. CT

The long-awaited premiere of Rapala Varsity Bass is here. In Episode 1, college fishing competitor Tyler Anderson takes on Lake Texoma. Along the way, Tyler offers an intimate portrait into his life as a YouTuber, tournament angler and senior at Texas A&M. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Josh Douglas

Check-in Time: Josh Douglas

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 Josh Douglas.  READ MORE »

Bass Fishing's in the Blood for Swanson Brothers

Bass Fishing's in the Blood for Swanson Brothers

You could debate whether it’s nature or nurture that starts an angler toward success in tournament bass fishing. In the case of Thor and Mitchell Swanson, the answer is both.  READ MORE »