UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2018 - Lake Okeechobee

Peter T is Back on Track

Peter T getting it done! Thliveros weighed 9-12 on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour on Beaver Lake and will start the day in ninth place.

Quick, who was the first Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year? If you answered Peter Thliveros, give yourself a pat on the back.

Peter T, as he’s more commonly known, led the pack in 1996, the year FLW burst onto the national bass tournament stage. Three years later, Thliveros had another stellar season and finished fourth in the annual standings. In fact, the Florida pro qualified for six consecutive Forrest Wood Cup championships between 1996 and 2001 (the year of 9/11, when there was no Cup) and was one of the Tour’s shining stars in its formative years.

It seemed Thliveros could do no wrong when he set out on the tournament path, but then came a lot of ups and downs in what became a rocky road for him. He finished 117th, 135th and 146th in 2002, 2003 and 2005, respectively, and disappeared from the Tour scene between 2006 until his return in 2012.

“It’s a long, complicated story, but the short version is that I couldn’t handle the two-tour tango, and I wound up fishing the B.A.S.S. side for a variety of reasons, mainly because of sponsor considerations,” says Peter T. “There were a lot of distractions. It took me five years to get my mind straight and go back to FLW.”

Though it took him a couple of seasons to regain his stride, Peter T seems to have resurrected his A game. During the 2015 qualifying campaign, he collected five paychecks in the six tournaments, including $17,000 at Beaver Lake in a seventh-place showing. It was his best season since 2000, when he finished 14th overall.

“I’ve simplified my fishing quite a bit. I decided I didn’t have time to figure out every little detail. I was just going to follow the basics of fishing and do what works,” he says. “I made some good decisions in the best tournaments I had this year. I made some good second-day adjustments. Even at Chickamauga I had a good second day; it just wasn’t good enough.”

Peter Thliveros is a stick at catching fish in shallow grass and proves it with this decent keeper.

Overall, though, Thliveros was good enough. Not only is he back in the Cup after a long hiatus, but his son, Nick, also qualified to fish in the championship as a co-angler (Roy and Sunny Hawk is the other father-son duo that reached the Cup this year) in his second year fishing the Tour.

Life is good now. The Thliveros family has owned a restaurant for 45 years, and last September Peter T also bought a diner on the south side of Jacksonville. While it isn’t a gold mine, according to Peter T, the diner is paying its bills and hasn’t accrued any outstanding debts. More importantly, it’s allowed him to fish the Tour without spreading himself thin with various sponsor obligations.

“I’ve always been involved with cooking and restaurants, so I’m comfortable doing what I’m doing there,” says the Sunshine State veteran. “I’ve got three main sponsors – Ranger, Evinrude and Lew’s – and I look after them. Otherwise, after 35 years of doing it [tournament fishing] the way I have, I’m OK. I’m not as strong as I was, and don’t have the speed and mobility I once had, but mentally I’m still in the game and enjoying fishing.”

More importantly, Peter T has been competitive in tournaments. His worst finish was 66th at Lake Chickamauga, and, though it seems contradictory, he placed 62nd on Lake Toho to start the season. Otherwise he never finished lower than 32nd (on the Potomac River) and fared well in tournaments at Lewis Smith, Beaver Lake and Lake Eufaula.

His finish at Beaver Lake suggests that Peter T could be a strong contender at Lake Ouachita, as the two lakes are similar in some respects. Both have rocky banks, lots of standing timber and deep, clear water. Ouachita also reminds Peter T of Lake Texoma, especially as it regards grass, and he doesn’t have much confidence when it comes to picking apart mats.

“That standing flooded timber in Ouachita can be like fishing grass so hopefully that will help,” says Peter T. “It’s cover, and it attracts baitfish. If the shallower stuff gets so much pressure that the fish pull out, offshore could be the deal.”

Peter T started the day fishing a fluke along the bank.

Like a lot of other qualifiers, Thliveros fished the lake before the cutoff, but the experience didn’t instill much confidence in him. He fished with Lawson Hibdon – Dion’s son, who is a Cup co-angler – and between them they only caught about 10 keepers in four days of fishing and scouting.

“It was slow, not a real confidence-builder,” Peter T says of the visit. “Of course, I haven’t fished Ouachita since Wes Strader won there [March 2002]. Heck, I’ve never fished an Ozark lake in the summer, so it’s going to be all outside the box for me. I know there’s more grass in Ouachita now, but I don’t think that’s going to do me any good, and there are brush piles everywhere, including some that have just been put down. It’s going to be a typical late-summer grind.”

Still, in the big-picture view, Peter T is pleased with the way things are going for him. At 55 he’s hit what to him is a nice pace and proved to himself and the fishing world that he still has the juice.

“It’s funny, but it’s like the restaurant has distracted me so that I have a different focus and mental attitude. It took my mind off worrying about sponsors and worrying about tournaments,” confesses Thliveros. “Now I don’t have time to outthink the whole deal. I’m not as wound up. It’s taken off the pressure of worrying about sponsors and making a living fishing. All that being said, though, once I’m out there on the water, I fish to win.”

Click here to see Peter T's online profile at FLWFishing.com.

Peter T heads out - he started the day in 18th and would love to make a second-consecutive top 10 cut.

Tags: peter-thliveros  forrest-wood-cup  colin-moore  angler-features 


FLW Podcast 171 - Sheldon Collings



Tour Rookie: Miles Howe

California’s Miles Howe is the latest Costa FLW Series Western Division standout to take his shot at the FLW Tour READ MORE »


2018 FLW Tour Roster

Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) announced today the complete professional angler roster for the upcoming 2018 FLW Tour season, the 23rd season of the FLW Tour. The 2018 FLW Tour features seven regular-season tournaments around the country with competition kicking off when FLW returns to Lake Okeechobee, Jan. 25-28 in Clewiston, Florida, and is headlined by the world championship of bass fishing, the Forrest Wood Cup at Lake Ouachita, Aug. 10-12 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. READ MORE »


Gift Ideas for Every Angler

Picking out a holiday gift for an angler can be a pretty tough task if you aren’t intimately familiar with their fishing needs, but it’s not impossible. Almost any of the below would be worthy gifts, and with a little tweaking they might be adaptable for someone who is particularly difficult to shop for. If none of the below fit the bill or budget, then there’s always the old standby of a Tackle Warehouse gift card, which will be appreciated by any angler. READ MORE »


The Most Memorable Fish of 2017

The single most memorable fish of the 2017 FLW Tour season might have been caught at the first tournament of the year, when Mark Rose made one last cast and caught a 6-pounder to best Bryan Thrift at the opener on Guntersville. Of course, there were thousands of other bass hooked the rest of the season, so it’s not like Rose’s fish stands alone. The following fish are the ones that are still stuck in the minds of Tour pros – for both good reasons and bad. READ MORE »


Jay Kendrick Q&A

I don’t want to come off cocky or overconfident, but I don’t remember having that feeling like I’d made it or anything. I never doubted I would. It was just a matter of time. Just like I have no doubt I’ll win an FLW Tour event. It’s just a matter of time, though I think that’s close. READ MORE »


Neko Rig Basics

The Neko Rig is a relatively new phenomenon in the bass community. Basically, it is a weighted version of a wacky rig with a weight inserted into just one end of the soft plastic, giving the bait a unique action as it falls and allows it to stand straight up once it hits the bottom. The rig is quickly becoming a staple for many bass pros and weekend warriors alike for one reason – it puts fish in the boat. READ MORE »


How Do You Value Yourself?

The most common questions I get from aspiring fishermen are about how to obtain sponsors and the industry norms when it comes to negotiating deals with them. All are great questions, but there are no simple answers. That’s because there is no right or wrong approach. Every professional goes about it differently. I’d like to give you my thoughts on the subject. READ MORE »


It’s Time to Move to the Front

Fishing with some of the greatest pros in the West has been awesome. Sure, it’s been challenging at times, given that a co-angler’s fishing space is limited, but I wouldn’t change anything about it. I’ve made good friends with many of the FLW Series anglers and it’s been awesome learning from them. READ MORE »


Review: Berkley Snap Jig

The Snap Jig appears to be a spinoff of the popular Rapala Jigging Rap and Snap Rap, which I mention not to knock Berkley for going the copycat route, but for background on why folks would get excited about a bait that looks more like ice fishing fodder than bass food. READ MORE »


Locating Winter Jerkbait Water

Stay open minded. Although these tips will give you some good starting points, ultimately the fish are where you find them. Give an area 20 minutes or so, then move on. If they are not where they are supposed to be, try something off the wall. Keep an eye on your electronics when idling and running. Capitalize on opportunities as they arise. READ MORE »


Hollowell’s 1-2 Umbrella Rig Punch

A half-dozen years ago, it was the hottest thing in the sport. Now, the umbrella rig is just another tool in bass anglers’ arsenal. Todd Hollowell is more than OK with that. Now that the multi-lure rigs have descended to the level of other ordinary bass options, there are times when he feels like he has them all to himself. And there are times when he makes them pay off in a big way. READ MORE »


FLW Podcast 170 - Cameron Gautney



20 Questions with Michael Matthee

The 31-year-old is a longtime winner in the South African tournament circuits who has earned alpha status in his home country with a blend of undying determination, skill and versatility. Look no further than his meteoric rise in the first ever sanctioned FLW South Africa fish-off. READ MORE »


More Family, Less Fishing

For me and my professional fishing career, the heart of the season lies in the first half of the year. Some would assume this leaves the second half wide open to just kick back, relax and catch some football games instead of fish. READ MORE »


Buddy Gross Q&A

I’ve never been one to watch all the tournaments on TV. I’m not a good spectator; I’d rather be actually fishing. Now my best friend and tournament partner, James Milling, he’s always watching them and keeping me informed. He shows up all the time with the latest and greatest fishing lures. He gets on me about it. READ MORE »


5 Proven Late-Season Patterns

Another year’s on its way out, but there’s still plenty of bass fishing left to do, and several seasonal patterns worth noting. So, amid those shortening days and declining temperatures, consider these late-season opportunities. READ MORE »


Be a Tackle Tinkerer

One of the few benefits of living in Wisconsin and having long, miserably cold winters is I have a lot of time to mess with my tackle. One of my favorite things to do is to custom-build baits and rods. I’ve done it all – pouring my own lead, building spinnerbaits and buzzbaits, pouring plastics, hand-tying skirts and hair jigs, powder-coating, airbrushing, and most recently building my own rods. READ MORE »


Cranking in the Deep and Cold

A lifetime of fishing offshore on Pickwick and other Tennessee River lakes has also taught him that while the fish will go shallow for the gizzard shad spawn in the fall, there’s usually a solid population that filters back offshore come September and October, schooling up in predictable spots just like they would in the summer. READ MORE »


Scott Martin's Video Series in Africa

Back in October, 14 countries competed for the title of world champion at the XIII Black Bass World Championships on the Vaal River in South Africa. Among the competing nations was the United States, which made its first appearance at the event and was represented by an all-star lineup of hammers, including team captain Scott Martin, Scott Canterbury, David Dudley, David Fritts, James Watson, Fred Roumbanis, Mark Rose and Lionel Botha. Martin brought his media team along to produce a series of videos documenting the team’s journey throughout the competition. READ MORE »