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Monday, February 10, 2014
Brett Hite Wins 2014 Walmart FLW on Lake Okeechobee
Arizona pro goes wire-to-wire to claim $125,000 prize
09.Feb.2014 by Kyle Wood
CLEWISTON, Fla. – Brett Hite sealed up his second win on the Walmart FLW Tour this week in dominating fashion. Though his weights slipped every day, Hite still pulled away with 6-pound, 6-ounce margin of victory. The best part for Hite was that he did it his way. He is known to be one of the best with fishing a vibrating jig and he proved it this week after hauling in 88-14 from the Big O.
Brett went wire to wire to win. (Photos: FLW)
Getting off on the right foot is key in any tournament and Hite had hopes of catching a decent limit to put him in the pack on day one.
“I had no idea I would catch nearly 35 pounds on the first day,” said Hite, who has been tournament fishing since he got out of high school. “I thought I could do maybe 18 or 20 when I was driving to my first spot. As I got closer I saw there were two shiner boats on where I wanted to be. I made a loop around them to start on the other side and when I pulled up it was on.”
It was on to the tune of 34-15 to take a commanding lead and grab the record for the second-largest single catch in FLW Tour history. From there he would add 23-8 to his total after day two to take over a 12-pound lead. He kept that lead coming into the final day with his catch of 15-12 and with his smallest limit yet – 14-11 – Hite would place his hands on the title and the $125,000 check.
“To win you have to have a flawless tournament. You don’t get the opportunity to win too often so when it happens you need to take advantage. I fished with a ton of confidence all week and got to fish a style that I love.”
It started for Hite when he checked the same area he usually inhabits when the FLW Tour comes to Okeechobee located around the Monkey Box and Fisheating Bay area. Most of the field rushes towards the bank , while Hite prefers the wide open water away from there.
“I checked that area on the first day of practice which is normally where I fish down here. Usually in the past there has been less grass and I’ll catch them there good one day but not the next. This year there was more hydrilla than I have seen and it got my wheels turning and I knew this tournament would play to how I like it.
Vibrating jigs and flipping on the last two days kept Hite ahead of the pack.
“I started out fishing in Arizona around structure. I have always considered myself good on structure and over the years consider grass a strength as well. Fishing an outside grass edge like I did is just like fishing structure. I knew that with more grass those areas would hold a ton of fish, and they did.”
Hite stayed focused on what he called “salad bowls” or places that held multiple types of vegetation. Where you found those, you would find big numbers of bass. The large flat outside the Monkey Box and Fisheating Bay area contained this sweet spots and Hite had them dialed in. He focused on the clumps of grass, hard bottom within the grass, grass points or any other change in the grass line that would concentrate bass. Most of these areas he knew from years of fishing the area.
When he fished the grass Hite used two different vibrating jigs depending on the conditions. He had a black and blue one tied on with a Yamamoto Swimming Senko for a trailer (same color) for early in the morning. When the sun would get higher in the sky he switched over to a green pumpkin vibrating jig with matching Swimming Senko. As the wind would get calm he mixed in a ¼-ounce swim jig with a Swimming Senko – also in green pumpkin. He had those tied on with 20-pound Sunline Sniper and Shooter fluorocarbon.
The vibrating jig and swim jig made a devastating combination on days one and two, but the third day of competition forced Hite to make a change.
“I can tell you right now that I would not have won if it wasn’t for my decision to change to my back up pattern on day three. I didn’t get the bites I was looking for on my primary pattern so I made the call to go flipping. I made sure that I had two different patterns and that they were in the same area. Using your time wisely makes all the difference to maximize your time fishing.”
Hite flipped a 1 ½-ounce Reins tungsten weight with a Yamamoto Flappin’ Hog on 60-pound SX1 braid from Sunline.