Monday, January 29, 2018

Tim Frederick Wins 2018 FLW Tour Lake Okeechobee with 85-04lbs!

Johnstons finish 9th and 10th.
By by Sean Ostruszka3

Last minute 9 pounder seals the deal for Tim.
(Photo: FLW)
Tim Frederick and Bryan Schmitt both caught giant bass in the final minutes. Both thought their fish pushed them over the edge for the win. Frederick’s was bigger, and that was the difference.
With only 10 minutes left to his final day, Frederick knew he needed a giant to have a chance. That chance happened soon after when he stuck a 9-pounder that edged him above Schmitt by little more than a pound to win the FLW Tour presented by Evinrude on Lake Okeechobee.
“I couldn’t be happier,” says the Leesburg, Fla., pro of his first Tour victory. “This is what I’ve always dreamed about.” Frederick’s 19-pound, 14-ounce day four bag brought his total weight to 85 pounds, 4 ounces.
The dream had been steadily turning into a nightmare the longer day four went on. His pattern of target fishing for bedding fish he couldn’t see seemed to be failing him, as he struggled to get bit most of the morning. He finally stuck a 4-pounder around midday, but that still left him well short of the 17 pounds he figured he needed to hold on for the win.
“I was so stressed,” says Frederick. “I didn’t know if I should leave or stay. I figured it was all I had, so I ended up staying. I’m sure glad I day, because then I stuck that 9-pounder with 10 minutes to go, and that was the difference. The biggest key for me all week was patience, and it paid off today.”
Frederick focused his attention during the event on the Spoil Islands area near Harney Pond – an area that actually was inaccessible until Hurricane Irma ripped it open last fall. Once he got in there, he found vast patches of reeds, pads and various targets, which was key as he didn’t cast unless it was at a target, figuring there would be spawning females bedded nearby. That’s where his history as a Florida angler paid off, as he relied on his knowledge of how big females set up on pieces of cover – typically on the points and edges of a patch of cover – to direct his casts.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

2018 FLW Tour Lake Okeechobee Day 3: Tim Frederick Grads Lead with 65-06lbs!

Cory Johnston 4th & Chris Johnston 9th
By by Sean Ostruszka3
Tim Frederick’s very first tournament during his rookie season on the FLW Tour was on Lake Okeechobee. He finished dead last. Two years later, he has a chance to go from worst to first.
Following a day two that saw six anglers crack 20 pounds and one nearly break 30, Frederick was the lone angler to crack 20 pounds on day three. His 23-3 bag on Saturday jumped him to 65-6 total, which allowed him to overtake Bryan Schmitt by 15 ounces to lead the FLW Tour presented by Evinrude on Lake Okeechobee.
Tim finding beds with big worms.
(Photo: FLW)
 “I have a love/hate relationship with Okeechobee,” says Frederick, who hails from Leesburg, Fla. “The hate is that first tournament, but I’m a Florida power fisherman by nature. So I still love it.”
The ironic part for Frederick is that as much as he’d love to be powerfishing, what has him in the lead is a painfully slow and steady approach.
The pro is target fishing for bedding fish he can’t see. To do that, he’s lining up on isolated clumps of pencil reeds and other targets, putting his poles down, and then methodically casting to specific spots. Frederick says watching him is like watching paint dry, as he’ll take as long as five minutes to complete a cast.
“I can actually feel the bed when I’m dragging my bait through,” says Frederick. “When I do, I really slow down and will make multiple casts.”
The pattern has produced some big bites, though it took a little longer than expected Saturday. He caught one good one early, but it took him awhile to catch a limit. Then the water temp in his area near Harney Pond hit 64 degrees and a 45-minute window opened up where he caught two more giants.
As for the final day, Frederick says he has no intentions of changing.
“I’m going to stick with it,” says Frederick. “The clouds seem to be hurting a little, which is not good for tomorrow, but I have no other choice. I have to stick it out there, win, lose or draw.”
Top 10 pros
1. Tim Frederick – Leesburg, Fla. – 65-6 (15)
2. Bryan Schmitt – Deale, Md. – 64-7 (15)
3. Mark Rose – West Memphis, Ark. – 61-3 (15)
4. Cory Johnston – Cavan, Ont. – 53-11 (15)
5. Chad Morgenthaler – Reeds Spring, Mo. – 53-0 (15)
6. Brandon McMillan – Clewiston, Fla. – 52-11 (15)
7. Jared McMillan – Belle Glade, Fla. – 51-14 (15)
8. Scott Canterbury – Odenville, Ala. – 51- 12 (15)
9. Chris Johnston – Peterborough, Ont. – 50-0 (15)
10. Christopher Brasher – Longview, Texas – 48-13 (15)

Saturday, January 27, 2018

2018 FLW Tour Lake Okeechobee Day 2: Bryan Schmitt Leads with 48-03lbs!

Chris  Johnston 3rd, Cory Johnston 6th, Gustafson 87th & Richardson 119th.

Schmitt leads -Chris Johnston land 28 pound bag.
(Photo: FLW)
Lake Okeechobee is 730 square miles in size; half the size of Rhode Island. But for this tournament, one stretch of water a few hundred yards long and wide has out-produced all the rest.
After two days of the FLW Tour presented by Evinrude on Lake Okeechobee, Harney Pond has been THE place to be, as all of the top six anglers in the standings are fishing that area. With the warming conditions, a wave of giant females seems to be pouring in ready to spawn, and thus far, Bryan Schmitt has been the best at making them bite.
After leading day one with 24-11, the Deale, Md. pro followed it up with 23-8 to hold off Mark Rose for the lead with 48-3 for the tournament.
“There’s no doubt the winning fish are in [Harney Pond],” says Schmitt. “It’s the perfect storm [with the fish moving in there]. I think there is a 30-pound bag in there now that there will be less boats.”

Friday, January 26, 2018

2018 FLW Tour Lake Okeechobee Day 1: Bryan Schmitt Leads with 24-11lbs!

Cory Johnston 7th, Chris Johnston 38th, Gustafson 38th & Richardson 131th.
By by Sean Ostruszka
Schmitt's 24 pound bag great start on difficult Big O!
(Photo: FLW)
There’s no denying the effects Hurricane Irma had on the Big O.  Massive sections of vegetation and reed lines are gone, torn away by the storm. Throw in heavy winds throughout the winter churning up most of the lake, and it’s little surprise that doom-and-gloom was on everyone’s lips during practice for the FLW Tour Event presented by Evinrude on Lake Okeechobee.
If you listened to the dock talk, you’d have thought the anglers were fishing the Dead Sea. Fortunately, changes aside, Lake Okeechobee still can produce like few other fisheries, and she certainly showed off Thursday on day one of the 2018 FLW Tour’s kickoff event, as nine anglers cracked the 20-pound mark, with leader Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Md., weighing in a 24-pound, 11-ounce bag.
“This was not expected,” says Schmitt. “I never caught a good fish in practice, but the final afternoon I found an area where I got a ton of little bites. Apparently, those fish grew up today.”
Starting off, however, the fishing didn’t come easy. It wasn’t until he made a key bait switch after an hour and a half that the “lightbulb went off.” Then it was game on, with his bag eventually being anchored by twin 6-pound, 13-ounce fish.
As pleased as he is with his first day of fishing for the season, there is cause for concern. The forecast for day two calls for more heavy winds and a direction shift. That shift, if it comes true, could force a lot of muddy water into Schmitt’s area.
“I don’t know if [the area] will be toast or not,” Schmitt says. “It’ll be close, as the wind today was just scraping it. If it switches it may be done.”
Schmitt still figures he has to start there Friday based on what it produced, but if it gets trashed, he’ll be forced to make a tough decision, as his only other productive area is so far away it makes him question if he’ll have enough gas to fish both.
Regardless, the shallow grass fisherman from the Potomac River says he was due to finally have a day like Friday.
“The last two times I’ve been here I called my wife after practice to tell her to buy plane tickets to get down here, because I thought I’d found the mother lode,” says Schmitt. “Then this lake burned me both times.
“This time I thought the fishing was terrible and it wasn’t. It was a great change. I’ll take it.”
Top 10 pros
1. Bryan Schmitt – Deale, Md. – 24-11 (5)
2. Mark Rose – West Memphis, Ark. – 24-0 (5)
3. Christopher Brasher – Longview, Texas – 22-0 (5)
4. Britt Myers – Clover, S.C. – 21-8 (5)

Thursday, January 25, 2018

2018 FLW Tour Starts Today!

Lake Okeechobee the site of the start of the 2018 FLW Tour season.
Get all the tournament info and results right here! 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Rojas, Pirch, Card,Pipkens and Aveda Move to Suzuki Motors in 2018!

Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. is proud to announce their roster of pro fishermen for the 2018 Bassmaster® Elite Tournament Series. “Suzuki is back in 2018, bigger and better than ever,” said Gus Blakely, vice president of sales for Suzuki Marine. “We’re eager to see our guys compete on the Elite circuit – all powered by Suzuki’s 250SS 4-stroke outboard.”
Suzuki stalwarts Brandon Card, Chad Pipkens and Clifford Pirch, will welcome Dean Rojas, Gerald Spohrer and Adrian Aveda to the team in 2018.
Dean Rojas
Suzuki welcomes veteran Arizona bass angler Dean Rojas to the team. Dean is a four-time winner on the Bassmaster® Elite Series tour and has 47 career Top 10 finishes. In addition, Rojas still holds the all-time B.A.S.S.® one day record catch of 45.2 pounds. With winnings totaling over $2 million dollars as a professional angler, Rojas brings a wealth of experience to the Suzuki team.
”I’m super-pumped to have a Suzuki on the transom of my new Blazer bass boat this year,” said Rojas. “I’ve watched Suzuki come alive over the past couple seasons and couldn’t be prouder to be on the team.” Look for Dean to be in the spotlight in 2018, as he campaigns for the first time with Suzuki Power.
Gerald Spohrer
Next up is Gerald Spohrer, a US Navy vet from Gonzales, LA. After starting out on the FLW Tour, Gerald moved to the Elite series last year. He was the Bassmaster® Central Open Angler of the Year in 2016 and broke into the Top 10 at last year’s Elite tournament on Lake St. Clair.
2018 holds a lot of promise for Spohrer. “Having a new Suzuki on my Bass Cat will be a first for me,” said Spohrer, “but not a first for Bass Cat. I can’t wait to get out on the water again and give ‘er a go.”
Adrian Avena
Adrian Avena also moved up to the Bassmaster® Elite Series after starting out on the FLW Tour and boasts career winnings approaching half a million dollars. Adrian grew up in New Jersey and counts the Chesapeake Bay as his home lake. Needless to say, he’s comfortable on big water.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Swindle's Giant New Sponsor

 To start the 2018 season on the Bassmaster Elite season, Gerald Swindle has inked a new mega deal with Rapala. Here's the G-Man himself talking about his move to Rapala.

Friday, January 19, 2018

2018 Pan American Black Bass Championship: Team Canada Set!

Look out Okeechobee the Canadians are coming!
By Luigi De Rose 

The 8 team roster is set. Team Canada will be competing for glory and gold in Florida on February 4- 9, 2018 on Lake Okeechobee. 

Team Canada 1 Bob Izumi -Team Captain / Darren Izumi
Team Canada 2 Dave Chong / Rob Lee
Team Canada 3 Dave Bairstow / Matt Hubble
Team Canada 4 Brian Hughes / Anais Chaves
Team Canada 5 Cole Bailey / Bruce Leeson
Team Canada 6 Phil Hegarty / Stephen Hegarty
Team Canada 7 Joey Ford / Shawn McCaul
Team Canada 8 Spiro Agouros / Fern Campeau

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Funding for Dave Chong

Click here to link to GoFundMe page for Dave Chong. friend Dave Chong is seeking assistance for this newly created PAN American Black Bass Championship at Lake Okeechobee, Florida in February. The tournament has no prize money meaning that all anglers will be out of pocket to fishing for their country. Go Canada Go!

Monday, January 15, 2018

2018 Pan American Black Bass Championship: Canada Sending Bass Anglers to International Tournament!

Lake Okeechobee site inaugural event
By Luigi De Rose 

Canadian team captain none other than legendary Bob Izumi. 
Canada is assembling a bass fishing team to compete in the up-coming Pan American Black Bass Championship. This event will be for national pride and bragging rights in this first ever event. Representing Canada will be team captain Bob Izumi fishing with his son Darren Izumi; David Chong & Rob Lee; Brian Hughes & Anais Chavez; Cole Bailey & Bruce Leeson; Matt Hubble & Dave Bairstow and Stephen & Philllip Hegarty (as of today). 

The PanAmerican Sportfishing Delegation and United States Angling Confederation (U.S. Angling) are hosting the first ever Pan American Black Bass Championship for Pairs (Duos). This championship will be held at the legendary Roland & Mary Ann Martins Marina & Resort on Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Florida. All PanAmerican countries are invited to have from one to eight pairs (teams of two) participate. This event will be the starting point for the newly formed PanAmerican Sportfishing Delegation, and will be an exciting challenge for all the anglers from the Americas.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Missing FLW Angler Found

Body of Nik Kayler recovered
By Luigi De Rose 
Click photo for GOFUNDME for Nik.
Last week, at the 2018 Costa FLW Series bass tournament on Lake Okeechobee, Florida, two tournament anglers went missing on Thursday, January 4th, the first day of competition. The boater, Bill Kisiah, was found alive that night clinging to his damaged boat which drifted ashore. Unfortunately, Nik Kayler, the co-angler was not with the tournament boat and the extensive search of the lake continued. On Wednesday, January 10, six days after the accident, Nik was discovered by a commercial vessel. 
An official statement from the FWC was released Wednesday afternoon:
On Thursday, January 4, William Kisiah (DOB 4/9/1966) of Slidell, LA and Nicolas Kayler (DOB 1/1/1980) of Apopka, FL departed the C. Scott Driver boat ramp located on the Kissimmee River in Okeechobee, Florida aboard a 21’ Ranger Bass Boat. Preliminary information indicates that the vessel encountered rough waters and struck a wave and Mr. Kayler was ejected from the vessel. Mr. Kisiah made landfall at the Pahokee Marina later that evening when he made contact with Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Numerous agencies, including the FWC, United States Coast Guard, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office and Okeechobee Sheriff’s Office were involved in the search for Mr. Kayler. 
Mr. Kayler's body was recovered on the morning of January 10 by a commercial vessel in the vicinity of the Clewiston water tower on the lake.
All of the members of the FWC want to express our sincere sympathies to the victims and families of the victims involved in this incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. The FWC would like to take this opportunity to remind all boaters enjoying Florida’s beautiful waterways to do so safely. Please wear your life jacket and maintain 360-degree awareness at all times while boating. For boating safety tips, please visit This incident is currently under investigation by the FWC.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

GoFundMe Set Up for Kayler Family

Anglers helping anglers
By Luigi De Rose

After tragedy struck with a boating accident at the recent 2018 Costa FLW tournament on Lake Okeechobee, Florida as GoFundMe page has been established for the Kayler family. 

FLW angler Ryan Worthington has established a GoFundMe account for the family of Nik Kayler.

To view the page and make a donation, click here.

Monday, January 8, 2018

2018 Costa FLW Series on Lake Okeechobee Cancelled due to Tragedy.

Tournament cancelled after Day 1 due to missing anglers. 
By Luigi De Rose
Nik Kayler, wearing the blue jacket, and Bill Kisiah pictured here
before the start of Day 1.  (Photo: FLW)

On Thursday January 4th, the anglers of the Costa FLW Series were ready to kick off the 2018 season on Lake Okeechobee. Anglers were met with frigid temperatures and howling winds. As the scales closed on the first day, the weights were historically low but there was also a missing boat. Pro angler Bill Kisiah of Slidell, LA and Co-angler Nik Kayler of Apopka, Florida failed to check in and were considered missing some where on Lake Okeechobee.

FLW staff and friends of the anglers notified the authorities to start an official search. By 11:15pm, FLW posted an up-date stating that boater Bill Kisiah was found alive. His boat had washed up along the shoreline near He was initially transported to local hospital but later moved to Belle Glade, Florida. Bill was initially treated for exposure and hypothermia but by Friday morning local reports stated he was listed in serious condition.  

FLW quickly cancelled the remaining tournament days to focus on the search and for respect of the missing anglers and their families.

The search for Nik Kayler continued all weekend. Operations were being conducted under the guidance of the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Department, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Coast Guard.

After exhausted searches by air and boat, Nik Kayler was yet to be found. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

2018 Costa FLW Series on Lake Okeechobee Day 1: Tucker Leads with 21 Pounds!

There’s an old theory about Florida-strain largemouth bass that suggests if they have spawned and eggs are in the nest, the fish will stay to protect them no matter how severe a passing cold front might be.
Tucker grabs big lead on cold first day.
(Photo: FLW)
Terry Tucker tested that theory on Lake Okeechobee today and found that it held true, providing him with the day-one lead in the Costa FLW Series event presented by Power-Pole. His five-bass limit weighing 21 pounds, 3 ounces was helped by three 6- to 7-pound females he found in practice when the water was still warm and the full moon was nearing.
“That’s something I’ve learned about these Florida bass over the years: If they have spawned, they’ll hang in there with their beds even if the water temperature drops like it did today,” Tucker says. “It’s unlikely new ones will move in, but the ones that committed before the front will stay.”
Tucker found the area that produced the three big ones on Saturday when he hooked an 8-pounder and shook off several other bites. He knew the fish had moved in to spawn and was confident they would stay despite one of the worst cold fronts Okeechobee has endured in the last several years. While other anglers lost a lot of their productive areas due to incoming muddy water, Tucker’s area stayed protected from mud.
“The water color did not change,” says the Alabama pro. “In fact, it was already a little stained when I found the area initially. Today I pulled in there, and it had that same color to it. I caught those three big ones and left. After that I went to some other places to catch two more to finish my limit.”

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Shimano announces restructure of European business

Major restructure of its business in Europe 
Originally posted in Angling-international
Shimano has announced a major restructure of its business in Europe aimed at consolidating and simplifying its operations.
The three companies – Shimano Europe B.V., Shimano Europe Fishing Holding B.V. and B.V. – have been merged into Shimano Europe Holding B.V., which has been renamed Shimano Europe B.V.
Coinciding with these changes, two new members will join Shimano Europe’s board, Taizo Shimano (Executive Vice President, Supervisor of the  Fishing Tackle Division and Chief of Marketing Officer, Bicycle Components Division) and Hiroshi Matsui (Senior Vice President, Business Administration Department and General Operations Division).
Taizo Shimano joined Shimano in 1991, serving his apprenticeship in bicycle and fishing positions overseas before progressing to management roles in Shimano’s Fishing Division.
Hiroshi Matsui joined Shimano in 2011 as VP of Corporate Administration, progressing to Director of General, Operations Division, prior to taking his current position as Senior Vice President.
At the same time, current board member, Yoshihiro Hirata, will step down. Marc van Rooij and Satoshi Yuasa will remain members of the board.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Randall Tharp Teaches Heavy Cover Punching!

If you're heading to Florida to escape this deep freeze you should pack some punching gear. It's one of the best ways to catch big bass when they're in cover. BASS Elite angler and FLW Cup Champ Randall Tharp is one of the best in the world at punching heavy grass for winter bass.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Wishing you and your family all the best in 2018!