Cory Johnston 4th & Chris Johnston 9th
By by Sean Ostruszka3FLW PRESS RELEASE
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.|
“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)