Friday, February 10, 2023

2023 MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitationals on Lake Okeechobee Day 2: Colby Schrumpf Leads with 47-05lbs

By EriK Gaffron


CLEWISTON, Fla. – Lake Okeechobee impressed again on Day 2 of the Tackle Warehouse Invitationals, with three pros catching more than 25 pounds on the day. Sacking up 25-6 to go with 21-15 from Day 1, Colby Schrumpf totaled 47-1 for the lead in Power-Pole Stop 1 Presented by Phoenix Boats. In second, Joshua Weaver tallied 31-9 on Day 2 for a 46-5 total, and “Real Deal” Michael Neal slipped into third place with 44-4. Tomorrow, the Top 50 pros will fish for the win on a truly spectacular Lake Okeechobee.

Schrumpf’s day started off strong with a pair of 5-pounders early and continued with a steady output of quality catches throughout the day.

“Probably in the first hour and a half I had two over 5 pounds in the boat and just slowly culled my way up,” he said. “Late this afternoon, I was able to catch a 5 1/2-pounder about midday. Then I caught a 4-pounder and made a nice cull with that. I left those fish so that way they’re ready to go tomorrow.”


Schrumpf was confident his second bag over 20 pounds in as many days would put him in contention heading into Championship Friday, and he was thrilled to see his awesome Day 2 stringer put him atop the leaderboard with one day left to fish.

“I thought (I’d make the) top 5 without a problem with (almost) 22 pounds yesterday and conservatively thinking I had 23 pounds today,” he said, “I’m looking forward to tomorrow. As long as the big females keep moving in, I think I’ll have an opportunity.”

Schrumpf is finding most of his success chunking a bladed jig through his main areas where fish are moving to and from to spawn. He’s confident his fish are going to be coming to him on Friday.

“You know, I’m feeling good,” he said. “My area – knock on wood – hasn’t had too many guys around it. As long as I can feel comfortable in that water and not be pressured to protect areas and move around quicker than I want to, I feel pretty good.

“I had a 7- and 5-pounder out of there yesterday and three over 5 there today, so those big females are continuing to move in there. I’m looking forward to it.”

Weaver pulls in biggest bag so far

Georgia pro Joshua Weaver vaulted out of the pack and into second place on Day 2, dropping the first bag over 30 pounds in the event. 

“A 30-plus-pound bag you can’t ever say you’re going to catch,” he said. “Yesterday I had one big one, and I thought the females were pulling up. They bit yesterday around noon really well. We’re having beautiful weather down here, so for the last three days, the females have been pulling up.”

Weaver is finding success in a pair of areas that have cleaner water that allows his fish to set up for the spawn.

“I’ve been separating my time between two areas,” he said. “Yesterday, I caught them pretty much all in one area and lost quite a few good ones. Today, I pretty much caught them all in a different area.”

Weaver intends to keep covering water with a swim jig and bladed jig as he has all week and swing for another massive Okeechobee bag. He knows full well anything could happen on Championship Friday.

“I’m going to key in on those areas tomorrow,” he said. “(With) the position I’m in, I’m going to try to win. I’m going to go out there again tomorrow and try to catch those big bags again. Anytime you weigh in a 30-pound bag, you want to win because you’re obviously going to remember that you caught a 30-pound bag and got the win.”

Worth noting

  • Michael Neal snuck into third on the leaderboard with another bag over 20 pounds. The reigning back-to-back Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Angler of the Year has every intention of swinging for the three-peat. “To start the season, you’ve got to think about it,” Neal said. “That’s got to be goal No. 1. And, that’s what I tell people when you put your boat in the first morning of the tournament – your goal must be to win.”
  • Brian Latimer brought in the biggest bass of Day 2, a 7-13 largemouth.
  • Day 2 saw 17 bags come to the scale that weighed over 20 pounds for the field of 150 anglers.

Top 10 pros

1. Colby Schrumpf – 47 – 5 (10)       

2. Joshua Weaver – 46 – 5 (10)        

3. Michael Neal – 44 – 4 (10)

4. Brian Latimer – 43 – 12 (10)

5. Jonathan Dietz – 42 – 10 (10)         

6. Jason Vance – 41 – 14 (10) 

7. Brett Hite – 41 – 10 (10)

8. Michael Harlin – 41 – 8 (10)         

9. David Walker – 41 – 6 (10)           

10. Tom Redington – 40 – 11 (10)

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