(Jan 16, 2016 - Lake Okeechobee, FL)
Pro angler Jason Lambert of Pickwick Dam, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division opener on Lake Okeechobee presented by Power-Pole with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 44 pounds, 12 ounces. For his win, Lambert earned $60,000 and a new Ranger Z518 bass boat with a 200-horsepower outboard engine.
“I’m feeling a lot of different emotions right now,” said Lambert, who earned his first win in Costa FLW Series competition. “I’m tired and relieved. This tournament was a great opportunity for me to learn more and prepare for the FLW Tour event happening here in a few weeks.”
Lambert said he primarily focused on one area all three days – a 600-yard stretch of submerged hydrilla on the lake’s north shore. He said the area was rich with prespawn bass that were transitioning in off of the main lake.
“I’d fish over and around the hydrilla before letting certain spots rest for an hour, then I’d head back over it again,” said Lambert. “The fish were replenishing well so I knew it was where I wanted to stay.”
Lambert said that of the 15 fish he brought to the scale, 10 were caught using a black and blue-colored V&M Pacemaker Swim Jig and a mouse-colored War Eagle spinnerbait.
“The majority of pros were flipping jigs, but I’m a power fisherman, so I felt a lot more confident with moving baits,” said Lambert. “I was catching a lot of fish in practice so all I needed to do was find the big ones.”
The Tennessee pro said that the spinnerbait performed well when there was a lot of wind, especially during the first two days of competition, while the swim jig excelled when the water was calm.
“I covered a lot of water at this tournament,” said Lambert. “And after catching nearly 40 keepers, I felt it was my time to win.”
The top 10 pros on Lake Okeechobee were:
1st: Jason Lambert, Pickwick Dam, Tenn., 15 bass, 44-12, $60,000 + Ranger Z518 w/ 200-horsepower outboard motor
2nd: Glenn Browne, Ocala, Fla., 15 bass, 43-4, $25,500
3rd: Joseph Kremer, Osteen, Fla., 15 bass, 40-14 , $17,000
4th: Bryan Honnerlaw, Moore Haven, Fla., 15 bass, 39-0, $15,000
5th: Justin Morgan, Okeechobee, Fla., 11 bass, 37-0, $14,000
6th: Peter Cherkas, Des Moines, Iowa, 15 bass, 36-3, $10,500
7th: Jimmy Brewer, Marshall, Texas, 15 bass, 35-9, $9,000
8th: Steve Boogie Brown, Altamonte Springs, Fla., 13 bass, 34-7, $8,000
9th: Pat Fisher, Colbert, Ga., 13 bass, 31-4, $7,000
10th: Cole Bailey, Thamesford, Ontario, Canada, 10 bass, 30-12, $5,000
Bryan Newberry of Cleveland, Tennessee, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division Thursday, a largemouth weighing 8 pounds, 11 ounces that earned him the day’s Big Bass award of $300.
Mark Howard of Mesquite, Texas, won the co-angler division and a Ranger Z117 with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor, with a three-day total of 12 bass weighing 26 pounds, 6 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers on Lake Okeechobee were:
1st: Mark Howard, Mesquite, Texas, 12 bass, 26-6, $2,500 + Ranger Z117 w/ 90-horsepower outboard motor
2nd: Adam Trieschmann, Wellington, Fla., nine bass, 25-13, $7,500
3rd: Scott Dobson, Clarkston, Mich., 11 bass, 25-5, $6,000
4th: Billy Charland, Chuluota, Fla., 15 bass, 25-3, $4,500
5th: Dean Harcourt, Sebastian, Fla., 13 bass, 24-0, $4,000
6th: Michael Black, Toledo, Ill., 11 bass, 23-13, $3,500
7th: Ty Solis, Albany, Ga., 11 bass, 22-8, $3,000
8th: Joseph Solenski, West Palm Beach, Fla., 13 bass, 21-9, $2,250
9th: Steven Christie, Gray Court, S.C., 12 bass, 20-7, $1,700
10th: Nik Kayler, Apopka, Fla., 11 bass, 19-14, $1,450
The Costa FLW Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments with competitors vying for valuable points that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the Costa FLW Series Championship. The 2016 Costa FLW Series Championship is being held Nov. 3-5 on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri.
The Costa FLW Series on Lake Okeechobee was hosted by the Okeechobee County Tourism Development Council. It was the first Southeastern Division tournament of 2016. The next Costa FLW Series tournament will be a Western Division event, held Feb. 18-20, on Shasta Lake in Redding, California.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.