Fishing & Boating News

SCHMITT MAINTAINS LEAD ON DAY TWO OF FLW TOUR AT LAKE OKEECHOBEE PRESENTED BY EVINRUDE

Florida’s Mathews Wins Co-angler Title, $20k

by: Joe Opager, Director of Public Relations,

Day Two leader Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Maryland.
Photo by Kyle Wood
(Jan 26, 2018 - )  Day One leader Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Maryland, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Friday weighing 23 pounds, 8 ounces, to slightly extend his lead after Day Two of the FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Evinrude. He’ll bring a slim 14-ounce lead over General Tire pro Mark Rose of West Memphis, Arkansas, into Day Three of the four-day event that featured a field of 376 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals casting for top awards of up to $125,000.

Local pro Brandon McMillan of Clewiston leads the local contingent with 36-13, good for eighth place, while Clewiston’s Scott Martin sits in 12th place with 33-13. Brandon’s little brother, Jared McMillan of Belle Glade, also made the top-30 cut and will start Day Three in 15th place with 33-8. The field is now cut to 30 for Saturday’s competition with only the top 10 anglers advancing to championship Sunday.

“I went back to my same spot where I caught them yesterday and kind of expanded on my area today,” said Schmitt, a two-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier. “There was a little more boat traffic in there today, and it took me a while to get into a new comfort zone. I caught probably 12 fish today – five good ones – but most of my weight came between 12 and 3.”

Schmitt is sharing the area with many of the tournament leaders, including the Johnston brothers from Canada. He said that all of his fish that he weighed in came on a different bait than yesterday.

“I had to change to a different bait today – a Riot Baits Recon (vibrating jig),” Schmitt continued. “At this point there aren’t many secrets and we all know what each other are doing. It’s going to come down to whoever gets lucky over the next two days. The winning fish are there. The potential for a 30-pound limit is sitting right there.

“There are definitely some fish spawning. And there are still some coming in. I think it’s the perfect storm.”

The top 30 pros that made the cut and will fish Saturday on Lake Okeechobee are:                                                                             

1st:          Bryan Schmitt, Deale, Md., 10 bass, 48-3
2nd:         General Tire pro Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., 10 bass, 47-5
3rd:         Chris Johnston, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, 10 bass, 43-1
4th:         Tim Frederick, Leesburg, Fla., 10 bass, 42-3
5th:         Christopher Brasher, Longview, Texas, 10 bass, 38-15
6th:         Power-Pole pro Cory Johnston, Cavan, Ontario, Canada, 10 bass, 36-15
7th:         Brandon Mosley, Choctaw, Okla., 10 bass, 36-15
8th:         Brandon McMillan, Clewiston, Fla., 10 bass, 36-13
9th:         Tyler Stewart, West Monroe, La., 10 bass, 35-1
10th:       Brett Preuett, Monroe, La., 10 bass, 34-13
11th:       Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., 10 bass, 33-15
12th:       Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 10 bass, 33-13
13th:       Casey Scanlon, Lake Ozark, Mo., 10 bass, 33-12
14th:       Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., 10 bass, 33-9
15th:       Jared McMillan, Belle Glade, Fla., 10 bass, 33-8
16th:       Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury, Odenville, Ala., 10 bass, 33-6
17th:       Chad Morgenthaler, Reeds Spring, Mo., 10 bass, 33-2
18th:       Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 33-1
19th:       David Nichol, Gainesville, Ga., 10 bass, 32-2
20th:       James Watson, Lampe, Mo., 10 bass, 31-15
21st:        Barry Wilson, Birmingham, Ala., 10 bass, 31-4
22nd:       Jay Kendrick, Grant, Ala., 10 bass, 30-10
23rd:       Kerry Milner, Bono, Ark., 10 bass, 30-6
24th:       J.T. Kenney, Palm Bay, Fla., 10 bass, 30-5 
25th:       Zell Rowland, Montgomery, Texas, 10 bass, 30-3
26th:       Billy McCaghren, Mayflower, Ark., 10 bass, 30-1
27th:       James Niggemeyer, Van, Texas, 10 bass, 29-15
28th:       David Williams, Maiden, N.C., 10 bass, 29-11
29th:       Matt Becker, Finleyville, Pa., 10 bass, 29-8
30th:       Alex Davis, Albertville, Ala., 10 bass, 29-1

Rose earned Friday’s $500 Simms Big Bass award in the pro division thanks to an 8-pound, 9-ounce largemouth.

Overall there were 847 bass weighing 2,043 pounds, 9 ounces caught by 184 pros Friday. The catch included 152 five-bass limits.

Jeffrey Mathews of Maitland, Florida, won the co-angler division and $20,000 Friday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 42 pounds, 1 ounce, followed by Tyler Woolcott of Port Orange, Florida, who finished in second place with 10 bass weighing 37 pounds, 15 ounces, worth $7,600.

The top 10 co-anglers finished:

1st:          Jeffrey Mathews, Maitland, Fla., 10 bass, 42-1, $20,000
2nd:         Tyler Woolcott, Port Orange, Fla., 10 bass, 37-15, $7,600
3rd:         Robby Frashier, Carrollton, Ga., 10 bass, 35-12, $5,050
4th:         Shawn Wildt, Bullard, Texas, 10 bass, 32-7, $4,000
5th:         Timothy Sisk, Gastonia, N.C., 10 bass, 32-6, $3,250
6th:         Theron Asbery, Grove, Okla., 10 bass, 28-9, $2,500
7th:         Howard Poitevint, Bainbridge, Ga., 10 bass, 26-15, $2,000
8th:         Kevin Hatfield, Royal Palm Beach, Fla., 10 bass, 26-4, $1,800
9th:         Jordan Thompkins, Myrtle Beach, S.C., 10 bass, 26-1, $1,700
10th:       George Kapiton, Inverness, Fla., 10 bass, 26-0, $1,600

Sisk earned $250 for the Simms Big Bass award in the co-angler division Friday with an 8-pound, 10-ounce largemouth.

Overall there were 590 bass weighing 1,127 pounds even caught by 162 co-anglers Friday. The catch included 75 five-bass limits.

In FLW Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The full field of 376 anglers competed in the two-day opening round. Co-angler competition concluded following Friday’s weigh-in, while the top 30 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

The total purse for the FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Evinrude is more than $930,000, including $10,000 through 60th place in the Pro division. The tournament is hosted by Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort and the Hendry County Tourism Development Council.

Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2018 Forrest Wood Cup will be on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Aug. 10-12 and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.

Anglers will take off at 7:30 a.m. EST each day from Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort, located at 920 E. Del Monte, Ave., in Clewiston. Friday’s weigh-ins, Jan. 26, will be held at the resort beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins, Jan. 27-28, will also be held at the resort, but will begin at 4 p.m.

Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 27-28, FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort from noon to 4 p.m. each day. The Expo is a chance for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.

Also for youth, the FLW Foundation’s Unified Fishing Derby will be held at the marina on Saturday, Jan. 27 from 9-11 a.m. The event is hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour anglers, and is free and open to anyone under the age of 18 and Special Olympics athletes. Rods and reels are available for use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one. The 1st and 2nd place anglers that catch the biggest fish will be recognized Saturday on the FLW Tour stage, just prior to the pros weighing in.

Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Evinrude will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) March 28 from Noon-1 p.m. EST. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide.

About FLW

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 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. 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.