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Right Area, Wrong Spot at the FLW Tour Opener at Lake Okeechobee

Posted by blake on February 10, 2014

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For being such a large lake, Okeechobee usually fishes small.  This was definitely the case for the 2014 FLW Tour Opener last week.  I struggled in the tournament, but was in the right area. Many of the top 20 finishers were fishing within eyesight of me; unfortunately, I just wasn't on the right specific spot to catch a quality bag of fish.

My practice period started off as a struggle, but I picked up on a good bite on the north shore.  I rarely venture there because of the crowds, but during practice I was excited to see only a few other boats in the area.  The first day I fished it I quickly caught a 6.5 lber which had me thinking I was onto something.  The next day I started in that area and my co-angler and I caught 25+ lbs.  Needless to say, I was jacked up for the tournament to start.

I got an early boat number the first day of the tournament which had me even more excited.  We had a two hour fog delay the first morning and when I got to my spot the fishing was difficult.  I got a big bite early, but was not able to capitalize.  I scrounged together a limit of fish, but it was not the start I was looking for.  I was also greeted with the sight of at least 100 boats within the area I was fishing.  There were some guys catching them and it seemed it was only certain little areas that were holding those bigger fish.

The next day of the tournament I was a late flight and there were boats all over the area I had been fishing.  I decided to fish a couple diffent areas, but nothing produced very well for me.  The second day did not go much differently than the first and I ended up with another small limit.

Overall, this tournament was a learning experience.  I felt like I had found a good area and was fishing the way I should have been fishing, I just didn’t hone in on the right little spot within that area.  With the water high I was fishing a lot of reaction type lures: chatterbaits, swim jigs, and a toad (Trixie Shark) which seemed to be the way a lot of the guys that finished well were fishing.  I’m disappointed about the way I’ve started the season, but my focus is now turned to Lake Hartwell.  It’s a lake that I really like and feel like suits my style of fishing very well.  There is still a lot more fishing left in the season and my focus is on giving myself a chance to make the Forest L. Wood Cup.