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.
â€œIâ€™m feeling a lot of different emotions right now,â€ said Lambert, who earned his first win in Costa FLW Series competition. â€œIâ€™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.â€
Lambert said he primarily focused on one area all three days â€“ a 600-yard stretch of submerged hydrilla on the lakeâ€™s north shore. He said the area was rich with prespawn bass that were transitioning in off of the main lake.
â€œIâ€™d fish over and around the hydrilla before letting certain spots rest for an hour, then Iâ€™d head back over it again,â€ said Lambert. â€œThe fish were replenishing well so I knew it was where I wanted to stay.â€
â€œThe majority of pros were flipping jigs, but Iâ€™m a power fisherman, so I felt a lot more confident with moving baits,â€ said Lambert. â€œI was catching a lot of fish in practice so all I needed to do was find the big ones.â€
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.
â€œI covered a lot of water at this tournament,â€ said Lambert. â€œAnd after catching nearly 40 keepers, I felt it was my time to win.â€
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
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
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 dayâ€™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