Florida’s Frederick grabs lead on Day Three of FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee
Published By OutdoorsFIRST Media Published January 28, 2018
Pro Tim Frederick of Leesburg, Florida, caught two kicker largemouth Saturday - a 6- and 7-pounder - to anchor his 23-pound, 3-ounce limit and jump to the top of the leaderboard after Day Three of the FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Evinrude. Frederick's five-bass limit was the only bag Saturday that weighed in excess of 20 pounds, telling when you consider that the lake had pumped out 16, 20+ pound limits in the first two days of competition.
Frederick (15 bass, 65-6) will now bring a 15-ounce lead over second-place pro Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Maryland, (15 bass, 64-7) who led the first two days of competition, into Championship Sunday. Also in striking distance, in third place, is General Tire pro Mark Rose of West Memphis, Arkansas, (15 bass, 61-3). Rose has a history of fast starts to the season, winning the first two events of the 2017 FLW Tour season at Lake Guntersville and Lake Travis.
"My very first FLW Tour event three years ago was on this lake, and I weighed in one bass and finished dead last," said Frederick, who is fishing in his 14th career FLW Tour event. "I've got a love-hate relationship with this lake, and right now I am loving it. I didn't get a lot of bites today, but the ones that I did get were good ones.
"Although my day turned out really well, it didn't start that way," Frederick continued. "It was terribly slow. I caught one of my good ones early - my second fish - but then it took me forever to get a limit. When the water temperature hit 64 degrees I had a 45- to 50-minute window where I caught two more good ones, but I didn't catch more than 9 or 10 fish all day."
Frederick said that his key bait that landed all of his keepers on Saturday was a Texas-rigged black and blue-colored Strike King Ocho worm. He's also mixed in a Strike King Pure Poison Swim Jig and an unnamed swimjig to produce at times during the week.
"I'm usually a power-fisherman, and it's weird because I'm fishing so slowly this week," Frederick said. "I'm throwing at isolated clumps of pencil reeds and it might take me 5 minutes to reel back in. But, if it doesn't feel right, I'll just reel in immediately and make another pitch. I'm fishing by feel, basically. I can actually feel the beds with my bait, and when I do I'll keep making multiple casts to the same area.
"The bite was tougher today, and I think it was due to how cloudy it was. Tomorrow, they're saying that it's going to be worse - rainy and windy. But, my water is still clean and I've got no choice but to be patient and stick it out there. Win, lose or draw, there is enough fish in my area to win it. I just have to get them to bite."
The top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition on Lake Okeechobee are:
1st: Tim Frederick, Leesburg, Fla., 15 bass, 65-6 2nd: Bryan Schmitt, Deale, Md., 15 bass, 64-7 3rd: General Tire pro Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., 15 bass, 61-3 4th: Power-Pole pro Cory Johnston, Cavan, Ontario, Canada, 15 bass, 53-11 5th: Chad Morgenthaler, Reeds Spring, Mo., 10 bass, 53-0 6th: Brandon McMillan, Clewiston, Fla., 15 bass, 52-11 7th: Jared McMillan, Belle Glade, Fla., 15 bass, 51-14 8th: Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury, Odenville, Ala., 15 bass, 51-12 9th: Chris Johnston, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, 15 bass, 50-8 10th: Christopher Brasher, Longview, Texas, 15 bass, 48-13