Florida’s Frederick wins FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee | Bass Fishing
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Florida’s Frederick wins FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee

Published By OutdoorsFIRST Media
Published January 29, 2018

When Leesburg, Florida, angler Tim Frederick turned pro and began competing on the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) Tour, the first event of his career was at Lake Okeechobee in February of 2016. Frederick managed to catch just one bass in two days of competition at that tournament and finished in 169th - last place. On Sunday, Frederick redeemed himself by catching a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 14 ounces, to earn the win the FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Evinrude.

Frederick's four-day total of 20 bass weighing 85-4 gave him the win by a narrow 1-pound, 2-ounce margin over second-place pro Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Maryland, and earned him $100,000 in a dramatic finale to the four-day event that featured 188 of the best bass anglers in the world kicking off the 2018 FLW Tour season.

"I'm still a little shocked," said Frederick, whose previous best finish in FLW Tour competition was a 14th place finish on the Harris Chain of Lakes in 2017. "I didn't think that I had as much weight that I did today. Some of the best fisherman on the planet were fishing in this event and to come out on top after four days - this is a dream come true."

Frederick caught his bass throughout the week by targeting isolated reed clumps in Harney Pond.

"I was so stressed today," Frederick said. "I had a small limit and I had missed a good one earlier and I did not know whether to leave or to stay. I had to sit down for a minute and regain my composure and I decided to stick it out in that area. I had nothing else to go to, and that place had been special to me. With just 10 minutes left in the day, I caught a big one. It was a $100,000 fish."

Frederick's "big one" was an estimated 8-pounder that was most certainly the winning fish. Frederick said that all of his fish this week came on a pair of stickbaits - a Strike King Ocho (black with blue flake or black with blue tail) and a Strike King Shim-E-Stick (black with blue flake or black with blue tail) - and a Strike King Pure Poison Swim Jig (green-pumpkin) with a Rage Bug trailer.

"I think the keys for me this week were my Power-Poles, my Florida knowledge, and patience," Frederick went on to say. "It would have been near impossible for me to fish some of the areas that I did this week if I wouldn't have been able to pole down. And when I would first pull up to a spot I would target the key areas. Sometimes it took multiple casts and fishing extremely slow, but every fish that I caught were in those key areas."

The top 10 pros on Lake Okeechobee finished:

1st:          Tim Frederick, Leesburg, Fla., 20 bass, 85-4, $100,000
2nd:         Bryan Schmitt, Deale, Md., 20 bass, 84-2, $30,000
3rd:         General Tire pro Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., 20 bass, 78-5, $25,500
4th:         Jared McMillan, Belle Glade, Fla., 20 bass, 73-13, $20,100
5th:         Brandon McMillan, Clewiston, Fla., 20 bass, 69-12, $19,000
6th:         Christopher Brasher, Longview, Texas, 20 bass, 67-4, $18,000
7th:         Chad Morgenthaler, Reeds Spring, Mo., 20 bass, 67-1, $17,000
8th:         Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury, Odenville, Ala., 20 bass, 65-15, $16,000
9th:         Power-Pole pro Cory Johnston, Cavan, Ontario, Canada, 20 bass, 60-5, $15,500
10th:       Chris Johnston, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, 20 bass, 59-5, $14,000

Compete results for the entire field can be found at FLWFishing.com.