Costa FLW Series Lake Okeechobee

IMG 0410-e1452821537820-910x1024The opening day of competition for the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event on Lake Okeechobee is in the books, and after a tough day of fishing Peter Cherkas of Des Moines, Iowa is in the lead out of 250 boats with 20 pounds even. Zach Crider of Tunnel Hill, Georgia is in second place with 19 pounds 4 ounces, and Justin Morgan of Okeechobee, Florida is in 3rd with 18 pounds 4 ounces. On an unseasonably cold, cloudy day only 1/3 of the pros had more than 10 pounds, and approximately 1/3 were unable to catch a 5-fish limit.

Readers of this website are aware of how generous Dearal Rodgers of Camden, SC has been about sharing information and his knowledge with all of us, and we are pleased to report that Dearal is in 20th place after Day 1. His bag was anchored by this 6 pound, 11 ounce brute.

After a tough practice in which 2-pounders came fairly easily but big bites were few and far between, Dearal is very thankful to be in the position he is in. In practice Dearal caught a couple of good fish on a particular moving bait and realized he was onto something, and he committed to fishing that bait again today. He caught all of the fish he weighed on it before 11:00, and then that bite shut off. He flipped grass until weigh-in time but was never able to upgrade. Full Story

Lake Wateree Fishing News and Report

IMG 0146-824x1024Fresh off a fourth place finish in the qualifiers-only 179-boat, 3-day Walmart BFL Regional on Lake Wateree, it’s fair to say that Dearal Rodgers has a better handle on the Lake Wateree bass than most anglers right now. Despite persistent boat troubles that more than halved his fishing time on both days 2 and 3, Dearal managed to finish with a three-day weight of 32-6 anchored by his strongest bag of the tournament, a 16-2 ounce day one sack. Fishing was tough but Dearal did enough to finish in the top-6 and move onto the next event.

Dearal reports that despite the massive flooding a week and half before the tournament water quality appeared to be okay afterwards, but then the second round of heavy rain the Saturday before the tournament really adversely affected water quality and created a mud line that moved progressively down the lake. While some fish were caught in the muddier water up the lake Dearal had to scrap his up-river pattern as well as the creek fish he located in practice as the mudline moved down the lake to the mid-lake area during the event.

Up the lake he heard that fish were suspended because of the muddy conditions, but down the lake he found them holding right on the bottom. Most of Dearal’s weight was caught around docks, but ironically the fish didn’t actually seem to be related to the docks themselves but rather to the bottom cover (brush, rocks) around the dock. With 179 boats beating the banks fish along the shore were very heavily pressured, and with so many anglers flipping docks they also received a beating. However, Dearal discovered that docks created sections of shoreline that anglers couldn’t reach except by skipping a jig way up under the docks, and he caught most of his weight using this pattern. Full Story


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