FLW Tour fishing continues today and Sunday on Lake Okeechobee

CLEWISTON – Day One leader Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Maryland, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Friday weighing 23 pounds, 8 ounces, to slightly extend his lead after Day Two of the FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Evinrude. He has a slim 14-ounce lead over General Tire pro Mark Rose of West Memphis, Arkansas.

Today is Day Three of the four-day event that featured a field of 376 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals casting for top awards of up to $125,000.
Local pro Brandon McMillan of Clewiston leads the local contingent with 36-13, good for eighth place, while Clewiston’s Scott Martin sits in 12th place with 33-13. Brandon’s little brother, Jared McMillan of Belle Glade, also made the top-30 cut and stated Day Three in 15th place with 33-8.

The field is now cut to 30 for Saturday’s competition with only the top 10 anglers advancing to championship Sunday.
“I went back to my same spot where I caught them yesterday and kind of expanded on my area today,” said Schmitt, a two-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier, after weigh-in on Friday. “There was a little more boat traffic in there today, and it took me a while to get into a new comfort zone. I caught probably 12 fish today – five good ones – but most of my weight came between 12 and 3.”

Schmitt is sharing the area with many of the tournament leaders, including the Johnston brothers from Canada. He said that all of his fish that he weighed in came on a different bait than yesterday.

“I had to change to a different bait today – a Riot Baits Recon (vibrating jig),” Schmitt continued. “At this point there aren’t many secrets and we all know what each other are doing. It’s going to come down to whoever gets lucky over the next two days. The winning fish are there. The potential for a 30-pound limit is sitting right there.

“There are definitely some fish spawning. And there are still some coming in. I think it’s the perfect storm.”

Overall there were 590 bass weighing 1,127 pounds even caught by 162 co-anglers Friday. The catch included 75 five-bass limits.

In FLW Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The full field of 376 anglers competed in the two-day opening round. Co-angler competition concluded following Friday’s weigh-in, while the top 30 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

The total purse for the FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Evinrude is more than $930,000, including $10,000 through 60th place in the Pro division. The tournament is hosted by Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort and the Hendry County Tourism Development Council.
Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2018 Forrest Wood Cup will be on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Aug. 10-12 and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.

Anglers will take off at 7:30 a.m. EST each day from Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort, located at 920 E. Del Monte, Ave., in Clewiston. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins, Jan. 27-28, will be held at the resort, at 4 p.m.

Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 27-28, FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort from noon to 4 p.m. each day. The Expo is a chance for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.

Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Evinrude will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) March 28 from Noon-1 p.m. EST. The Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the sport’s top anglers on the FLW Tour on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.

About FLW
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.

Full results for the entire field can be found www.FLWFishing.com.

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