Okeechobee Day 3 Coverage - Major League Fishing

Okeechobee Day 3 Coverage

Can Hallman shut the door? Several pros are on his heels
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Matt Stefan flips his way through the Okeechobee reeds. Photo by Chris Burgan. Angler: Ethan Janvier.
February 5, 2016 • MLF • Archives

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3 p.m.: Hallman clinging to lead with weigh-in just an hour away

Bradley Hallman might still have his lead after day three's weigh-in ends, but he'll be wondering what happened to his fish today and if he needs to make a major change tomorrow. Hallman caught a giant right out of the gate this morning then hit a slump that has lasted up until now. He has a few little ones to go with it. Will he have enough to prevent a day-four charge from one of his competitors? That's hard to say. A few other top 20 anglers seem to be getting stronger as the week goes on. And tomorrow's forecast weather change is going to challenge everyone in the field.

Find out how the top 20 shakes out on FLW Live at 4 p.m. ET. We're streaming from the Clewiston Walmart.


See Brandon McMillan picking apart some Lake Okeechobee spawning flats in this day-three video


2:20 p.m.: Davis scores, Shin climbing, slow going for the rest

The afternoon lull has set in here on Lake Okeechobee, though Alex Davis, Shin Fukae and Jeff Sprague are still getting bit here and there. The rest of the field has gone quiet.

Davis is up to about 8 1/2 pounds now. Sprague has more than 10. And Shin recently landed a 5-pounder, then lost another big girl in a dense mat.

Best we can tell, only a couple of anglers still don't have a limit. That means we'll have plenty of Lake Okeechobee beauties to gaze upon at the Clewiston Walmart at today's weigh-in.

The weights throughout the field are way too close to predict who'll make the top 10. Shelton, Reehm, Sprague, McMillan, Cox and Neal all have the quality stringers needed to have a great shot at fishing tomorrow. We'll find out soon who'll make the cut.

Weigh-in begins at 4 p.m ET. You can watch live at FLWFishing.com. 

Stay tuned for the final blog update at 3 p.m.


1:30 p.m.: The action slows a bit, but Hallman is chipping away at a limit

Maybe Bradley Hallman has adjusted his plan just a bit. Instead of swinging for the fences and only going for big bites, he might be looking to simply fill his limit. He has four keepers now. Three are little guys.

Elsewhere, Chris Johnston and Clark Reehm have had the hottest hands. Johnston isn't far from 20 pounds. Reehm has caught a mess of keepers.

Today is an important day. To get in the top 10 is the only way to make a run at Hallman, and tomorrow will challenge the leader. Another storm system is supposed to move through tonight and likely will leave behind lower temperatures and strong winds. There's no point in saving any fish today either. Catch as catch can, then sort it all out tomorrow.


Joshua Weaver is on the move and hunting for a limit


See Alex Davis in action


12:30 p.m.: The afternoon window is open, variety of baits in play

It's been hard to keep up with all the Twitter updates coming in from FLW's on-the-water team, what with all the catches being recorded in the last 90 minutes. Most of the pros in the top 20 have filled their limits. Several are approaching the 20-pound mark.

There's a little more variety in the patterns today compared to yesterday. Some pros are still flipping, but they're covering more ground. Others are winding swimbaits and buzz worms. A few are slow-fishing with Senkos. And topwaters are even coming out.

The biggest key to success today has been figuring out how to deal with much different conditions. Some areas are muddier; others clearer. With a more gentle wind, the water has settled out, causing the water level in some spots to rise and in others to fall.

Hallman is dedicated to his big-fish program. He said he might not get five bites, but what he catches will be quality fish. With an 8 1/2-pound lead, he might not need five bites. Still, there's a day and a half left to fish, so he better put his head down and make it happen if he doesn't want someone to catch him.


12:15 p.m.: Complete estimates for the top 20

McMillan – limit for more than 10 pounds

Shelton – limit for 9 1/4 pounds

Devere – limit for 8 pounds

Johnston – limit for 16 pounds

Reehm – limit for 13 pounds

Chandler – four for 5 1/2 pounds

Fukae – four for 9 1/4 pounds

Horton – limit for 7 1/2 pounds

Tutt – limit for 7 1/2 pounds

Young – three for 5 pounds

Bohannan – limit for 8 1/2 pounds

Neal – limit for 10 pounds

Hallman – three for 10 pounds

Stefan – limit for 7 pounds

Weyer – limit for 9 pounds

Cox – limit for 11 3/4 pounds

Davis – limit for 6 1/2 pounds

Weaver – four fish for 9 pounds

Sprague – three fish for 5 1/4 pounds

Johnson – two fish for 4 pounds


Watch a sweet video of Shin Fukae whacking a few on a swimbait on day two


Mark Rose caught up with Jeff Sprague this morning


11:15 a.m.: The bite is heating up all across Lake Okeechobee

Right now, the story of the day is that the action is really picking up. As the water warms and the clouds part, it seems like more and more fish slide into the spawning areas where most of the top 20 pros are fishing.

Brandon McMillan has reached double digits now. Clark Reehm has more than 13 pounds and has caught about a dozen keepers. Greg Bohannan filled his limit too and is catching quality keepers. Chris Johnston is whacking good fish. He just landed a 4 1/2-pounder to cull up to about 12 pounds.

Expect to see a whole bunch of mid-teen limits and pros approaching the 20-pound mark at today's weigh-in, which begins at 4 p.m. ET.

Our leader Bradley Hallman has two fish in the box. One is rumored to be 6 to 8 pounds. We're not really sure how big it is, but you can watch the video below and judge for yourself.


Mark Rose breaks down Bradley Hallman's early morning giant


10 a.m. Updates

McMillan – two fish for 5 pounds

Shelton – two fish for 2 1/4 pounds

Devere – two fish for 2 3/4 pounds

Johnston – three fish for 5 1/4 pounds

Reehm – limit for 13 pounds

Fukae – two fish for 6 pounds

Horton – three fish for 3 pounds

Tutt – limit for 9 1/2 pounds

Young – two fish for 4 pounds

Bohannan – three fish for 6 pounds

Neal – limit for 8 1/2 pounds

Hallman – one fish for 7 pounds

Stefan – two fish for 3 1/4 pounds

Weyer – one fish for 1 pound

Cox – one fish for 1 3/4 pound

Davis – two fish for 2 pounds

Weaver – two fish for 2 3/4 pounds

Johnson – one fish for 3 pounds


9:15 a.m.: Hallman scores big with a 6-pounder

Bradley Hallman is on his game this week at Lake Okeechobee. "It might just be my week," he told one of our OTW reporters.

Hallman just smoked a 6-pound-plus bass to get his day started off right. He's going to be tough to catch. Though, giants are falling on Okeechobee this morning. Follow the Twitter feed to stay up to speed (click that link and scroll down), because it's been nonstop all morning.


8:30 a.m.: Shin and McMillan on the board early

Tournament leader Bradley Hallman missed the first fish that bit, but Shin Fukae and Brandon McMillan have both capitalized on early opportunities. McMillan was the first pro to register a keeper. It weighed about 4 pounds. He's added another small keeper. Shin's first keeper will go between 5 and 6 pounds.

Several other pros have landed keepers, but all are small.


8 a.m.: Clouds and a light wind might improve the winding bite

Bradley Hallman built his lead yesterday by flipping and fishing painfully slow. Yesterday was the first day after a front, with heavy north winds and a 20-degree drop in the temperature from the day before. The slow-fishing approach was certainly called for.

Today, however, conditions might line up for a winding bite. A light breeze is blowing out of the north, and heavy cloud cover is blocking out the sun. Those are ideal conditions for the fish to move and feed.

We’ve got a full crew of reporters and marshals, along with Walmart pro Mark Rose, out on the water keeping tabs on the anglers. Stay tuned for details throughout the day.



Current temperature: 57 degrees

Forecast high: 70 degrees

Sky: cloudy

Precipitation: 15 percent chance until about 4 p.m.; 60 percent chance after that, with evening thunderstorms a possibility

Wind: NE at 18 mph


Weigh-in Details

Watch the day two weigh-in live at FLWFishing.com starting at 4 p.m. ET.

Click here for complete tournament details.