Top 5 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee Day 3 - Major League Fishing

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee Day 3

How the top pros overcame challenging conditions
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Alex Davis loads up for his next presentation. Photo by Kyle Wood. Angler: Alex Davis.
February 6, 2016 • Rob Newell • Archives

Across the board, weights fell off on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Roland and Mary Ann Martin's Marina and Resort and the Hendry County Tourism and Development Council. No one in the top 20 crossed the 20-pound mark.

Cloud cover, which prevented the water temperature from rising much above 65 degrees, and low water clarity might both have slowed the replenishment of bass moving into spawn.

Tournament leader Bradley Hallman experienced a bit of a stall in the action as well, bringing just four fish to the scales, but he still managed to increase his lead to 13 pounds, 9 ounces.

Read about Hallman’s day three pattern here.

Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done.


Alex Davis may have struggled on day three, but he's still in second with a stout 51-1.

2. Alex Davis – Albertville, Ala. – 51-1 (15)

Alex Davis clung tight to his second-place spot with a 9-pound, 2-ounce catch on day three.

Like others, Davis saw his hot spot cool down substantially today, sending him scrambling to cobble together a limit just to stay in the hunt going into day four.

“I think I might have burned them all up,” Davis says of the bass on the magical place that produced back-to-back 20-pound-plus limits for him on days one and two. “I mean, that area was no bigger than these two weigh-in tents, and I caught 40 bass out of it. The place is not that far off the main lake. It’s actually the first clear water off the main lake. So maybe a new group will pull in there overnight. I’ve at least got to check it again tomorrow.”

To salvage his day, Davis went out into the hayfields and tossed a weightless Jackall Flick Shake Worm to catch a limit.

“I needed something just to guarantee me a ticket to the final day,” he says. “It only took 40 minutes to catch them, but it’s hard to get past about 10 pounds fishing that way right now.”


Shin Fukae popped 15-3 on day three and is sitting in third heading into the final day.

3. Shin Fukae – Palestine, Texas – 47-8 (15)

Shin Fukae’s limit of 15 pounds, 3 ounces on day three moved him up a couple of spots to third place.

Since day one, Fukae has been fishing the same area and way (flipping) as leader Bradley Hallman, with one exception. On day two, Fukae strayed from his flipping program and ventured into the adjacent hayfields to fish a Yamamoto Senko and wound up with 12 pounds, 2 ounces. Hallman stayed committed to flipping and weighed 25.

“I was not patient enough with the flipping yesterday,” Fukae said on Saturday. “Today, I stayed with flipping longer and caught a 5-pounder at the end of the day. Flipping takes patience.”

In his own comical way, Fukae noted another difference between he and Hallman.

“He is not fishing fair in that area,” Fukae says with a laugh. “He is too tall! He can see over the reeds to see where he needs to flip. I have to stand on my tiptoes, and I still can’t see.”


Ontario's Chris Johnston kicked off his professional career on the Walmart FLW Tour with a top-10 finish this week on Lake Okeechobee.

4. Chris Johnston – Peterborough, Ontario – 45-11 (14)

The best five-bass limit of the day – 17 pounds, 15 ounces – belonged to Chris Johnston, which propelled him into fourth place.

Johnston is also flipping reed heads in the south end of the lake for his catches.

“Yesterday, I caught some winding too, but today I mostly flipped because I needed to play catch-up,” he says. “You have to stay committed to the flipping to make it pay off, so I put the swim jig and ChatterBait down today.”



5. Michael Neal – Dayton, Tenn. – 45-2 (15)

Michael Neal is bucking the system on Lake Okeechobee this week by being one of the only pros in the top 10 that is fishing up on the north end of the lake.

“It’s an area of the lake that I’ve liked since the very first time I came here,” Neal says. “I keep going back because I’ve done well there before, and it fits me for some reason. It’s got a good mix of vegetation – Kissimmee grass, hydrilla, gatorgrass, buggy whips, reeds, arrowheads – a little bit of everything.”

To catch fish from the generous mix of vegetation, Neal has been primarily throwing a swim jig.

“It’s a pretty big place, maybe 4 or 5 acres, and I am weaving in and out and all around,” he says. “If I come to a spot that looks good, I’ll put the poles down and fan-cast all around the boat to make sure I hit everything.”


Complete results – click here


Photo Galleries

Day 1 On the Water – click here

Day 1 Weigh-in – click here

Day 2 On the Water – click here

Day 2 Weigh-in – click here

Day 3 On the Water – click here

Day 3 Weigh-in – click here


Tournament Details

Presenting sponsor: Ranger Boats

Hosts: Roland and Mary Ann Martin's Marina and Resort and Hendry County Tourism and Development Council

Format: Walmart FLW Tour tournaments are four-day events. Co-anglers are randomly paired with pros and fish for two days, with the winner determined by heaviest cumulative two-day weight. All boaters fish the first two days as well, but only the top 20 after two days based on cumulative weight advanced to the third day. After three days, the top 10 anglers based on cumulative weight advance to the fourth and final day. The champion is determined by heaviest four-day total weight.

Takeoff Time: 7:30 a.m.

Takeoff Location:

Days 1 and 2: Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort, 920 East Del Monte Avenue, Clewiston, FL

Days 3 and 4: Clewiston Boat Basin & Launch, 709 Hoover Dike Road, Clewiston, FL

Weigh-In Time: Days 1 and 2 at 3 p.m.; Day 3 at 4 p.m.

Weigh-In Location:

Days 1 and 2: Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort, 920 East Del Monte Avenue, Clewiston, FL

Days 3 and 4: Walmart 2484, 1005 W Sugarland Hwy, Clewiston, FL


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