All about area - Major League Fishing

All about area

Area more important than technique at Stren Series
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Tournament leader Kevin Long of Clewiston gives the thumbs up going into day two of the Stren Series event on Okeechobee. Photo by Rob Newell. Angler: Kevin Long.
February 27, 2009 • Rob Newell • Archives

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Ask the leaders of the Stren Series event on Lake Okeechobee what the key to their success is, and the one word answer they will provide is “area.”

Before talk of lures, tactics and techniques even comes up, being in the right area is critical.

Tournament leader Kevin Long of Clewiston should know. Long guides on Okeechobee during the winter, and getting his guide clients in the right area is the key to keeping his customers happy.

“The primary technique on Okeechobee right now is not a big secret,” Long said. “With so much flooded grass, a soft-plastic lure buzzed over the surface is just about the only way to fish. But it’s where – not necessarily how – you fish that’s key. The last few weeks I’ve spent a lot of time out here exploring new water all over the lake to find productive areas for my guide trips, which has really helped me in this tournament.”

Long noted that the key areas are getting smaller.Second place pro Ron Klys of Gainesville, Fla., is ready for day two on Okeechobee.

“You might have a vast area with the right water color, bottom and vegetation, but there will only be little sweet spots within that big area where the fish are bedding,” he added.

Second-place pro Ron Klys of Gainesville, Fla., has found the same thing to be true.

“There’s a lot of pretty water out there,” Klys said. “And during practice I fished miles and miles of it without a bite. But then I would get two or three bites in a row, and when I trolled over to where I got those bites, there would be about five or six beds all right there together in a cluster.

“Man, I wish I was a pelican,” Klys laughed. “I’d love to fly over these giant clear-water areas and find those clusters of beds here and there. Pelicans are lucky – they know where the fish are.”

Klys caught the Folgers Big Bass in the Pro Division on day one weighing in at 9 pounds, 2 ounces. But that was the only female he found during practice.

“I know where a bunch of little bucks are, but I don’t have a big one to go to this morning like I did yesterday,” he added. “It’s supposed to be warmer with a little less wind today, so maybe I’ll find another female or two moved in with the bucks.”

The day-two weigh-in of the Stren Series Southeast Division event on Lake Okeechobee will begin Friday at 3 p.m. at Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina.

Friday’s conditions

Sunrise: 6:49 a.m.

Temperature at takeoff: 62 degrees

Expected high temperature: 78 degrees

Water temperature: 68-72 degrees

Wind: ESE at 10 to 20 mph

Day’s outlook: sunny and windy