Okeechobee Top 5 Patterns Day 2 - Major League Fishing

Okeechobee Top 5 Patterns Day 2

The rest of the pack is in hot pursuit
Image for Okeechobee Top 5 Patterns Day 2
Taylor Ashley Photo by Jody White. Angler: Taylor Ashley.
January 27, 2017 • Rob Newell • Archives

It’s official: the Costa FLW Series event presented by Power-Pole on Lake Okeechobee has turned into a casting and winding war. So far, there has been little talk of flipping or sight-fishing. In fact, it’s ironic how many pros have mentioned going biteless this week while trying to pitch reed heads or punch mats.

In short, most of the big females are interested in smashing something that is being reeled through the water or teased over their heads.

Tournament leader Joshua Weaver owned up to casting over cover for his big catch today and others in the top five have found success swimming or shimmying something through the shallow vegetation as well.

Weaver’s leading pattern

Complete results


Derek Yasinski

2. Derek Yasinski – Senoia, Ga. – 49-2 (10)

Weaver may have weighed in a huge bag today, but Derek Yasinski is right on his heels due to his consistency of two mid-twenty pound limits adding up to 49 pounds, 2 ounces for second place.

Yasinski is casting swim jigs and ChatterBaits in a unique area he has found in the northern end of the lake – unique in that he has the area to himself.

“I worked my way back into the stuff and didn’t see another boat back there,” he says. “I caught most of my weight between 9:30 and 12 o’clock. They bit pretty well in all that fog this morning and if I can find something a little more isolated out in the middle, it seems to hold the better fish.”


Taylor Ashley

3. Taylor Ashley – Warrior, Ala. – 46-6 (10)

Taylor Ashley had a stronger day two, checking in 25 pounds, 6 ounces today after a 21-pound effort yesterday.

Ashley, too, is casting and winding. He says he has stayed in the same area, which is the size of about four football fields, for two days.

“I fish the Coosa River a lot back home in Alabama, so I like a swim jig,” Ashley says. “And that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing here for the last two days. Instead of fishing bank grass with it, I’m fishing lily pads and reeds with it.”

“Getting them out of that stuff is tough though,” he continues. “I thought my biggest one had come off today. I had it right up the boat and it was tangled in this mass of pads. I saw the jig come flying out of her mouth and my co-angler just stabbed the net down under the wad of pads and heaved it all aboard. I dug down in the vegetation and there she was in the bottom of the net: a 7-pounder.”


Gary Milicevic

4. Gary Milicevic – LaBelle, Fla. – 41-2 (10)

Gary Milicevic, the day one leader with 25-5, slipped off the pace a bit today with a 15-13 catch that put him in fourth.

Milicevic is one of the few top anglers who has been able to get bit flipping, using a big jig in reed clumps. But he also has put a few big ones in the boat on a ChatterBait as well.


Brian Holder

5. Brian Holder – Denver, N.C. – 39-14 (10)

Brian Holder rounds out the top five after day two, thanks in large part to his giant 10-pound, 8-ounce lunker he caught on day one.

Holder had originally intended to pitch reed heads on the south end of the lake after a good practice with the flipping stick. But yesterday, his flipping bite completely dried up. In desperation he pulled out a spinnerbait and caught a couple of solid keepers that put him on the right path with moving baits.

“I picked the water I’m fishing because of the reed heads in it,” Holder says. “The irony of it is I’m not even fishing those reed heads now. But the area also has that perfect water color here on Okeechobee – it’s not too clear and it’s not too dirty – it’s just right for those big females to move into and feel more comfortable.”