By the time most of the Costa FLW Series field had reached its first fishing spots on Lake Okeechobee this morning, it was too late. Wind and an 8- to 10-degree water temperature drop had already taken it’s toll on some of the lake’s most protected water.
Fifty to 60 boats bobbed along the famous North Shore area as the anglers in the boats reeled in answered casts. Some were punching reed heads while others fan-cast scattered hydrilla and eelgrass with spinnerbaits and lipless rattlers. Fish catches were rare, and everyone knew why: Muddy water had crept farther into the North Shore area than expected. The overnight wind did have some west in it, which could have let a little more color slide in than necessary. Others believe that the back and forth nature of the northwest wind blowing hard yesterday and then slacking overnight had caused muddy water to ride the backflow back into the protected bay.
One thing is for sure: With so much vegetation and hard line gone from the lake, the wind can push water through the once-protected areas like its Swiss cheese.
Among some of the Okeechobee notables spotted, Brandon Medlock and Rodger Beaver were struggling to find a first keeper. On the morning, no big catches were discovered. Former Okeechobee FLW Series winner Marty Brown had four small bass, and Matt Baty had four keepers as well. Beyond that, Okeechobee was doling out some lumps early on.
Weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. ET and can be watched via FLW Live on the FLW homepage.