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Lake Okeechobee FLW Tour

Luke Clausen - Competition Recap
Friday, February 08, 2013

> Day 1: 5, 10-10
> Day 2: 5, 13-00
> Total = 10, 23-10 (66th place)

Iím pretty disappointed. I never got on much in practice. Apparently, I didnít adjust real well in the tournament. That flipping deal in practice Ė I spent so much time doing it and just couldnít get any big bites. I was catching the same little fish I was catching doing everything else. I never found an area I was too excited about. Nothing ever came together. I kept trying new stuff in the event, but nothing ever materialized. I caught a tremendous amount of fish, but there was just no size at all. I probably caught 40 today and 30 yesterday, but thatís all I could catch Ė little ones.

Itís disappointing to start the year off like this. I had a couple areas where I could catch not much less than what I had in the mornings Ė just some schooling fish. I just couldnít get anything going. I donít know if I was in bad areas or if it was bad timing or a combination of both. I donít really know the answer.

Jay Yelas Ė Competition Recap
Friday, February 08, 2013

Jay Yelas
Photo: Jay Yelas

> Day 1: 5, 12-01
> Day 2: 5, 17-06
> Total = 10, 29-07 (27th place)

I never got on the right pattern to contend to win the tournament. I just scrounged around and did what I could and I was blessed today. I caught an 8-pounder off a bed on a Senko. It got me real close to the cut. I only missed it by a pound and a half. That was the highlight of my day. On day 1, I fished up north all day and sight-fished and only came in with 12 pounds. I just never saw a big female so today I stayed south and just fished until about 1 and had about 10 pounds.

I decided to run all the way up north again and look for some bedding fish. The lake was like glass and it was getting sunny and hot. Sure enough, I pull in and the third bed I looked at there sits an 8-pounder. It took about seven pitches with a Senko and I put her in the livewell. I fished for another hour up there and caught a couple more little ones, but never did see any more big ones.

The water where that bed was was kind of murky and I could just barely see that there was a bed there. My Typhoon polarized sunglasses were the key. Without that, I wouldíve been an also-ran in this tournament, but at least I got some decent points to start the year. Thatís how Okeechobee is Ė you have to have a giant bass in your bag every day if you want to be at the top and yesterday I just had all 2 1/2-pounders.

There were a few, odd giant bass weighed in off of beds in the tournament, but by and large the guys Iíve talked to, theyíre not sight-fishing to catch those massive bags. The sight-fishing wonít win the tournament, but it saved my day today. On day 1, I was sight-fishing all day and catching them on a Senko and tubes. Today, I had a few fish this morning on a ChatterBait and a big swimbait, but they were just 2-pounders. I flipped a jig until I was blue in the face and I just couldnít get the big ones going this week.

Jay Yelas - Practice Recap
Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Jay Yelas
Photo: Jay Yelas

Practice was really tough all 3 days. I never really did get a whole lot going. It stayed cool every day and the north wind blew all 3 days and the nights were cool. But I expect the fishing to get a lot better in the tournament. It sets up a lot of like the 2001 Lake Toho Bassmaster Top 150 where it was super cold in practice and it warmed up for the tournament. The fish really moved up on beds. I donít know that theyíre going to do that here, but thatís my best guess as to what will happen in the tournament.

I think the fishingís going to get a lot better. The nightly lows are going to be in the 60s now so that water tempís on the fast rise after staying in the mid-60s every day. I just really expect things to turn on. Itís a great lake Ė the fish just havenít been biting very well.

Iíve fished the north end and the south end and caught some fish. I know how to catch some and I know where there are some beds that were empty so Iím going to do a little of both tomorrow Ė go fish in the morning and go look at some beds later to see if any fish moved up in the afternoon.

Luke Clausen - Practice Recap
Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Photo: BassFan

Practice wasn't real great. Probably my best day I had about 13 pounds. I havenít caught one over 3 1/2 pounds since Iíve been here. I really havenít found anything Iím very excited about. Iím hoping for some change right now. Iím going to do some pre-fishing tomorrow.

Iíve heard of a few big ones being caught, especially (Tuesday), but those fish are just random occurrences. Itís kind of a longshot as to where to go. I might start where I got some bites and see if I can catch a limit anyway and go from there. It could be an area that has big ones in it and I may never leave or I could wind up scrambling all day. I need to keep an open mind in this deal. I was really thinking things wouldíve evolved more than they had come (Tuesday). It didnít really seem to happen. I guess itís unknown if itíll happen by tomorrow.

I went (back in the reeds) until you canít get any further and I fished out toward the main lake. To me, itís about trying to find the right water color. You can go way back into some of that stuff and pop some fish. In some areas, you can catch them where itís somewhat dirty on the outside edge and has a little bit of color to it. Itís just every place is different. Some places, itís clean all the way to the outside and thereís hydrilla out front and some places you have to go back in a quarter-mile before you get to any clean water.

Luke Clausen - Day 1 Practice
Sunday, February 03, 2013

Photo: BassFan

It was cool last night and is supposed to be cool again tonight. Itís one of those typical Florida deals. It gets a lot tougher when itís cool, but things are going to change when the tournament gets here. Itís going to continue to warm up. I didnít put a lot of faith into what I found today and that wasnít too much. I caught quite a few fish, but just not a lot of size.

The biggest difference is all of the water thatís in here now. Everythingís so much deeper than it was. Itís about a foot-and-a-half higher, but a foot-and-a-half in Florida is like 10 feet in other places. Today, we had a pretty good wind and it dirtied a lot of areas up so it limited some areas in terms of good visibility.

Things will change dramatically as long as the forecast is true. It seems like, usually, in Florida, itís most important what you learn the last day of practice. Hopefully, itíll be at its best or getting better by the last day and the weather can stabilize a bit.

Itís not going to be (a full-on spawn bite) right now. There are some on beds, but itís not as good as it could be. It was 45 (degrees) here last night, which is pretty cold for Florida fish. Iím sure there are still some on the bed and some more will get caught, but I donít think weíll see a big wave of them unless it warms up.

Iím sure some have spawned earlier in the year, but Iím thinking most of the fish weíll be looking to catch will be pre-spawn fish. It seems like the post-spawners here, most of the time, swim back out in the lake. You donít see that much of them. Itís usually easier to catch the ones coming in, but right now thereís not a lot of them coming with the water temperatures we have here.

Jay Yelas - Day 1 Practice
Sunday, February 03, 2013

Jay Yelas
Photo: Jay Yelas

The weatherís been cold here and the fishingís been off for Okeechobee. The waterís cold. It was like 64 this morning and got up to 66 this afternoon. Thatís cold for here. They donít really get fired up until that water temp gets into the low 70s. Looking ahead, we should have some warmer weather during the tournament and it should make for some good fishing. The bite was real slow today, but I think itís going to really get going for the competition.

I spent today trying to find some areas that had some fish. Today, so much of the lake that I wanted to fish had been adversely affected by the north wind. It blew 15 to 20 today and it muddied up a lot of the outside stuff, especially on the south end. You werenít looking for bedding fish today because itís way too cold for this. I did look for bedding areas so when it warms up in 3 or 4 days, I can pop in there and see if theyíre in there. The other thing I did was just look for areas that had fish. Thatís the thing about this lake. You can go for hours without getting a bite when youíre not around them, but if youíre around them, you can catch several. Youíre looking for that all the while knowing there are a lot of things that are going to develop later in the week and today could almost be a meaningless day.

It was as meaningless a first day of practice as weíll probably have all year because if it does warm up to 80 degrees every day of the tournament and the wind lays down, itís going to be a totally different lake and all kinds of things will be working. There will be places people fished through today that they didnít get a bite, but can catch a big bag out of in the tournament.

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