Peter Thliveros' track record in Florida is as strong as any, but after an extremely tough start last week at Lake Okeechobee, he reversed his fortunes by simply reversing the order of the spots he fished.
He caught 10-01 on day 1 and that had him mired in 129th place, well out of check range. On Day 2, he backtracked through his day-1 spots and came back with 25-15, the second-heaviest bag of the day to climb into 18th and make his first Top-20 cut since 2011. He caught 15-08 on Day 3 and finished 14th.
"I knew the areas I had had a lot of fish in them and I was fishing the right kind of water. It was just a matter of timing when those fish would show up and bite," he said. "On Day 1, you always start where you think you'll do your best and if that doesn’t work you start running other stuff. I'd only caught a couple early on and I just didn't trust where I was fishing. As the day went on, the bite got better, but I never went back to my starting spot."
He said it was one of the few times he's flip-flopped the order of his spots in a tournament.
"Usually, I'll punt and go look for different things," he added. "I just stuck with what I knew and figured out how to catch what was there and the best time to catch them."
He fished open areas around scattered hydrilla, "in between the thick stuff of what I consider deeper spawning flats," he said. "I couldn't seen them down there, but I figured that's what they were doing."
He mostly fished a Zoom Speed Worm like a swimbait, but also threw a Zoom Fluke on a Petey rig, the latter of which produced an 8-15 that stood up as big fish of the tournament.
"This is the best finish I've had in a couple years so it's definitely a good start to the season," he added. "It's always hard to climb out of a hole and with just six tournaments, the holes get deeper. It felt good to get out of the blocks fast this year."
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