Brandon Medlock of Lake Placid, Fla. caught a 19-04 stringer on Saturday to win the three-day Lake Okeechobee Southern FLW Series. Medlock’s 54-04 total earned him the win by a 5-13 margin over longtime tour pro Peter Thliveros and garnered him a payout of $37,548 in the division's second tournament of the season.
three days, Medlock started on an outside reed line where bass were eating shad.
“I was practicing for a tournament a couple weeks ago and I caught some big ones out on the outside, but not very many bites,” said Medlock, who earned his third career Series victory on Lake Okeechobee. “So as soon as the wind laid down in practice I went over there to check it, and it was bite after bite after bite. Those shad just came in there.”
Pitching and making short casts with a half-ounce, white Medlock Double Guard Flipping Jig with a white Zoom Super Speed Craw was the ticket for the shad fish.
After corralling a limit each day, Medlock flipped reeds the rest of the time.
“The fish have all been behind the reeds for the past month – there’s not been anything going on the outside, that just started in the last two weeks,” said Medlock. “As hot as it is, I felt like that inside bite was dying. I felt like the fish were leaving that, so I concentrated more on the outer stuff.
“The first day I thought I was going to have 25 pounds, I caught probably 20 fish, but they were all little ones. I ran really shallow stuff that day, but the next day I went deeper.”
Going deeper turned out to be the key, and on days 2 and 3 Medlock flipped up multiple big fish from isolated reeds out past the main reed edge.
For his flipping attack, Medlock used a 3/8-ounce and a 3/4-ounce Medlock Double Guard Flipping Jig in black and blue. He tipped the 3/8-ounce model with a Riot Baits Little Fuzzy, and used a Zoom Big Salty Chunk as a trailer on the 3/4-ounce model.
Flipping the heavier jig on the outer reeds, Medlock opted for the lighter jig in shallower stuff.
“The water depth was the main deal there,” Medlock went on to say. “That 3/8-ounce jig is unreal for spooky fish. It doesn’t spook ‘em. I can lay it down on super long flips and it lays down effortlessly.”
Medlock used an Ark Tharp Series Guntersville Special rod with 50-pound Vicious No-Fade Braid for the 3/8-ounce jig. For the heavier jigs he opted for an Ark Tharp Series Okeechobee Special with 80-pound No-Fade. For all his setups, Medlock stuck with high-speed Quantum baitcasters.
Here are the final totals for the top 10:
1. Brandon Medlock: 54-04
2. Peter Thliveros: 48-07
3. Ronnie Buck: 48-03
4. Gary Milicevic: 45-08
5. Darrell Davis: 44-08
6. Brett Cannon: 43-07
7. Bradley MacQueen: 41-04
8. John Kremer: 40-15
9. Robby Frashier: 39-04
10. Casey Warren: 38-13