Okeechobee Winning Patterns with Bryan Jones

On September 28 2014, the Florida B.A.S.S. Federation Nation went to Lake Okeechobee. Florida Fishing The Back contributor Bryan Jones took home another victory with 13 pounds as a Co Angler at this event. This win makes it his 12th tournament win this year! We caught up with him to hear how he caught his winning bag and how he likes to fish these techniques.

Okeechobee is fishing very tough right now, but there were two main patterns that I fished in this event to much success. In the morning, my boater and I started fishign shell beds, because the Bluegill and other small fry position themselves up on top, and the bass follow for an easy meal. As the sun got higher, the bite calmed down, and it was time to go flipping. The flipping bite in the afternoon was the best way to catch larger quality bass.

10719288_830466046997976_739423717_nFishing Shell Bars:

When I was fishing the shell bars, I chose to throw a hard jerkbait part of the time and a Gambler 10″ Ribbon Tail Worm with a small 1/16 ounce weight the rest. The worm seemed to be the most productive though. I used a 7’3 Halo Rod and 15 pound Vicious Fluorocarbon to make long casts on top of the shell bed, before I slowly dragged the worm back to the boat. I switched back and forth between two colors- black and blue and red bug. The bite started to die around 10:30 am and was completely gone by noon. The flipping bite was next to come.

Flipping Reeds:

We left the shell bars and went to flipping reeds around noon. With the higher sun, the fish were better positioned in the cover. I was flipping an Okeechobee Craw Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver and a Black and Blue Bitter Baits Beaver. Both of which I flipped on my 7’6 Halo Flipping Rod, spooled up with 65 pound Power Pro braided line. This setup is important, so there is no stretch and you can get them out of the cover and into the boat fast.

Because we were fishing reeds and not matted vegetation as much, I opted for lighter weights to start, such as a 3/16 ounce. I moved up to a 3/4 ounce later so the wind didn’t blow my line, and I could detect bites easier. When I flipped, I would let the bait settle, pump it anywhere from one to three times, before moving on to the next flip. While I am working my bait, I am always looking for my next target. It is important when flipping as a Co to hit every spot that your boater misses and waste minimal time to up your chances at more bites.


Circuits fished: B.A.S.S. Opens, Florida Bass Federation, Lakeland Bassmasters

Years co: 6

Favorite technique: Flippin

Hobbies aside from fishing: Hanging out with friends, bowling

Sponsors: Brokers Title, Halo Rods, Rymans Construction, Woods N Waters Fishing