When Leesburg, Florida angler Tim Frederick turned pro and began competing on the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) Tour, the first event of his career was at Lake Okeechobee in February of 2016. Frederick caught just one bass in two days of competition at that tournament and finished in last place. In late January, Frederick redeemed himself by catching a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 14 ounces, to win the FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Evinrude.
Frederick’s four-day total of 20 bass weighing 85-4 gave him the win by a narrow 1-pound, 2-ounce margin over second-place pro Bryan Schmitt. It earned him $100,000 in a dramatic finale to the four-day event that featured 188 of the best bass anglers in the world.
“I’m still a little shocked,” said Frederick, whose previous best finish in FLW Tour competition was a 14th place finish on the Harris Chain of Lakes in 2017. “I didn’t think that I had as much weight as I did today. Some of the best fisherman on the planet were fishing in this event and to come out on top after four days – this is a dream come true.”
Frederick caught his bass by targeting isolated reed clumps in Harney Pond.
“I had a small limit, and I had missed a good one earlier, and I did not know whether to leave or to stay,” Frederick said. “I had to sit down for a minute and regain my composure and I decided to stick it out in that area. I had nothing else to go to, and that place had been special to me. With just 10 minutes left in the day, I caught a big one. It was a $100,000 fish.”
Frederick’s “big one” was an 8-pounder. Frederick said all of his fish this week came on a pair of stickbaits – a Strike King Ocho (black with blue flake or black with blue tail) and a Strike King Shim-E-Stick (black with blue flake or black with blue tail) – and a Strike King Pure Poison Swim Jig (green-pumpkin) with a Rage Bug trailer.
“I think the keys for me this week were my Power-Poles, my Florida knowledge, and patience,” Frederick said. “It would have been near impossible for me to fish some of the areas that I did this week if I wouldn’t have been able to pole down. And when I would first pull up to a spot, I would target the key areas. Sometimes it took multiple casts and fishing extremely slow, but every fish that I caught were in those key areas.”
Complete results for the entire field can be found at FLWFishing.com.