Jason Lambert Wins Costa FLW Opener

By on January 19, 2016
Jason Lambert. (Credit: Jesse Schultz / Fishing League Worldwide)

You don’t have to be a power fisherman to win at Lake Okeechobee. But, for Jason Lambert, it certainly helped.

The pro angler out of Pickwick Dam, Tennessee, won the inaugural event of the 2016 Costa FLW Series (formerly the Rayovac Fishing League Worldwide Series) on Okeechobee this past weekend. His approach to the waterway meant throwing as much and as often as he could, and covering as much water as possible. He seemed to be playing a numbers game from the looks of it: Catch as many fish as you can and weigh the biggest ones.

But he also found an excellent spot in the lake. Over the first two days, Lambert found a perfect hydrilla bed stretching nearly 600 yards along the lake’s north shore. The submerged vegetation brought him some excellent fishing thanks to numbers of pre-spawn bass that bit on the baits he was throwing.

Lambert says that he can flip and punch just like any of the guys he fished against (flipping was the most common technique used in the tournament). But he just likes to move things a little bit faster. So some of his arsenal for the tournament included a spinnerbait, a chatterbait and a speed worm, baits that he threw and retrieved quickly while covering large areas of water.

This approach worked well over the first two days of competition. But Day 3 conditions were impacted by unfriendly weather that a few dubbed “the hurricane.” After the rain and wind swept through, Lambert found that his go-to spot for the first few days of the tourney was no longer yielding the fish like it used to. And he says that he only got one bite from his spot in the morning of Day 3.

To account for the change in conditions on the water, Lambert kept faith in his broader strategy of fishing fast. But he threw a few variations of baits and colors. For dirty waters, his chatterbait of choice was chartreuse and white. In clearer conditions, he threw black and blue. When things got choppier on the water, Lambert pulled out a spinnerbait.

About 10 of the 15 fish that Lambert brought to the scales were caught with the black and blue chatterbait, a V&M Pacemaker Swim Jig, or a mouse-colored War Eagle spinnerbait.

The key was to catch at least one big bass every day, Lambert says. This was important because a lot of the competing anglers were reeling in smaller females, so just one big fish made a difference.

Lambert’s total weight over three days and 15 fish came to 44 pounds and 12 ounces. The bag netted him $60,000 in prize money and a new Ranger Z518 bass boat.

Rounding up the rest of the Top 5 were second-place finisher Glenn Browne of Ocala, Florida, 43-4; Joseph Kremer of Osteen, Florida in third with 40-14; Bryan Honnerlaw of Moore Haven, Florida in fourth with 39-0; and fifth-place finisher Justin Morgan of Okeechobee, Florida, with 37-0.

Top image: Jason Lambert. (Credit: Jesse Schultz / Fishing League Worldwide)

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