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Horton Leads Day One of FLW Tour at Harris Chain of Lakes

LEESBURG, Fla. (Feb. 22, 2018) – Pro Jamie Horton of Centreville, Alabama, grabbed the early lead at the FLW Tour at the Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Lowrance Thursday with five bass weighing 24 pounds, 13 ounces. Horton will bring a 1-ounce advantage over second-place pro Koby Kreiger of Bokeelia, Florida, into Day Two of the event that features 368 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals and co-anglers casting for top awards of up to $125,000 cash in the Pro Division and up to $25,000 cash in the Co-angler Division.

“I didn’t really have much of a game plan coming into today – things just kind of worked out,” said Horton, a third-year FLW Tour pro who is seeking his first win on the circuit. “I made a lot of bad decisions out there, but I also made five good ones. I didn’t get complacent – I changed areas and kept moving.”

Horton said he fished two lakes today, and that he split his time between bass feeding on shad and bass that were spawning. He said he ended up weighing two from the shad pattern and three from the beds.

“I knew I could catch a limit because I knew where enough bucks were on beds,” said Horton. “I didn’t catch many, but I caught a big one late.”

The Alabama pro said he hopes he can piece together another solid day Friday and make the top 30 cut Saturday.

“Can I catch another bag like this one tomorrow? I’m pretty sure I won’t,” said Horton. “But if I can catch a big one and a limit, then maybe I can hang around.”

The top 10 pros after day one on the Harris Chain of Lakes are:

1st:           Jamie Horton, Centreville, Ala., five bass, 24-13

2nd:         Koby Kreiger, Bokeelia, Fla., five bass, 24-12

3rd:          John Devere, Berea, Ky., five bass, 24-4

4th:          Jordan Osborne, Longview, Texas, five bass, 24-1

5th:          Randy Haynes, Counce, Tenn., five bass, 22-8

5th:          Harry Moore, Valley, Ala., five bass, 22-8

7th:          Anthony Gagliard, Prosperity, S.C., five bass, 22-7

8th:          Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., five bass, 21-13

9th:          Glenn Browne, Ocala, Fla., five bass, 21-3

10th:        Kerry Milner, Bono, Ark., five bass, 21-1

For a full list of results visit FLWFishing.com.

Devere earned the day’s $500 Simms Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 9-pound, 9-ounce largemouth.

Kreiger received a 2-pound penalty on Day One after he was found to be in violation of FLW Tour Rule No. 9, which states that all persons must be seated and a driver must be behind the steering wheel in full control of the boat whenever it is on plane or the combustion engine is running and in gear.

Overall there were 902 bass weighing 2,245 pounds, 11 ounces, caught by 183 pros Thursday. The catch included 176 five-bass limits.

Ryan Eckman of Okeechobee, Florida, leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 24 pounds, 1 ounce, followed by George Kapiton of Inverness, Florida, who weighed five bass totaling 21-7, good for second place.

The top 10 co-anglers after day one on the Harris Chain of Lakes are:

1st:           Ryan Eckman, Okeechobee, Fla., five bass, 24-1

2nd:         George Kapiton, Inverness, Fla., five bass, 21-9

3rd:          Eddie Bussard, Sanford, Fla., five bass, 21-7

4th:          J.P. Sims, Cookeville, Tenn., five bass, 20-4,

5th:          Daniel Weaver, Macon, Ga., five bass, 19-15

6th:          Fred Rigdon, Belleview, Fla., five bass, 19-10

7th:          Timothy Sisk, Gastonia, N.C., five bass, 18-5

8th:          Kevin Medine, Port Allen, La., five bass, 17-10

9th:          Johnny Douglas, Liberty, Ky., five bass, 16-12

10th:        Joel Willert, Lakeville, Minn., five bass, 16-4

Kevin Gordon of Aiken, South Carolina, earned $250 for the Simms Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division with a 8-pound, 15-ounce largemouth.

Overall there were 673 bass weighing 1,367 pounds, 1 ounce, caught by 175 co-anglers Thursday. The catch included 91 five-bass limits.

In FLW Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The full field of 368 anglers competes in the two-day opening round. Co-angler competition concludes following Friday’s weigh-in, while the top 30 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

The total purse for the FLW Tour at the Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Lowrance is more than $930,000, including $10,000 through 60th place in the Pro Division. The tournament is hosted by Lake County, Florida.

Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2018 Forrest Wood Cup will be on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Aug. 10-12 and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.

Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. EST each day from the Venetian Gardens boat ramp, located at 201 E. Lake Harris Drive in Leesburg. Friday’s weigh-in will be held at the Venetian Gardens beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins, Feb. 24-25, will also be held at the Venetian Gardens, but will begin at 4 p.m.

Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 24-25, FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at the Venetian Gardens from noon to 4 p.m. each day. The Expo is the perfect opportunity for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.

Also for youth, the FLW Foundation’s Unified Fishing Derby will be held at the Venetian Gardens on Saturday, Feb. 24 from 9-11 a.m. The event is hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour anglers, and is free and open to youth (18 and under) and Special Olympics athletes (all ages). Rods and reels are available for use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one. The 1st and 2nd place anglers that catch the biggest fish will be recognized Saturday on the FLW Tour stage, just prior to the pros weighing in.

Television coverage of the FLW Tour at the Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Lowrance will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) April 11 from Noon-1 p.m. EST. The Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the sport’s top anglers on the FLW Tour on FLW’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube and Snapchat.

About FLW

FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube and Snapchat.

Missile Baits Adds Bryan Schmitt

Salem, Va. – February 21, 2018 – Missile Baits is proud to announce the addition of Bryan Schmitt, of Deale, Maryland, to their Pro Staff. Bryan is a 10-time event winner with FLW Outdoors, racking up over $750,000 in earnings and 2 FLW Cup appearances. Missile Baits will fit in great with Schmitt and his shallow water, power fishing strength.
John Crews, company owner and pro angler, said, “I have known and followed Bryan for a while. He is a fantastic angler and really excels at shallow power fishing techniques. Now being armed with Missile Baits, the guys on FLW better watch out even more for Bryan.”

Bryan Schmitt added, “I’m super excited and blessed to be on the Missile Baits team and to be using proven tournament winning baits. With John as the owner and also being a top-level tournament angler, there is no doubt that I will have an advantage fishing Missile Baits. I am joining a super talented team and it will just up my game.”
Bryan finished 2nd in the first FLW Tour event last month and 4th in the first Costa Series of 2018. Schmitt will fish all the FLW Tour events in pursuit of his 3rd FLW Cup appearance. He will also fish the rest of the Coast Series in the Southeastern Division. In addition to fishing professional tournaments, Bryan is a U.S.C.G. Captain and guides for Rockfish and Stripers on the Chesapeake Bay. Go to https://www.loosenupcharters.com/ for more information on his guide business.

MISSILE BAITS is a small company dedicated to creating SERIOUS soft plastic baits to help anglers catch more fish. The designs are straight off the top-level professional bass tour. Based in Salem, Virginia, MISSILE BAITS works relentlessly to make the best baits, show their customers how to use them, and stay on the cutting edge of bass fishing. Founded in January 2012, new products and videos will continue to be launched. Log onto www.MISSILEBAITS.com for videos, tips, and more.

Two Lures Iaconelli Won’t Be Without in Winter

Maybe it’s because he played ice hockey from grade school through his sophomore year of college, or perhaps it’s because the former right winger grew up in the cold climate of the Philadelphia metro and is simply comfortable in frigid weather.

Whatever the case, whenever there’s a cold water tournament, Mike Iaconelli is always a good choice for your fantasy fishing team. The animated Toyota pro always seems to excel in cold weather derbies — and there are two lures he never leaves home without when water temps are below 50 degrees.

Rapala Shad Rap

“I’ve had a Rapala Shad Rap tied on in every winter tournament I’ve ever fished in my life, for as long as I can ever remember. You just don’t leave home without that lure in winter,” says an adamant Iaconelli.

“I think there are two reasons why a Shad Rap works so well in really cold water — it has a super tight wiggle and it’s silent – both of those qualities are a good match to the natural shad population that is super lethargic or close to dying in winter,” he says.

Iaconelli packs two colors of Shad Raps – craw colors and shad colors – but where he differs from most anglers is that he travels with a wide variety of sizes of the famed lure.

While most anglers carry only the size 5 or 7 Shad Rap, “Ike” carries much larger ones too in order to match all desired depths, and typically ties all of them to 6-pound fluorocarbon on a spinning reel.

“I carry the size 5 for depths around 4’, the size 7 and 8 for depths of 6 to 10’ – and I also carry the really large size 9 Shad Rap that very few people carry in order to reach depths of 10’ or more,” grins Ike, when talking about the rare super-sized Raps.

Synthetic Hair Jigs

The sight of pro angling’s most amped-up angler fishing a hair jig sized similar to a fathead minnow, and nearly too small for a camera to find focus on, seems to be a bit of a paradox, sort of like a Philly Eagles offensive lineman leaning on a Happy Meal for dinner.

“This doesn’t get talked about much – but I’m a huge believer in a hair jig,” Iaconelli confesses. “It’s about the most silent and stealthy lure you can tie on – and when fish are super lethargic on the bottom or suspended, and seemingly impossible to catch in winter – this is the lure I tie on – and I’ll take it over a Damiki rig every time.”

“Ike” has tried bucktail and deer hair – but he favors the synthetic hair tied on a tiny 1/8-ounce jig head because he swears the synthetic hair slows the fall of the jig better than other types of hair he’s tried.

“It takes forever to fall to the bottom in 30 or 40 feet of water, even on 6-pound fluorocarbon, but a 1/8-ounce hair jig is absolutely the lure I have the most confidence in when winter bass are suspended, or lethargic on the bottom,” says Ike, who notched another top finish using both of these two most trusted winter lures in the cold waters of the recent Bassmaster Elite on Lake Martin.

Follow Mike on his Facebook page.

Check out the 2018 Toyota line up here.

Get all the gear you need to fish like IKE here.

FLIR Reveals Raymarine Axiom® Innovations at the Miami Boat Show

WILSONVILLE, OR – February 15, 2018 – FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) announced today a slate of new technologies launching from their award-winning, Raymarine-branded Axiom® line of multifunction navigation displays (MFD). Visitors to the FLIR and Raymarine booth at the Miami International Boat Show this week are invited to see Axiom’s LightHouse™ Apps, the Raymarine LINK™ mobile app, and Axiom integration for UAVs.

LightHouse Apps

Axiom Innovations - LightHouse Apps | Raymarine - A Brand by FLIR

Available in the forthcoming LightHouse 3, LightHouse Apps brings select Android-compatible mobile apps and third-party marine apps to Raymarine’s family of Axiom MFDs. With LightHouse Apps, Raymarine users can use Axiom to stream onboard entertainment from popular movie and music streaming services. LightHouse Apps also brings access to the Theyr GRIB global weather forecast and tide apps. With the launch of LightHouse Apps, Raymarine is making it easy for marine manufactures, app developers and technology providers to integrate with Axiom and the LightHouse 3 OS. The first LightHouse Apps on display at the Boat Show are the Seakeeper gyro stabilizer control and mazu mSeries global satellite communications. The mazu mSeries app allows users to send messages, receive weather forecasts, and monitor their vessel from anywhere in the world.

Axiom Innovations - LightHouse LINK | Raymarine - A Brand by FLIR

Raymarine LINK™

The new Raymarine LINK mobile platform for iOS and Android allows Raymarine users to plan, sync, and control their Axiom navigation display from their mobile device. For example, Raymarine LINK allows users to plan waypoints and routes while away from the boat. Once onboard, LINK synchronizes waypoint and route plans automatically. Raymarine users can also access trip logs, screen shots, and video recordings from the Raymarine LINK mobile app. Review trip logs at home and share trips, screenshots and video captures with friends. Raymarine LINK also provides backup for all MFD settings and keeps your Raymarine gear up-to-date with the latest feature and software updates.

Axiom UAV Integration

Axiom Innovations - UAV Integration | Raymarine - A Brand by FLIR

This marine electronics industry first allows boaters to connect to their UAV, then control and view images directly from the Axiom display. This patent pending technology now brings a hands-free, aerial view to the water, ushering in a new era of UAV control and video possibilities for anglers and boaters. Currently compatible with DJI Spark and Mavic UAV drones, features include single button launch/track/record functions, GPS link for various “follow” modes, and real-time video streaming on the Axiom MFD.

LightHouse Apps, the Raymarine LINK mobile app, and Axiom UAV integration will be available in the spring of 2018

See the latest Axiom innovations on display at booth C707, tent C and the Raymarine demo boat at slip 877 during the Miami International Boat Show.

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