Courtesy FLW Fishing

GROVE, Okla. – The FLW Tour at Grand Lake presented by Mercury Marine promised a dramatic finish Sunday as all of the final top-10 anglers competing were within striking distance of first place and the title of Grand Lake Champion. When the scales settled, it was Bass Pro Shops pro Jeremy Lawyer of Sarcoxie, Missouri, who had caught enough weight to earn the first FLW Tour victory of his career.

Courtesy FLW Fishing


OSAGE BEACH, Mo. – FLW Tour pro Jeremy Lawyer of Sarcoxie, Missouri, brought a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 12 ounces, to the scale Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake of the Ozarks. Lawyer’s three-day total of 15 bass totaling 46 pounds, 3 ounces, was enough to earn the win by a 3-pound, 3-ounce margin and the top prize of $88,500, including a brand new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

“I spent the first two days of the tournament fishing between the Toll Bridge and the Gravois Arm,” said Lawyer, who earned his first career victory on Lake of the Ozarks after 10 prior top-10 finishes on the lake in FLW competition. “I tried to not fish any waypoints or history and just rely on my fishing instinct. If there’s one thing on the Tour that I have learned that has really helped me, it’s visiting a bunch of new lakes and not having waypoints. I feel more confident and comfortable fishing like that, and that is something that I really tried to do this week.

“I started out on the same stretch this morning and ran back into some creeks that I hadn’t been to yet,” Lawyer continued. “I had a limit in the first 45 to 50 minutes – including a 4½-pounder – and that settled me down a bit. I pulled the plug around 10:30 and went to the Hurricane Deck area and ended up culling up three more times.”

Lawyer credited a Zoom Magnum Trick worm and a Freedom Tackle Swing Buzz buzzbait as being his key baits throughout the week that, “helped me get five each day.” Saturday he caught one good one on the Magnum Trick worm and the rest came on a River2Sea Whopper Plopper, custom-painted by Fall Creek Lures.

“They’ve got a color – midnight shad – that I’ve got a lot of confidence in,” Lawyer said. “I also threw the original bone color this week as well.

“So many guys had the opportunity to do well this week with that Plopper and they just lost them,” Lawyer continued. “I was fortunate enough to not lose them when they bit. I really credit my Lew’s Heavy Cover Carbon Pro rod for that. It’s a heavy-duty rod, but still parabolic. It takes a little bit of the shock out of them when you initially set the hook.”

Lawyer bested a stacked final-day field that included some of the top Lake of the Ozarks anglers of all-time. He was extremely humbled and proud of his accomplishment Saturday.

“I still can’t believe it happened for me today,” he went on to say. “I grew up watching Stacey (King) fishing on television and he has been the man here for many years. Dennis Berhorst wins everything. I told my wife back when I started that if I could compete with Dennis, Roger (Fitzpatrick) and Marcus Sykora that I could survive anywhere. And that was back in 2005. I have so much respect for all of those guys. It feels good to be on top this week, but next week I’m sure one of those guys will be on top again.”



Lawyer learns as he goes

Before Jeremy Lawyer came to St. Clair, a friend from back home gave him a waypoint. So, the first day of practice he checked it out.

“It was 5 miles from the bank,” Lawyer says. “I thought surely this is not right.”

So, Lawyer went to the bank and caught some small fish. On day two, however, he went back out deep on the southern shore of the Canadian side.

“At 11 a.m. I hadn’t had a bite,” says Lawyer. “Then I caught a 4-pounder. Then another. It just evolved from there.”

Lawyer’s area turned out to be a popular spot, with numerous top-30 anglers fishing the stretch on the southern Canadian side. Despite admittedly not knowing what he was doing, Lawyer did the best thanks to slowly dragging a pair of two-pronged approaches.

The first was a drop-shot – a “power” version on a baitcasting rod rigged with a  Zoom Salty Super Fluke and a finesse version with a Zoom Fluke Stick. The other tactic was a tube – one was a slim finesse version and the other a beefier version.


Jeremy Lawyer can thank a local gas station for helping with his finish. That’s where he bought his tubes for the event, including a finesse version and a “beefier” version. He also had two types of drop-shots: a “power” version on a baitcasting rod rigged with a Zoom Salty Super Fluke and a finesse version with a Zoom Fluke Stick, which he fished on spinning tackle.


A mere four ounces separate third-place Jeremy Lawyer from second place, but the Missouri pro’s movement from 50th place to third was the day’s largest improvement. Lawyer caught 12 pounds on day one and added 17-1 today for a total of 29-1.

“I caught about the same amount of fish, but I just got two big bites today,” Lawyer says. “I caught a 5- and a 4 1/2-pounder and that makes up a lot of your weight. I caught one big one this morning and one big one this afternoon.”

Lawyer says he ran the wind today, bouncing from one windward point to another. He fished areas he had not fished on day one and caught all of his fish on moving baits.

“I was just flying by the seat of my pants,” Lawyer says. “Every time I thought I had it figured out, I’d go an hour without a bite. But I know the type of bank I want to look for, so I ruled out some of the ones they’re not going to be on.”

Jack Payne (Lakeshore Outdoors - Holland, MI) chatted with Missouri-based championship bass angler  Jeremy Lawyer about sinkers and other fishing topics during the Jan. 6, 2018 program.


Courtesy FLW

Lawyer Stays Shallow

In an interesting coincidence, Jeremy Lawyer banked his second top 10 of the season at Lake of the Ozarks just like Dylan Hays, with his first top-10 finish coming at Lake Travis – again, just like Hays. Fresh off an impressive first season on Tour, Lawyer proved he hasn’t forgotten how to catch ‘em in the Ozarks, either.

Lawyer mixed dock flipping and the standard Plopper and buzzbait pattern, but never really tuned in to the topwater pattern to the degree that others did.

By Todd Ceisner / BassFan Editor

Jeremy Lawyer likened being a rookie on the FLW Tour to being thrown into a shark tank.

Lucky for him, though, he didn’t get chewed up.

The Sarcoxie, Mo., native held his own throughout the 2017 season, bouncing back from disappointing finishes on several occasions to finish 28th in Angler of the Year points and 3rd among rookies behind Bradley Dortch and Justin Atkins. He shook off a 138th-place finish at Beaver Lake in April and logged top-50s in the last two events to qualify for his second Forrest Wood Cup, where he finished 20th.