2 min to read

Okeechobee Preview with James Mignanelli

Category : BACK DECK

The FLW Tour is the highest level of competition for co anglers, and they are about to kick off their season at one of the best fishing lakes our country has to offer-Lake Okeechobee, FL. We caught up with FLW Tour co angler James Mignanelli, and got his insight on how he think this tournament will play out.

FTB: James, can you tell us what you expect from Okeechobee on the co angler side?

JM: I believe a co angler has a chance at the win if they can average in the 15 lb class daily. More than likely, the winner will have at least one big day with over 20 lbs.

FTB: As a co, how are you preparing yourself for this event, and what tackle preparations are you making?

JM: Whenever you go to a vegetation-filled body of water such as Okeechobee, it is smart to upsize all of your equipment. I am bringing 4 Powell baitcasting and one Powell spinning rod to this tournament. All four of the casting rods are strung up with heavy braid, so I can move bass out of the grass and into the boat with more ease.

FTB: What techniques do you expect to use in this tournament?

JM: Flipping will be most anglers’ go-to technique, but covering water with lures like swim jigs, chatterbaits, frogs, and swimbaits can also produce well.

Some of Mignanelli’s favorite Okeechobee baits

FTB: What flipping setup do you like to use?

JM: I’ll start off with my baits of choice. I like to use craw-type plastics like the Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver, Berkley Havoc Craw Fatty, Damiki Air Craw, and others. I am very excited for a new company, Hawglines, to hit the market early in 2014. They have a beaver prototype that is going to be great at Okeechobee. I will texas rig these plastics with a pegged 2oz weight to punch through the thickest cover possible. I opt for a 7’2 XH flipping stick paired with an Ardent Denny Brauer flipping reel, which I spool up with 80 lb braided line.


mignanellis box
Mignanelli’s flipping box

FTB: When flipping, what might you do differently from your pros to maximize success?

JM: At a location like Okeechobee, there are countless places to flip. I try to make as many flips in one day as possible to give me the best chances. When I flip my bait out, I will let it sink to the bottom, and pick it up twice before reeling it back up and flipping again. I always look for new places that my pro hasn’t hit yet.

FTB: Thanks for your time and insight James. Good luck this year!


Circuits fished: FLW Tour

Years co: 8

Favorite technique: Swimbait

Hobbies aside from fishing: Deer, Bear, and Turkey hunting. Spending time with my wife and kids.

Sponsors: Case Plastics, Zipper Worm Co., Spike-It, Hawglines, Powell Rods

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