Lester’s different approach to his beloved Florida

Brandon Lester’s fourth-place performance on Day 1 surprised no one. The seasoned Elite out of Fayetteville, Tenn. has long voiced his Sunshine State affection.

What may be surprising is how he’s approaching this event. Nothing off-the-wall or revolutionary; just a little different from his normal Florida game plan.

“Florida really fits my style, because typically to typically to win an event, you need to find an area that has some fish in it, slow down, hunker down and try to catch every fish in it,” Lester said. “That’s the way I fish down here.”

Lester, who won the 2022 St. Croix Bassmaster Open at the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes,  said he’s taking a different approach to this week’s event. Reason: Seasonality.

“I’m running a pattern more this week because we’re past the spawn,” Lester said. “I’m still staying in a general area, I’m just moving around a lot.”

Lester said he took a broad approach to his practice and, while he developed options, he has settled into a pattern that fits the event’s timing.

“I’m fishing closer to the bank,” Lester said. “I checked in all in practice. I do have a couple of offshore spots, but I don’t even know that I’ll hit them.

“I feel like I need to go all-in on what I did (on Day 1),” Lester said. “I’m hoping it keeps up.”

After posting 21 pounds, 13 ounces on Day 1, Lester’s in good position to make the 50-cut. From there, we’ll have to wait and see how his adjusted Florida game plan serves his purposes.

Weather conditions could play a key role for Lester. After a fierce storm system postponed Thursday’s scheduled start, Day 1 brought clear skies, slightly cooler temperatures, and increasing wind.

As seen on Bassmaster LIVE, Lester’s throwing a ChatterBait around docks and seawalls flanked by Kissimmee grass. Moderate wave action tends to benefit this bite.

“The wind definitely helped me (the first) morning,” Lester said. “I got real fortunate, my timing was perfect and I caught most of my fish before that wind got so bad that it hindered me.”

Day 2 has started out in similar fashion, as Lester moved into the lead on BassTrakk’s unofficial standings with 31-9 by 9:40. With an early limit of 9-12, he’ll no doubt continue to build his bag, so for the early goings, it appears that Lester’s right on track.