Townend Top Dog on Big O - Major League Fishing

Townend Top Dog on Big O

Forthun wins co-angler title
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Benny Townend of Boynton Beach, Fla., won the January 3 Gator Division event on Lake Okeechobee with a limit weighing 27 pounds, 9 ounces to earn a $6,000 payday.
January 3, 2015 • MLF • Phoenix Bass Fishing League

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Benny Townend of Boynton Beach, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 27 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Okeechobee. For his victory, Townend earned $6,000.

“This tournament is something I’ve been practicing hard for,” said Townend, who earned the first victory of his career. “I did my best to stay focused and not worry about what the other boaters were catching.”

Over the course of the day Townend found success on the south end of the lake. He said that he pitched a ½-ounce green-pumpkin colored Gambler Why Not in the open pockets of the wiregrass. In between the pockets Townend relied on swimbaits to reach a quick limit.

“I knew that I could catch 18 or 19 pounds down there,” added Townend. “After that I just needed a big one, and I found her.”

Around 2 p.m., Townend pulled into a familiar spot and nabbed a 10-pound, 2-ounce behemoth to seal the victory.

“I grabbed a Heroic flipping stick and pitched the Why Not down the first pockethole in the needlegrass. It went maybe an inch below the surface and I set the hook,” said Townend. “I reached down there to grab it and was speechless.”

This 10 pound, 2 ounce lunker secured tournament big bass honors for Townend and helped boost him to victory.


Rounding out the top 10 boaters on Lake Okeechobee:

1st:           Benny Townend, Boynton Beach, Fla., five bass, 27-9, $6,000

2nd:          Robert Crosnoe, Inverness, Fla., five bass, 25-7, $3,000

3rd:          Paul Malone, Pleasant Valley, Iowa, five bass, 22-5, $2,000

4th:           Ken Fitton, Loxahatchee, Fla., five bass, 21-15, $1,400

5th:           Jim Gestwicki, Miami, Fla., five bass, 21-13, $1,200

6th:           Dillon McMillan, Belle Glade, Fla., five bass, 20-14, $1,100

7th:           Jason Jastrzemski, Wellington, Fla., five bass, 20-4, $1,000

8th:           Don Demott, Boca Raton, Fla., five bass, 19-14, $900

9th:           George Kapiton, Inverness, Fla., five bass, 19-13, $800

10th:        Charles Bass, Felda, Fla., five bass, 19-1, $700               

Complete results can be found by clicking here.

Forthun tops co-anglers

Co-angler Jesse Forthun of Cape Coral, Fla., won the Jan. 3 Gator Division event on Lake Okeechobee with a 16-pound, 15-ounce limit to walk away with $3,000 in winnings.Jesse Forthun of Cape Coral, Florida, weighed in a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win $3,000 in the co-angler division.

The top 10 co-anglers:

1st:           Jesse Forthun, Cape Coral, Fla., five bass, 16-15, $3,000

2nd:          Scott Stoll, Saint Cloud, Fla, five bass, 16-10, $1,500

3rd:          James Brooks, Inverness, Fla., five bass, 16-8, $1,000

4th:           Evan Barnes, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 15-2, $700

5th:           Ernie Thompson, Anthony, Fla., five bass, 14-14, $600

6th:           Brad McCullough, Ocala, Fla., five bass,14-10,  $550

7th:           Jessey Rudolph, Deltona, Fla., five bass, 14-5, $500

8th:           Coleman Roberts, Ft. Myers, Fla., five bass, 13-10, $450

9th:           James Bass, Felda, Fla., five bass, 13-7, $400

10th:        Garry Moore, Jacksonville, Fla., five bass, 13-5, $332

10th:        Robbie Sanger, Lakeland, Fla., five bass, 13-5, $332

Complete co-angler results can be found by clicking here.

The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 8-10 Regional Championship on Lake Sinclair in Milledgeville, Georgia. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.