OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – Fred George of Okeechobee, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Okeechobee. For his victory, King earned $6,011.
“I was excited as could be,” said George of his first career win. “I’ve fished a few BFL tournaments before but this one ended up going my way.”
Though George reeled in over 22 pounds of fish, the day didn’t start off like he wanted. Due to cold water, George’s primary and secondary fishing spots weren’t producing the amount of weight needed to win the tournament.
“I only caught two fish in the first spot,” said George. “They were keepers, but I knew I needed more.”
Around noon, the Florida angler made the move to a third location in hopes of capping off a winning stringer. He settled on a rim ditch with some rock piles at the north end of the lake. There, George used a Rat-L-Trap, crankbait and a Carolina-rigged Junebug-colored Zoom Trick Worm to net 15 fish.
“Out of the first six fish I caught, five of them came to weigh-in,” George said. “I knew I could catch at least five fish off of those rocks, but not the 4-pounders I ended up with. They loved the Trick Worm.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Fred George, Okeechobee, Fla., five bass, 22-7, $6,011
2nd: Norris Newhouse, Okeechobee, Fla., five bass, 21-7, $3,006
3rd: Ken Fitton, Loxahatchee, Fla., five bass, 20-0, $2,001
4th: Brian Christy, Media, Pa., five bass, 18-12, $1,403
5th: Val Osinski, Pompano Beach, Fla., five bass, 18-8, $1,202
6th: Brian Divito, Saint Petersburg, Fla., five bass, 18-3, $1,102
7th: Donald Locke, Loxahatchee, Fla., five bass, 17-14, $1,002
8th: Steven Stinson, Pickering, Ontario, Canada, five bass, 17-10, $902
9th: Ronald Yentz, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., five bass, 17-3, $802
10th: Mike Keyso Jr., North Port, Fla., five bass, 17-2, $701
Complete results can be found here.
Pike wins co-angler division
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Jason Pike, Greenacres, Fla., five bass, 19-2, $3,006
2nd: James Hatch, Gainesville, Fla., five bass, 17-13, $1,503
3rd: Shannon Pitts, Vero Beach, Fla., five bass, 16-9, $1,008
4th: Robert Power, Clewiston, Fla., five bass, 16-8, $701
5th: Charles Tucker, Eustis, Fla., five bass, 15-7, $601
6th: Brandon Bartlett, Hollywood, Fla., five bass, 15-1, $551
7th: James Ryba, West Palm Beach, Fla., five bass, 14-14, $501
8th: Adam Trott, Sarasota, Fla., five bass, 13-4, $451
9th: James Sloan, Cooper City, Fla., five bass, 12-9, $401
10th: Ernie Thompson, Anthony, Fla., five bass, 12-8, $351
Complete co-angler results can be found 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.