Jessie Mizell of Sarasota, Florida, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division event on Lake Okeechobee Saturday with a five-bass limit totaling 23-pounds even. For his victory, Mizell pocketed $4,915.
“I began the day fishing near Bird Island, but the wind picked up and muddied the water,” says Mizell, who earned his second career-win on Lake Okeechobee in BFL competition. “I stayed there for a while and caught a couple of small ones. By 1 p.m., I knew I needed to change things up.
“I went to a little cove by the North Shore that was out of the wind and fished really slow in the calm water,” explains Mizell. “I focused on some small lilypads. I went back and forth along a 100-yard stretch and caught my limit by 3:30 p.m.”
Mizell said he used a Red Ear-colored Spro Dean Rojas Bronzeye Poppin' Frog 60 on a 7-foot, 11-inch medium-heavy 13 Fishing rod to craft his limit.
“I could see a slight wake under the frog that most people wouldn’t notice,” says Mizell. “I paused and let the bait sit for about 10 or 15 seconds. When I moved it, they’d eat it.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Jessie Mizell, Sarasota, Fla., five bass, 23-0, $4,915
2nd: Brianne McMillan, Belle Glade, Fla., five bass, 22-4, $2,658
3rd: Jim Hurlock Jr., West Palm Beach, Fla., five bass, 19-9, $1,640
4th: Cody Davis, Deerfield Beach, Fla., five bass, 18-9, $1,147
5th: Nicholas Hoinig, Delray Beach, Fla., five bass, 18-8, $1,083
6th: Mike Surman, Boca Raton, Fla., five bass, 18-6, $1,201
7th: Dustin Royer, Davie, Fla., five bass, 18-5, $819
8th: Jesus Villegas, Virginia Gardens, Fla., five bass, 16-12, $737
9th: Frank Mackin, New Port Richey, Fla., five bass, 16-9, $1,405
10th: Kyle Monti, Okeechobee, Fla., five bass, 16-4, $573
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Mackin caught the heaviest bass of the tournament, a fish weighing 8 pounds, 4 ounces, which earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $750.
Brandon Bartlett of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, weighed in five bass totaling 19 pounds, 9 ounces, Saturday to win the Co-angler Division and the top prize of $2,833.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Brandon Bartlett, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., five bass, 19-9, $2,833
2nd: Matthew Wolfe Jr., Orlando, Fla., five bass, 15-7, $1,429
3rd: Fernando Rosa, Plantation, Fla., five bass, 13-9, $817
4th: Richard Mongiovi, Indian Lake Estates, Fla., five bass, 12-10, $573
5th: Garrett Carter, Middleburg, Fla., five bass, 12-8, $471
5th: John Hendry, Crystal River, Fla., five bass, 12-8, $471
7th: Michael Carter, Bokeelia, Fla., five bass, 12-2, $460
8th: Andrew Pulliam, Spring Hill, Fla., five bass, 11-13, $369
9th: Robert Alton, Fort Pierce, Fla., five bass, 11-11, $328
10th: Hayden Scharf, De Leon Springs, Fla., five bass, 11-10, $287
Bartlett also caught the biggest bass among Co-angler Division anglers, a fish weighing 7 pounds, 9 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $375.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 19-21 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.