Bowen wins Red Man bass tournament on Lake Okeechobee - Major League Fishing

Bowen wins Red Man bass tournament on Lake Okeechobee

February 13, 2000 • MLF • Archives

OKEECHOBEE, Fla., (Feb. 14, 2000) – Billy Bowen of Ocala, Fla., out fished the competition Saturday to earn $5,906 and 50 CITGO Challenge Points in the Boater Division of the second Red Man Tournament Trail event of 2000 on Lake Okeechobee.

Bowen caught five largemouth bass weighing 26 pounds, 7 ounces during the one-day event to edge out Robert Beatty of Clermont, Fla., who finished with a five-bass catch of 20-12 worth $2,953. Bowen was flipping a white jig into grass to catch his limit.

Jim Williams of Winter Springs, Fla., placed third and collected $1,476 for five bass weighing 19-0. Mike Gouge of Okeechobee, Fla., who earned $1,280 for five bass weighing 18-14, and Eric Bozeman of Bloomingdale, Ga., who received $1,181 for five bass weighing 18-13, followed in fourth and fifth place respectively.

First place in the Co-Angler Division and $2,922 went to Jim Pemberton of Pompano Beach, Fla., for five bass weighing 17-8. Second place in the Co-Angler Division and $1,461 went to Kirk Samples of Naples, Fla., for five bass weighing 15-11, while Tom Hamilton of Sarasota, Fla., took third place and $731 with five bass weighing 14-10.

The tournament’s Abu Garcia Big Bass Award of $970 went to Jim Williams of Winter Springs, Fla., for an 8-pound, 8-ounce largemouth he caught on a Fire Tiger lure. In the Co-Angler Division, Joe Pinkston of Lakeland, Fla., collected $480 from Abu Garcia for a 5-pound, 10-ounce largemouth.

On May 20, the Red Man Tournament Trail returns to Lake Okeechobee for the fourth of five events in the Gator Division. The boater with the most CITGO Challenge points after the division’s season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Oct. 7-8 on Lake Okeechobee, is declared the Divisional Points Champion and awarded $1,000. The co-angler amassing the most points by the end of the season receives $500.

Operation Bass was founded in 1979 on the principle that working anglers should be able to fish competitively without interfering with jobs and family. The trail’s championship event, the Red Man All-American, awards $100,000 to the winning boater and $50,000 to the winning co-angler. The highest placing CITGO Divisional Points Champion at the All-American receives $10,000 in the boater division and $2,500 in the Co-Angler Division. Overall, more than $5.7 million could be awarded in 2000 based on full fields in each of the series’ 119 events nationwide.

Red Man became the trail’s title sponsor in 1983. Additional sponsors of the 2000 season are: Abu Garcia, BC Headache Powder, Black & Decker, Chevy Trucks, CITGO, Coleman, Energizer, EverStart Batteries, Evinrude, Frenzy, Garmin, Poulan/Weed Eater, Power Bait, Ranger Boats, Shop-Vac, Stren, Timex, US Bank, Visa USA and Wrangler.