CLEWISTON, Fla. – Boater Neil Nix of Okeechobee, Florida, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 21 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division tournament on Lake Okeechobee. For his victory, Nix earned $5,641.
“I fished the North Shore area of the lake around scattered reed clumps. It’s a spawning area and during the spawn they get on those isolated clumps,” said Nix, who earned his second career win in FLW competition. “I caught most of my good fish early before 8:30 [a.m.], and one good one – a 4-pounder – around 11.”
Nix said he used a Texas-rigged, black and blue-colored Gambler Fat Ace with a 3/16-ounce weight to catch his fish on Saturday.
“I ended up catching more than 20 keepers during the tournament,” said Neil. “I also caught a couple flipping in Observation Shoals with a Texas-rigged [black and blue-colored Reaction Innovations] Sweet Beaver, but didn’t end up weighing any of those fish.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Neil Nix, Okeechobee, Fla., five bass, 21-11, $3,641 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Santos Solis, Vero Beach, Fla., five bass, 21-3, $1,820
3rd: William Schmitt, West Palm Beach, Fla., five bass, 19-14, $1,032
3rd: Robert Crosnoe, Inverness, Fla., five bass, 19-14, $1,032
5th: Mikey Keyso Jr., North Port, Fla., five bass, 18-4, $728
6th: Jim Hurlock Jr., West Palm Beach, Fla., five bass, 17-9, $668
7th: Mike Davis, Alachua, Fla., five bass, 16-15, $1,082
8th: Jonathan Lecrone, Orlando, Fla., five bass, 16-5, $546
9th: Brett Cannon, Parkland, Fla., five bass, 15-8, $455
9th: Rick Mitchell, Naples, Fla., five bass, 15-8, $455
Complete results can be found at FLWFishi/ng.com.
Davis caught a largemouth weighing 9 pounds even – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $475.
Jay Trudel of Boca Raton, Florida, won the Co-angler Division and $1,920 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 19 pounds, 13 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Jay Trudel, Boca Raton, Fla., five bass, 19-13, $1,920
2nd: Robert Turcotte, Naples, Fla., five bass, 16-0, $1,028
3rd: Moses Wilson, Clewiston, Fla., five bass, 15-9, $607
4th: Bryce Goff, Haines City, Fla., five bass, 13-1, $425
5th: Bryan Lefebvre, Pompano Beach, Fla. five bass, 12-5, $364
6th: Jesse Forthun, Saint James City, Fla., four bass, 11-13, $334
7th: Dana Bass, Miami, Fla., five bass, 11-9, $303
8th: Michael Robel, Bradenton, Fla., four bass, 11-6, $323
9th: Kevin Thomas, Miramar, Fla., five bass, 11-3, $243
10th: Steve Smith, Jacksonville, Fla., five bass, 10-11, $212
Larry Branch of Kissimmee, Florida, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a fish weighing in at 7 pounds, 5 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $118.
The tournament was hosted by Roland & Mary Ann Martin's Marina & Resort.
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. 10-12 BFL Regional Championship on Lake Seminole in Bainbridge, Georgia. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.
The 2019 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American. The 2019 BFL All-American will be held May 30-June 1 at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland, and is hosted by the Charles County Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism and the Commissioners of Charles County. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2019 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
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