CLEWISTON, Fla. – Boater Donny Bass of Naples, Florida, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 40 pounds, 9 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division super-tournament on Lake Okeechobee Sunday. Bass earned $6,137 for his efforts.
“I’ve been sick this past week, and it turned out to be beneficial to me because it made me really slow down and just pick some areas apart,” said Bass, who earned his first career victory in FLW competition. “I made a long run – all the way up to the north end – to get out of the wind. I was fishing isolated reed clumps and patches with a brand new Gambler Lures bait called the Super Stinger.
“The bait looks like a big stinger – it’s 4½ inches and mimics a bluegill,” Bass continued. “It has a bigger profile, but it gets bigger bites.”
Bass estimated that he caught around 20 keeper bass on day one, and added another 40 to 45 bites on day two.
“It was typical summertime fishing – there was no wad of fish – so I put the trolling motor down and grinded,” Bass said. “I think the key was making the long run and having the areas to myself. It’s tough to get anything to yourself in a tournament on Lake Okeechobee. I think the new Super Stinger definitely played a role as well.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Donny Bass, Naples, Fla., 10 bass, 40-9, $6,137
2nd: Austin Schroeder, Zephyrhills, Fla., 10 bass, 36-4, $2,569
3rd: Mikey Keyso Jr., North Port, Fla., 10 bass, 35-4, $1,712
4th: Robert Crosnoe, Inverness, Fla., 10 bass, 31-9, $1,199
5th: Douglas Sauls, Winter Garden, Fla., 10 bass, 30-11, $1,027
6th: Mark Sommer, Coral Springs, Fla., 10 bass, 28-9, $1,142
7th: Brian MacDougall, La Belle, Fla., 10 bass, 28-5, $856
8th: Christopher Jerdan, Cape Coral, Fla., 10 bass, 27-10, $871
9th: Nicholas Hoinig, Port St. Lucie, Fla., 10 bass, 26-11, $685
10th: Lionel Botha, Malabar, Fla., 10 bass, 26-5, $599
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Thomas McLinskey of Altha, Florida, caught an 8-pound, 8-ounce largemouth – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the event’s Boater Big Bass award of $645.
Frostproof, Florida’s Justin Brown won the Co-angler Division and $3,091 Sunday after catching a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 1 ounce.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Justin Brown, Frostproof, Fla., 10 bass, 26-1, $3,091
2nd: Ernie Thompson, Anthony, Fla., 10 bass, 25-3, $1,334
3rd: Scott Farnham, Port Saint Lucie, Fla., 10 bass, 23-13, $1,008
4th: Harry Linsinbigler IV, Dover, Fla., 10 bass, 22-12, $599
5th: Michael Davis, Lake Wales, Fla., nine bass, 21-3, $514
6th: Andrew Pulliam, Spring Hill, Fla., 10 bass, 21-0, $571
7th: Kevin Thomas, Miramar, Fla., six bass, 20-7, $428
8th: Michael Leach, Shenandoah, Texas, 10 bass, 20-3, $385
9th: Levi Crossway, Jacksonville, Fla., 10 bass, 19-15, $342
10th: Clark Bundy, Okeechobee, Fla., 10 bass, 19-13, $300
Brown also caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division, a largemouth weighing in at 6 pounds, 2 ounces. The catch earned him the event’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $322.
The T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division super-tournament on Lake Okeechobee was hosted by Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and 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 2020 BFL All-American will be held April 30-May 2 at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, South Carolina, and is hosted by Visit Anderson. 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, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe. 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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