Fishing & Boating News

Sarasota’s Mizell Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Gator Division Finale on Lake Okeechobee

Port Charlotte’s LaPorta Grabs Co-angler Title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Jessie Mizell of Sarasota, FL, won the (BFL) Gator Division tournament on Lake Okeechobee with a 2-day cumulative catch of 10 bass weighing 42 lbs, 12 oz.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Sep 26, 2017 - CLEWISTON, FL.)

Jessie Mizell of Sarasota, Florida, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division tournament on Lake Okeechobee Sunday with a two-day cumulative catch of 10 bass weighing 42 pounds, 12 ounces. For his win, Mizell earned $5,848.

According to post-tournament reports, Mizell targeted schooling fish in the northeast area of the lake using a 6th Sense crankbait.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
               1st:          Jessie Mizell, Sarasota, Fla., 10 bass, 42-12, $5,848
               2nd:         Richard Sasina, Port St. Lucie, Fla., 10 bass,   37-9, $2,824
               3rd:          Donald Locke, Loxahatchee, Fla., 10 bass, 36-11, $2,182
               4th:          Mason Boylan, Melbourne, Fla., 10 bass, 34-4, $1,318
               5th:          Cody Wright, Okeechobee, Fla., 10 bass, 34-3, $1,130
               6th:          Matthew Wieteha, Miami, Fla., 10 bass, 33-1, $1,135
               7th:          Joey Roberts, Jensen Beach, Fla., 10 bass, 33-1, $941
               8th:          William Schmitt, West Palm Beach, Fla., 10 bass, 30-12, $847
               9th:          Jason Pike, Greenacres, Fla., 10 bass, 30-12, $753
               10th:        Steve Broughton, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., 10 bass, 30-3, $659
Dustin Royer of Davie, Florida, caught a 7-pound, 8-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the Boater Big Bass award of $750.

Mike LaPorta of Port Charlotte, Florida, caught a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 38 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the Co-angler Division and $2,824.

The top 10 co-anglers were:
               1st:          Mike LaPorta, Port Charlotte, Fla., 10 bass, 38-4, $2,824
               2nd:         Richard Mongiovi, Indian Lake Estates, Fla., 10 bass, 33-8, $1,412
               3rd:          Rusty Lacy, Plantation, Fla., 10 bass, 30-5, $940
               4th:          James Tyler, Deltona, Fla., 10 bass, 26-4, $659
               5th:          Nik Kayler, Apopka, Fla., 10 bass, 25-13, $565
               6th:          Garrett Colbert, Orlando, Fla., 10 bass, 25-12, $518
               7th:          Junior Iriban, Lantana, Fla., 10 bass, 25-4, $671
               8th:          James Ryba, West Palm Beach, Fla., 10 bass, 23-15, $424
               9th:          Bill Wight, Punta Gorda, Fla., 10 bass, 22-15, $377
               10th:        Ernie Thompson, Anthony, Fla., 10 bass, 22-13, $379
Delfin Pernas of Miami, Florida, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 6 pounds, 1 ounce – and earned the Co-angler Big Bass award of $375.

The T-H Marine FLW BFL Gator Division tournament on Lake Okeechobee 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. 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.

The 2017 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 2018 All-American will be held on Cross Lake in Shreveport, Louisiana, May 31-June 2 and is hosted by the Shreveport-Bossier City Sports Commission and the Red River Waterway Commission. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.

About FLW
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 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 258 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.