(Apr 16, 2018 - Clewiston, FL)
Boater Jason Reed of Hollister, Florida, caught five bass Saturday weighing 28 pounds, 2 ounces, to take top honors at the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division event on Lake Okeechobee. Reed earned $4,246 for his win.
Reed said he picked apart scattered eel grass in 3 feet of water in the Harney Pond area of the lake. He said he used a black and blue-colored Gambler Heavy Cover Southern Swim Jig with a Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper trailer of the same color and caught around 40 keepers throughout the day.
“I found a big wave of fish that was moving in there to spawn during practice on Thursday and they were still there on Saturday,” said Reed, who earned his first career victory in BFL competition. “I fished the same two-acre area all day long and really caught them.”
Reed said the bite was slow in the morning, but picked up as soon as the sun rose higher and the wind started blowing.
“I think my fluorocarbon line helped me get more bites,” said Reed. “I had a lot of boats around me, but everyone was throwing braided line. I think that was my edge out there.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Jason Reed, Hollister, Fla., five bass, 28-2, $4,246
2nd: Dillon McMillan, Belle Glade, Fla., five bass, 27-7, $2,423
3rd: Greg Harp, Vero Beach, Fla., five bass, 26-7, $1,348
4th: Nicholas Hoinig, Delray Beach, Fla., five bass, 25-5, $944
5th: Mikey Keyso Jr., North Port, Fla., five bass, 24-11, $809
6th: Jim Hurlock Jr., West Palm Beach, Fla., five bass, 22-6, $742
7th: Clay Batson, Bradenton, Fla., five bass, 21-3, $674
8th: Justin Morgan, Okeechobee, Fla., five bass, 20-8, $573
8th: Chris Crow, Lake Placid, Fla., five bass, 20-8, $573
10th: Mike Jackson, San Mateo, Fla., five bass, 19-10, $472
Donald Dunnam of Okeechobee, Florida, brought a 9-pound, 8-ounce bass to the scale – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $555.
Alex Mut of Miami, Florida, won the Co-angler Division and $2,223 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 19 pounds, 15 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Alex Mut, Miami, Fla., five bass, 19-15, $2,223
2nd: Kenneth Hunnicutt, Jacksonville, Fla., five bass, 19-4, $1,288
3rd: Brian Malys, Bartow, Fla., five bass, 18-13, $724
4th: Dana Bass, Miami, Fla., five bass, 13-1, $472
5th: Jeff Claiborne, Pembroke Pines, Fla., five bass, 12-9, $388
5th: Jerry Heaton, Webster, Fla., five bass, 12-9, $388
7th: Shannon Bryson, Merritt Island, Fla., five bass, 12-6, $337
8th: Clyde Arnold, Coconut Creek, Fla., four bass, 11-13, $303
9th: Anthony Cilladi, Orlando, Fla., five bass, 11-12, $270
10th: Timothy Hibbs, Bradenton, Fla., five bass, 11-11, $236
Hunnicutt caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division weighing in at 8 pounds, 7 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $277.
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. 11-13 BFL Regional Championship on the Saint Johns River in Palatka. Florida. 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 2018 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 BFL All-American will be held May 31-June 2 at Cross Lake in Shreveport, Louisiana, and is hosted by the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission. 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.
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 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 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, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.