Poland Wins on Okeechobee
Steve Poland of Port St. Lucie, Florida won the American Bass Anglers Ram Truck Open Series Florida South tournament, held August 20th on the Lake Okeechobee.
Running out of Scott Driver Park in Okeechobee, Florida, Steve caught five bass weighing 29.68 pounds. For the Boater division victory, Poland took home a check for $5,000 and will be receiving a new SIMMS Challenger rainsuit from SIMMS for his win. “I was fishing around Harney Pond area and I was throwing swim jigs around hydrilla.” Poland said.
In second for the Boaters, Norris Newhouse of Okeechobee, Florida landed a five-bass tournament limit weighing 25.68 pounds. He collected $1,329 for the effort. “I lost two fish today, one about 6 pounds. I should have had about 30 pounds but that’s just the way it goes. I was flipping the east side of the lake early.” Newhouse said.
Ron Yentz of Fort Lauderdale, Florida took third for the Boaters with five bass weighing 20.71 pounds. He earned $886. “I was fishing the south end of the lake flipping hyacinth mats. I caught about a dozen 4-pounders. I worked hard at it but just couldn’t get that big bite.” Yentz said.
Finishing fourth, John Conner of Okeechobee, Florida landed a five-bass limit weighing 20.38 pounds including a 6.68-pound kicker.
Justin Morgan of Okeechobee, Florida rounded out the top five Boaters with five bass weighing 20.02 pounds topped by a 7.08-pound kicker.
The biggest bass for the boaters was caught by Doug Green of Sarasota, Florida that weighed 8.38 pounds and pocketed $600
“I caught that fish flipping about 2:30pm this afternoon. I didn’t pre-fish for this event and haven’t been on the lake in 4 months. I just showed up and went fishing” Green said.
In the Co-Angler division, Jeffrey Herndon of Plant City, Florida won with three bass weighing 11.63 pounds. He sealed his victory with a 4.45-pound kicker to pocket a check for $1,600 and will also be receiving a new SIMMS Challenger rainsuit from SIMMS for his win.
“I was fishing the east side of the lake and I caught my fish flipping buggy whips. I lost one good fish today and the bite was sporadic.” Herndon said.
Taking second for the Co-Anglers, Rollin Willmon of Cape Coral, Florida brought in a three-bass division limit weighing 10.52 pounds with a 5.66-pound kicker. He collected $540 for the effort. “I only had one fish in the livewell until about 2:00 p.m. and when some schooling fish came up and we started catching them every cast for about an hour. I threw a spinnerbait in the school and caught my 5.66 pound fish and then caught about 60 three pound fish. My arm was tired after that.” Willmon said.
Giovanni Pena of Davenport, Florida placed third among the Co-Anglers with three bass weighing 9.28 pounds including a 3.88-pound kicker. Pena earned $360 and was the Best Western Travel Card drawing winner for staying at the Best Western this weekend. “This was the second time I’ve been on Lake Okeechobee and I have no idea of where I was at.” Pena said.
In fourth place among the Co-Anglers, Jeff Peterson of Lake Worth, Florida brought in three bass weighing 9.28 pounds. Peterson finished fourth because of the tie-breaker guidelines.
Coleman Roberts of Ft Myers, Florida finished in fifth place with three bass weighing 9.05 pounds.
The biggest bass for the Co-Anglers was caught by Jeff Peterson of Lake Worth, Florida that weighed 6.91 pounds which earned him $215.
Slated for September 24th & 25th, the next tournament will be the two-day Area Championship held on Lake Toho out of Lakefront Park near Kissimmee, FL. At the end of the season, the best anglers from across the nation advance the 2017 Ray Scott Championship, slated for Old Hickory Lake in Hendersonville, TN in April of 2017.
For more information on this tournament, call Billy Benedetti, tournament manager, at (256)230-5632 or ABA at (256)232-0406. On line, see www.ramopenseries.com .
About American Bass Anglers: American Bass Anglers is committed to providing low cost, close to home tournaments for the weekend angler and at the same time offer each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression. For more information about American Bass Anglers, the Ram Truck Open Series, the American Fishing Tour or the American Couples Series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.