Gonzalez Wins Area 5 Championship on Toho
Casey Gonzalez of Brandon, Florida won the American Bass Anglers Ram Truck Open Series Area 5 Championship between the Florida Central and Florida South divisions tournament, held September 24th & 25th on Lake Toho.
Running out of Kissimmee Lakefront Park in Kissimmee, Florida, Casey caught ten bass over a two day period weighing a total of 41.43 pounds with a 10.04-pound kicker. For the Boater Division victory, Gonzalez took home a check for $10,000 and will be receiving a new SIMMS Challenger rainsuit from SIMMS for his win. Casey also pocketed an additional $730 for the Boater Big Fish.
“I was in 7th place after day one and thought I had no shot but I’d get a good check if I could repeat what I caught on day one. I fished with a Gambler Baits Fat Ace and I was pitching reeds, buggy-whips, and grass lines. I started off in Hatchineha the first day and stayed there all day and on day two I started off in Cypress but around noon I went back to Hatchineha because that’s when the bite turns on and I was there five minutes when I caught that big one.” Gonzalez said.
In second for the Boaters, Eric Conant of Lakeland, Florida landed ten bass totaling 40.91 pounds. He collected $2,000 for the effort. “I caught all my fish both days flipping reeds just like Casey. I just couldn’t get that big bite that I needed. I did lose three fish that may have helped but it is what it is.” Conant said.
Terry Oliver of Belleview, Florrida took third for the Boaters with ten bass totaling 39.12 pounds. He earned $1,300. “I didn’t lose any fish that would have helped me. I was flipping hydrilla on Hatchineha with a Gambler BB Cricket.” Oliver said.
Finishing in fourth place, John Kremer of Sanford, Florida weighing in ten bass totaling 38.07 pounds. He earned $940 for his efforts.
Rounding out the top five was Austin Schroeder of Zephyrhills, Florida weighing in ten bass totaling 36.43 pounds. He collected $800 for his efforts.
In the Co-Angler Division, Giovanni Pena of Davenport, Florida won with six bass totaling 18.67 pounds over a two day time period. He pocketed a check for $5,000 and will also be receiving a new SIMMS Challenger rainsuit from SIMMS for his win.
“I caught fish both days using a speed worm. I was fishing pads, hydrilla, and Kissimmee grass and we stayed on Toho both days. I want to thank both my boaters they took care of me both days.” Pena said.
Taking second for the Co-Anglers, David Sterling of Okeechobee, Florida brought in six bass totaling 17.92 pounds. He collected $1,000 for the effort. “I caught my fish on chatter-baits out in open water and 10-inch worms. Today (Sunday) I missed one around 2:30 pm that probably would’ve put me over.” Sterling said.
Danney Hulett of Kathleen, Florida placed third among the Co-Anglers with six bass going 17.04 pounds. He earned $650. “I lost one about 4-pounds today (Sunday) that would have helped. Yesterday (Saturday) we were off shore all day and today (Sunday) just the opposite, grass line and hydrilla line. I just didn’t get a big fish today, that’s what killed me." Hulett said.
In fourth place among the Co-Anglers, Philip Ford of Clewiston, Florida brought in six bass for 16.37 pounds.
Uby Rosell of Davenport, Florida finished in fifth place with five bass at 16.22 pounds.
The Biggest Bass for the Co-Anglers was caught by Cesar Jaimes of Davenport, Florida that weighed 8.01 pounds. Cesar pocketed $370 for his efforts.
“I caught that fish dead-sticking a Senko in some grass. It was tough and I only had three bites all day.” Jaimes said.
The top 20 Boaters and top 20 Co-Anglers by place of finish at this event advance to 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.