Thomas Dominates on Lake Okeechobee
Nathan Thomas of Weirsdale, Florida won the American Bass Anglers Ram Truck Open Series Florida South tournament, held March 18th on Lake Okeechobee.
Running out of Scott Driver Park in Okeechobee, Florida Nathan caught five bass weighing 30.17 pounds, including a big bass that topped the scales at 7.66-pounds. For the Boater division victory, Thomas took home a check for $5,000 for his win and an additional $850 for the big bass.
“First I want to thank God, My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I had a week where I didn’t get to practice and I just went fishing. God was with me today. I caught fish all kind of ways. I caught some on a spook, on the bed, some flipping, and some on a frog. I ran all over the since I haven’t been on the lake in a month. The farthest I ran was the Monkey-Box. I lost a few sight fishing today that got in some really thick stuff and came off. I could’ve had 40-pounds today! I want to thank my sponsor, Paul Davis Restorations out of Jacksonville, this is the first year I’ve been with them and they have taken care of all my expenses this year and I am thankful for them.” Thomas said.
In second for the Boaters, Victor Knight of Lehigh Acres, Florida landed a five-bass tournament limit going 21.23 pounds. He collected $1,630 for the effort. “I caught my fish on a 3/8oz Chatter-bait all day. I had four rods rigged all with Chatter-baits, two with green pumpkin and two with black and blue. I was looking for fish on bluegill. There were boats around me all day but they were fishing different than I was. I just stayed on the trolling motor all day ripping the Chatter-baits through the pads. I straightened out three hooks on those baits. I don’t think I would’ve had 30 pounds but I could’ve had upper 20’s. It’s tough when you’re having a good day but then having a bad day at the same time. I worked the same 400-yard stretch all day.” Knight said.
Thadeus Ragan of West Park, Florida took third for the Boaters with five bass going 19.53 pounds. He earned $1,090 for his catch. “I was throwing a white fluke all day catching numbers of fish. I just kept culling up to get the bag I had today. I didn’t practice, I just went fishing and had fun today.” Ragan said.
Finishing fourth, Tony Bennett of Fort Lauderdale, Florida landed a five-bass limit for 18.75 pounds.
Austin Schroeder of Zephyrhills, Florida rounded out the top five Boaters with five bass at 16.93 pounds.
In the Co-Angler division, Brian Reeves of Sebring, Florida won with three bass going 13.67 pounds. He pocketed a check for $2,000 for his win.
“We were at Tin-House and I caught my fish on a swim-jig. I was concentrating on reeds and pads out in the open water. My bigger fish came in the morning and caught the rest after noon. We caught a lot of fish today. I want to thank my boater, Tim Ezell, he had us on fish today. We probably caught 30 fish today.” Reeves said.
Taking second for the Co-Anglers, Brandon St. Pierre of Hollywood, Florida brought in a three-bass division limit weighing 11.89 pounds. He collected $700 for the effort. “I was fishing the North end of the lake today. I caught my fish on a burner worm and a fluke. I lost one good fish today that would have helped me win it today.” St. Pierre said.
Cesar Jaimes of Davenport, Florida placed third among the Co-Anglers with three bass going 10.86 pounds. He earned $425 for his catch. “We bounced around everywhere today and I was throwing a worm, a swim-bait, and a swim-jig. Just a little bit of everything.” Jaimes said.
In fourth place among the Co-Anglers, Conrad Binetti of Stuart, Florida brought in three bass for 10.61 pounds.
Luke Campbell of Fort Lauderdale, Florida finished in fifth place with three bass at 10.30 pounds.
The biggest bass for the Co-Anglers was caught by Tomas Gomez of Kissimmee, Florida that weighed 7.13 pounds and pocketed $345 for the big bass award.
“I caught that fish around 1:30pm today on a Bitter’s Bait watermelon-red Mega-Vibe worm.” Gomez said.
Slated for June 3rd, the next tournament will be held on Lake Okeechobee out of Scott Driver Park in Okeechobee, FL. At the end of the season, the best anglers from across the nation advance the 2018 Ray Scott Championship to be held on the Red River near Shreveport, Louisiana.
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.
American Bass Anglers, Inc. is supported by Ram Trucks, Triton Boats, Mercury Outboards, Carlisle Tires, GEICO, Berkley, Abu Garcia, T-H Marine, Livingston Lures, Best Western Hotels, Maui Jim, Power Pole, LiT Coolers, Simms, Garmin, and Divide-It. American Bass Anglers, Inc. can be contacted at (256) 232-0406 or by visiting americanbassanglers.com