Stevens Wins on Lake Okeechobee
Kail Stevens of Boyton Beach, Fl won the American Bass Anglers Ram Truck Open Series Florida South tournament, held June 3rd on Lake Okeechobee.
Running out of Scott Driver Park in Okeechobee, FL Stevens caught five bass weighing 26.17 pounds, including a big bass that topped the scales at 8.89-pounds. For the Boater Division victory, Stevens took home a check for $5000 for his win and an additional $610 for the big bass.
“First thing this morning I ran up the river, I knew it was going to be a race to one spot and someone beat me there so I turned around and went out to the lake. I started catching some shad spawn fish and I picked up a jig later in the day and caught two big ones. I caught that big bass on a jig around 9:30am. The bite ended around 1:00pm for me.” Stevens said.
In second for the boaters, Brianne McMillan of Belle Glade, FL landed a five-bass tournament limit going 25.93 pounds. She collected $1050 for the effort.
“I caught my fish on the south end of the lake in the rim canal. I threw a Rat-L-Trap all day. When the wind was blowing, I would catch fish, and when the wind stopped, the bite slowed down. I did break off one fish but I didn’t get to see it. I love the water level being down, it can stay down for a while.” McMillan said.
Todd Gilbert of Rotonda West, FL took third for the boaters with five bass going 24.64 pounds. He earned $800 for his catch.
“I caught my fish today on top water in the first two hours then the bite slowed down. Then in the last hour I caught four fish. I saw a 10-pounder that was in a gators mouth, it was kind of cool.” Gilbert said.
Finishing fourth, Gary Milicevic of Labelle, FL landed a five-bass limit for 23.93 pounds.
Ron Veale of Okeechobee, FL rounded out the top five boaters with five bass at 23.54 pounds.
In the Co-Angler Division, Michael Gonzalez of Apopka, FL won with three bass going18.26 pounds. He pocketed a check for $1500 for his win.
“I caught my fish on the south end of the lake on top water. I had my limit by 7:30am and I was culling up from there. The worse the weather got, the better the fish would bite. It feels great to win again.” Gonzalez said.
Taking second for the co-anglers, Bob Lauffer of Clermont, FL brought in a three-bass division limit weighing 17.93 pounds including an 8.11-pound big bass. He collected $500 for the effort and pocketed $260 for the big bass award.
“In the morning we went to the shoal and I was fishing a G-tail worm in the grass and the reeds. I caught a bunch of fish this morning then we ran to another spot where I threw a big speed-worm and caught two big ones. I want to thank my wife for sponsoring me, this is her first time she has been able to see the entire event.” Lauffer said.
Wayne Roberts of Sarasota, FL placed third among the co-anglers with three bass going 17.63 pounds. He earned $400 for his catch.
“I was fishing the north end of the lake throwing a speed-worm. I had two big bass that broke me off but I caught fish all day.” Roberts said.
In fourth place among the co-anglers, Uby Rosell of Davenport, FL brought in three bass for 17.11 pounds. Vicky Brackin of Okeechobee, FL finished in fifth place with three bass at 16.70 pounds.
Slated for September 16th & 17th, the next tournament will be the Area Championship 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 in 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