Jones Wins on Lake Okeechobee
Mike Jones of Canal Point, Florida won his second American Bass Anglers Ram Truck Open Series Florida South tournament, held February 18th on Lake Okeechobee.
Running out of Scott Driver Park in Okeechobee, Florida, Mike caught five bass weighing 20.80 pounds. For the Boater division victory, Jones took home a check for $6,000 for his win.
“I’ve been fishing tournaments for 25 years and this is the first time I have won two tournaments back to back. I did the same thing I did last month. I threw a white & gold Zipper Dipper from Charlies, it’s a swimbait, and I threw a SPRO popping frog. I have never fished a tournament trail where I’ve won $6000 at one event. I can’t wait until next month!” Jones said.
In second for the Boaters, Brianne McMillan of Belle Glade, Florida landed a five-bass tournament limit weighing 20.67 pounds. She collected $1,800 for the effort. “I caught my fish on a swim-jig with a Bass Addiction trailer. I missed a couple that I could’ve culled up from. I was fishing the south end of the lake and on my fifth cast I caught my second good one but it took me until 2:00 pm to scrape up a limit.” McMillan said.
Tony Bennett of Fort Lauderdale, Florida took third for the Boaters with five bass weighing 19.55 pounds including the Boater Big Bass at 8.81 pounds. He earned $1,200 for his catch and $1,020 for the Big Bass.
“I ran to the shoal and then ran south and caught three fish early and then went to the west wall and scraped up a limit. Around 2:00 pm, I fired a chatter-bait in a little pocket and that was when I caught that big bass.” Bennett said.
Finishing fourth, John Ochs of Inglewood, Florida landed a five-bass limit weighing 19.45 pounds.
Nathan Thomas of Weirsdale, Florida rounded out the top five Boaters with five bass at 19.30 pounds.
In the Co-Angler division, Jim Finley of Coconut Creek, Florida won with three bass going 13.48 pounds. He pocketed a check for $2,000 for his win.
“I drew Norris Newhouse as my Boater today. Usually I fish as a boater but I am in-between boats right now, should be here next week. We had a fantastic day out there. I had no confidence in a chatter-bait, but I tied on a chatter-bait with a Gambler EZ Swimmer, and a burner worm. We caught fish all day but the better fish came later in the day. I’m just thrilled to be out fishing, it’s been a long year.” Finley said.
Taking second for the Co-Anglers, David Bozeman of Ocala, Florida brought in a three-bass division limit weighing 13.06 pounds with a 6.83-pound kicker. He collected $700 for the effort and $345 for the Big Bass.
“I was throwing top-water today. I threw a frog, a speed worm, and a spook. I only caught four fish all day. I caught that big bass in the last 10 minutes of the day.” Bozeman said.
Loren Johnson of Dothan, Alabama placed third among the Co-Anglers with three bass going 11.93 pounds. He earned $425 for his catch. “First of all my Boater, Maurice Cobb, was amazing. He had us around fish all day. I kept it real simple today with a swim-jig and swimbaits. I’m a big believer of swimbaits since we use them a lot in Alabama. I was swimming them through the grass today.” Johnson said.
In fourth place among the Co-Anglers, Daniel Torres of Davenport, Florida brought in three bass weighing 10.25 pounds.
Christopher Kelley of Port St. Lucie, Florida finished in fifth place with three bass weighing 9.80 pounds.
Slated for March 18th, the next tournament will be held on Lake Okeechobee out of Scott Driver Park in Okeechobee, Florida. At the end of the season, the best anglers from across the nation advance the 2018 Ray Scott Championship, Location to be announced.
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