Silverman wins Florida season opener
ATHENS, Ala. – Micah Silverman started off the New Year in a big way by winning the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, Florida Division 6 season opener, held Jan. 15, 2011, on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes near Orlando.
The Orlando angler landed five bass weighing 17.31 pounds. Jumping in front for the division points leadership with 250. For the effort, the Boater Division champion pocketed $2,253 to help pay off those holiday bills.
“I caught my fish on a Carolina rig in Lake Toho,” Silverman said. “I fished hydrilla mats.”
Anglers launched out of Camp Mack’s on Lake Kissimmee. Connected by the Kissimmee River, the Kissimmee Chain spreads over more than 100,000 acres. The 44,000-acre Lake Kissimmee anchors the south end of the chain. On the north, Lake Tohopekaliga, known as Lake Toho, spreads over 22,700 acres. Nearby East Lake Tohopekaliga, also called East Lake, covers about 13,550 acres. West Toho connects to the 5,500-acre Cypress Lake, which runs into the 14,500-acre Lake Hatchineha.
In second for the boaters, Eric Conant of Lakeland landed a five-fish tournament limit weighing 14.17 pounds. He collected $1,126.
“We fished Zoom Horny Toads on the south end of Toho,” Conant said. “I lost about four or five bass, but nothing big enough to matter.”
Darrell Brackin of Okeechobee took third with five bass going 11.53 pounds.
“We ripped Rat-L-Traps through the grass at the south end of Kissimmee,” Brackin said. “We also caught fish by flipping mats. I lost one bass that probably weighed about 5 pounds.”
Russ Osborne of Orlando landed four fish and finished fourth with 11.30 pounds. Kyle Fox of Lakeland rounded out the top five boaters with five bass weighing 10.35 pounds.
Flipping a grassy 150-yard long ledge that went from 4.5 to 5.5 feet deep in Lake Kissimmee, Dave Sheffield of Davie only landed one bass, but made it count. His 9.16-pounder took tournament lunker honors.
“I lost this tournament,” Sheffield lamented. “I lost a bunch of fish. I lost one bigger than the one I caught, some other good fish and a real toad. I probably would have had between 24 and 30 pounds if I landed all the ones I lost. The big one was the first bite of the day.”
In the Co-Angler Division, Nik Kayler of Apopka took the first championship title of the year by catching three bass weighing 8.30 pounds with a 4.82-pound kicker. He collected $1,126 for winning the tournament and more for catching the division big bass.
“I caught all of my fish on a Strike King Red Eye Shad in sexy shad near the Highway 60 Bridge,” Kayler admitted.
In second, Dana Foster of Ocala caught a division daily limit of three bass going 6.81 pounds including a 3.70-pounder.
“I caught my fish by ripping a rattle bait through the grass,” Foster. “I also caught some by flipping a craw.”
Dave Harris of Sun City Center took third with three bass for 6.14 pounds with one 2.10-pounder.
“This was the first time I’ve ever been on this lake,” Harris said. “I caught my fish on a 7-inch purple Zoom worm and a plum and green senko.”
Ike Gray of Kissimmee landed three bass going 5.56 pounds for fourth place. In fifth among the co-anglers, Rickie Remington of Belleview brought in three bass for 5.45 pounds.
For more information, call ABA at (888) 203-6222. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.
About American Bass Anglers: The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series provides weekend anglers a professionally operated competitive tour with a path the world championship of bass fishing the Bassmaster Classic. American Bass Anglers commitment is to provide 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 and the American Fishing Tour, The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series or the American Couples Series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.