Yentz wins big on Lake Okeechobee
ATHENS, Ala. – Ron Yentz stuck with his favorite bait to win the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, Florida Division 6 tournament, held Feb. 25, 2012, on Lake Okeechobee.
Running out of C. Scott Driver Park Landing near the town of Okeechobee, the Fort Lauderdale angler caught five bass going 23.40 pounds with a 6.28-pound kicker for a 4.68-pound average. For the Boater Division victory, Yentz pocketed $2,060.
“I fished peppergrass with a Gambler Big EZ swimbait in Copperfield,” Yentz explained. “I never changed my bait all day. The big round tail attracted them. I lost two 6-pounders today. One came unbuttoned right next to the boat.”
In second for the boaters, Raymond Trudeau of Saint Cloud brought in a five-bass tournament limit weighing 18.29 pounds. He capped his catch with a 6.29-pounder to collect $1,030.
“I fished down near Harney Pond,” Trudeau said. “I caught my fish on a hard jerkbait out in the open in about three feet of water. I lost one good fish.”
James W. Williams of Apopka landed five keepers for 17.94 pounds. One 7.28-pounder set the division lunker standard. For third place, Williams earned $687 with a $210 check for the bucketmouth.
“We fished the north shore,” Williams said. “I threw everything I could think of. At about 8 a.m., I started throwing a junebug U-Vibe worm in about three feet of water. By 9 a.m., I started culling fish. I caught the big one on a Bitters Emerald Blue.”
Chuck E. Pippin Jr. of Orlando landed in fourth place with five bass at 17.34 pounds. Mike Jackson of San Mateo rounded out the top five boaters with a five-bass limit weighing 15.58 pounds.
In the Co-Angler Division, Zack L. Zwick won with three bass weighing 12.38 pounds. The Kissimmee angler topped his catch with a 6.06-pound anchor fish to win $1,036.
“My angler put me on fish,” Zwick said. “We probably caught about 60 fish down by Harney Pond Canal. We caught fish all day long on a worm in about three to 3.5 feet of water. I broke off one good fish.”
Just behind in second for the co-anglers, Lee Blevins of Brooksville brought in a three-bass division limit for 12.19 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 5.15-pounder and took home a check for $518.
“I caught all of my fish on a fluke,” Blevins said. “I threw it on a spinning rod around Harney Pond Canal. I rigged it weightless. In the wind, it was kind of tough to cast. Casting with the wind, it went way out there. My two biggest fish hit way at the end of very long casts. It took forever to get to the big one. We caught fish all day.”
Edwin R. Rivera of Orlando took third for the co-anglers with a three-bass limit weighing 11.32 pounds. Rivera took the tournament big bass title with a 7.36-pound mossback. For third place, Rivera earned $345 with a $100 lunker bonus.
“I caught my fish on swimbaits,” Rivera said. “I fished near Lakeport in about three feet of water. The big one hit at about noon. I lost another one about the same size and one about five pounds.”
Jimmy J. Adams of Sarasota placed fourth among the co-anglers with three bass going 11.09 pounds. In fifth, Fred George of Okeechobee landed two bass going 10.37 pounds. One of them weighed 5.91 pounds.
For more information on this tournament, call Billy Benedetti at (256) 230-5632 or call ABA at (888) 203-6222. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.
-- John N. Felsher
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.