Hamlin Wins Florida South Opener
ATHENS, Ala. – Trevor Hamlin of Cape Coral, FL, won the Bass Pro Shops Open Series Florida South tournament held January 23rd on Lake Okeechobee.
Running out of Roland Martin Marina & Resort in Clewiston, FL the Cape Coral, FL angler caught five bass weighing 17.57 pounds. For the Boater Division victory, Hamlin took home a check for $5200 for his win.
“It started off slow, but I stuck to moving baits today. It paid off and it’s been a long time coming. The morning bite was pretty decent for me. On my fourth cast I caught a 5 pounder. I didn’t have a lot of bites but the fish I caught were good. I was fishing open grass North of here.” Hamlin said.
In second for the boaters, Julio Rodriguez of Miami, FL landed a five-bass tournament limit going 15.85 pounds.
“I caught my fish flipping on the North end with a Gambler Baits Why-Not. I was fishing isolated stuff away from other boats. I lost a really good fish later in the day.” Rodriguez said.
Val Osinski of Fort Lauderdale, FL took third for the boaters with five bass going 15.33 pounds.
“I caught a few of my fish flipping a Gambler Burner Craw and the rest on a Gambler Fat Ace. I fished up North and targeted isolated patches as well.” Osinski said.
Finishing fourth, Jim Anderson of Wellington, FL landed only three bass for 14.40 pounds. William Troyer of Sarasota, FL rounded out the top five boaters with five bass at 14.02 pounds.
The boater big bass award went to Gary Milicevic of Labelle, FL for a big bass that weighed 7.99 pounds. He collected $800 for the big bass award.
“I caught that big bass on a Gambler Black/Blue jig with a Gambler Burner Craw trailer. I ran way up North and caught that bass around 10:30am. “ Milicevic said.
In the Co-Angler Division, William Fox of Lake Worth, FL won with three bass going 11.28 pounds that included a 5.40-pound kicker. He pocketed a check for $1800 for his win.
“I was throwing a speed worm today. I was a grind and I didn’t have a fish until 1:00pm and my boater went to an area where I wanted to go and I was able to catch my limit.” Fox said.
Taking second for the co-anglers, Phillip Ford of Clewiston, FL brought in a three-bass division limit weighing 9.59 pounds.
“I caught my fish on a speed worm fishing the shoals on the lower end of the lake.” Ford said. “
Roy Gentry of Fort Lauderdale, FL placed third among the co-anglers with three bass going 8.90 pounds.
“I caught my fish in the Monkey Box today on a worm. I only had three bites today.” Gentry said.
The co-angler big bass award went to Aaron Mercer of Salem, OH for a big bass that weighed 7.72 pounds. He collected $360 for the big bass award.
“I caught that big bass on a speed worm on the North end of the lake in hydrilla and eel grass. It was the only bite I had today.“ Mercer said.
In fourth place among the co-anglers, Brian Yeatts of Palm Springs, FL brought in three bass for 8.72 pounds. James Shaneyfelt Jr of Venice, FL finished in fifth place with three bass for 8.47 pounds.
Slated for March 6th, 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 2022 Ray Scott Championship to be held at Lake Eufaula in April 2022.
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.americanbassanglers.com
About the American Bass Anglers - American Bass Anglers is committed to providing low cost, close to home tournaments for the weekend angler while offering an upward path for individual angler progression. For more information about American Bass Anglers and all their bass tournament trails visit www.americanbassanglers.com.
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