Oliva Scores First Opens Series Presented by Caymas Boats
Frank J. Oliva Wins with 25.17 pounds
LEESBURG, Fla. – Frank J. Oliva jumped out to an early division lead by scoring the first victory of the year in the Open Series Presented by Caymas Boats season when he won the Florida Central Division opener, held Jan. 15, 2022.
Launching at Venetian Gardens in Leesburg, Fla. to fish the Harris Chain of Lakes, the Orlando, Fla. angler brought in a five-bass tournament limit for 25.17 pounds. Capped by a 7.34-pound lunker, the first tournament champ of the new season came in with a respectable 5.03-pound average.
Oliva only detected six bites all day but made them count. For the win, he pocketed a check for $5,500, more than $1,000 per weigh fish!
“I made a long run down to ‘the big pond’ (Lake Apopka) and started flipping pencil reeds with a Medlock Jig in black and blue-tipped with a Zoom Super Chunk trailer,” Oliva detailed. “I only got three bites down there, but they are all good bites. I got those bites first thing in the morning and then it shut down. With a couple of hours left in the tournament day, I headed back to Lake Eustis and got lucky. At about 2 p.m., I found some hydrilla and threw a Rat-L-Trap in there. I caught two good fish back-to-back.”
William “Bo” C. Boyles, Jr. Takes Second with 24.56
In second among the boaters, William “Bo” C. Boyles, Jr. of Deltona, Fla. also landed his five-bass limit. Boyles put 24.56 pounds on the scales. He anchored his catch with a 7.29-pounder to collect $1,250.“I was cranking on Lake Eustis around little shell bars and ridges,” Boyles said. “It was definitely a reaction bite. It was a crazy day.”
Taking third for the boaters, Marlon Crowder of Tampa, Fla., scored a limit totaling 20.54 pounds. Nearly half of his bag comes from one cast. Crowder topped the big bass competition in this tournament with a 9.74-pound bucketmouth. For third place, Crowder earned $1,000, plus another $900 for the behemoth.
“I stayed mostly in Lake Dora and Lake Beauclair,” he revealed. “I was dragging a worm really slowly along the bottom. The big bass hit a big Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Worm in a junebug color. It was my second fish of the day. When I got her to the boat, I thought about ‘boat flipping’ her, but thought better of that. She was a beauty.”
David E. Gazdak from Orlando, Fla. took the fourth spot for the boaters with five bass and 20.35 pounds, including a 6.16-pound kicker. Rounding out the top five boaters, Anthony T. Ford of New Smyrna, Fla. brought in a five-bass limit going 20.25 pounds.
Leandro “Leo” O. Saratt Wins Co-Angler With Three Fish Limit of 13.28 pounds
In the Co-Angler Division, Leandro “Leo” O. Saratt from Winter Garden, Fla. found his three-bass division limit to tally 13.28 pounds. Topped by his 4.66-pound biggest fish, Saratt brought in a 4.27-pound average to earn $1,850.
“We fished on Lake Dora,” Saratt commented. “I dragged a trick worm all day long. I released at least five 3.5-pounders. It was an incredible day. My boater really put me on fish.”
Ubaldo “Uby” J. Rosell of Davenport, Fla. placed second among the co-anglers with a three-bass limit for 12.21 pounds. His biggest bass weighed 6.22 pounds and helped him collect a check for $800.
“We stayed close to the marina all day long,” Rosell confirmed. “We fished grass beds offshore with Rat-L-Traps tied on Trik Fish line with rods I built myself. We threw some different baits, but didn’t get a bite on anything, but Rat-L-Traps. I lost one fish that probably weighed about three pounds. I would have given me about an extra half-pound, but not enough to take the lead.”
In third among the co-anglers, Eric R. VanLandingham of Alachua, Fla. found his three keepers for a total of 11.01 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 5.44-pounder and went home with $400 extra in his pocket.
Ubaldo “Uby” J. Rosell Takes
Co-Angler Second Place
“We were fishing offshore in Lake Eustis with a gold and black Strike King Red Eye Shad most of the day,” he said. “I caught one fish throwing a swim jig around the docks. I only caught five fish with one too short.”
Brandon D. Blondeel of Saint Cloud, Fla placed fourth in the co-angler competition with three bass at 10.24 pounds, followed by Angelo Flores from Dade City, Fla. with a division limit and 9.68 pounds. John “Wes” W. Reid, Jr. of Lakeland, Fla., struggled to get one bite, but when he did, the 7.75-pounder gave him ninth place and the division lunker title. He earned $370 on that one cast.
“We were in Lake Dora all day flipping bugs,” Reid remarked. “I didn’t have a bite when my boater had five in the boat. With about 10 minutes before we had to head back to the landing, I flipped out the bait. It moved and I yanked on the rod. The fish took off running.”
The division next heads to the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes on Jan. 29. The tournament runs out of Kissimmee Lakefront Park, located at 69 Lakeview Dr, in Kissimmee, Fla. The tournament will launch into Lake Tohopekaliga, better known as Toho. It anchors the northern section of the 100,000-acre chain of lakes south of Orlando with Lake Kissimmee dominating the southern end of the chain.
American Bass Anglers is sponsored by Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, T-H Marine, Garmin Electronics, Power Pole, Lucas Oil, Monster Energy, REKS Sunglasses, Optima Batteries, Hotel Planner.com, and LurePartsOnline.com.
For more information about any American Bass Anglers tournament series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com or call (256) 232-0406.
Story was written by staff writer John Felsher. To submit articles of interest email firstname.lastname@example.org
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