Lewis wins at Okeechobee
OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – Curtis R. Lewis won the Boater Division in the American Bass Anglers Open Series, Presented by Caymas Boats, Florida South Division 7 regular season finale, held May 13, 2023, at Lake Okeechobee.
Launching at the C. Scott Driver Park landing in the town of Okeechobee, Fla., Lewis from West Palm Beach brought in a 5-bass tournament limit for 18.92 pounds. That gave him a 3.60-pound average and put a check for $2,400 in his pocket.
“It was a slow bite,” Lewis remarked. “I was pitching a Senko all day in the Tin House Cove area. The bass were bedding in the last few weeks, but they moved out.”
In second among the boaters, Charles T. Coleman, Jr, from Sebastian also landed his 5-bass limit. He brought in 18.38 pounds, slightly more than a half-pound off the lead. He capped that catch with a 6.20-pound kicker and earned $1,100 for the effort.
“I caught my fish by flipping a Netbait B Bug in the Tin House Cove area,” Coleman commented. “Last weekend the fishing was crazy. I never saw anything like that before and probably never will again, but it was fun. It was pretty tough today, but I got a couple key bites.”
Taking the third spot for the boaters, Trevor M. Hamlin of Cape Coral found five good keepers for 16.94 pounds, with one better than the rest. Almost half of his bag came from an 8.25-pound bass that won the division big bass honors. Hamlin collected $900 for third place and a $490 bonus for the big bass, giving him a total payoff of $1,390.
“I caught most of my fish by flipping,” Hamlin revealed. “I had no flipping bites in practice. I fished up in the Tin House area. I caught the biggest bass on a jig around noon. I knew it was a giant when I hooked her. It felt good to finally stick a big one this year.”
Right behind, Gary K. Milicevic from Labelle also found five keepers for 16.67 pounds and fourth place. In fifth for the boaters, Jonathan R. LeCrone of Pahokee brought in a 5-bass limit going 14.86 pounds.
In the Co-Angler Division, David Sterling from the town of Okeechobee landed a 3-bass division limit to win with 13.88 pounds. That gave him a 4.63-pound average. He greatly upped his average by hooking into a 9.19-pound bass that won the tournament lunker title. Sterling won $1,200 for the victory, plus another $240 for the big bass, giving him a total of $1,440 in winnings.
“We stayed in the Tin House Cove area most of the day,” Sterling stated. “Then, we ran to the Indian Prairie area and finished in the river. I caught my fish on lizards and jerkbaits, but the big one came on a Horny Toad around 9 a.m.”
Fishing with Curtis R. Lewis, J. W. Battle, Jr. from Orlando found a 3-bass limit for 10.72 pounds. He pocketed $625 for second place.
“Anything Curtis left behind, I was ready to catch it,” Battle quipped. “I caught most of them by flipping a Senko. At first, I started throwing a Speed Worm, but only caught small ones so I switched to the Senko when I saw Curtis catching fish.”
In third for the co-anglers, Jay A. Trudel of Boca Raton landed three good keepers for 10.11 pounds, including a 5.19-pound kicker. Trudel collected $350.
“I threw a ChatterBait,” Trudel said. “We fished in the Tin House area. I lost one about four pounds that would have helped me.”
In fourth for the co-anglers, Hunter T. Kaiser from Lakeland landed a 3-bass limit at 9.92 pounds with a 4.80-pound kicker. Rounding out the Top Five co-anglers, Fernando Reja of Miami finished with three bass at 9.42 pounds.
The anglers will fish a 2-day division championship at Lake Okeechobee on Sept. 23-24, 2023. That event will run out of Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina Resort, located at 920 E. Del Monte Avenue in the town of Clewiston, Fla. The public is invited to attend the free weigh-in.
American Bass Anglers is sponsored by Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, MotorGuide, T-H Marine, Power Pole, RT Outdoors, Optima Batteries, Hotel Planner.com and LurePartsOnline.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, offering each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression.
For more information about American Bass Anglers, the Open Series, the American Fishing Tour, the American Couples Series, the annual Military Team Bass Tournament, and the Top 150 Solo Tour, all presented by Caymas Boats, visit www.americanbassanglers.com or call (256) 232-0406.
This story was written by ABA staff writer John N. Felsher. To submit articles of interest email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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