Pro Marty Brown of Dalton, Ga., caught a five-bass limit weighing 10 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win the FLW American Fishing Series Southeast tournament on Lake Okeechobee with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 52 pounds, 1 ounce. For his victory, Brown earned $24,680.
“I was lucky enough to find a transition area where the fish were moving in and out,” Brown said. “I was here during the FLW Eastern Series event a few weeks ago and I knew there was a spawn then, with the full moon coming again I knew another spawn was coming. I just basically fished the same location all week long which was the east wall area knowing that I would have to work it, work it, work it, until I caught my fish. It was loaded; the challenge was being able to come up with the kickers which were few and far between due to the cold front.
“I had my limit today by about 10 and was able to cull a few times, but I never really did find that one big kicker today. I caught all my fish flipping a Black Zoom 6” Lizard on a Castaway Flipping Stick.
Rounding out the top-10 pros were:
2nd: Jeff McMillan, Belle Glade, Fla., 15 bass, 46-6, $8,391
3rd: Don Demott, Boca Raton, Fla., 15 bass, 46-5, $5,923
4th: Jeff Fitts, Keystone Heights, Fla., 15 bass, 45-14, $4,936
5th: Dwayne Horton, Knoxville, Tenn., 15 bass, 45-8, $4,442
6th: Koby Kreiger, Okeechobee, Fla., 15 bass, 44-11, $3,949
7th: Kevin Long, Clewiston, Fla., 15 bass, 42-15, $3,455
8th: Roger Gonzalez, Hialeah Gardens, Fla., 11 bass, 40-7, $2,962
9th: Aymon Wilcox, Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., 15 bass, 38-13, $2,468
10th: Ronnie Watts, Florence, S.C., 13 bass, 36-15, $1,974
Jesse Steadham of Florence, Miss., won the Co-angler Division and $9,882 cash, with a three-day total of 15-bass weighing 33 pounds, 4 ounces.
“I am still shaking all over,” said Steadham who is fishing with FLW for his second year. “I caught all my fish using skinny dippers in grass fields about 4 – 5 feet deep. The bite was not as good today and the fish were definitely smaller, I thought I was going to finish in third place.
“Fishing was definitely a lot more difficult today. I had a 4 – 5-pounder that broke my line early in the day and then I didn’t get my kicker until the last 20 minutes of the tournament; that 4 ½ pound fish was the one that definitely won it for me.”
Steadham caught five bass weighing 14-12 Thursday while fishing with pro Dale Walker of Miami, Fla., to open the tournament in sixth place. On Friday he added five more bass weighing 9 to make the top-10 cut in fifth place while fishing with pro Rick Marsh of High Point, N.C. Finally, on Saturday, he sealed the win with five bass weighing 9-8 while fishing with Aymon Wilcox of Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers were:
2nd: Kevin Thomas, Miramar, Fla., 15 bass, 32-15, $3,953
3rd: Bucky Helms, Dallas, N.C., 11 bass, 30-11, $1,976
4th: Brent Houlihan, Naples, Fla., 15 bass, 30-11, $1,729
5th: Robert Wood, Jupiter, Fla., 11 bass, 30-4, $1,482
6th: Danny Shelton, Davie, Fla., 13 bass, 30-2, $1,235
7th: Mitch Reynolds, Petal, Miss., 9 bass, 27-14, $988
8th: Darren Jeter, Marshall, N.C., 12 bass, 27-3, $889
9th: Ron Buck, Port St. Lucie, Fla., 14 bass, 25-14, $791
10th: George Kapiton, Inverness, Fla., 15 bass, 25-12, $692
After three qualifying events are complete in each FLW American Series division – Central, Northern, Southeast, and Texas – the top 50 pros and 50 co-anglers based on the points standings from each division advance to the FLW American Fishing Series Invitational on Wheeler Lake, in Decatur Ala., Nov. 4-6. The highest-finishing pro and co-angler from each division at the American Fishing Series Championship will also qualify for the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup.
ABOUT FLW OUTDOORS FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 189 tournaments in 2010. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing awarding the largest prizes in the history of fantasy sports. FLW Outdoors memberships are available featuring numerous benefits including Player’s Advantage. For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FantasyFishing.com. FLWOutdoors.com