(Jan. 11, 2014 - OKEECHOBEE, FL.)...
Keith Fels of Ocala, Fla., weighed four bass totaling 7 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division event presented by Power-Pole on Lake Okeechobee with a three-day total of 14 bass weighing 54 pounds, 15 ounces. For his victory, Fels earned $40,000 and a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor.
Fels notched his seventh career top-10 FLW finish on Lake Okeechobee in grand style, banging out a 10-pounder on the second day of the tournament to build an insurmountable lead over the rest of the field. "I figured out something on Okeechobee I guess," said Fels. "It’s something different I do with it. I don’t know, its kind of a secret.
"I was just pitching to holes in the hydrilla," continued Fels. "It was probably a foot or a foot and a half deep, really pretty shallow. The fish moved in there yesterday; they weren’t in there today. The wind changed directions. It moved them, I guess."
"She (the 10-pounder) hit it and I missed it. I thought it felt like a good one, so I flipped back in and she got it," said Fels. "Then she got down in the hydrilla and I was pulling up like 50 pounds of hydrilla, and I got it right to the boat and my line broke right by the reel. The line fell down and coiled up by the hydrilla, so I reached down and wrapped it around my hand and pulled it in. My co-angler was freaking out; he said, ?Oh my God, that’s a 12-pounder!’
"Slowing down was the key," finished Fels. "I wasn’t getting bit during practice. I was probably fishing too fast. I slowed way down and let the bait sit and the fish just came and picked it up.
Fels said he caught most of his big fish on a jig with a Gambler MegaDaddy or a Why Not on it, and also did some punching with those same baits and a 2-ounce weight.
The top 10 pros on Lake Okeechobee were
|1st ||Keith Fels ||Ocala, Fla. ||14 bass ||54-15 ||$40,000 + |
a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower
Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor
|2nd ||Jared McMillan ||Belle Glade, Fla. ||15 bass ||52-11 ||$15,500 |
|3rd ||Randy Haynes ||Counce, Tenn. ||13 bass ||49-2 ||$12,000 |
|4th ||Val Osinski ||Pompano Beach, Fla. ||15 bass ||46-7 ||$10,000 |
|5th ||Keith Pace ||Monticello, Ark. ||15 bass ||45-3 ||$9,000 |
|6th ||Brandon McMillan ||Clewiston, Fla. ||15 bass ||44-8 ||$8,000 |
|7th ||Joseph Kremer. ||Osteen, Fla. ||15 bass ||44-4 ||$7,000 |
|8th ||Miles Burghoff ||Guntersville, Ala. ||15 bass ||43-1 ||$6,000 |
|9th ||Thomas Helton ||Charleston, Tenn. ||15 bass ||42-3 ||$5,000 |
|10th ||Kent Ware ||Wadmalaw Island, S.C. ||14 bass ||40-6 ||$4,000 |
Fels caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division Friday - a 10-pound, 9-ounce bass - that earned him the day’s Rayovac FLW Series Big Bass award of $300.
Rex Jaeger of Hamilton, Ohio, won the co-angler division and a Ranger Z117C with an Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 31 pounds, 7 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers on Lake Okeechobee were
|1st ||Rex Jaeger ||Hamilton, Ohio ||15 bass ||31-7 ||Ranger Z117C with an |
Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor
|2nd ||Ronnie Green ||Sebring, Fla. ||15 bass ||30-12 ||$5,000 |
|3rd ||Aaron Richardson ||Destin, Fla. ||14 bass ||29-5 ||$4,000 |
|4th ||Tim Fox ||Meridian, Miss. ||12 bass ||29-4 ||$3,500 |
|5th ||Don Lewis ||Jacksonville, Fla. ||14 bass ||27-13 ||$3,000 |
|6th ||Alphonso Taylor ||Kennesaw, Ga. ||12 bass ||26-9 ||$2,500 |
|7th ||Dean Harcourt ||Sebastian, Fla. ||13 bass ||25-1 ||$2,000 |
|8th ||Mitch Reynolds ||Petal, Miss. ||11 bass ||24-10 ||$1,750 |
|9th ||Ty Solis ||Albany, Ga. ||12 bass ||24-8 ||$1,500 |
|10th ||Dwight Griffith ||Somerset, Ky. ||12 bass ||23-3 ||$1,250 |
Mike Evans caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division Thursday - a 10-pound, 8-ounce bass - that earned him the day’s Rayovac FLW Series Big Bass award of $200.
The Rayovac FLW Series consists of five divisions - Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title, which allows them to fish the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup.
This was the first Rayovac FLW Series event of the 2014 season. The next Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division tournament will be Mar. 14-15, at Santee Cooper in Manning, S.C., and is hosted by the Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce.
For complete details and updated information visit the FLWOutdoors website. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow FLW on Facebook at Facebook FLW Fishing and on Twitter at Twitter/FLWOutdoors.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2013 over the course of 220 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy - the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world. FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the "Best in Fishing, On and Off the Water." For more information about FLW visit the FLWOutdoors website and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.