The 2nd Annual Bartow Ford – Toho Marine and Outdoors Elite Team Trail Classic Tournament was held this past weekend on Lake Okeechobee. 96 anglers making up the 48 boat field that qualified to participate in the event spent 2 full days on the lake looking to land the largest sack of fish and take home the top cash prize of $12,600.
Almost $26,000 was paid out to the top 10 teams. A portion of the entry fee’s from the series 4 previous tournaments was held back to be added the jackpot for the Classic.
The temperatures were in the mid 50’s all weekend as the anglers had to battle a cold front passing thru, certainly this had an effect on catching the fish. By the end of Day 1, St. Cloud locals David Howell and Bob Wojcuich were holding the lead with 19.21 pounds only to fall to 6 th place when it was all said and done Sunday.
The winning team of Bob Grosso ( Odessa, FL.) and Dickie Gillispie ( Largo, FL.) pulled out the win by just 2 ounces over the Second Place team of Nick Kefalides and Ryan Cooper.
Grasso/Gillispie had a final weight of 32.46 pounds and took home trophies to compliment their $12,600 payday! The duo of Kefalides and Cooper not only came in Second Place with 32.25 pounds but also landed the Big Fish of the tournament, an 8 pound Trophy Catch Florida qualifier.
They took home a bonus check of $1000 in addition to plaques and trophies. And rounding out the top 3 teams was another local couple from St. Cloud, Charlie Harrelson and Logan Murphy with 31.20 pounds. Harrelson and Murphy were last years champs in the Series.
The 2020 season will kick off February 22, 2020 out of Camp Mack, A Guy Harvey Resort, on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes.