A record 40-pound sack of fish won bragging rights and much more at the First Toho Marine & Outdoors of St. Cloud/Bartow Ford 2019 Elite Pro Team Trail series. Ninety-four teams of anxious anglers ready to kick off the season launched at safe light on Saturday from the docks of Camp Mack’s Guy Harvey Resort in Lake Wales in search of a limit of 5 bass before the 3:00 p.m weigh-in. Lake Kissimmee was the launch location, however, the teams were permitted to fish any part of the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, that included West Lake Tohopekaliga.
Teams paid a $200 entry fee to be put in a jackpot and the number of places paid out was based on the number of entries. 18 teams took home a piece of Saturdays $14,500 jackpot.
There were over 1,300 pounds of bass caught and released back into Lake Kissimmee. Nine Trophy Catches were also documented this tournament. For those unfamiliar with the Trophy Catch Florida program, it is sponsored by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Any largemouth bass over 8 pounds qualifies to be entered for a chance to win a brand new Phoenix 819 Pro Bass Boat and other prizes such as gift cards to Bass Pro Shops. Visit their website for more information www.trophycatchflorida.com.
First Place Champions were James Watkins and Wayne Yohn (Lakeland) who threw down the 40 pounds on the scales early in the weigh-in. This is the highest weight to date in this series and gives the duo a good chance to win the largest weight trophy at the end of the year. They took home the top prize of $5,650. Not bad for a day of fishing. Second Place went to the father and son team of Mike and Matt Bedenbaugh (Lakeland) for their limit weighing in at 34.43 pounds.
The team won $2,285. In Third Place was the team of John Wayne and John Barrow (Umatilla ) presenting 29.75 pounds at the scales. They also landed the BIG FISH of the day, a 10.74 Lunker. $920 was their payday along with a bonus of $910 for Big Fish. Fourth Place was secured by Troy Olivier and David Crews (Lakeland ) with a total of 28.14 pounds earning them $635. And rounding out the top 5 teams was the owner of Toho Marine himself, Joe Clements and his partner Dustin Tindal ( St. Cloud ) . The guys had a bag of fish weighing 27.29 pounds. 18 places were paid out in all with those teams all having a sac over 20 pounds. What a great day of fishing. The next tournament in this series will be May 4th. Same place – Camp Mack .