It's official, I am the Angler of the Year Co-Angler for the BFL Gator Division. This was my goal from the start and I couldn't be happier. For this weekend's event, I ended up 10th place, after moving up from 19th after yesterday. All year long I was able to stay consistent and cash a check. Here is a recap of my five events:
#1 Kissimee River - 15th Place
I started off the year with a great draw, my partner ended up coming in 5th place on the Boater side. He was a master of flipping and pitching and it was like I was fishing behind a vacuum cleaner, he hit everything. I scratched together four fish punching a Paycheck Baits Punch Skirt and Sweet Beaver. I caught my fifth keeper on my last cast close to the ramp on a Zoom Ultravibe Speedworm. I weighed 8lbs 8 oz and started the year off with a check.
#2 Harris Chain - 17th Place
Coming into this event, I had only been to Harris once and didn't do so well. I was fortunate to get another great draw(he ended up 2nd), he was also a local and knew the area well. We struggled most of the day and at noon I only had one fish. I ended up catching five or six keepers on the Speedworm and weighed 8lbs 13oz.
#3 Okeechobee - 9th Place
This event was where my season really started getting fun. I caught a 6lb 7oz fish on my second cast with the Speedworm and was able catch some other good fish on the Speedworm and a Sasquatch Spooky Fluke. I weighed 14lbs 5oz and made my first Top 10 of the year.
#4 Okeechobee -3rd Place
This event started off really slow and I only had one fish at 11:00, so we abandoned the area and I told my boater about a place I knew. We went there and 30+ boats were scattered in the area. We pulled in and started fishing and I was able to get a 6 and 4 pound fish and some limit fillers. Once again it was on the Speedworm. I ended up with three dead fish due to the heat and went from 15lbs 12 oz to 14lbs 4 oz, but didn't lose any ground due to the penalty. This is where I took over the AOY lead.
#5 Okeechobee - 10th Place
This event was awesome. I knew going into the event if I made the cut (top 19), I would win AOY due to my points lead. On Day 1, I caught my fish carolina-rigging a Speedworm. I was using a 35lb InvisaSwivel and had no problems at all. I also caught a few on a shaky-head. I ended up with 10lbs 8 oz and was the last person to make the cut!
I fished today, Day 2 with no pressure at all. I knew I would be getting a check, AOY was locked up and I couldn't finish any lower than 19th. All I could do was move up. I caught a limit weighing 8lbs 5oz and moved up to tenth. I caught literally 40 fish on the Speedworm this morning but they were all small. I caught my biggest one, a fish close to 3 pounds on a Sweet Beaver punching the grass with a Miller Punchin Weight. We were fishing the really thick mats and this weight was awesome.
Overall, this BFL season couldn't have been any better. I had some good draws and also didn't lose any fish or make any real mistakes. All of my partners were great guys and really helped me out. The Zoom Ultravibe Speedworm played a role in each and every tournament I fished. It's no secret, everyone is using it down here, but this bait works!