Florida Tournament Report

Finley, Wells double up in win


The Lakeland Bassmasters have been a staple for the central Florida bass tournament scene for years. This season, the club unveiled a new team format in addition to their draw events. This was done, in part, to align themselves with the Bassmaster Team Championship. There, representatives from the club will compete against other qualifiers from across the nation to earn an opportunity to compete in the Bassmaster Classic.

23 teams competed in the fourth event of the five tournament season on July 23rd at Camp Mack’s River Resort. Being a mid-summer event, anglers not only had to focus on catching fish, but also focus on staying hydrated through the summer heat, but that wouldn’t keep big fish from coming to the scales.

Richard Finley and Jeff Wells teamed up to boat a 27.25-pound, five-bass limit to win the event, and they did so in a big way. Two big ways, in fact. Each angler boated a double-digit bass to make up the bulk of their bag.

“I was throwing a customized 3/8-oz Z-Man Chatterbait, made to resemble a bream, on a Vexan 7MMH around scattered Kissimmee Grass,” stated Finley on catching his 10.20-pound lunker, a personal best. “My first 10-pounder, and in a tournament! It doesn’t get any better than that!”

That fish would earn the team the Big Bass honors along with their victory.

Wells’s bass hit the scales at an even 10.00 pounds. Wells was “flipping a senko on Vexan 76HC” when the fish bit.

Eric Conant and Michael Foster weighed a solid 24.35-pound bag to finish in second place, with their largest being a 5.05-pound kicker.

Eric Conant with part of his and Michael Foster's 2nd place bag

Eric Conant with part of his and Michael Foster’s 2nd place bag

Will Evans and Monte Goodman grabbed a third place finish with a 21.75-pound bag.

Danny Glisson and George Compton finished just behind Evans and Goodman in fourth place with 21.15 pounds.

Gary Hawkins and Ron Buey locked in a top five finish with an 18.80-pound bag.

Eric Conant and Michael Foster will be heading into the final event of the season with a 10 point lead over Will Evans and Monte Goodman.

The final event for the Lakeland Bassmasters Team Trail, prior the the end of season club classic, will take place September 10th on the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes.