Florida Tournament Report

Russell, Acree take top honors at Okeechobee


The Lakeland Junior Bassmasters has helped to produce some of the most talented bass fisherman in the nation. Young, aspiring anglers compete against each other, while volunteer adult anglers serve as mentors and teachers. They captain the young anglers around, teaching them many aspects of the sport at a younger age than most of us were even able to dream of when we were in our youth. With the help of these volunteers, these young anglers know how to put a solid limit in the boat. That point was proven last weekend when the young anglers from around Central Florida traveled to the southern part of the state for ‘Roland’s Rumble’ at Lake Okeechobee.

The 58 junior anglers and their families spend the entire weekend at Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort, in Clewiston. There, they battled it out over two days of competition, competing in two separate age divisions; 11-14 years old and 15-18 years old.

Day 1

The fish cooperated to the fullest on day one for the Junior Bassmasters. Cody Russell wowed the weigh-in crowd with a solid 24.78-pound, five-bass limit to lead the 15-18 age division. Russell, who was captained by David Crews, anchored his bag with a 5.82-pound kicker.

Christopher Gonzalez, captained by Asa Godsey, finished the day in second place with 12.74 pounds.

Chase Dimotta weighed a 12.26-pound bag to finish in third place. Brody Phelps was right on his heels in fourth place with 12.24 pounds. Both anglers were captained by Chet Daught.

Christian Greico’s 11.93-pound bag landed him in fifth place. Greico fished from the deck’s of Corbin Dyer’s boat.

Sammyjay Acree spent the weekend on Cole Hinman’s boat. He led the 11-14 age division on the first day with 12.12 pounds.

Pablo Molina caught a 10.79-pound bag while fishing with his boater captain Huck Pewitt, and finished the day in second place.

Third place was claimed by Jeff Worthy, who caught 10.41 pounds while captained by David Harris.

Stanley Flesher sat in fourth place with 10.07 pounds, all caught while being captained by Charlie Flesher.

Trenton Bennett, also captained by David Crews, finished in fifth place with 10.01 pounds.


Sammyjay Acree with his 5.64-pound Big Bass

Day 2

Lake Okeechobee is the type of lake that yields monster bass on a consistent basis. One bite can vault you up the leaderboard, or maintain your position at the top of the standings. Pending a big catch from one of the other anglers, all Cody Russell would need to do to secure a win on day two was to not zero. His 8.57-pound bag on the final day of competition would be more than enough to win the 15-18 age division, earning Russell his first win of the season. He  finished the tournament with a 33.35-pound, two-day total.

Roger Weigle, Jr. was captained by Roger Weigel, and made a big jump up the leaderboard on the second day. After sitting in  eighth place on day one with 10.39 pounds, he came back on day two with a 15.21-pound bag. That was enough to vault him to a second place finish with a 25.60-pound, two-day total.

Christian Greico moved up from fifth place to third place with a  12.06-pound bag on day two. Greico found one of those big bites in an 8.17-pound TrophyCatch quality bass, earning Greico the overall Big Bass honor for the 15-18 age division. That fish helped to anchor his 23.99-pound, two-day total.

Daniel Adams made a big jump on day two as well. Like Pablo Molina in the younger division, Adams was captained by Huck Pewitt. Adams sat in eleventh place on day one with 9.08 pounds, but he followed up with 13.06 pounds on day two to finish in fourth place, giving Adams a 22.14-pound, two-day total.

Chase Dimotta maintained a a top five finish by adding a 9.42-pound bag to his day one weight, finishing with a 21.66 pound, two-day total.

Sammyjay Acree secured his second win in a row at the conclusion of day two. Acree, who won last month’s event in the 11-14 age division at the Winter Haven Chain, flipped up a 12.81-pound bag on day two. Anchoring his bag was the 5.64-pound kicker that earned Acree the overall Big Bass award in the 11-14 age division. He finished the event with 24.93 pounds over two days of competition.

Jeff Worthy weighed a 10.34-pound bag on day two to finish the tournament in second place. His two-day total weighed 20.75 pounds.

Stanley Flesher weighed 7.59 pounds on day two, landing Flesher in third place with 17.66 pounds over two days.

Pablo Molina stayed within the top five as he finished in fourth place for the event. He caught a 6.42-pound bag on the second day to end the tournament with 17.21 pounds.

Fisher Cusic rounded out the top five. He was captained by Billy Cusic and sat in sixth place on day one with 9.22 pounds. He followed up with a 5.11-pound bag on day two, ending the event with 14.33 pounds.

The Lakeland Junior Bassmasters go on the ‘Hunt for General Sumter’ on September 12th at Lake Panasoffkee for the ninth event of their season.


Photos: Lakeland Junior Bassmasters Facebook