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Bass Angler Magazine

Skeet adds Another $100k at Florida’s Big O

CLEWISTON, Fla. (Feb. 14, 2021) – General Tire pro Skeet Reese of Auburn, California, already had a stacked resume when he crossed the stage on Sunday at the Major League Fishing Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers, 13 Fishing Stop 1 – Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Florida. With 10 career victories, a 2007 Elite Series Angler of the Year title and a 2009 Bassmaster Classic championship, Reese is one of the top 5 tournament money-winners of all-time with more than $3.4 million in earnings. Reese added another monumental victory to the Major League Fishing (MLF) record books and is bringing a $100,000 check and a big trophy back home to California.

The win brought the 2019 merger of FLW (now known as the MLF BIG5) and MLF full circle and was a moment that marked the significance of the unity that now exists between the blended MLF family.

Reese weighed a five-bass limit on Sunday totaling a whopping 27 pounds, 9 ounces, to win by a 7-pound, 9-ounce margin over fellow Bass Pro Tour angler Chris Lane of Guntersville, Alabama. Lane weighed in five bass for 20 pounds, 1 ounce, including an 8-pound, 13-ounce giant, which carried him to a second place finish on the final day of competition.

“This feels really good,” said an emotional Reese. “I’ve had some tough fishing the last few years and to be able to come back and win; it is recognition that my new mindset and hard work paid off. Everybody who fishes tournaments does it to win and to be able to do it against this level of competition, with this big of a field – it’s priceless.”

Reese said he mixed up his approach each day and alternated between two key lures for the win, a 6″ Berkley PowerBait The General and an unnamed green-pumpkin-colored vibrating jig with a  Berkley PowerBait The Deal in the Skeet’s green money-color serving as the trailer.

“The first day, I focused on the isolated clumps of reeds that were a little deeper,” said Reese. “I targeted water that was four feet deep because all of the shallower stuff was getting so much pressure. I stayed out a little further from the bank on the isolated pencil reeds and caught a few good ones the second day by pitching The General on a 5/O hook with a ¼-ounce weight on 25-pound-test Berkley Trilene 100% fluorocarbon.”

On the second day, Reese said he opted to stay solely off the bank and was able to catch a 21-pound bag that included the day’s biggest bass, an 8-pound, 8-ounce giant.
The final two days offered vastly different weather conditions, with wind speeds picking up throughout the lake. Reese said this caused him to make a change to the vibrating jig and helped him seal the win.

“It got too windy and made it hard to flip and pitch The General,” Reese said. “I also think it moved some of those fish out a little deeper. On the final day, it seemed like every big female was set up out in the open.”

Reese said the area had cleaner water and he felt it offered him the best chance to get multiple bites.

“I maximized what little I had and fished it all four days,” he continued. “I was trying to be in an area and get as many bites as I could. I never thought I was on the winning fish this week. I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason.”

The top 10 pros on Lake Okeechobee finished:

1st:       Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif., 20 bass, 82-14, $100,000
2nd:      Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala., 20 bass, 75-5, $30,000
3rd:       Jim Neece, Jr., Bristol, Tenn., 20 bass, 74-2, $25,000
4th:       Dicky Newberry, Houston, Texas, 20 bass, 72-12, $20,000
5th:       Bill McDonald, Greenwood, Ind., 20 bass, 71-0, $19,000
6th:       Miles Burghoff, Soddy-Daisy, Tenn., 20 bass, 70-11, $18,200
7th:       Pete Ponds, Madison, Miss., 20 bass, 66-7, $17,000
8th:       Ryan Salzman, Huntsville, Ala., 20 bass, 64-3, $16,000
9th:       Cole Floyd, Leesburg, Ohio, 20 bass, 63-14, $15,000
10th:     Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 20 bass, 63-2, $14,000

For a full list of results visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The four top performers from Sunday’s Pro Circuit event who will receive invitations to compete at the Bass Pro Tour Toro Stage One presented by Power-Pole at Sam Rayburn, March 21-26, in Jasper Texas, are Jim Neece, Jr. of Bristol, Tennessee, Dicky Newberry of Houston, Texas, Bill McDonald of Greenwood, Ind iana, and Miles Burghoff of Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee.

Overall, there were 50 bass weighing 173 pounds, 5 ounces caught by the final 10 pros on Sunday. All 10 weighed in a five-bass limit.      

The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers, 13 Fishing Stop 1 – Lake Okeechobee’s two-hour action-packed television show will premiere on the Outdoor Channel on Sunday, July 11 from 7 to 9 a.m. ET and re-air on the Sportsman Channel this fall.
         
The Major League Fishing Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers, 13 Fishing Stop 1 – Lake Okeechobee was hosted by the Hendry County Tourism Development Council and Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina & Resort. The next event for Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit anglers will be the Major League Fishing Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers, Covercraft Stop 2 – Smith Lake , Mar. 11-14, in Cullman, Alabama. The tournament will be hosted by the Cullman Area Local Organizing Committee.

In Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit competition, the full field of 163 anglers competed in the two-day opening round on Thursday and Friday. The top 50 pros based on their two-day cumulative weight advanced to fish on Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continued competition on Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE presented by Mercury, the Pro Circuit Championship, where they will compete for up to $235,000. The 2021 TITLE will be on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin on Aug. 17-22, and is hosted by Explore La Crosse.

For complete details and updated information visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the MLF BIG5’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitterInstagram and  YouTube.

About MLF BIG5

MLF BIG5 is part of MLF, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization. It provides anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money across five tournament circuits featuring a five-biggest-fish format. Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with offices in Benton, Kentucky, MLF and its partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Zimbabwe.

MLF tournaments are broadcast on Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, World Fishing Network, MyOutdoorTV, Discovery and CBS Sports while MLF Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros to the world’s most avid bass anglers.

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