LaBelle angler wins tourney with 53 lb. catch

OKEECHOBEE – Boater Gary Milicevic of LaBelle, Florida, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division tournament on Lake Okeechobee Sunday, September 23, with a two-day cumulative catch of 10 bass weighing 53 pounds, 2 ounces.

For his win, Milicevic earned $8,374.

According to post-tournament reports he caught his fish near Harney Pond, flipping a Medlock Jig in the cloudy and rainy conditions to catch his limits.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:

1st: Gary Milicevic, Labelle, Fla., 10 bass, 53-2, $6,374 + $2,000 Ranger Cup;

2nd:Larry Cahan, East Palatka, Fla., 10 bass, 48-0, $2,937;

3rd:Bryan Honnerlaw, Moore Haven, Fla., 10 bass, 45-10, $2,057;

4th: Donny Bass, Naples, Fla., 10 bass, 40-14, $1,371;

5th:Jared McMillan, Belle Glade, Fla., 10 bass, 40-7, $1,175;

6th: Fred Chivington Jr., Welaka, Fla., 10 bass, 40-3, $1,077;
7th: Chuck Webb, Sarasota, Fla., 10 bass, 39-12, $979;
8th: Jim Joseph, Oakla
nd Park, Fla., 10 bass, 39-1, $881;

9th: Chris Keith, Gainesville, Fla., 10 bass, 36-13, $783;

10th: Mason Boylan, Melbourne, Fla., 10 bass, 36-3, $685.

Steve Broughton of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, caught a largemouth weighing 8 pounds, 11 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division. The catch earned him the Boater Big Bass award of $780.

John Panozzo of Palm Springs, Florida, caught a two-day total of nine bass weighing 36 pounds even to win the Co-angler Division and $2,937.

The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: John Panozzo, Palm Springs, Fla., nine bass, 36-0, $2,937;

2nd:James Bullard, Glen Saint Mary, Fla., nine bass, 33-1, $1,568;

3rd:Vince Owen, Coral Springs, Fla., nine bass, 29-12, $979;

4th: Christian Greico, Tampa, Fla., 10 bass, 27-0, $685;

5th:Jackie Barber, Cocoa, Fla., nine bass, 24-7, $587;

6th:Christopher Gardner, Leesburg, Fla., nine bass, 23-0, $538;

7th:Alex Mut, Miami, Fla., seven bass, 23-0, $929;

8th:Cody Farnham, Port St. Lucie, Fla., 10 bass, 21-15, $441;

9th: General Johnson, Fort Myers, Fla., eight bass, 20-13, $392;

10th:Moses Wilson, Clewiston, Fla., 10 bass, 20-10, $343.

Mut caught the largest largemouth bass in the Co-angler Division weighing 8 pounds, 15 ounces – and earned the Co-angler Big Bass award of $390.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 11-13 BFL Regional Championship on the St. Johns River in Palatka, Florida. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.

The 2018 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American. The 2019 BFL All-American will take place May 30-June 1 on the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland.

The Caloosa Belle is published every Thursday.

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