Gary Milicevic and Travis Drapel won the Fast Break fishing tournament held April 21 and 22 on Lake Okeechobee. Their combined two-day net weight total of a whopping 65.80 pounds won the team the top prize of $11,924.
Milicevic is a LaBelle native with four career top-ten finishes out of the 15 tournaments he’s competed in the Fishing League Worldwide tour.
Kail Stevens and Chris Schirling placed in second with a net weight of 57.84, while Jesse Mizell and Levi Brown placed third with a net weight of 55.15. Second place was awarded $2,250 and third was awarded $1,250.
Stevens and Schirling were in the lead after the first day’s weigh ins, but couldn’t repeat their success on the second day, allowing Milicevic and Drapel to cruise by them and claim the top prize.
Fast Break Bait and Tackle owner Chase Marsocci was impressed at how big the weigh-ins were during this year’s tournament.
“That’s definitely one of the top tournaments weights we’ve had on this lake in a long, long time,” said Marsocci. “I think the stars just aligned for them that weekend. It starts with having great fishermen in the tournament but I think it helped that the lake has been going lower and lower. April and May are your best months to fish to begin with, and I think they were just able to get on strong feed times.”
Marsocci reports that some of the key areas the fishermen had success with during the tournament were the monkey box, tin house cove, and inside little grassy. A majority of the fish were caught on Spro popping frogs and Zara spooks.
Fast Break expanded the field to 88 boats during this years tournament and awarded more that $18,000 in prize money in total. First through tenth received prize money while eleventh through fourteenth received gift cards.
Marsocci says they plan to hold another tournament on June 30 and July 1. This will be a one-man tournament but will still retain the prize structure of the tournament held in April.
“It’s sort of an experiment we’re running with,” said Marsocci. “We did a one-man tournament last October and we had 59 boats, and during the two-man tournament in April we had 88. We’ll run another two-man tournament this year then I’ll decide whether we’re only going to either a one or two-man from now on. I’m trying to let the fishermen tell me what they want.”