Highlands Bass Anglers Tournament Trail, Wounded Warriors Benefit | 07/17/16
Venue: LAKE OKEECHOBEE
On July 16th the Highlands Bass Anglers Tournament Trail hosted a charity event to benefit wounded veterans at Harney Pond in Okeechobee. The lake greeted all the competitors with sunny skies and a light breeze. In all, 12 boats participated allowing 11 veterans to enjoy a day on the water that they otherwise would not be able to enjoy. Half of the boats in the field were able to produce the tournament limit of 3 bass, although the bite was not very active. From reports by the anglers, the majority of the fish were caught in or around submerged hydrilla. I was also privileged to take out a married couple, both injured veterans in the line of duty, for the day. Although they were not able to land a bass, both enjoyed their time on the water and had several bites. Both of them have never really fished before and I spent the morning hours giving mini lessons. By the end of the day both were able to cast and present a bait well. Although saddened they did not land a fish, both expressed that they really enjoyed learning about fishing and the sights of being on the water. Several of the other veterans present were able to catch fish and had a little more success. The team of Zac Walkup and Ronnie Westcott hosted veteran Charles Barreca. They had the winning combination of fish weighing in with a weight of 8.51lb. Zac and Ronnie stated that Charles caught the big bass of their bag. The team of Paul Converse and Jeff Balog were edged out of first by only ounces. They hosted veteran William Stanley and weighed in the second place weight of 8.49lb. Rounding out the top 3 was Mr. Tom McGinnis and veteran David Wetherell with their 3 fish limit at 7.47lb. The big fish of the tournament was caught by Nick Desanta and weighed 6 lb. Many thanks need to be given to some of our sponsors including Budweiser, Okeechobee Bass Headquarters, Lake Placid Marine, Boner Outfitters, and Versatile Repair & Maintenance. Also would like to again thank all that came out to support the cause and to the men/women both past and present of our armed forces for their service to our country.