By Phil Wolf
It’s hard to believe that this season is already done and over with, seems like just weeks ago all of our anglers were anxious to get back on the water in March ‘21. In the 5 plus years Coastal Angler Magazine Orlando has been involved with this tournament series, this was by far our best year for angler team participation and big bags of largemouth bass. With more teams per event that means more $$$ at each event for Big Bass, more for the teams finishing in the money and more $$$ to our Classic Fund!
Special thanks to our Presenting sponsor American Tackle Company for providing a Custom casting rod for each event to be raffled off, Proceeds also going into our Classic Fund. This seasons’ Classic had the highest payout in the Tournaments’ long history. More than $10,000.00 was paid out to the “Team of Year” winners, Big Bass of the Season, to our Classic Winners and the Top 15 teams. We also paid for 1st and 2nd Big Bass of the Classic Day. Pictures show smiling faces on the winning fishing teams. Wow, this Series has grown to the largest evening tournament series in Central Florida, drawing the best river fishing teams from the area and the Jolly Gator Bass Series brings the largest 5-fish limits to the scales anywhere in the St. Johns River!
Father and son team of Steve and Hayden Lester managed to pull off this season’s “Team of the Year” points leader. Hayden, just 14 yrs. old has been fishing with his dad Steve for the past 6 years every Tuesday evening, they are the first team to win “Team of the Year” with a youth angler as one of the team members. Congrats to the Lester’s for their hard work and great fish catches this year. Hats off to Steve Lester as well for taking and teaching kids about fishing, the few times Hayden was unable to fish Steve always takes another kid fishing and is always thinking about our next generation of anglers. Big Bass of the season was caught by Logan Wright weighing in at 8.20 lbs. Logan’s fish was caught mid-season and he was hoping his river giant would hold up all. He was all smiles getting his trophy and the huge cash prize for Big Bass this year.
With a huge crowd watching our teams bring in their days catch it was clear to see that with the Tropical Storm Fred approaching and with the low barometric pressure the big fish were biting. Only 2 teams weighed less than a 5 bass limit. As we started to weigh, the bag reports from the other teams were that a huge bag was caught by one of our teams. With 6 bags over 19 pounds weighed in out of 15 teams it was clear that it was a good day of catching. In the end our Classic winners were the father and son team of Quinten Farrel and Quinten Farrel Jr. with a Classic Record setting 34.66 pounds! Earlier this season Quintin and Quintin weighed a bag over 26 pounds on a Tuesday evening event which was leading heaviest bag ever weighed. Congrats to the father and son pair as they also caught the Big Bass of the day at 7.82 lbs. taking home nearly $3,000.00 for their winning catch! Check out all the photos at Coastal Angler Magazine Orlando Facebook page. All 15 teams who qualified received prizes in gift cards and cash.
2021 Classic Top Ten Teams:
1. Quinten Farrel and Quinten Farrel Jr. 34.66
2. Justin and Bubba Myers 21.05
3. David Stanton and Ronnie Spell 20.96
4. Anthony Courtney and Sean Cunningham 20.88
5. Mike and Johnathon Winstead 19.22
6. Steve and Hayden Lester 19.02
7. Jim (Squirt) Chaudion and Robert Owens 17.82
8. Chris Eastman and Zach Temperly 14.16
9. Timmy Curtis and Lenny Jones 13.70
10. Robert Jacobs and Ernest Watson 13.29
Congrats to our qualifying teams and thanks to all anglers for fishing with us this season! This tournament series will continue to grow due to the commitment of anglers and staff at Coastal Angler Magazine Orlando for working hard to make each season better than the last. We are already looking forward to next March! Come out and join us. Until then take a kid fishing!
Team of Year winners, Steve & Hayden Lester
Classic winners Quinten & Quinten Jr.
Big Bass of the year winner, Logan Wright