Watkins Wins $6000 at Inaugural Ram Truck Open Series Event
James Watkins of Lakeland, FL won the Florida Central Division Ram Truck Open Series inaugural event at Lake Toho on January 16, 2015. Watkins brought in a 21.64 pound limit of Florida bass to take home $6350. “I ran down south to Kissimmee to fish a little structure I found in four feet of water. The fish like to hold up there when they’re getting ready to bed. Two weeks ago, I had 25 pounds in that area. I went by Tuesday to check it and caught a five pounder. Within 30 minutes this morning, I had a little over 17 pounds and then I flipped up a four and half pounder later,” said Watkins.
Second place on the boater side went to Joe Ventrello of Apopka, FL with 20.13 pounds. Ventrello earned $1899 for his efforts. “I ran down to Kissimmee and did some flipping. I lost two today that would have probably won it for me, but that’s fishing,” said Ventrello.
Dan Smith of Webster, FL finished in the third place spot with 19.52 pounds to win $1266. “I started out in Toho and went to a little pig trail where I caught a seven and a half pounder and one about a pound and a half. I started working some hydrilla after that and couldn’t do anything. Then, I ran to Kissimmee and started flipping pads. I got the rest of them in the pads,” said Smith.
Bob Grosso of Odessa, FL had the 8.97 pound Boater Big Bass to win $1010 from the Big Bass Pot. “I was fishing down in Kissimmee and caught it about 1:00 flipping cattails. I was flipping a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver,” said Grosso.
Top Five Boaters:
1. James Watkins 21.64 $6350
2. Joe Ventrello 20.13 $1899
3. Dan Smith 19.52 $1266
4. Kenneth Norris 18.51 $886
5. Micah Silverman 18.27 $759
There were 107 boaters registered for this Ram Truck Open Series event.
Complete results can be found at this link.
For more info on the Florida Central division of the Ram Truck Open Series call ABA tournament manager, Billy Benedetti, at (256) 230-5632.
Ram Truck Open Series anglers can take advantage of the “no boat on boat draw” format along with huge payouts for the 2016 season. First place boaters can win a guaranteed $5000 first place, regardless of number of entries. Payouts will increase to $6000 for the first place boater with a 100 boat field. Over the course of four divisional events and the area championship, anglers will be competing for a spot in the 2017 Ray Scott Championship.
Lots of contingency money is up for grabs during the 2016 Ram Truck Open Series Series season. Anglers participating in the Triton Gold program can earn up to $7,000 at 2016 divisional events and up to $50,000 at the 2017 Ray Scott Championship. Anglers can also take advantage of other programs such as T-H Marine Atlas Rewards, Power Pole Captain's Cash, Garmin Grand Giveaway, Livingston Lures Cash for Big Bass, Abu Garcia Revo Big Bass Bonus, Maui Jim Bonus, and Mercury/Motorguide bonus money.
American Bass Anglers, Inc. is supported by Ram Trucks, Triton Boats, Mercury Outboards, Carlisle Tires, Odyssey Batteries, Berkley, Abu Garcia, T-H Marine, Hydrowave, Livingston Lures, Best Western Hotels, Maui Jim, Power Pole, Dr. Dan's, Garmin, Simms Bass, and North American Fishing Club. American Bass Anglers, Inc. can be contacted at (256) 232-0406 or by visiting americanbassanglers.com.