Elite One Man Tour Results Nov. 2017 Championship
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- Elite One Man Tour Results Nov. 2017 Championship
HOSTED BY THE OKEECHOBEE TOURIST DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
November 18th & 19th – Lake Okeechobee – C. Scott Driver Park
Lundgren Wins Back to Back Angler of the Year Titles and the 2017 Championship!
Mark Lundgren 1st place championship winner
The Toho Marine Elite One Man Series Championship was held November 18 and 19 on Lake Okeechobee at C. Scott Driver Park. The anglers in the top 30 in points or those that fished seven of the nine qualifiers automatically qualified to fish the tournament. On day one, take off was at safe light and the boat orders were based on point standings. Day one ended with a 4 PM weigh-in and Mark Lundgren in the lead with 17.95 pounds. Following not too far behind was Gary Niemi with 16.73 pounds. Holding Third was Ryan Hoover with 14.11 pounds which included the second big fish of the day. The big fish on Saturday was caught by Joe Clements, a 7.57 pounder, just shy of qualifying for Trophy Catch.
On Day two the launch order was reversed and all anglers were due in by 3PM. The weights were down for the majority of the field from the day before. Mark Lundgren held on to the lead at the end of day two with 12.16 pounds. A miracle perhaps, considering having his prop come apart just after noon and not having his spare on board after loaning it out the day before to help a fellow angler. He thought his chances of winning had sunk along with the pieces of his prop! He continued to fish while seeking an accessible place to wait if by chance he could get a tow back in, or a prop to use to get back to weigh in. In a perfect example of “Never Give Up” he caught his biggest fish of the day, and the fish that sealed the deal just minutes before he was able to get in touch with another tournament director. Mark started making calls to other anglers on the lake he thought were close by for help. Ryan Hoover, who was sitting third at the beginning of the day, agreed to bring Mark a spare prop he had and basically took himself out of the competition to help out a fellow competitor. Ryan made the run from the Kissimmee River to the Shoal to save Mark only for them both to discover that prop wouldn’t work. Showing true sportsmanship, Ryan told Mark to take his boat so he could return before weigh-in. Mark made it in time, with what he didn’t think would be enough to win. But to his surprise, it was enough to pull off a two day win for the Championship and a nice check for $5000. Mark not only won the 2017 Championship, but he also earned back to back Angler of the Year in this series.
Gary Niemi managed to hold on to second place despite only weighing in 11.52 pounds. This earned him $2600 plus 2 new Enigma HPT Rods. There was a tie for Third Place between John Dial and Jim Watkins. They split the $1250 payout. Making the biggest climb in weights was John Wayne moving from 20th place to 5th with the biggest sac of the day a five fish limit of 16.90 pounds that included the second big fish of the day a 7.62 pounder. The participants celebrated each other’s victories throughout the 2017 season at a banquet that weekend at the Brahma Bull Restaurant. Awarding Mark Lundgren Angler of theYear, David Mahon for the Biggest Stringer of the Year, 29.86 pounds and Rodney Glunt for catching the Biggest Fish of the Year, an 8.75 pound Trophy Catch!
Gary Niemi on Day 1 – Gary took 2nd Place
John Wayne – Day 2 Big Bag
Thanks to Enigma Fishing we also had over 10 rods to give away to a variety of places. Just to keep things interesting we not only gave away 2 rods to the angler first out of the money, but also awarded rods to 2 nd Place as well as giving the rest away by raffle. While the checks were being written out we were able to do our raffle thanks to prizes from our great sponsors. We had a ton of products from Ardent Fishing, Bob’s Machine Shop, Enigma Fishing, TH Marine, as well as Gift Cards to Outback Steak House. Only anglers who had not finished “in the money” were eligible for the raffle so we were able to salvage the smiles of at least a few more anglers! Please take a minute and say thank you to all of the Great Sponsors that have supported the Elite One Man Series. Mercury, Motorguide, Triton, Ardent Fishing, Bob’s Machine Shop, Intercoastal Payroll Solutions, JH Design Unlimited, Rich Howes Allstate Insurance Agency, T-H Marine, “The Reel Deal” with Cindy Carpenter Joint, Trophy Catch Florida, and Wojo’s Bait and Tackle.
The Enigma Rod Winners
Just SOME of the Give Aways
The schedule for next year is all set; check out the Toho Marine website or the Toho Marine Elite One Man Series Facebook Page for dates and details. Also, make sure to look for the new Bartow Ford/Toho Marine Sponsored Elite Team Trail that will be kicking off in 2018. 4 Qualifiers, plus a 2 day Championship where anyone entered will have the chance to win a new truck from Bartow Ford, or a new Phoenix Boat in addition to the payouts for the tournament!
Thank you to everyone who helped to make this such a great tournament trail this year, we look forward to seeing you and a lot more new faces next year!
The 2018 Help Our Heroes Benefit Tournament will be on June 2nd , save the date on your calendars!
TH Marine – Ardent Outdoors – Enigma Fishing – Gee Crack