March 23rd, 2015
CELESTI WINS FLW BFL GATOR DIVISION EVENT ON LAKE OKEECHOBEEby FLW News February 17, 2016
Tim Celesti of Margate, FL weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds even Saturday to win the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division tournament on Lake Okeechobee presented by Power-Pole. For his victory, Celesti took home $6,300.
Celesti said he punched mats within a five-acre stretch on the north end of the lake. He said that he preferred water that was stained, but still clear of debris.
“After the sun came out the mats warmed up and the fish congregated around them perfectly,” said Celesti, who notched the first win of his career in BFL competition. “I stayed there the entire day and waited for them to eat.”
Celesti said that he used one bait – a June Bug-colored Gambler BB Cricket – to catch his stringer of bass.
“I did my best to really get the Cricket up under the mats,” Celesti said. “I would hold it up high and let it drop after about 10 seconds. The bass would eat it and then just sit there. You could hardly feel the bite. It was like you had to give them time to come and look at it, and then drop it on their nose.
“You had to be patient,” continued Celesti. “And you needed a punch skirt. If the bait didn’t have a punch skirt they wouldn’t eat it.”
The Florida angler said he targeted a single mat around 12:30 p.m. and caught a 4- and 7-pounder within ten minutes of each other to cap off his winning stringer.
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Tim Celesti, Margate, Fla., five bass, 22-0, $6,300
2nd: Allen Walls, Boca Raton, Fla., five bass, 18-11, $3,000
3rd: Austin Murray, Deland, Fla., five bass, 17-7, $2,000
4th: Donald Ciacchi, Middleburg Heights, Ohio, five bass, 16-11, $1,400
5th: Greg Hughes, Inverness, Fla., five bass, 16-6, $1,200
6th: Steve Poland, Port Saint Lucie, Fla., five bass, 16-4, $1,100
7th: Roger Crafton, Boca Grande, Fla., five bass, 15-12, $1,000
8th: Nicholas Hoinig, Delray Beach, Fla., five bass, 15-8, $900
9th: Sandy Melvin, Boca Grande, Fla., five bass, 15-7, $750
9th: Jason Jastrzemski, Wellington, Fla., five bass, 15-7, $750
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Kenneth Harris of Zolfo Springs, Florida, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a fish weighing 8 pounds, 15 ounces and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $1000.
David Bozeman of Ocala, Florida, weighed in four bass totaling 13 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to earn $3,000 and win the co-angler division.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: David Bozeman, Ocala, Fla., four bass, 13-7, $3,000
2nd: Garrett Farmer, Estero, Fla., five bass, 13-0, $1,500
3rd: James Topmiller, Orlando, Fla., five bass, 12-14, $850
3rd: Doug Caldwell, Kane, Pa., five bass, 12-14, $1,350
5th: Kenneth Bivins, Orlando, Fla., five bass, 12-12, $600
6th: Gary Schild, Mundelein, Ill., five bass, 12-8, $550
7th: Scott Kirsch, Edgewater, Fla., five bass, 10-13, $500
8th: William Carpenella, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., five bass, 10-4, $450
9th: Michael Lendl, Pembroke Pines, Fla., five bass, 10-3, $400
10th: Bill Grotjahn, Homosassa, Fla., five bass, 9-11, $350
Caldwell caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division, a fish weighing 6 pounds, 3 ounces and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $500.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 13-15 Regional Championship on Lake Seminole in Bainbridge, Georgia. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
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FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world. For more information about FLW visit FLWFishing.com and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.More by FLW News