Capt. Ethan Hamrick
Call or Text 727-242-1672

Bass Bandits Lake Okeechobee October 2019

It was early October of 2019 and my grandpa and I were getting ready to fish in our final bass tournament of the year. It was our club’s two-day classic tournament held on Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Florida.

We spent two days pre-fishing the enormous lake ahead of the tournament. The two of us had a very slow practice, catching just only a few fish each day. We unfortunately did not have a sufficient plan for the first day of competition.

On the first day of competition, my grandpa and I decided to make a twelve mile run down the lake to an area we’d caught some fish on a jerkbait in practice. Only three small keepers came from this area in over three hours, so we deserted that area and headed out into the main lake to fish a huge grass flat.

I fished a creature bait, a swimbait, and a chatterbait in and around the grass for over half an hour without a bite. I then tied on a white 3/8 ounce spinnerbait, which would prove to be the turning point of the day and pay off big time. Within half an hour I’d gotten four bites and caught two fish to fill out our limit.

Not long after that, I caught a five pounder, which gave us a big upgrade and confidence to remain on the flat the rest of the day. We weren’t able to make any more upgrade on day one and headed to weigh in with our catch a little before 3 o’clock. It had been a slow, frustrating day, that was saved by the five pounder I’d caught.

My grandpa and I weighed a total of 10.50 pounds of bass and were sitting in second place after the first day. In addition, the 5.30 pound bass I caught was the big fish of the day. None of the anglers had caught many large fish, as all the weights were very low. Granddad and I were only a pound back of first place with one day of fishing left.

Me displaying my 5.30 pound bass after day one weigh in.

On the second and final day of the tournament, my grandpa and I began on the same grass flat we’d had success at the previous day. Over an hour passed before I finally got a bite and landed our first bass of the day, a two pounder. I caught another small keeper bass half an hour later, but the fish just weren’t biting as good as they were the day before on the flat. 

We left that area and headed to the channel where we’d caught three small keepers the first day. We quickly caught three more fish to give us a limit. Half an hour later, on our way our of the channel, I made a long cast down the bank near some grass. As soon as the bait touched the water a large fish blasted the lure at the surface. After quite the battle, we brought a much needed near five pounder into the boat. The fish allowed us to make a nearly four pound upgrade to our total weight. 

We spent the rest of the day fishing the same grass flat we’d started on. I caught a few more fish, but none big enough to increase our weight total. We were forced to call it a day with the fish we had.

Granddad and I weighed in 11.85 pounds, giving us a total two-day weight of 22.35 pounds. We had the lead momentarily, but the guys who were in first place brought in 14 pounds, giving them the win with 26 pounds total. Granddad and I ended up finishing in 2nd place, giving us our fourth 2nd place finish of the year! I was happy with our finish but knew we could’ve done better. 

My grandpa and I have had a successful, fun year fishing tournaments together and we look forward to next season!

Me displaying our two largest bass on day two.

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