The Reel Deal: Trophy Bass program rewards anglers

Jerrod Albright’s 8.2-pounder qualifies for Florida’s Trophy Bass program.

Jerrod Albright’s 8.2-pounder qualifies for Florida’s Trophy Bass program.

By Cindy Joint

I decided to drop in on last week’s (March 29) Wednesday Night Shootout weigh-in down at the Kissimmee Lakefront Marina. Glad I did, got to witness one impressive sack brought to the scales by Jerrod Albright and his partner, Paul.

With a five-fish limit, the scale topped 25.27 pounds and Jerrod landed himself an 8.42-pound Trophy Catch Florida qualifying bass.

You might remember Jerrod from the BassMaster Southern Open on the Harris Chain back in January. He finished in 16th place out of 200 anglers on the non-boater side. He is currently preparing for his next Southern Open in Tennessee later this month. Best of luck to you, Jerrod!

Coming in second place was the team of Hector and Ceasar with 13.11 pounds and rounding out third place was Chris and Scott with 11.06 pounds.

Remember that the Trophy Catch Florida program runs all year long. This is an incentive program to encourage anglers to report and live release top largemouth bass (more than 8 pounds) in Florida. Created by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in 2012, this program has three levels of awards. Just registering your catch makes you eligible to win a boat, motor and trailer.

Bass caught and properly documented and released in the 8 to 9.99-pound range qualify for the Lunker Club. Once verified you will receive a T-Shirt, certificate, decal and $100 gift card, usually to Bass Pro Shops.

The Trophy Club is for those who catch 10 to 12.99 pounds. They qualify for a $150 gift card. And the anglers lucky enough to land a 13-plus pounder will find themselves in the Hall of Fame.

For more information on this great program visit www.TrophyCatchFlorida.com.

The Toho Marine Elite One Man Series held its monthly tournament on the Harris Chain of Lakes last Saturday.

Rick Danner took the top prize with a five-fish limit and 21.97 pounds, not to mention the Big Bass – an 8.74 pounder.

I sure hope you Trophy Catch entered that girl!

Second place was claimed by Team Toho Marine Member Jeremy Tate with five fish, 20.90 pounds. Third place went to Scott Wilbanks with 18.11 pounds, fourth place to Mark Lundgren 16.36 pounds and rounding out the top 5 was Vernon Kemp with 15.72 pounds.

Anyone can enter these monthly tournaments. There is a $25 membership fee and tournament entries are $100 each, $200 for the Classic at the end of the season.

For more information to enter the next one, on Lake Okeechobee May 13, contact Mark Lundgren at 407-892-3200 or visit www.tohomarine.com for more information.

So are you catching fish, just not big enough for the Trophy Catch program? Send me your pictures of your best catch to ccjoint@gmail.com and you just might be featured in the Reel Deal!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tight Lines friends.