The Reel Deal: Visiting serviceman lands a Trophy Catch

Geoffrey Wells with his 13.5-pound Trophy Catch. Submitted Photo

Geoffrey Wells with his 13.5-pound Trophy Catch. Submitted Photo

By Cindy Joint

St. Cloud native Geoffrey Wells is the first Hall of Fame winner for Season 5 of the Florida Trophy Catch Bass Program.

Wells, 28, a current resident of Virginia Beach, Va.,

was recently here in Osceola County on leave from the U.S. Coast Guard for the holidays.

He and a buddy went out to an undisclosed location to do a little fishing with about 10 dozen shiners that Geoffrey caught himself.

Both of them threw out a shiner and his friend immediately got a 2 to 3 pounder. While helping his friend unhook the first catch, Geoffrey heard a sound that to him was hard to explain. He said it sounded like someone threw a cinder block in the water. He quickly ran over to his rod and at that moment the fight was on! The line got tight and he set the hook. The bass had him wrapped up in a tree limb then came free and dove for a clump of lily pads. All this time I am sure his heart was just a pounding. He got her free and safe into his hands…all 13.4 pounds of her!!

So excited and remembering about the Florida Trophy Bass program he wanted to guarantee his submission for a chance to win a bass boat at the end of this season. He contacted a

representative, took care of business and released the beast back into the same location he caught her.

Geoffrey’s choice of tackle that day helping him land his catch was an 8-foot St. Croix Premier Series Muskie Rod matched with a Shimano Calcutta style reel and 30-pound Trilene Big Game line.

Geoffrey has been an angler since the age of 2. He fished his first tournament in the year 2000 at the age of 12 and placed third. He also fished several teen angler tournaments including two county/state championships between 2001-2005.

He has fished his share of local tournaments and continued his love of fishing when he left Florida in 2007 to enlist in the military.

He was stationed in Alaska and won several salmon derbys. He spent a few years in Michigan fishing for smallmouths and largemouths. In 2014 he transferred to his current residence in Virginia Beach. That summer he returned to St. Cloud and won a two-day Special Forces bass tournament with his uncle.

He returns here every spring to Central Florida to fish the three-day military tournament out of Camp Mac on Lake Kissimmee. This past spring he placed second with a three-day total of 61.5 pounds. He really looks forward to this tournament every year.

I wish you luck in your future tournaments, Geoffrey, and thank you for your service to our country! Way to go on that Trophy Catch!

For more information on the Trophy Catch program visit www.trophycatchflorida.com.

… West Lake Toho Report: Water is at high pool. Temperature is in the mid-70s and the fishing is phenomenal, especially on shiners!

I would like to wish all the readers a very happy New Year. I look forward to what 2017 will bring me in this amazing opportunity I have been blessed with. Tight Lines Friends!