Long and Shepard take 1st & 2nd on Lake Okeechobee

Clewiston, Fla. – Pro Kevin Long of Clewiston, Fla., caught a five-bass limit weighing 10 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the Stren Series Southeast Division tournament on Lake Okeechobee with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 49-14. For his victory, Long earned $24,333 cash and a fully rigged Ranger boat.
Long opened the tournament in first place Thursday with five bass weighing 24-03. He then caught five bass weighing 15-4 Friday to make the crucial top 10 cut in first place.

Rounding out the top five pros are Mark Shepard of Clewiston, Fla. (15 bass, 43-13, $9,733); Joseph Kremer of Osteen, Fla. (15 bass, 38-9, $7,787); Bryan Honnerlaw of Moore Haven, Fla. (15 bass, 38-09, $6,813); and JT Palmore of Gasburg, Va. (15 bass, 35-10, $5,840).
Ron Klys of Gainesville, Fla., caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Thursday – a 9-pound, 2-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s big bass award of $432.
Larry Mullikin of Lauderhill, Fla., won the Co-angler Division and a 198VX Ranger boat and trailer, with a three-day total of nine bass weighing 33-09.
Mullikin caught three bass weighing 5-6 Thursday while fishing with pro Curtis Lewis of West Palm Beach, Fla., to open the tournament in 31st place. On Friday he added five more bass weighing 19-9 to make the top 10 cut in first place while fishing with pro Shane Cole of Empire, Fla. Finally, on Saturday, he sealed the win with one bass weighing 8-10 while fishing with pro Kevin Long.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Darren Jeter of Marshall, N.C. (11 bass, 32-7, $3,912); Keith Whipple of Iuka, Miss. (11 bass, 30-8, $2,934); Robert Wood of Jupiter, Fla. (14 bass, 25-13, $2,445); and Luke Campbell of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (10 bass, 25-5, $2,201).
Bubba Siren of Conyers, Ga., caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Friday – a 7-pound, 1-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s big bass award of $216.
The next Stren Series Southeast Division event, hosted by the Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce, will be held April 30- May 2 on Santee Cooper in Manning, S.C. Boats will launch from John C. Land III Landing in Summerton, S.C., and the final weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart located at 2010 Paxville Highway in Manning, S.C.
In Stren Series competition, pros supply the boats, fish from the front deck against other pros and control boat movement. Co-anglers fish from the back deck and compete against other co-anglers. Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points that determine angler standings. Two hundred points are awarded to the winner, 199 points for second, 198 points for third, and so on. The full field competes on days one, two and three, with the top 10 pros and 10 co-anglers advancing to day four based on their three-day accumulated weight. Winners are determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.
Total awards are based on a full field of 200 boats in every tournament.

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Till next time tight lines and good fishing….
From Staff Writer Capt Todd Kersey (todd@bassonline.com)Bass Fishing / 888-829-BASS