Val Osinski, the owner of Gambler Baits, caught a 25-04 sack on Saturday to complete a wire-to-wire, blowout victory at the Okeechobee Southeastern Rayovac with a 3-day total of 70-08. His total bested runner-up Brandon Medlock by more than 12 pounds.
“This feels fantastic,” he said. “So much time and effort went into this tournament. I made a few adjustments every day and the key for me was my patience flipping. I was not worried about catching a lot of fish; I was looking for big fish.”
The strategy paid off as he managed to bring stringers weighing more than 25 pounds to the stage on two of the three days of competition. He fished transition areas near spawning flats in the south end of Okeechobee, targeting isolated patches of heavy cover flipping a Gambler Why Not and a Gambler Burner Craw.
“(Day 3) was a challenge,” he said. “The wind was blowing from the south but switched to blowing out of the north. I had to switch to a White Lightning-colored Gambler EZ Swimmer to fill out my limit. I went back to flipping in the afternoon and was able to boat my biggest bass – weighing 9 pounds, 10 ounces – around noon.”
Here are the final totals for the Top 10:
1. Val Osinski: 70-08
2. Brandon Medlock: 58-04
3. Joe Holland: 50-08
4. Mark Daniels Jr.: 48-11
5. Trevor Fitzgerald: 45-08
6. Brandon McMillan 45-05
7. Tyler Suddarth: 44-05
8. Hensley Powell: 43-09
9. Scott Martin: 43-07
10. Tim Frederick: 37-02