With the type of lead Keith Fels had going into the final round of the Lake Okeechobee Southeastern Rayovac, he could afford an off day. He had one, but still held on to win by more than 2 pounds.
After averaging 23 pounds over the first 2 days to build a 12-pound advantage, the Ocala, Fla. resident weighed just four fish for 7-15 on day 3. That was more than enough to close out his initial triple-A victory.
“I was just pitching to holes in the hydrilla,” he said. “It was probably a foot or a foot and a half deep, really pretty shallow. The fish moved in there yesterday; they weren’t in there today. The wind changed directions. It moved them, I guess.
“Slowing down was the key. I wasn’t getting bit during practice –I was probably fishing too fast. I slowed way down and let the bait sit and the fish just came and picked it up."
Fels said he caught most of his big fish on a jig with a Gambler MegaDaddy or Why Not on it, and also did some punching with those same baits and a 2-ounce weight. Full details of his winning pattern will be posted soon.
Here's a look at the final Top 10:
1. Keith Fels: 54-15
2. Jared McMillan: 52-11
3. Randy Haynes: 49-02
4. Val Osinski: 46-07
5. Keith Pace: 45-03
6. Brandon McMillan: 44-08
7. Joseph Kremer: 44-04
8. Miles Burghoff: 43-01
9. Thomas Helton: 42-03
10. Kent Ware: 40-06