UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Dale Hollow Lake

Green-Oliverio take Englewood

Green-Oliverio take Englewood
Howie Green of Bushnell, Fla., (left) and John Oliverio of Brandon, Fla., win the Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series in Englewood, Fla., with a two-day total of 28 pounds, 15 ounces.

ENGLEWOOD, Fla. - Up until today, the most money Howie Green of Bushnell, Fla., and John Oliverio of Brandon, Fla., had ever won in a redfish tournament was $6,500.

Now that's all changed. Today the team pocketed $50,000 for winning the Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series Eastern out of Englewood, Fla. Half of that prize money came from FLW Outdoors and the other $25,000 they earned for being Ranger and Yamaha owners.

"This feels kind of strange," Green said after he and Oliverio were announced the winners. "We're not used to this."

"Yeah, we're used to being happy if we just get a check," added Oliverio.

Once again consistency was king in the Redfish Series. The few teams who brought in solid strings yesterday and were able to duplicate, or even better their weight today, shot way up in standings.

Green and Oliverio happened to be one of those teams. After weighing in 14 pounds, 4 ounces yesterday, they bettered that today with 14 pounds, 11 ounces for a two-day winning total of 28 pounds, 15 ounces.

Today, the two Florida anglers were the beneficiaries of a school of 30 to 40 upper-slot reds that wandered into their primary area.

Oliverio, who manufactures the popular Power-Pole device, which allows anglers to quickly "stake down," put his own creation to good use.

"That was the coolest thing for me: using my product to win the tournament," Oliverio said. "We had been drifting with the wind when we saw the school coming in and we were able to use the Power-Pole to instantly freeze our position and make the perfect casts to the school."

"As spooky as these fish are here, fishing rods are useless without a Power-Pole," Green said. "Your stake down has to be quick, silent and accurate before you can even make a cast."

Once in a position to intercept the school, the two anglers fired Berkley Gulp! Shrimp rigged weightless on a Gamakatsu hook and 10-pound Fireline to catch the reds.

From there, the anglers followed the school into a grassy flat, periodically staking down with the Power-Pole to seine the area with casts and cull up their catch.

Dalrymple and Poland second

Fishing in a similar style as the winners, Jim Dalrymple of Tavernier, Fla., and Steve Poland of Port St. Lucie, Fla., picked up $11,000 for finishing second with a two-day total of 28 pounds, 13 ounces.

Dalrymple and Poland also relied on a Power-Pole and Berkley Gulp! Shrimp to fish potholes in a grass flat in the Pine Island sound area.

"We were just blindcasting to potholes in the grass," Dalrymple said. "We'd let the wind push us for a few minutes and then we'd stake down with the Power-Pole, fish all the holes we could see and then drift again."

"The key was to throw that Gulp! Shrimp into the hole and just let it sit, almost like dead-sticking," he added. "The slower, the better."

The Florida team was also able to better their weight from yesterday which allowed them to move from 12th to second.

Ochs and Morris take third on top

While other anglers were skipping mangroves and sight-fishing, John Ochs of Englewood, Fla., and Rhett Morris of Punta Gorda, Fla., targeted tailing fish with topwaters to take third, worth $6,000, with a two-day total of 28 pounds, 11 ounces.

"Topwaters are good search baits in practice, but they're not always the best thing to use in a tournament," Morris said. "But after we caught our keepers yesterday on a Mirrorlure Top Dog, we decided to stick with it."

"It was pretty exciting, Ochs added. "We'd see one tailing up in shallow water and we'd fire a long cast up in front of the fish and they would crush it on top."

Ochs and Morris fished their topwaters on spinning rods spooled with 14-pound Fireline.

Manis and Withers "skip" for fourth

Michael Manis of Punta Gorda, Fla., and Jay Withers of Port Charlotte, Fla., finished fourth with a two-day total of 28 pounds, 6 ounces and collected $4,000.

The Florida team skipped mangroves with Berkley Gulp! plastics rigged on jigheads.

"They key was the green mangroves that provided the thickest canopy," Withers said. "We would skip our baits 10 to 15 feet up under the shade; the tricky part was getting the fish out."

To do that, the team relied on the muscle of 20-pound SpiderWire Stealth tied to a 30-pound test leader.

"We had to wrestle some of them out of the woods," he said. "But on a couple of the bigger ones, we actually got lucky and they swam right out with no trouble at all."

Porcelli and Stellinga fifth

Joseph Porcelli of Oak Hill, Fla., and Jeff Stellinga of Windermere, Fla., worked open water flats with Berkley Gulp! Shrimp to finish fifth with two-day total of 28 pounds, 3 ounces.

They rigged the shrimp weedless on weighted wide-gap hooks made by Tru-Point.

Rest of the best

Gary McKenzie of Bartow, Fla., and Terry Brantley of Arcadia, Fla., finished in sixth place with a two-day total of 27 pounds, 8 ounces.

Chris Rush and Scott Rush both of Fort Myers, Fla., finished in seventh place with a two-day total of 26 pounds, 6 ounces.

Troy Mell of Islandmorada, Fla., and Jason Swenson of Key Largo, Fla., finished in eighth place with a two-day total of 26 pounds.

Day one leaders Andrew Bostick of Marco Island, Fla., and Mark Miller of Plainfield, Ind., fell to ninth place 25 with a two-day total of pounds, 13 ounces.

Brandon Buckner and Sean Middleton, both of Fort Myers, Fla., finished tenth place with a two-day total of 25 pounds, 11 ounces.

Points update

Leading the Redfish Series Eastern points race going into the last event at Titusville are Greg and Bryan Watts with 418 points. Just behind them are Scott Guthrie and Rick Murphy with 413 points.

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