UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir


Big win on the Big O

Co-angler champion Aymon Wilcox shows off his trophy and $20,000 check.

CLEWISTON, Fla. - Aymon Wilcox has been fishing Lake Okeechobee since he was 13 years old. It's his home lake - his favorite lake. Now at the age of 32 he can proudly call himself Walmart FLW Tour champion. And as important as that is, it's more important that it happened on the Big O.

The Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., native has several FLW top-10 finishes on Okeechobee but he's never quite sealed the deal. That changed today when he caught a limit of bass that weighed 9 pounds, 9 ounces. It was by far his lowest output of the tournament, but his previous two days left him with plenty of cushion.

Wilcox started the tournament in second place Thursday with five bass weighing 22-9 while fishing with pro Jeremy York of Loganville, Ga. On Friday, he took over first on the strength of a five-bass catch weighing 23-12 while fishing with pro Jason Knapp of Uniontown, Pa. Saturday he drew Chad Prough, the pro leader from Chipley, Fla.

Co-angler Aymon Wilcox celebrates after winning the Walmart FLW Tour opener on Lake Okeechobee."It's been a little bit nerve-wracking, but I feel so blessed," said Wilcox. "Getting a win is great, but getting it here on Lake Okeechobee is even better. I had been so close so many times before."

Wilcox said the bite was surprisingly slow Saturday. He had four little fish in the livewell at 1 p.m. when a 4-pounder bit his Netbait jig and Paca Craw.

"Once I got that one in, I thought I had it. I wasn't sure, but I was thinking I probably won it."

While the jig coaxed his day-three kicker, his best bait this week was a black and blue soft stickbait made by Tuscaroran Lures. Wilcox fished it weightless and Texas style. He also mixed in a Tuscaroran Rude Frog.

For a total weight of 55 pounds, 14 ounces, the fisherman known as DJ Willie earned $20,000.

"I'm still nervous; I guess I'm in disbelief."

Kapiton's title defense comes up just short
Second-place co-angler George Kapiton caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 2 ounces.
George Kapiton of Inverness, Fla., nearly pulled off rare back-to-back victories on Lake Okeechobee. The winner of the 2010 FLW Series event finished second with a total weight of 53 pounds, 10 ounces. His day-three limit weighed 17 pounds, 2 ounces.

"Last year I came down here to learn and have fun," said Kapiton. "This time I came down to defend my title. It didn't happen, but I tell you what, it was a lot of fun."

Kapiton used a watermelon Zoom Fluke and a Gambler Big EZ swimbait.

"I pretty much threw those two exclusively. I should have just brought two rods."

Kapiton's consolation prize is a check worth $7,625.

Rest of the best

Third-place co-angler Anthony Hunt holds up his biggest from day three on Lake Okeechobee.Anthony Hunt of Tamarac, Fla., launched up the leaderboard with a 23-pound, 5-ounce limit - the heaviest of the day among the co-anglers while paired with former Bassmaster Classic champion Takahiro Omori. While he casted throughout the entire tournament, his best three baits were a Damiki Buzzing Shad, a Damiki Mega Fluke and a Damiki Mega Miki.

"I caught my big girl today on the Buzzing Shad, but the Fluke kept the fishing coming in," said the 34-year-old private chef. "That Buzzing Shad swims just like a Skinny Dipper, only it goes through the weeds easier."

Hunt finished the tournament with 51 pounds, 9 ounces and earned $5,000.

"That 23-5 is my personal best in a tournament. I bet caught around 25 keepers today."

Nick Hensley of Cumming, Ga., caught a limit Saturday weighing 11 pounds, 3 ounces that resulted in a fourth-place finish. Hensley's total weight was 47 pounds even and he earned $4,000.

"My best bait this week was a Gambler Big EZ swimbait in copperfield color."

Chip Brooks of Bradenton, Fla., finished in fifth place after catching a five-bass limit weighing 11 pounds, 10 ounces. Brooks finished the event with a total weight of 46 pounds, 15 ounces - earning $3,000. His two main baits were a ChatterBait and a 4-inch swim Senko.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers at the FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee:

6th: Spencer Shuffield of Bismarck, Ark., 46-12, $2,500
7th: Clent Davis of Montevallo, Ala., 46-8, $2,000
8th: Marlon Crowder of Tampa, Fla., 45-1, $1,800
9th: Ron Buck of Port Saint Lucie, Fla., 44-3, $1,700
10th: Skip Bennett of Mount Vernon, Ill., 42-13, $1,600

Tags: brett-carlson  co-angler-headline  2011-02-03-lake-okeechobee 


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