FLW Soldier Appreciation Tourney Results
Staff Sgt. Gorie of Tampa, and Sgt. 1st Class Alfonso of Val Rico, Florida., won the National Guard FLW Soldier Appreciation Tournament held on Lake Okeechobee Saturday. The team, fishing with Pickens Plan pro Randy Blaukat of Joplin, Mo., caught three bass for a total of 14 pounds, 15 ounces to take the title and bragging rights amongst their peers.
"I love saltwater fishing. This is my first time freshwater fishing and my first tournament," said Sgt. 1st Class Alfonso. "It was an exceptionally fun day. Randy took us to his secret spots and showed us some of his secret baits. It was amazing. I feel like I just won the lottery!"
"What an incredible day," said Staff Sgt. Gorie. "We were catching fish all day long! We had to leave them biting. I have never seen a lake this on fire."
Each of the participants in the National Guard FLW Soldier Appreciation Tournament are members of the Florida National Guard and most have had at least one tour of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan.In this tournament, Walmart FLW Tour pro anglers took teams of two, which consist of members of the National Guard, fishing to compete amongst their peers. Each team was allowed to bring in three bass. FLW Outdoors is operating the tournaments in conjunction with the National Guard to show appreciation to our service members of the National Guard.
"What an honor it was to take these two out fishing,"said Pickens Plan pro Blaukat. "These men and women who fight for our country don't get enough appreciation so to be able to spend the day with these two was a privilege for me. We just had an awesome day on the water. This lake is just incredible right now."
A total of 24 service men and women, 12 teams, participated in the tournament. Rounding out the teams was:
2nd: Sgt. 1st Class Graham, Deland, Fla., and Staff Sgt. Hogan, Okeechobee, Fla., fishing with National Guard pro Brett Hite, 13-14
3rd: Capt. Buamie, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Spc. Garcia, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., fishing with Kellogg's pro Jim Tutt, 12-14
4th: Sgt. 1st Class Roy, Crystal River, Fla., and Staff Sgt. Taylor, Lake Wells, Fla., fishing with National Guard pro CSM Doc McGhee, 12-12
5th: Sgt. 1st Class Lockett, Arcadia, Fla., and Pfc. Shrock, Arcadia, Fla., fishing with pro Jim Dillard, 11-13
6th: Sgt. 1st Class Tambling, Coconut Creek, Fla., and Spc. Garcia, Coconut Creek, Fla., fishing with pro Kevin Hawk, 11-2
7th: Maj. Delaport, Orlando, Fla., and Maj. Leeks, Homestead, Fla., fishing with National Guard pro Mark Rose, 10-14
8th: Spc. Robins, Crystal River, Fla., and Sgt. 1st Class Howington, Daytona Beach, Fla., fishing with pro Payden Hibdon, 10
9th: Pfc. Wilson, Englewood, Fla., and Spc. Alderman, North Port, Fla., fishing with National Guard pro Justin Lucas, 7-10
10th: Staff Sgt. Wilkes, Orlando, Fla., and Pvt. Knauss, Orlando, Fla., fishing with Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, 7-6
11th: Sgt. 1st Class Ponton, Ft. Meyers, Fla., and Staff Sgt. Bryant, Ft. Meyers, Fla., fishing with National Guard pro Jonathan Newton, 7-4
12th: Staff Sgt. Kewley, West Palm Beach, Fla., and Sgt. 1st Class Monahan, Sarasota, Fla., fishing with National Guard pro Brent Ehrler