Lightning Strike Kills Tournament Angler
The Bass Federation (TBF) and the entire fishing world mourns the loss of division championship angler Lorenzo Magdaleno, 51, from Lake Placid, Fl. Magdaleno was pronounced dead by Florida officials on Friday, June 8, after a bolt of lightning apparently struck Magdaleno and his boat partner, Mike Hardin of Tennessee, while fishing shortly after noon prior to the final day weigh-in of the TBF Southern Division Championship on Florida's Lake Okeechobee.
Magdaleno was a veteran angler and a member of the Florida Bass Federation and the Homestead Hawg Hunters club for more than a decade.
Preliminary reports outline a quick moving afternoon storm passed over part of the giant lake. Other parts of the lake remained clear and sunny, while some were cloudy with drizzle.
From information that has been gathered so far, Magdaleno and Hardin were fishing approximately 45 minutes away from the tournament launch area. Magdaleno was in the front of the boat running the trolling motor as it was his half of the day (TBF division championships are draw events where both anglers get control of the boat and choose the water for one half of each tournament day). Magdaleno's partner, Mike Hardin who was the boat's owner caught a limit during the first half of the day and was fishing off the back deck to allow Magdaleno his best chance to finish off his limit.
When lightning struck, Hardin was knocked off his feet and awoke after an undetermined amount of time on the back deck of the boat not knowing what had exactly happened. He was examined at the local hospital and released.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lorenzo's extended list of family and friends, the Florida Bass Federation, as well as, Lorenzo's partner for the day, Mike Hardin, who was in the boat with him during this tragedy," TBF National President, Robert Cartlidge, stated. "I can only imagine their grief and emotion surrounding all of this. It is a shocking turn of events that reminds us all just how precious every single day is.
"To say that the final day weigh-in Friday was a somber experience would be a tremendous understatement," Cartlidge continued, "as all anglers and families there were impacted by the loss. TBF staff on site told me there was not a dry eye anywhere at the weigh-in as one after another every single state federation President in the southern division, every single angler, and even the angler who won the Ranger Cup bonus money, everyone who came up on stage pledged to donate their entire prize checks, every single dollar, to Lorenzo's family's needs. That is what our federation is about.
"We also want to thank," Cartlidge added, "all the emergency response personal, the TBF staff on site and all the state presidents and community volunteers who were pitching in to help our anglers during a time of crisis. I am honored to know these people and to call them friends. This exemplifies what it means to be a member of the federation 'family' and it makes me very proud."
The Bass Federation Inc., (TBF) is the oldest and largest grassroots fishing organization in America. TBF is owned by those it serves and is dedicated to the sport of fishing. TBF annually conducts over 20,000 fishing, youth, and conservation events and has provided the foundation for the bass fishing industry for over 40 years.
For more info on the bass federation or to contact us go to bassfederation.com or call 580.765.9031