Rigdon Wins Florida Season Finale

#Winning angler Fred Rigdon

Wrapping up the 2011 regular season, Fred Rigdon won the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, Florida Division 6 tournament, held April 16 on the St. Johns River out of Palatka.

On a blustery day, the Belleview angler landed five bass weighing 16.68 pounds to seal the Boater Division victory. For the win, he collected $2,010.

?I was running most of the day,? Rigdon explained. ?I ran 35 miles north to start. Then, I fished Dunn?s Creek and caught a limit in about 2.5 hours flipping a jig.?

In second for the 40 boaters, Phil Cury of Jacksonville brought in a five-fish tournament limit good for 16.40 pounds. He pocketed $1,005.

?I caught fish a lot of different ways,? Cury said. ?I caught two off beds, but I let one go because I foul-hooked it. It was about a 7-pounder. I was swimming a worm, throwing a Rat-L-Trap, working a Carolina rig ? a little bit of everything. I culled about three limits. We fished from with a mile of the marina all the way down to Lake George.?

Eric Lewis of Jacksonville took third with five bass going 15.32 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 10.03-pound bucketmouth that took tournament lunker honors. For the win, Lewis earned $670 with a $200 bonus for the mossback.

?We fished the windy side of Lake George,? Lewis said. ?All of our fish came by sight fishing. The big one hit an Ouzo Rip Tail Minnow in Houdini color. When it goes into the nest, the fish want to get it out of there. She just jumped on it.?

Kristopher B. Meyers of Palatka took fourth with five bass at 13.11 pounds with one 7.92-pound kicker. Rounding out the top five boaters, Cliff Prince of Palatka landed five bass going 11.13 pounds.

#Co-Angler winner James Stephens

In the Co-Angler Division, James R. Stephens III of Osprey took the victory with three bass at 11.31 pounds with a 4.04-pound kicker. He took home a check for $956.

?I caught all my fish on a junebug shaky head with a 3/8-ounce weight,? James said. ?We ran south and fished in four feet of water.?

In second for the co-anglers, Michael E. Stephens of Orlando landed a three-bass division limit weighing 8.99 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 6.06-pounder that won the division big bass title. For second place, Stephens earned $478 with a $90 bonus for the lunker.

?We fished plastics,? Michael said. ?I caught my big fish on a trick worm. I threw it up into cover and let it drop down. At first, I thought I was hung. Then, I realized it was a big fish.?

John L. Stahl of Wesley Chapel finished in third with three bass at 7.10 pounds with a 2.64-pound kicker. He collected $319.

?I caught my fish on a Rat-L-Trap and a Culprit worm,? Stahl said. ?We went below Lake George. I caught eight keepers.?

Ken E. Willits of Mount Dora brought three bass going 6.95 pounds to the scales. He anchored his bag with a 3.38-pounder to take fourth place among the co-anglers. Bill Poirier of Riverview landed three bass weighing 7.71 pounds, good enough for third place, but a penalty knocked him back to 6.71 pounds and fifth place.

For more information on this tournament, call Billy Benedetti at (256) 230-5632 or call ABA at (888) 203-6222. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.

For a schedule of other upcoming tournaments, click here.

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