Fred Roumbanis – A Good Start Big Fish at Okeechobee

Bucks Falcon Mercury

RoumbanisblogWell, I finished the FLW Tour Open on Lake Okeechobee in 7th place. The finish is a great start to the 2011 fishing year, and I’m really happy about starting this way. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the finish was kind of a letdown though after being in 4th place on day one and 2nd place on day two.

I caught my two big bags on Thursday and Friday sightfishing. Five of my fish the first two days were eight pound or bigger, and my 34-pound bag on the second day included a $500 bonus fish. My 9-pound, 8-ouncer was the daily big bass, and it got me a bonus; that was cool.

I used a couple of tubes all week. The first one was a giant Tora Tube on a jighead that I used to fire up the big females. Once I got her mad, I’d switch to my iRod Magic Stick that had a Green Pumpkin Chartreuse Swirl El Grande Lures tube on a 4/0 Gamakatsu EWG hook.

I really wanted to catch them on the El Grande Tube because it was a higher percentage lure for landing them, but the big fish bit the Tora Tube, and I had to hook her with that. I was using 20-pound P-Line Fluorocarbon in that clear water and I was worried about setting the hook too hard and breaking the fluorocarbon, but it all worked out.

The wind came up and some locals fishing live bait really impacted my area on Saturday, and I didn’t adjust fast enough. I could have just gone fishing and caught some pretty good bags, but I was fishing for the win, and thought I needed to sight fish to do that, so I kept at it.

I saw a manatee on the water during the tournament; which was cool. It was laying under my boat munching on hydrilla, and there was a giant herd of alligators in the area. I don’t know if alligators eat manatee, but I would have been a little scared if I was that animal.

We took Jackson to the canals searching for alligators the day after the tournament, and we found two of them. The weather change made the temperature colder, so there weren’t many of them out. I’m sure they were somewhere trying to warm up.

It was a good week, and a good start to the tournament season.

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