The NFL will also have a hand in local fishing, sanctions tournament

Published: Friday, January 28, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 27, 2005 at 10:48 p.m.
North Central Florida bass enthusiasts can get involved in the excitement of the upcoming Super Bowl in Jacksonville. The Putnam County Super Celebration Bass Tournament in Palatka on Feb. 5 (a day before Super Bowl XXXIX) is a one-time NFL-sanctioned event.
The entry fee is $150 per boat with a guaranteed top prize is $10,000. The heaviest bass will be worth $2,500 in cash, while the second-largest fish will earn $1,000. Based on a field of 100 boats, second place would pay $5,000, third place would be $3,000, and 15 anglers would earn checks.
Proceeds from the tournament go to the Youth Education Town initiative, an NFL educational program for economically disadvantaged youth; as well as the Foundation for Rural Education Excellence (which assists funding of public education in 12 North Florida school districts, P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School and the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind).
Putnam County officials worked with the Jacksonville Super Bowl Host Committee for more than two years ago to establish an NFL-sanctioned fishing tournament.
Included in the one-day event is a special VIP contest. Among the anticipated VIPs are former Florida Gators John L. Williams and Jarvis Williams. The weigh-in at the Palatka riverfront amphitheater will begin at 3 p.m.
For more information, contact tournament director Ed Taylor at 386-328-8899 or visit the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce at
  • FLW RESULTS: Local anglers competing in the recent FLW Tour season opener on Lake Okeechobee turned in mixed results. Ocala's Billy Bowen Jr. finished 27th with 20 pounds, 4 ounces to earn $10,500. Fellow Ocala pro Glenn Browne placed 46th with 17-15 and took home $10,000.
    Veteran Gainesville pro Bernie Schultz struggled to catch 8-14 and finished out of the money in 121st place. And Tour rookie Walt Starling of Live Oak has an undistinguished start by placing 157th with 8-12.
  • EAGLE LAKE: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently announced its top-10 striper and hybrid bass lakes in the state. Making the list was Eagle Lake, a 200-acre reclaimed phosphate pit in Hamilton County.
    The FWC fish management area is stocked with 50 to 100 sunshine bass per acre annually. The lake's abundance of shad enables sunshine bass to reach 6 or 7 pounds in two years. Fall and winter are the best times to sample this fishery. Rapidly retrieved crankbaits fished deep and suspending shad imitators work well on this lake.
    Sunshine bass are a hybrid product of artificially crossing a female white bass with a male striper. The FWC stocks a million of them in fish management areas and other public waters every year.
    The state record is 16.31 pounds, a sunshine that came out of Lake Seminole in 1985.
    Sunshine anglers use lightweight gear and many of them favor lures that resemble shad. Other popular baits include live minnows, live or dead shrimp and chicken liver (fished on the bottom).
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