Monday, February 10 2014, 12:29 PM EST
Rhea County Represented Well in First FLW Tour event
The Rhea County trio of professional FLW anglers made a strong showing at the first FLW tour event of the year on Lake Okeechobee in Florida.
Andy Morgan, Wesley Strader and Michael Neal (pictured) were in the top 28 anglers out of a field of 178.
Brett Hite from Phoenix won the event with a total 88 pounds, 14 ounces of bass over the four-day tournament, taking home a $100,000 purse plus a $25,000 Ranger boat bonus.
Morgan came in 13th, winning $12,000. He caught 52 pounds, 6 ounces in three days (only the top 10 anglers fish the fourth day of the elimination event). Strader finished 25th, winning $10,000 (34 pounds, 4 ounces in two days). Neal also won $10,000 for his 28th-place finish (33 pounds, 6 ounces in two days).
Hite finished with a 6-pound, 6-ounce margin of victory. His day one catch of 34 pounds, 15 ounces was the second-largest single catch in FLW tour history.
"To win, you have to have a flawless tournament," he said. "You don’t get the opportunity to win too often, so when you do, you need to cherish it. I fished with a ton of confidence all week and got to fish a style that I love."
He focused on the clumps of grass, hard bottom within the grass, grass points or any other change in the grassline that would concentrate bass. Most of these areas he knew from years of fishing the area.
The next FLW tour event is slated for Lake Hartwell in Seneca, S.C., March 6-9.
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