CLEWISTON – As the country gets ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, the anglers of the Roland Martin Marine Center Series, presented by HUK, have plenty to be thankful for on Lake Okeechobee. And for a dynamic duo, they came back for a second helping of Big Bass and Big Checks.
For the second time in the 2021 season, the team of Justin Morgan and Garrett Folbrecht find their names on the big checks for Qualifier #4 on a rainy Nov. 20 in Clewiston. They also collected the winner’s share in June of this year for Qualifier #2. If you’re looking for a favorite going into next month’s Championship, this may very well be the team to beat.
“I found a little area Thursday and got a couple of big bites,” Morgan said. “I went there today and just threw a Spro Popping Frog all day.”
“We only caught probably seven bass today, total,” Folbrecht admitted. “We had a few blow ups as well, but we were pretty flawless with our catch.”
Their full well of 26.12 pounds landed them $6,000 and another $500 from BoatCoversAnywhere.com for the top finishers of the 4 Qualifiers. They also collected another $125 in Bruiser Bucks as the Q4 top finisher.
In second place was the Bob’s Machine Shop Team of Robert Avery and Chris Meuret. Their limit of Okeechobee bass weighed 24.69 pounds and earned them $3,000.
“With the way the wind's blowing today, it was a blessing from the Good Lord that we had what we had,” Avery said. ”That’s for sure.”
“We were just casting all day long,” Meuret said. “Pretty much junk fishing with a little bit of everything.”
Rounding out the top three is a familiar name to the series and Lake Okeechobee. The team of Brandon McMillan and Carmen Pattie turned 23.46 pounds into $1,400 for third place.
“We had five or six places that we wanted to hit but they were mostly blown out with the wind,” McMillan said. “But we found one little stretch and milked it back and forth all day with a bite maybe every 45 minutes.”
As the highest paying team tournament trail in Florida, the payouts continued deep into the field of 142 boats for the final qualifier before next month’s Championship.
The U.S. Sugar Big Bass of 8.83 pounds earned Mike Surman $500. Randy King brought in the second Big Bass of 8.62 pounds and earned him $100 Gambler Bucks. The highest finishing angler to cross the stage in HUK Gear rewarded Monica Crawford with $250. Monica also collected another $100 from Mary Ann Martin as the highest fishing Female Angler. Brandon McMillan added another $250 to his third place check as the highest Mercury powered finisher. And the highest finishing Mercury Youth Angler earned Matt Demott $100. Gilbert Chevrolet presented Harry Holstein $500 as the highest finishing Gilbert Chevrolet owner. And with five bass weighing just 4.91 pounds, the team of John Tavano and Doug Caldwell turned the smallest limit into $300 from AV Inspection.
That’s how the final qualifier of the 2021 season played out. Now we’re on to the Championship that’s going to take place Dec. 11 and 12. You don’t want to miss this one. It’s going to be the biggest Championship ever. Happy Thanksgiving and we’ll see you in a few weeks.
More images can be found here: https://rolandmartinmarinecenterseries.com/gallery/