CLEWISTON -- Summer is underway and the legendary big bass of Lake Okeechobee were looking to join in on the fun as 164 teams set out at sunrise for qualifier #2 of the 2021 Roland Martin Marine Center Series Season presented by HUK.
Familiar with the RMMC Series Winner’s Circle, the 2019 Series Champion, Justin Morgan teamed with Garrett Folbrecht and returned to the top bringing 28.13 pounds of Lake Okeechobee bass to the stage and collecting another big payout.
“Our first bass of the morning was the big bass I caught that hit a spro Rat-L-Trap,” Folbrecht said. “That’s how we started, dropped it in the well, celebrated for a second and fired back out there.”
“We probably caught about seven bass today,” Morgan said. “We ran North, and besides the big one, all our fish came on a Bass Assassin Tap Out in black.”
With new baby Reed joining proud poppa Morgan and Folbrecht on stage, the winning team collected $6,300 for first place along with $500 for Folbrecht’s U.S. Sugar Big Bass of 8.3 pounds and another $150 in Bruiser Baits Tackle for the biggest bag. That’s a $6,950 payday for a weekend tournament. And there’s more where that came from.
The second place team of Santos Solis Jr. and George Short considered the day to be a big drag. That’s because they dragged a June bug Carolina rig around all day and collected a giant bag of 24.75 bass that earned them 2nd place honors and a check for $3,150.
Rounding out the top three was the team of Ron & Chris Hueston that spent the day deep cranking with ½ – ¾ oz. Rat-L-Traps and 1.5 square bills to fill a well with 22.84 pounds of Lake Okeechobee bass and collected the 3rd Place check for $1,600.
As the highest paying team tournament trail in Florida, the payouts continued deep and big. Solis and Short added $250 to their second place check with the Mercury contingency award. Jesus Villegas collected $250 as the highest finisher to cross the stage in HUK gear. The Gambler Second Big Bass of 8.08 pounds earned the team of Keith White and Jose Gallardo $100 Gambler Bucks. The Mercury Youth Award for $100 went to Matt Demott as our highest finishing youth angler. Mary Ann Martin awarded Diane Willis $100 as the highest finishing Lady Angler. The closest team to 20 pounds earned the team of Bruce Austin and Jack Arcuri a $100 Roland and Mary Ann Martin Marina Gift Card presented by Boat Cover Anywhere. And going small and winning big was the team of Ed Knorr and Jon Farmer with the smallest limit weighing 7.91 pounds and earning them $300 presented by Aviation Inspection.
That’s a wrap on the second qualifier of the 2021 Roland Martin Marine Center Series Season presented by HUK. Mark your calendar now for the third qualifier on October 9, 2021, and make sure you get your team registered ahead of time. Remember, teams must fish 3 of the 4 qualifiers to compete in the 2021 Championship in December. Gearing up to be the biggest payout yet, you won’t want to miss it.