Early on Swamp Cabbage Sunday, just as the sun began to creep over the LaBelle Boat Ramp, bass boats a plenty launched into the Caloosahatchee River, as the 2020 Swamp Cabbage Festival’s Bass Fishing Tournament kicked off. An impressive 41 teams had their rods and reels at the ready, and tackle boxes packed full as they headed out in search of the biggest bass in the river.
“The post front sunny skies had em chewin’ to the tune of 300 plus lbs of Caloosahatchee Bass. Collectively, over 90% of the field brought in a 5 Bass limit of fish, of those limits most were 10 lbs or more,” reported Steve Dial, President of Bruiser Baits and Bass Addiction Gear, and one of the event’s organizers. Dial’s team, Jackwagons Worldwide, also placed 5th in the tournament.
A perfectly clear, slightly breezy day had these determined anglers reeling in some big ones. Weigh-in time drew near, and the triumphant teams returned, bags filled with the live fish sloshing and splashing their way to the scale. UBASS, the Collier County fishing club that hosted the event reported that all 150 plus fish were weighed and released alive, a 100% return rate.
“The Annual Swamp Cabbage Bass tournament was a huge success!! 41 teams finally got some relatively stable weather and were able to put together some good bags of fish. Fish were caught from down past the Alva area, all the way to Moore Haven,” said Dial.
The list below were the top 5 finishing teams, their weights, and their fishing tactics:
1st 18.34 - Coleman and Corey Roberts: TOAD PATROL, Bruiser Baits Big Stick- main river, LaBelle area
2nd 16.32 - Gary Milicevic and Travis Drapal: Main river, LaBelle area
3rd 15.35 - Adam and Melinda Markley: REEL MATES, Spinner bait, worm, creature baits- LaBelle to Franklin Locks
4th 14.72 - William Love and Kevin Kobie: TEAM MOHEGAN, Big swimbaits and Medlock jig- main river, LaBelle area
5th 13.66 - Steve Dial and Jimmy Davis II: JACKWAGONS WORLDWIDE, Bruiser Baits MacDaddy Craw, Bass Addiction Mat-Craw-10” Curly Tail Mats- Ortona/ Moorehaven
BIG BASS: 7.07- Bobby Ruggles: RUGGLES FISHING, Zara Spook- Ortona area