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Counsilon top on low lake O: boaters and co-angler winners see a good payday.

Jason Counsil of Casselberry won the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Gator Division 2-day bass tournament on Lake Okeechobee. Counsil used a Carolina rig and topwater lures to catch 10 bass that weighed 35 pounds, 8 ounces from the Kissimmee River. As top angler in the boaters' division, Counsil took home $5,831.

Robert Crosnoe of Inverness placed second with 32 pounds, 4 ounces. Thadeus Raaan of Miami was third with 32-2. Jeff Mc- Millan of nearby Belle Glade came in fourth with 30-14. And Don Demott rounded out the top 5 with 30-3.

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Over the summer Okeechobee lost a lot of water. Those months, "Big O" anglers focused more on miles of canals than on endless grass-covered flats. Yet, at the same time, the Kissimmee River offered deeper water and a more dependable bite than could generally be found on the big lake to the south, so that's where Counsil took his game.

As with the boaters' division, prize money is lavished on top anglers from the co-angler division. Michael Clements of Cocoa took full advantage, raking in nearly $3,000. Clements caught his fish on a pair of lures made by Yo-Zuri--the Rattl'n Vibe and the 3D Minnow. The lures helped him crank up 10 bass that weighed 22 % pounds.

Other top co-anglers included runner-up Robert Wood from Jupiter (the town, not the planet) with 21 pounds, 5 ounces. In third was Ryan Eckman of Clewiston with 21 -2. Tommy Robinson of Lakeland had 18-7 and Greg Harvey of Cape Coral placed fifth with18-2.
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Title Annotation:Freshwater Scene
Author:McCullough, Vance
Publication:Florida Sportsman
Date:Dec 1, 2011
Words:257
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