Several months after Hurricane Michael devastated the panhandle of Florida, the Florida B.A.S.S. Nation’s (FBN) Northwest Region held the first event of the 2019 Tournament Season from White City on Lake Wimico and the Apalachicola River system. Located just northeast of Mexico Beach and the surrounding communities that encountered the blunt force winds of the storm and recent high waters from rains up north, the FBN anglers found conditions drastically different from that of a year ago. With 15 boaters and 3 co-anglers participating in the event, only four limits of fish were weighed. Local angler (boater) and Panama City resident Bobby Smith of Southern Bass Anglers, managed one of the limits of fish and took the win with 11.36 lbs. Bobby admitted fishing was not easy as many of his spots no longer existed and forced him to locate new areas to fish. Being local to the area also helped and gave him a slight advantage over those that were not able to get in much practice before hand.
Allen Courtney also of Southern Bass Anglers, had a five fish limit and came in second with 8.72 lbs. Allen also admitted to drastic changes in the fishery but was able to utilize his local knowledge of the fishery to help him in the event. Third place and big bass in the Boaters Division went to David Boyd of Quincy Bassmasters with five fish that weighed 8.44 lbs. The big bass weighed 3.51 lbs.
Mike Gilliard won the Co-Anglers Division with 2.44 lbs and had the big bass of 1.25 lbs.