Big Lake Athletes of the Week: John Pearce and Justin Hevey

OKEECHOBEE — John Pearce and Justin Hevey from Okeechobee High School’s Bass Club are this week’s Big Lake Athletes of the Week for their performance in the Florida B.A.S.S. Nation Regional/National two day tournament held on Lake Okeechobee on Oct. 6-7.

John Pearce and Justin Hevey of the Okeechobee High School Bass Club accept a trophy for their first place finish in Florida B.A.S.S. Nation Regional/National two day tournament held on Lake Okeechobee on Oct. 6-7.

The duo were able to take first place out over 100 teams that made the trip from all over Florida to compete in the two-day fishing tournament.

During the two-day tournament conditions on the lake were rough and windy, but the winning anglers were able to overcome that and bring in a haul of 25.90 pounds to win the competition. In fact, in a OHS Bass Club first, every one of the 17 Okeechobee teams competing in the tournament were able to weigh a bag of fish, an admirable achievement considering the conditions and the number of boats out on the lake over those two days.

Pearce, who got his start in fishing 13 years ago with his family, says his team had to think outside the box for this tournament.

“We headed out with a small game plan of what we wanted to do,” explained Pearce, “but we ended up doing the opposite of what we normally do. We caught one good fish that way and decided to stay in that spot the rest of the day.”

“We never thought we would do this good until we just kept picking up good fish after good fish,” continued Pearce. “We just fished non-stop. I think we took a total of three minutes worth of breaks for the whole day.”

Pearce says both Hevey and himself have developed a great routine for competing in tournaments and work together well.

“I hope to keep placing and gaining more points and knock out as many tournaments as possible,” concluded Pearce.

Both Pearce, Hevey and the OHS Bass Club will get another chance to put up some big numbers when they compete the next Florida B.A.S.S. Nation tournament on the Harris Chain of Lakes coming up in November.

If you’d like to nominate a student for Big Lake Athlete of the Week, email the name of your nominee along with what sport they play to Lake Okeechobee News sports reporter Richard Marion at

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