Lake Okeechobee set for Toyota FLW Series Tournament

CLEWISTON — Lake Okeechobee is set to play host to the 2020 Toyota Series, with the Toyota Series at Lake Okeechobee, March 12-14 in Clewiston. Hosted by Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort and the Hendry County Tourism Development Council, the three-day tournament will feature the best regional bass-fishing pros and co-anglers casting for a top prize of up to $65,000, plus a $35,000 bonus if the winner is a qualified Phoenix Boat owner.

“To do well in this event, an angler is going to have to play to the wind,” said Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro Brandon McMillan of Clewiston, who has 13 top-10 finishes on Lake Okeechobee in FLW competition. “You may catch them one day pretty good, then the wind will shift and dirty up the water and you won’t catch a thing there.

“I think the rim canals will play, but it won’t be won out of the rim canals,” McMillan continued. “The key to doing well is going to be finding the clean water areas each day.”
McMillan said that the largemouth spawn will be wrapping up come tournament time, but that the bream will be starting to spawn soon.

“I’d have a swimjig tied on, along with a big 3/4- or 1-ounce jig,” he said. “I’d have a Rat-L-Trap, and something to flip with – 1/2- or 3/4-ounce to pitch some heavier grass.
“If the weather stays decent, I think it’ll take a three-day total of 59 to 63 pounds,” McMillan went on to say. “A lot more of the lake is in play than a typical FLW event held there. It should be a fun tournament.”

Anglers will take off from Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort, located at 920 E. Del Monte Ave. in Clewiston, at 7:30 a.m. EDT each day of competition. The weigh-ins will be held each day at the resort. Thursday’s weigh-in begins at 3:30 p.m., Friday’s at 2:30 p.m. and on Championship Saturday at 3:30 p.m.. All takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Anglers and fans attending the event will have the free opportunity to win a new a Polaris Sportsman 570 EPS, valued at approximately $7,799. To enter, fans can complete an official entry form on-site and deposit into an official ballot box at participating FLW tournaments from March 2 through Nov. 14.

In Toyota Series regular-season competition, payouts are based on the number of participants competing in the event, scaling up for every 20 boats over 160 and scaling down for every boat below 160. With a full field, pros will fish for a top prize of up to $65,000, plus an extra $35,000 if FLW Phoenix Bonus qualified. Co-anglers will cast for the top prize of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard (valued at $33,500).

The Toyota Series consists of eight divisions – Central, Eastern, Northern, Plains, Southeastern, Southern, Southwestern and Western – each holding three regular-season events, along with the International division. Anglers who fish all three qualifiers in any of the eight divisions and finish in the top 25 will qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series Championship for a shot at winning $200,000 cash, plus lucrative contingency bonuses. The winning co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard. The 2020 Toyota Series Championship is being held Nov. 5-7 on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Ky., and is hosted by the Somerset Tourist & Convention Commission and the Burnside Tourism Commission.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Toyota Series on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About FLW
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Ky., FLW and its partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Zimbabwe.

FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show while Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. Acquired by Major League Fishing in late 2019, FLW is expanding its programming in 2020 to the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel as well as on-demand at MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).

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