LOAA holds 12th annual trash fish tournament

OKEECHOBEE — The Lake Okeechobee Airboat Association (LOAA) held their 12th annual trash fish tournament to clean up the lake on June 29 at the Okee-Tantie airboat launch and boat ramp.

Nineteen boats registered for the tournament and teams brought in over 1,200 pounds of trash fish, which varied from suckers and mud fish to gars and tilapia.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/LOAA
Fish caught at the 12th annual trash fish tournament held by the Lake Okeechobee Airboat Association are counted.

Fan Rich brought in the most fish with 283; he also had the largest gar at 8.4 pounds. Largest tilapia went to Phil Baughman at 5 pounds and largest mudfish was caught by Dustin Lewis, which weighed in at 5.6 pounds.

Competitors mostly used gigs and bow fish while some used fishing poles as well.

“We look forward to doing it again next year as people come out this day for some friendly competition,” said LOAA secretary Velva Cannon. “Thank you to all that came out and our sponsors UT Elevator, Okeechobee Fish Company and Elite Airboats Unlimited.”

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/LOAA
The 5.6 pound mudfish was caught by Dustin Lewis at the 12th annual trash fish tournament.

LOAA was also recently recognized by South Florida Water Management for their efforts in cleaning up the Kissimmee River.

The first trash fish tournament was held in 2009 by LOAA. That year the club had an estimated 6,000 pounds of fish brought in with the most fish category being won with 456 fish.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/LOAA
LOAA members received recognition from the South Florida Water Management District for their efforts in cleaning up the Kissimmee River.

LOAA holds monthly meetings are held the second Thursday of every month at Beef o Brady’s, and more information on the club can be found at the official Facebook page at facebook.com/Lakeokeechobeeairboatassociation/.

Richard Marion is a staff writer and photographer at Lake Okeechobee News and can be reached at rmarion@newszap.com.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment