Morgans win Roland Martin championship

CLEWISTON — Okeechobee’s own Justin Morgan and Keith Morgan pulled off a dramatic, come-from-behind victory to win the 2019 Roland Martin Marine Center Series Championship, which was held Dec. 7-8 in Clewiston.

Over the course of the two-day tournament, the cousins reeled in a bag of 40.64 pounds, which earned them a first place finish and a grand prize of $25,000.

Lake Okeechobee News/Roland Martin Marine Center
Keith Morgan (left) and Justin Morgan (right) show off some of the fish that helped them net a $25,000 first place finish.

The majority of that bag was caught on the second day of the tournament. Cold temperates in the area throughout the week and over the weekend kept the weigh-ins on the first day of the championship low for most of the competitors. At the end of the day on Dec. 7, Benjamin Wright and Steve Connell had the lead with a bag of 20.15 pounds. Justin and Keith, on the other hand, found themselves all the way back in 36th place with a first-day bag of 12.29 pounds.

Still, there wasn’t that much separation in the tournament. And with the lake water slowly warming up over the weekend, the championship was still wide open.
At the end of the first day of the tournament, FLW fisherman Koby Kreiger was asked if he had any advice for competitors by the Roland Martin Championship master of ceremonies Chris “Peanut” Brill.

“It was a tough day for some of the guys on the lake,” said Kreiger. “But if you’re asking what they should do tomorrow, the first thing I would say is ‘don’t panic.’ As I believe the quarterback from the Green Bay Packers likes to say, just relax. The water temperature has been coming up the last few days. Personally, I think we’re going to have a great weigh-in tomorrow.”

Lake Okeechobee News/Roland Martin Marine Center
CLEWISTON — Justin Morgan (left) and Keith Morgan (right) proudly show their winnings shortly after being announced winners of the 2019 Roland Martin Marine Center Series Championship held Dec. 7-8 in Clewiston.

Justin and Keith didn’t panic. They brought in a bag weighing 28.40 pounds on the second day of the tournament and climbed all the way to the top of the leader board.

“This means a lot to us,” said Keith Morgan to Chris Brill following the victory. “I fished clubs in high school and things like that, but never really won. It’s pretty cool.”

“Yeah, it means everything,” Justin Morgan said, echoing his cousin’s comments. “As an angler that’s what I strive for, to be the best. I guide up on the north end of the lake and I’m out here almost every single day. It’s a blessing. This is what we do this for. This is why we fish.”

The pair caught all of their fish on a SPRO U.S.A “popping frog” and the Bass Assassin Lures Inc. Skunk Ape which was pegged a 3/4oz Flat Out tungsten.

Following the championship Justin Morgan thanked his sponsors including Reaper Rods, Lakeshore Marine, Inc, AFTCO Gamakatsu, Patrick Sebile’s A Band Of Anglers and Fast Break Bait & Tackle.

If you’d like to utilize Justin’s fishing guide service on Lake Okeechobee you can reach out to him on his official Facebook page at facebook.com/jmorganfishing/.

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