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Seminole Bass Fishing Tournament debuts in Lakeport

The Seminole Bass Fishing Tournament championship team included, from left, Jamie Thomas, Jo Johns, Kalgary Johns and Norman Johns. They were joined by tournament organizer Amos Tiger and Brighton Councilman Larry Howard at the awards ceremony May 7 in Lakeport. (Photo Darlene Evans)

The third time proved to be a charm for the inaugural Seminole Bass Fishing Tournament.

After being previously scheduled twice only to get postponed both times due to the pandemic, the tournament finally debuted May 7 on Lake Okeechobee. The first boat departed Harney Pond Canal boat ramp in Lakeport at 6:30 a.m.

“We had 11 boats; I hoped for 20,” said tournament organizer Amos Tiger.

Potential bad weather in the area may have deterred some folks, but it was never a factor.

“It was a good tournament. Everyone had a good time. There was some pretty nasty weather, but it went north and south of us,” Tiger said.

Many people wore shirts and hats with the tournament logo on them. Brighton Councilman Larry Howard was on hand to congratulate the participants.

The weigh-in began mid-afternoon. The overall winning team featured three generations of the Johns family, led by big bass champion Norman Johns. He and his daughter Jo and granddaughter Kalgary along with Jamie Thomas took home the top prize.

Norman reeled in the day’s heaviest bass at 5.3 pounds. Kalgary was also a double winner. She won the top female angler award which earned her a new rod from Fast Break Bait & Tackle in Okeechobee.

Caylie Huff and Gauge Chandler finished second. Craig Gopher, Josiah Gopher, Austin Clay and Charles Clay rounded out the top three.

Nobody went home empty handed. Everyone received a gift. Ice coolers and Hard Rock packages were among the gifts handed out.

Tiger said there’s been talk about holding the tournament on a yearly basis. If so, he hopes to see more boats.

“I want people to know they missed a good tournament,” he said.

From left, Amos Tiger with James Tommie and Brighton Councilman Larry Howard at the awards ceremony. (Photo Darlene Evans)
The third place winners were Craig Gopher, Josiah Gopher, Austin Clay and Charles Clay, who were presented wtih a trophy by Amos Tiger, second from right. (Photo Darlene Evans)
Norman Johns holds up the 5.3 pound bass he caught, which proved to be the biggest in the tournament. (Photo Darlene Evans)
Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson is senior editor. He has worked for The Seminole Tribune since 2014. He was previously an editor, photographer and reporter for newspapers in Southwest Florida and Connecticut. Contact Kevin at