Trevor Fitzgerald of Belleview, Fla. brought a 19-08 limit to the scale on Saturday to reclaim the top spot on the leaderboard and win the three-day Toyota Series event at the St. Johns River. Fitzgerald’s three-day total of 57-12 gave him the win by a 6-pound margin and earned him a payout of $38,048 in the Southern Division 2020 opener.
“I’ve been wanting this one for a while,” said Fitzgerald, who earned his first career Toyota Series victory after five previous top-10 finishes. “I seem to do okay in one-day tournaments, but I excel in these multi-day tournaments because I don’t typically go out and catch a giant bag. I usually find stuff that is more consistent.”
The first day, Fitzgerald caught multiple sight-fish on a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver.
“On day 2 I didn’t have any spawners left, so I went to running the bank and found a little depression that I’d known about, but I came to realize there was a lot more fish sitting in it than I realized.”
What Fitzgerald was fishing was basically a long sand bar at the far south end of Lake George, which served as a staging area for fish coming to the bank to spawn. No one else seemed to find it, potentially due to how shallow it was.
“It’s just a depression surrounded by super-shallow water. I used to put in at that boat ramp right there when I was a kid, so I was kind of familiar with the way the bottom lays out.”
Fitzgerald caught his fish on a shaky-head rig tipped with a Reaction Innovations Pocket Rocket in black and blue. Prior to that, he was mostly dragging a black and blue Reaction Innovations Machete.
“I grew up about 20 minutes from the south end of Lake George and I’ve been fishing here my whole life,” Fitzgerald went on to say. “I love fishing the St. Johns River and it is awesome to win here.”
Here are the final totals for the top 10:
1. Trevor Fitzgerald: 57-12
2. Jason Blair: 51-12
3. Steven Hatala: 50-06
4. Rodney Marks: 45-00
5. Keith Carson: 43-06
6. Jacopo Gallelli: 38-08
7. Jonathan Kelley: 37-12
8. Frank Kitchens III: 37-08
9. Jason Meninger: 36-03
10. Chris Hensley: 33-11