Laramy Strickland of Bushnell, Fla. caught a 15-04 stringer on Sunday to win the FLW Pro Circuit event at the Harris Chain of Lakes. Strickland’s three-day total of 61-04 gave him the victory by a 4-06 margin over runner-up Jimmy Washam of Covington, Tenn. For his victory, Strickland took home a top prize of $100,000.
The tournament, originally scheduled for four days, was shortened to three after strong winds forced a postponement of competition on Friday. The full field of 154 anglers competed on Thursday and Saturday and only the top 30 anglers advanced to Sunday's final round
“This is unbelievable – just as awesome as I always dreamed it was going to be,” said Strickland, a former FLW/TBF High School Fishing Florida State champion fishing in just his second event on the Pro Circuit. “If I was going to win just one, ever, in my whole career, I would have wanted it to be right here. There was so much family and friends here, the crowd was humongous. This still doesn’t even feel real.”
Strickland caught his fish from an area in Lake Griffin called "the marsh." He described the location as “a 500- to 600-acre duck marsh, with hydrilla everywhere and full of cattails and hyacinth mats.” As a local angler, he knew that big fish had been in there for months, and when he went there during the official practice period they were still there.
“I caught them this week flipping mats with a Reaction Innovations Spicy Beaver (tramp stamp), but also added two big ones on a (Reaction Innovations) Machete Worm,” Strickland said. “Those were the only two baits I used all week – just flipped and threw that worm. I caught 12 fish on the first day. On the second day, I caught eight. Today I caught around eight as well – they were just the right bites.
“I fished fairly clean all week. I lost a couple that I really thought were going to haunt me, but my fish held up. I just kind of stuck in that area and luckily I had it all to myself this week.
Here are the final totals for the top 10:
1. Laramy Strickland: 61-04
2. Jimmy Washam: 56-14
3. Hunter Freeman: 54-06
4. Kyle Gelles: 52-11
5. Matt Stefan: 51-15
6. Miles Burghoff: 51-05
7. Jared McMillan: 50-05
8. Chad Warren: 50-00
9. Casey Scanlon: 49-07
10. Brandon McMillan: 49-07
For complete standings, click here.