Low scores, big bass highlight golf-fishing event.

Danny Vinson of Bass Pro Shops is joined by Tom Champeau, FWC Freshwater Fishing Director, as he displays his winning catch, claiming the inaugural Florida Sportsman Bass & Birdies largest bass award.

A 7.7-pound bass and a blistering score of 18-under par took top honors at Florida Sportsman’s Bass & Birdies Classic. The unique excitement of combining golf with fishing prior to the annual ICAST show proved to be popular for 60 participants from the fishing industry.

They played a best ball golf format combined with fishing on four bass-hungry lakes at Grand Cypress Golf Club in Orlando, a Jack Nicklaus-designed layout that’s a replica of the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the America Sportfishing Association’s (ASA) KeepAmericaFishing Foundation that promotes recreational fishing throughout the nation.

Sponsors of Florida Sportsman’s Bass & Birdies Classic were ASA, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission’s TrophyCatch Program, Costa Sunglasses, MOJO Sportswear and The Sportsman Channel.

On four of the 18 holes, three members of each foursome continued to play golf while the other member fished for bass. The total length in inches of released bass was a factor in reducing strokes off the final golf score. Over $3,000 in prizes was awarded to the following winners:

Team Champions – Black Marsocci, Danny Marsocci, Chase Marsocci, Greg McClean
Team Second Place – Michael McCallister, Wade Middleton, Clark Wendlandt, Mike Surman
Team Third Place – Jay Osborne, Mike Hatton
Largest Bass – Danny Vinson (7.7 pounds)
Most Bass – Jonathan Coholich
Closest to Hole – Mike Hatton
Longest Drive – Jay Osborne

“We thought that a fishing and golf outing would be a success, and indeed it was,” said Blair Wickstrom, Florida Sportsman publisher. “It’s going to be even bigger and better next year.”