Horton Takes The Title, But The Real Star Is The Big O

Tim Horton Lake Okeechobee

It’s been 10 years since Horton last won on the Elite Series

Okeechobee, Fl — Hurricanes, fluctuating water levels, and habitat and vegetation issues, Lake Okeechobee has endured them all, and through all, one fact remains—you can put a huge bag in the boat.

With the top seven finishers of A.R.E Truck Caps all weighing in over 70 pounds of Florida bass, this tournament was yet another reminder.

Alabama native Tim Horton would survive a nail-biter to best his buddy Ott DeFoe by 1 pound, 4 ounces. Despite bringing in big bags early in the tournament, bagging a limit on the final day would prove much more difficult.

He didn’t get that first fish until about 11 am.

To complicate matters, Horton missed a fish on Saturday that would have changed the complexion of the whole tournament, a fish that he estimated at about 9 pounds. “If I had caught and weighed that fish, I would have been ahead by 13 or 14 pounds,” he said.

Losing that fish meant Tim had to make the 30 mile run to Harney Pond instead of fishing more conservatively closer to the launch. This time around, it really paid off, and while 11 pounds of Big O bass wasn’t his biggest bag. it was the one that mattered.

Winning Tackle

All the fish that Horton brought to the stage came on 4-inch Klone Crawsome in either black/blue swirl, or red/black copper. He rigged them up on a heavy-duty flipping hook, tied to 50 pound braid and an 8 foot Duckett Flip Stick.

On the final day, he needed to adjust to clearer water in Harney Pond, so he changed to a 3/8-ounce tungsten weight and 20-pound fluorocarbon. The presentation though, stayed the same.

For the effort, Tim takes home the big money ($100,000) and qualifies for next year’s Classic.

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