The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) TrophyCatch program has awarded the Season 8 Phoenix bass boat to Vance Mccullers from Lutz. Boat partners Mercury Marine and Lowrance were at the TrophyCatch boat drawing to conduct the “reverse drawing” that began with each of the five finalists dropping their name into a bucket. The last name drawn out of the bucket was the winner of the TrophyCatch boat package.
“Four of the finalists submitted multiple fish to TrophyCatch while one angler simply registered for the program and had one entry into the boat drawing,” said Tom Graef, Director of the Division of Freshwater Fisheries. “As finalists all had an equal chance to be a brand-new Phoenix boat owner and no fish submission was required to be eligible. Anyone registered in TrophyCatch has the chance to win big!”
“Thank you to TrophyCatch. I appreciate this so much,” said lucky angler Mccullers, “I told my wife if I come home with this boat, I’m going to believe her golden horseshoe story. Now I’m going to come home with it attached to my truck!”
The Phoenix Boat Package is a brand-new Phoenix 819 powered by Mercury Pro XS 200, guided by Lowrance electronics and Ghost trolling motor and anchored by Power-Pole. Partner WrapThis also helped draw attention to the boat while being towed by the Ford F-150 TrophyCatch truck provided by Bartow Ford. Finalist prizes include items like a Mercury visor and a Phoenix Hat along with a Lure Lock storage box as well as $100 of Bass Pro Shops gift cards among others.
The TrophyCatch program rewards anglers who provide documentation of their catch and release of largemouth bass weighing 8 pounds or heavier in Florida. To be eligible for prizes, anglers are required to submit photos or videos of their catch to TrophyCatch.com, showing the entire fish and its weight on a scale, before releasing it back into the water. FWC biologists use TrophyCatch data for bass research to make informed decisions about the management of Florida bass fisheries and to promote the catch and release of trophy bass.
The FWC encourages anglers to join TrophyCatch to become citizen scientists and assist in the management and conservation of Florida’s freshwater fisheries. The associated TrophyCare program promotes best handling practices for trophy bass to ensure that each TrophyCatch bass is released alive. For more information about the TrophyCatch program, email Laura Rambo Walthall at Laura.Walthall@MyFWC.com.
For general waterbody information, fishing forecasts, virtual tours, plant control operation schedules and annual workplans, boat ramp information, and more, visit the “What’s Happening on My Lake” website at MyFWC.com/Lake.