Byline: Gene Mueller, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Among bass tournament professionals, Marylanders generally do not make much of an impact, with the lone exception being Laurel's Roland Martin, one of the biggest names ever. However, when the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society conducted its latest $300,000 event on giant Lake Okeechobee in Florida, it was a Marylander who came out on top because he had a bit of an edge.
J. T. Kenney of Frostburg once guided on Okeechobee, and intimate knowledge of the 730 square-mile lake helped him take the $52,000 top prize Saturday. The 29-year-old angler won the Florida Southern Open by posting two five-bass limits exceeding 20 pounds, but on the final day he struggled to find 151/4 pounds of fish. Still, it was enough to win. His three-day total was 613/4 pounds.
North Carolina pro Chris Baumgardner finished second with 53 pounds, followed by Mark Shepard of Florida with 49 pounds, 13 ounces. Tennessee's David Walker had 47-14.
The Missouri father and son team of Denny and Chad Brauer also did well, with Chad weighing in at 47-11, and Denny hooking and landing 46-15 of bass, good enough for fifth and sixth place, respectively.
In the end, it was Kenney's ability to locate and land bragging-sized largemouths that sealed his victory. He took the big bass award the first two days of the tournament with trophies weighing 8-9 and 9-11, and his Saturday catch included a 6-plus pound bass that prompted him to say, "The ballgame's over, boys."
Kenney used a 3-inch-long Gambler Crickett, a plastic crawfish that he cast into thick beds of hydrilla water weeds in the King's Bar area of the lake.
Renegade bass tournament - The local Renegade Bassmasters will have their 17th Fall Open Team Bass Tournament out of Smallwood State Park on Saturday. The two-man entry fee is $80, and the club offers an 80 percent payback in prize money. Tournament hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the waters of the tidal Potomac and its feeder creeks open. Entries are accepted until 6:45 a.m. the day of competition. Food, prepared by the local fire department, will be available before the contest and during the weighing of the bass. …