Terescenko Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament at Lake Okeechobee

April 22, 2024
Bass Fishing League (BFL) News

CLEWISTON, Fla. (April 22, 2024) – Boater Alex Terescenko of West Palm Beach, Florida, caught a five-bass limit weighing 28 pounds, 3 ounces, Saturday to win the Bass Fishing League (BFL)tournament on Lake Okeechobee . The tournament was the fourth event of the season for the BFL Gator Division. Terescenko earned $3,804 for his victory. Terescenko certainly put together a solid bag of fish, but it wasn’t hot-and-heavy fishing.

“I pretty much caught all my fish on a homemade vibrating jig,” said Terescenko. “I didn’t really get much time to practice, but when I did practice I found a whole bunch of Mayan cichlid beds. They were loaded with cichlids.”

Cichlids are similar to bluegills, at least in size and their habit of spawning in clusters or colonies. And the bass prey on them during the cichlid spawn.

Terescenko was able to get bit in practice, but he knew he likely would have to adjust in the tournament because the wind kept switching directions. That kind of weather change in spring in south Florida calls for adjustments in fishing tactics, too.

“I really, really slowed down, and I was almost crawling the bait on the bottom,” he said.

Slowing down proved to be the deciding factor. Terescenko said other anglers were in his area fishing faster but weren’t having the same results. In fact, he never fired up his big motor the entire day and only burned through about 20 percent of his trolling motor batteries. He just worked a triangular area of three bedding zones, each about 50 yards apart, and made cast after cast.

“Patience was definitely a big thing for me,” he said. “That’s something that takes years to learn as a fisherman, but that’s what really came in clutch.”

Terescenko fished a green pumpkin Gambler Komodo as a trailer on his vibrating jig, and he dipped the tails in chartreuse. The jig had a green pumpkin skirt. He also caught a couple fish on a white vibrating jig. The 31-year-old angler is a custom rod builder who owns Scenko Stix rod brand, which he runs with his girlfriend, Jenna Vlaar. He won the tournament using a 7-foot, 4-inch rod of his making that he calls the Chatter Trap.

“A lot of guys that throw a ChatterBait will use a composite blend rod,” he said. “It kind of has the benefits of the glass and composite, where if they (the fish) do eat that bait at the boat, it’ll have enough give and parabolic bend to not pull the hook. I designed the Chatter Trap where the blank is pretty thin but the walls are pretty thick, giving it a really nice whippy, crisp feel. It casts great and keeps fish pinned.

“You can really lean into them and not worry about your line breaking or pulling the hook. It’s very forgiving, but very strong at the same time. It’s definitely our best seller.”

Terescenko thanked his local community for supporting his rod business. He also thanked his Vlaar for her support, as well as his parents, who covered his entry fee to fish the BFL event.

“None of this would be possible without them,” he added.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:        Alex Terescenko, West Palm Beach, Fla., five bass, 28-3, $3,804
2nd:       Eric Beaty, Plantation, Fla., five bass, 27-0, $2,407
3rd:       Joseph Carter, Orlando, Fla., five bass, 26-0, $1,267
4th:        Dylan Quilatan, Windermere, Fla., five bass, 25-15, $1,188
5th:        Luis Lindstedt, Melbourne, Fla., five bass, 25-14, $1,261 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
6th:        Clay Mock, Winter Haven, Fla., five bass, 25-1, $697
7th:        Aaron Yavorsky, Palm Harbor, Fla., five bass, 24-4, $634
8th:        Robert Chase Burlew, Inverness, Fla., five bass, 23-7, $571
9th:        Timothy King, Fort Myers, Fla., five bass, 21-14, $507
10th:     Adam Hall, Bryceville, Fla, five bass, 21-11, $444

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Eric Beaty of Plantation, Florida, caught a bass that weighed 9 pounds, 3 ounces, and earned the Big Bass boater award of $505. Adam Giran of Wesley Chapel, Florida, won the co-angler division and $1,902 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 19 pounds, 8 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers finished:

1st:        Adam Giran, Wesley Chapel, Fla., five bass, 19-8, $1,902
2nd:       Matt Russell, Elkton, Md., five bass, 19-2, $1,303
3rd:       Timothy Perdue, Casselberry, Fla., four bass, 16-15, $634
4th:        David Jones, Umatilla, Fla., five bass, 16-4, $444
5th:        Chase Brumfield, Middleburg, Fla., five bass, 16-1, $380
6th:        Sean Ripley, Lakeland, Fla., five bass, 15-1, $349
7th:        Sam Goldberg, Boynton Beach, Fla., five bass, 14-11, $317
8th:        David White, Winter Garden, Fla., five bass, 14-8, $285
9th:        Pat Herolt, Citrus Springs, Fla., five bass, 14-7, $254
10th:     Jordan Elmore, Saint Petersburg, Fla., five bass, 14-4, $222

Matt Russell of Elkton, Maryland, earned the Big Bass co-angler award of $252, catching a bass that weighed in at 6 pounds, 15 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After four events, Ryan Crowley of Yulee, Florida, leads the Fishing Clash Gator Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 949 points, while Evrett Hunter of Inverness, Florida, leads the Fishing Clash Gator Division Co-Angler of the Year race with 961 points.