Best in the Sunshine State

1

Two tournaments. Two repeat winners.

Chris Lane and Brandon Medlock won the first Minors tournaments of 2012, both in the state of Florida. This shouldn’t have come as a surprise.

Lane won the 2010 BASS Open opener on Lake Okeechobee, while Medlock won the 2011 FLW EverStart opener, also on the Big O.

Considering lakes in Florida seem to fish like nowhere else, we started thinking about the best anglers in the state of Florida. Not necessarily guys who live there, but guys who excel in those early season events in the Sunshine State. So we decided to look into it.

Hitting the States tab, we immediately got the answer for who has been the top angler the last two years: Randall Tharp.

How has an Alabama man become a stud in Florida who beats 98.1 percent of the field on average? For starters, he’s a Guntersville stick, so he’s well versed in fishing grass. He also has a sweet spot for Florida, often spending a month down there in the offseason. Hence, how Tharp finishes seventh, fifth and second in his last three events down there. And the two-year criteria doesn’t include a fourth-place that just dropped off.

Don’t worry, Florida anglers. You make a strong showing at the top, as well. After Tharp, 11 of the next 12 anglers are Florida residents, including the next six anglers directly behind Tharp.

So who is the best among them? Considering his success, one might think Medlock. Sorry. He’s fifth best (sixth overall). And Lane? He’s the 13th best in the last two years (21st overall). He did just lose that win in 2010, but if you include it, he only moves up to 18th overall, as guys like Scott Martin, Shinichi Fukae, Casey Ashley, Justin Hamner and Tony Chachere all jump ahead of him with the added tournament.

Instead, the best Florida resident in his state the last two years at the Major and Minor levels is Jeff Fitts, who has beaten 94.8 percent of the field in his three events.

As for the best since the turn of the century, that would be Florida’s own Terry Scroggins. Since 2000 (using a 15-tournament minimum), Scroggins has beaten 87.7 percent of the field in the state of Florida, a substantial number over the No. 2 angler, Mark Shepard’s 82.1 percent. Rounding out the top 5 in the last 11 years are Florida stars Martin (808.780), Bobby Lane (805.380) and JT Kenney (780.002).

Share.

About Author

Sean cut his teeth in the journalist world as an award-winning sports reporter, editor and freelancer for various Chicagoland newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times and Daily Herald, eventually crossing over into editing and freelance writing in the Outdoor industry. In addition to his position as Editor for BassRankings.com, he is also a freelance outdoor writer and lure designer. He resides in the Chicago suburb of Lockport. An avid Bass and Muskie fisherman, his fishing influence began on ponds and lakes in northeast Illinois and has since expanded to a multitude of species across North and Central America. His passion for the sport is rivaled only by his love for building fishing lures, with a number of his designs being used by top professional anglers and produced by various lure companies today. Google+

1 Comment

  1. Lets talk about Jeff Fitts for this,my personal opinion.I was with Jeff last year as a rooming buddy for the Everstart Series.Jeff had more mechanical problems then one should experience in three years.His temperment was always on the water and the fish,not on his personal boat issues.I( think he kept an eye for me.I am gitting up in years and kinda like a dog looking for anything I can mark.He made sure I was O.K. .It is just a matter of time and we are going to see Jeff take off.To be a true professional bass pro, it takes a lot of things in my opinion.

    1.yOU HAVE TO A MINDSET AND TRUST IN THE LORD, JESUS CHRIST.
    2.YOU HAVE COVERED ALL THE BASES WITH YOUR FAMILY.
    3.THEY HAVE YOUR BACK AND SUPPORT YOU.
    4.YOU HAVE EARNED THE RESPECT OF YOUR COMPETITORS.
    5.YOU HAVE FULL CONFIDENCE IN YOUR LURE PRESENTATION.
    6.YOU HAVE FISHED ALL TYPES OF FISHERIES AND SEASONS.
    7.YOU HAVE A PLAN OF ACTION BEFORE YOU SAY GOODBY TO THE FAMILY THAT LOVES YOU AND IS YOUR MAIN CHEERING TEAM.
    8.YOU TALK TO YOURSELF AND CHALLANGE YOUR DESISIONS
    Jeff has all of these qualities.

    AFTER THAT SAID,WATCH HIM THIS YEAR,I FEEL HE WILL BE GREATER THEN EVER.