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Jacob Smith

Big bass biting at Lake Okeechobee

Winter is a prime time to catch big bass at Lake Okeechobee as the fish move into shallow spawning areas.

This past weekend was a case in point.

Benny Townend of Boynton Beach caught a five-fish limit weighing 27 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday, including a bass weighing 10-2, to win a Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division tournament out of Clewiston.

Townend, who earned $6,000, said he caught the lunker pitching a half-ounce green-pumpkin Gambler Why Not in pockets in the wiregrass at the south end of the lake. He used swimbaits to catch fish between the pockets.