Matt “Boot” Baty gave the competition the “Boot” literally on the 2nd day of the FLW Costa Series Tournament on Lake Seminole bringing 20-3 to the scales for a combined 2 day total of 45 pounds which was good enough for the win. Matt didn’t bring the largest bag of fish to the scales each day but it was consistency that played a big factor. Leesburg, Ga native and local Seminole fisherman Rick Tindell brought 26-7 pounds to the scales on day one to take the lead, but Matt wasn’t far behind with a nice 24-13 bag on day one. Several fisherman either cracked the 20 pound mark or were very close with 19 pounds on day one. The real test coming on day two showing which anglers could be consistent and follow up their nice day one bags with big bags on day two. Matt was one of the first to weigh-in his 20-3 sack on day two giving him 45 pounds even and putting him in the lead. Tindell brought a 16-6 bag to the scales which was good enough for second but not enough to take the lead. After most of the anglers who were in striking distance weighed and came up short the final test would come from the Buddha himself also known as Jason Smith of Dawson, Ga. The word around the scales was they Jason had a big bag. Considering his day one total of 19-7 he only needed a 25-10 bag to win which is easily done on Seminole. Jason’s fish ended up weighing 20 pounds even for a total weight of 39-7 which was good enough for 4th place and sealing the deal for a Matt Baty win.
I’m sure most of you are wondering how did he do it? How did Matt Baty pull off a win against some of the biggest names in bass fishing. Well for starters if you haven’t been to lakeseminolefishingguides.com you should check it out. There you will see numerous photo’s of guide trips that happened all winter long with some giant fish. You see while most anglers put up their rods and pick up their rifles during the winter for deer season Matt Baty is still fishing. Not only is he fishing he is guiding clients to some of the best guide trips they have ever been on. Matt has consistently caught bass every trip all winter long. In the weeks leading up to the tournament Matt told me he was a little nervous about the event. With the weather warming he was afraid his fish would abandon the winter pre-spawn pattern he had been catching them on. He even joked about if he didn’t catch any fish on day one he would go around on day two and pass out ham sandwiches from one of his major sponsors The Piggly Wiggly Food For Less in Donalsonville. When it comes to winning anything a certain skill is required but luck also plays a factor. Lucky for Matt a cold front came through the area with some 20 to 30 mph winds causing day one of a three day tournament to be cancelled and allowing for a cold start to day two. Being boat #169 Matt was worried about getting to his fish but after a long run down the river and passing 20 or so boats along the way he made it to his spot along a creek channel bend where he positioned his boat in 8 feet of water and cast his Lew’s Hyper Mag paired with the new Buddha Stick Rod and a Jenko CD20 crankbait into 18 feet of water. It didn’t take long for him to know his pattern would hold up. By midday Matt had over 20 pounds and was feeling good. Later that morning he moved out to the middle grounds of the Lake and started throwing his Carolina rig which enabled his Co-Angler Shawn York to fish a weightless 6 inch Big Bite Baits Trick Stick in green pumpkin and a Strike King magnum coffee shad fluke allowing him to catch 5 good fish and bring a 16-1 pound bag of fish to the scales to go with Matt’s 24-13. York’s bag put him in the lead on the Co-Angler side followed by Chuck Laslie who had 15-6 the first day. With the cold weather still hanging around on day two and hoping his pattern would still hold up Matt made his way back to his spot and this time he was able to do work with his 1 ounce Prototype Buddha Bait Swagger Jig with a 4 inch shad colored Big Bite Baits Cane Thumper. After that he headed back out to several areas that he could slow down and fish his Carolina Rig to fill out his bag. So in a nutshell the combination of skill, equipment, practice, confidence, mother nature, and a little luck allowed Matt Baty to win his first ever FLW Costa Series Event. I would also like to point out that Matt’s day one Co-Angler Shawn York was able to put himself a solid day two together bringing in four fish that weighed 12-10 which was enough for him to win a brand new ranger boat. Shawn said he has always wanted his own boat and now he’s got one.
Photo: Matt Baty and Shawn York Showing off their trophies
Final results below show this FLW Costa Series event was dominated by the local Pro’s.
Rick Tindell of Leesburg finished second, Mr. Buddha “aka” Jason Smith finished 4th, Bradley Enfinger of Colquitt finished 9th, Clint Brown of Bainbridge 17th, Micheal Conley of Bainbridge 22nd, Nic Jeter of Bainbridge 30th, Reid Heard of Bainbridge 36th, Brandon Classon Sr. of Leesburg, Ga 58th. Congrats to you all.
Final results for the Co-Angler side show similar local domination.
Chuck Laslie of Havana, Fl finished 3rd, Greg Jeter of Bainbridge, Ga finished 16th, Bobby Wilson of Albany, Ga finished 20th, John Grinstead of Cairo, Ga 21st, David Chase of Donalsonville, Ga 46th, Howard Poitevint of Bainbridge, Ga 51st, and Anthony Canington of Cairo, Ga 57th.
View our Gallery Below with a just a few photo’s from the Tournament.
[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”145″ gal_title=”FLW Costa Series”]