Roland Martin’s victory in the November 1980 Florida Invitational on Lake Okeechobee was hardly a surprise to fishing fans at the time. Not only had he already won 11 B.A.S.S. events, but Okeechobee was his personal playground. He’d not previously had the chance to fish a B.A.S.S. event there, but when that opportunity arose, he made the most of it, beating runner-up Guy Eaker by nearly six pounds to claim $11,700 in total winnings.
Martin’s 48-02 over three days was more than double the amount of weight it took to earn a check in the event – 22-03 was enough for Tommy Martin to slip into the 40th place slot out of 275 anglers.
In addition to this win, Martin’s B.A.S.S. record at Okeechobee has been sterling. Excluding a 126th place bomb in one of the two Invitationals held there in 1986, here are his results:
- 1982 Florida Invitational 22nd
- 1984 Florida Invitational 4th
- 1986 Florida Invitational 31st
- 1987 Top 100 12th
- 1988 Top 100 17th
- 1990 Florida Invitational 39th
- 1991 Florida Invitational 1st
- 1998 Eastern Invitational 6th
- 2001 Eastern Invitational 20th
- 2003 Bassmaster Tour 10th
Certainly each of the two wins on Florida’s big bowl was special, but the 1980 victory has particular significance in B.A.S.S. history.
Can you guess what made it special?
The answer and winner will be announced Thursday.