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CLEWISTON, Fla — The stage was set for the Championship of the 2017 Roland Martin Marine Center Series. The record big checks were ready. All the prizes and preparations were in place. The pre-championship banquet presented by ARK Rods had all the teams fueled and ready. It was go time.

Then Mother Nature decided she wanted a say in the matter.

Day one of the Championship was cancelled when sunrise was accompanied with rain, wind and lightning. Tournament Director, Mike Krause made the call — it would be a one-day shootout for the Championship.

On Sunday, the 106 teams launched under clear skies and a brisk wind that made for some chilly runs as the teams dashed to their waypoints wrapped in layers of gore-tex, buffs and high hopes. 

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The south end of Lake Okeechobee was a popular choice with the wind but still others braved the run to the north. It wouldn’t be until 3 p.m. that the winning pattern would be revealed.

Two by two, the teams made it to the stage at the host Roland Martin Marina with M.C. Chris “Peanut” Brill keeping the crowd entertained. Teams took the hot seat in the Ranger Z520c as the weights started to climb. Then when the final fish was weighed, the team of Frank Jenkins and Brandon McMillan were a pound and a half better than the rest.

“I always love competing here,” McMillan said. “This is where it all started for me I’m always excited to come back here and hang out with friends and fish with my buddies.”

“It’s a heck of a feeling,” echoed Jenkins. “I honestly didn’t think it would happen with the weather and we were so jacked up yesterday to go fishing but the right decision was made and we made the right decision to go out and do what we did today.”

With a record payout of $20,000, the team of Jenkins and McMillan are the 2017 Roland Martin Marine Center Series Champions.

In second place, just a pound and half back were the team of Santos Solis Jr. and Mark Lundgren that collected $7,000. And in third place was the father and son team of Brian Prowant and Brice Prowant that took home $4,000. The U.S. Sugar Big Bass of the tournament went to Dillon McMillan with an 8.45 pound Lake Okeechobee bass.

Season-long consistency was awarded to the team of Jared McMillan and Durand Locke with a season total of 83.69 pounds of Lake Okeechobee bass. As the Team Of The Year, ARK Rods is taking care of all their 2018 RMMC Series entry fees.

All in all, over $51,000 in cash and prizes was awarded to the anglers and fans of the Roland Martin Marine Center Series Championship. As the highest paying Team Tournament Trail in Florida, the RMMC Series continues to reward its anglers with a true 100% Payout. Where do we go from here?

“Honestly, I don’t know,” said Tournament Director, Ramon Iglesias. “But I do know you can be sure we’ll work hard to make it better than the year before. And when the last fish is weighed and we award the big check, you can bet we’re already thinking about how to make next season even better.”

• Visit the Gallery for videos and images of the Championship

• Check out the complete results and payouts

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That’s a wrap from Clewiston, FL and the 2017 Roland Martin Marine Center Series. Stay tuned for details on the 2018 season and we wish you all a Happy Holidays and Big Bass in the New Year. 



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2017 Championship Payout

December 10, 2017

1st      $20,000.00

2nd     $7,000.00

3rd      $4,000.00

4th      $3,000.00

5th      $2,200.00

6th      $2,000.00

7th      $1,740.00

8th      $1,500.00

9th      $1,300.00

10th    $1,250.00

11th    $1,200.00

12th    $1,150.00

13th    $1,150.00

14th    $1,100.00

15th    $1,050.00

16th    $1,000.00

17th    $1,000.00

 

Presentation following 3pm Weigh-in

Roland Martin Marina & Resort

Clewiston, FL

 


10 Questions with the RMMC Series

Posted by admin on December 6, 2017

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As the General Manager of the Roland Martin Marina & Resort, Ramon Iglesias and his dedicated crew run the Roland Martin Marine Center Series, the highest paying team tournament trail in Florida. We recently sat down with him to get his thoughts on the history and future of the RMMC Series as they get ready for the 2017 Championship where a record $20,000 will be awarded to the top team.


Name: Ramon Iglesias
Title: General Manager @ Roland Martin Marina & Resort
History with Marina & Resort: 13 years
Home: Clewiston, FL


Q When was the first event of the RMMC Series?
RI Our first tournament was in March of 2015. We had about 65 teams competing and the winner’s check was $4,000 back then. From the initial feedback, our anglers liked what we were doing and it fueled the fire to keep us going.

Q How did the series start?
RI When I started at the Marina 13 years ago, owner Mary Ann Martin told me from day one that she wanted to have our own tournament out of the Marina. Unfortunately, since I was new to the fishing tournament world, I wanted to wait to make sure we did it right. As time went by, I hosted a few tournaments over the years but wasn’t in charge of them. It wasn’t until Mike Krause came on board, who had been involved in tournaments, that we started figuring out how to bring Mary Anne’s vision to life.

Q What do the anglers have to say about the series?
RI There’s a lot that they like about it. Of course the payouts are the main thing. They’ve told us it’s the best-run tournament on Lake Okeechobee. We’ve also heard it’s the best-run tournament in Florida. It's all led to us being named the highest paying team tournament trail in Florida. And at the end of the event, when the anglers see how much work goes into bringing them the type of tournament we put together and the amount of money we’re paying out, they appreciate it. And we appreciate them.

Q How much do you rely on your staff and the resort during the events?
RI It’s a complete team effort. And everyone plays a role. From the tackle shop, to the front desk booking rooms, to the staff in the kitchen, to mechanics helping with boat repairs and even maintenance helping with setup. Then there’s our phenomenal M.C., Mike at the bump tank, the guys caring for the fish in the release boat and Heather on stage keeping us on track. It’s a lot of work and everyone steps up to bring it all together.

Q What makes the RMMC Series different from other team tournament trails?
RI We truly are a 100% payback event. We’ve got the best M.C. in the business and we truly care what the anglers think. Even better, you can eat, sleep and fish right where the tournament is happening.

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Q Are you amazed at the amount of top anglers the Series attracts and how hard they fish?
RI Absolutely! From retired professional anglers to weekend bass warriors, we attract some true diehards. We haven’t been subject to too many bad-weather events, but it doesn't matter. These guys will brave near monsoon conditions to get out there and fish.

Q How have the sponsors stepped up to boost the series?
RI Not only have current sponsors stepped up, but I had four different sponsors contact me in the last couple weeks wanting to be a part of what we’re doing. We continue to look for sponsors that we can bring value to. We’ve turned down sponsors just for the simple fact that we didn’t think we could add value to their product. We’re not just going to take a check unless we think they can get a good return from our working relationship. Companies like U.S. Sugar have been with us from the start and contribute Big Bass Awards along with their support. ARK Rods has stepped up to sponsor our Team Of The Year Award, which awards our Team Of The Year paid entries for the entire 2018 season. They even stepped up to foot the bill for our Championship Banquet Friday night at the John Boy Auditorium. Other sponsors like Gilbert Chevrolet have been with us since day one as our official vehicle sponsor. Ranger Boats contributes Ranger Cup incentives that awards $1,000 to the winning team if they are fishing from a Ranger Boat. And Interstate Batteries joined us last season taking care of the purchase of our Championship trophies, which is huge. The list continues with other great companies - be sure to visit our sponsor page for complete list.

Q What are the main attractions of this year’s championship?
RI Besides a record payout of $20,000 to the winning team, the excitement of who is going to win is the big draw. Plus, this lake fishes different every other day. You could be on them one day and off the next. It’s anybody’s guess who’s going to win. And that right there is what it all comes down to. The excitement isn’t limited to just the anglers either. For the fans, M.C. Chris “Peanut” Brill keeps the energy going with his unique commentary. We always have something for the kids courtesy of Charlie’s Worms to get them excited about fishing. We got great raffle prizes, too. And not only fishing products. We’re giving away everything from T.V.’s and wireless headphones to watches and perfume. We have something for everyone.   

Q How is the condition of Lake Okeechobee?
RI The water level has been high following Hurricane Irma but it’s dropping 4/10” every day. There are plenty of areas that are fishable even though there’s still a lot of dark water. But all in all, Irma did some good for the lake. For example, as the lake drops, areas like the Monkey Box will be in better shape. We just have to get through it. After all, this is Lake Okeechobee. Even on its worst day, it fishes better than most lakes across the country. And all it takes is one Okeechobee lunker to catapult you to the top.

Q What can we expect in future seasons?
RI Honestly, I don’t know. But I do know you can be sure we’ll work hard to make it better than the year before. We understand we’re not the big dogs. We look at ourselves as the stepping-stone to the next level. By competing against the hardcore anglers we attract, we can better prepare our anglers looking to step up to the next level. And when the last fish is weighed and we award the big check, you can bet we’re already thinking about how to make next season even better.

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The Roland Martin Marine Center Series 2017 Championship is December 9 & 10 at the Roland Martin Marina in Clewiston, Fl. Come out for the weigh-ins starting at 3p.m. Saturday and Sunday with raffles and $20,000 awarded to the winning team following the Sunday weigh-in. See you in Clewiston.


2017 Championship Banquet

Posted by admin on November 22, 2017

December 8th @ 5pm John Boy Auditorium
Let's get ready for Championship Weekend! Make sure your team is registered here before the deadline December 7, 2017 @ 5pm EST. And gear up for a Championship Celebration - Details Below. If you need additional information, please contact us.  

Banquet Menu

• BBQ Chicken • Cole Slaw • Potato Salad • Baked Beans • Roll • Water or Soda

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The 2017 Ark Rods Team Of The Year Standings

Posted by admin on November 17, 2017

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As we gear up for the 2017 Roland Martin Marine Center Series Championship December 9 & 10 in Clewiston, Fl, the Team Of The Year race is coming down to the wire. With The Ark Rods "Team Of The Year" Award, the 2017 Team Champions will not only experience the rewards of the highest paying team tournament trail in Florida, but will also have their entries paid for the 2018 season. 

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September 9th Qualifier Rescheduled To November

Posted by admin on September 5, 2017

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In anticipation of Hurricane Irma we have decided to re-schedule this weekend’s Roland Martin Marine Center’s Qualifier #3 to November 4th, 2017. Our first priority is the safety of our anglers and families. Your time is best spent preparing for the storm and we wanted to make sure your focus was on your needs and not fishing.

If you have registered and paid already it will be transferred to the October event automatically. If you have a room reservation please call to cancel and rebook @ 863-983-3151.

If you or someone you know have any storm damage please look into the services of one of our own (Jonathan Farmer Public Adjuster) @ 954-297-9594. Let him deal with the insurance companies to get the most out of your claim.

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Below are some tips from Johnathan:

Before the storm you should walk around your house or business and video, both inside and outside. This one may veer off, as they sometimes do, but just in case, this will eliminate the argument from the insurance companies that damage was pre-existing. Also keep your policy info together for easy access. If this does hit, the response time will not be great for most, so take pictures of any damage that occurs. This is your best ammunition for getting things settled, without too much aggravation. Make sure your prep is done early, and be ready for no power for an extended amount of time.

If you have additional questions, please contact usBe prepared and be safe!

Sincerely,

Ramon Iglesias
Tournament Director