News

Rogue Lightning Strike Kills TBF Fishing Competito

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TBF mourns the loss of division championship angler, Lorenzo

Magdaleno, 51, from Lake Placid, Fl. He was a veteran angler and a

member of the Florida Bass Federation and the Homestead Hawg Hunters

club for more than a decade. Magdaleno was pronounced dead by Florida

officials on Friday, June 8, after a bolt of lightning apparently struck

Magdaleno and his boat partner, Mike Hardin, from Tennessee while they

fishing shortly after noon prior to the final day weigh-in of the TBF

Southern Division Championship on Florida’s Lake Okeechobee.  

Preliminary reports outline a quick moving afternoon storm passed

over part of the giant lake.   Other parts of the lake remained clear and

sunny, while some were cloudy with “drizzle.†  The information we have

at this point is Lorenzo Magdaleno and his partner were fishing

approximately 45 minutes away from the tournament launch area. Magdaleno

was in the front of the boat running the trolling motor as it was “his half of the dayâ€

(TBF division championships are draw events where both anglers get

control of the boat and choose the water for one half of each tournament

day.)   Magdaleno’s partner, Mike Hardin who was the boat’s owner caught

a limit during the first half of the day and was fishing off the back

deck to allow Magdaleno his best chance to finish off his limit. Hardin

was knocked off his feet by the strike and awoke after an undetermined

amount of time on the back deck of the boat not knowing what had exactly

happened. Hardin was examined at the local hospital and released, as

noted Magdaleno did not survive.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lorenzo’s extended list of family

and friends, the Florida Bass Federation,  as well as, Lorenzo’s

partner for the day, Mike Hardin, who was in the boat with him during

this tragedy,†TBF National President, Robert Cartlidge, stated.   “I can

only imagine their grief and emotion surrounding all of this.  It is a

shocking turn of events that reminds us all just how precious every

single day is.â€

“To say that the final day weigh-in Friday was a somber experience

would be a tremendous understatement, as all anglers and families there

were impacted by the loss. TBF staff on site told me there was not a dry

eye anywhere at the weigh-in as one after another every single state

federation President in the southern division, every single angler, and

even the angler who won the Ranger Cup bonus money, EVERYONE

who came up on stage pledged to donate their entire prize checks, every

single dollar, to Lorenzo’s family’s needs. THAT is what our federation

is about.   We also want to thank all the emergency response personal,

the TBF staff on site and all the state presidents and community

volunteers who were pitching in to help our anglers during a time of

crisis. I am honored to know these people and to call them friends.  

This exemplifies what it means to be a member of the federation “familyâ€

and it makes me very proud.† 

The Bass Federation Inc., (TBF) is the oldest and largest grassroots

fishing organization in America. TBF is owned by those it serves and is

dedicated to the sport of fishing. TBF annually conducts over 20,000

fishing, youth, and conservation events and has provided the foundation

for the bass fishing industry for over 40 years.

For more info on the bass federation or to contact us go to bassfederation.com or call 580.765.9031.