This story was written by Mike Hampton:
It was a nice day in Sebring, Florida at lake Istapoga on Sunday. The conditions were light wind out of the south west, 72 degrees to 91 degrees, water temp. 89', most of the lake was dingy but clear water behind the reeds and in the canals.
Twelve teams came to the tournament with fairly low expectations. The other tournament launching out of the same location turned out to be about the same size as our club and were no problem sharing the launch ramp. The club voted to change the check in time to two o clock due to hot weather and lake conditions by a 20 to 2 vote. The only ones who wanted to fish all day was Mike Calloway and Cliff Semonski because he was riding in Mike's boat.
We were sorrow that the team of Larry Cruce and Tim Iler had to retire from the tournament the because their trolling motor took a dump on Saturday and could not be repaired in time. No other problems were reported during the tournament except that Bob Barnette lost his way and could not find the entrance to the ramp and were within one minute of being late.
Small creel went to Jake and Gary Hinman, it was a Yeti drink cooler and Yeti stickers.
We had the usual amount of lost fish, fish that didn't bite, attention disorders, reel and rod failures and the big one that got away from Raymond but all in all it was a good tournament with a good turnout.
Old time SCBF (LERA Bass Club in those days) member Scott Evans and his brother Matthew Evans are competing in the Reel Money Team Trail at Alabama's Lake Eufaula this year. At a recent event on June 27, 2015 they took 2nd and big bass honors earning a total of $639.75 for their efforts. After 4 qualifiers, they are in 2nd place in points out of 38 teams. We're glad you're still fishing and doing well. Keep it up Mr Evans! (Story credit goes to Mike Calloway for sharing the news)
It was May 31, 2015. It was Garcia. There were lots of mosquitoes at the boat ramp in the morning. Skegs impacted bottom and fence posts. Gelcoat was scared. It seemed like everyone except for me caught a 4+ pounder and amassed over 15 pounds in a 5 fish limit or at least had a story about missed opportunities and loud swearing. Clyde and Ramond Taylor of Palm Bay reigned supreme with 5 fish for 16.94 pounds. Bob Barnette of Port St. John and Tom Southwick of Cocoa Beach were a close second with 5 fish for 16.53 pounds. Dwayne Haga and Dave Metzler took 3rd with an 8.30 pound big bass from Haga and 5 fish totaling 16.05. Hinman/Sparkling earned the small creel prize of a can of Red Bull and a can of mixed nuts with 2 fish for 3.98 pounds. It was donated by the club. In other words, Mike Hampton funded it. What a guy, that club president! You should consider voting for him again next year!
One all time club record fell at this event and one was tied. The record for most fish weighed in a 1 day event was tied at 83 with the original mark being set on April 28, 2002 at Garcia. The total weight record for a 1 day event was eclipsed. It was 201.03 lbs and also set at Garcia back on April 28, 2002. Now it's 219.12 pounds. Nobody caught a limit over 17 pounds, but half the boats had over 13 pounds.
From the desk of your club president, Mr Mike Hampton: "Some of the club members have been at the lake and some have express the concern about the water level. Several of the club members and two of the officers have been to the lake and it is their opinion that the lake is fishable if the water level does not drop any more than it was on Sunday the 16th. They are pumping water into (not out of) the north canal from Fellsmere Farms and if we get any rain fall in the next two weeks it should help the situation.
In what seems like a repeat of a story from a few weeks ago, Mike Calloway won the American Bass Anglers American Fishing Tour division 21 event out of Southport on Toho on May 3, 2015. This time, he weighed 5 fish for 15.82 pounds including the big bass of the tournament at 7.25 pounds. Full results might be posted here some day. Way to go Mr. Calloway!
We've had some really nice weather this April in central Florida. When our tournament came up on April 26, it was time for the wind to blow. It blew 10-20 gusting to 30+ out of the WSW all day. At least that's what Mike Hampton tells me because I was too damn lazy to even show up. As usual, he didn't stop complaining there. He went on to moan about the "extremely over crowded" boat ramp at Overstreet due to two other tournaments. He event went so far as to itemize some Rules of Ramp Etiquette I've included below.
After he was done complaining and 2 days passed, he actually had some nice things to say: "I forgot to say thanks to the people who helped with the tournament. Thanks to everyone who jumped in to help especially Cliff for collecting moneys at the beginning and Alan and Wayne for boat checking, Tim Iler for setting up the scales, Alan for checking short fish and Mike for the pictures. This is what makes the club more fun to fish."
Right, we held a fishing tournament. Jake and Gary Hinman fished bubble gum colored flukes and flipped soft plastics in Kissimmee to amass a 5 fish limit weighing in at 21.35 pounds to win the tournament. Mike Calloway and Cliff Semonski used blind luck and flipping Reaction Innovations sweet beavers in Lake Kissimmee to total 5 fish for 18.41 pounds and earn 2nd place. Their bag included a 7.16 pound big bass that Calloway lucked into and was netted extremely well by Semonski. Bob Barnette and Tom Southwick used Skinny Dippers and their world famous Trick Worm technique to land 5 fish for 15.04 pounds earning a 3rd place finish.
The small creel award would have gone to Buddy Perry and Preston Humphrey, but they left too early and missed out on what Mike Hampton described as "some really great prizes". Maybe someone will earn them and actually receive them next month.
Perennial SCBF big stick, Mr. Mike Calloway, won the American Bass Anglers American Fishing Tour division 21 event out of Southport on Toho on April 18, 2015. He weighed 5 fish for 19.85 pounds. His catch included the big bass of the tournament at 7.32 pounds. Full results might be posted here some day. Way to go Mr. Calloway!
Wouldn't you know it. It looked like Florida's 2 days of winter were over for the season until our two day Okeechobee extravaganza came up on the schedule. The wind and cold showed up once more. Not that I would know anything about it, since I didn't even bother getting out of bed to go to the tournament.
Mike Hampton has informed me that Dwayne Haga and Dave Metzler continued kicking our butts with a two day total of 24.27 to win the event. They were in 6th place after day 1 but catapulted to the win with a relatively big bag on day 2 flipping the Harney Pond Canal area. Alan Elder and Wayne Smith earned a close second with a two day total of 24.12, as they so often do, they used watermelon red flukes in the Monkey Box to catch their weight. Mike Calloway and Cliff Semonski took 3rd by flipping sweet beavers at hard edges of the North Shore and Harney Pond Canal. Calloway's 5.00 pounder took Big Bass on day 1 and Joe Jenkins weighed a 5.10 pounder for Big Bass on day 2.
This month's small creel prize went to DJ & Kiera Eidem. I didn't see it myself, so I don't know anything about this, but rumor has it that it was some kind of noxious malodorous liquid that may or may not have been fit for human consumption. Said mysterious liquid which may or may not have been an actual beverage was of completely unknown origin. We hope it was enjoyed responsibly and nobody suffered permanent mental or physical injury as a result of imbibing it.
You club president's brother-in-law is selling his 15.5 foot welded aluminum boat pictured here. It has a 25 ETEC still under warranty, carpeted, front seat steer and throttle, on board charger, live well, lockable storage compartment, 55lb trolling motor foot control, galvanized trailer, very few hours used. Around $6000.00. If you're interested, call Eddie at 407-709-1211.
Okay, so this has absolutely nothing to do with our club. Get over it. You ever wonder what a 15 pound 8 ounce bass looks like? Greg Smock of Zanesville Ohio is no longer wondering. He held one in his hands. He was fishing a shiner with a guide on Lake Weohyakapka on February 8, 2015 when the giant struck. In case you were wondering, the official state record is 17.27 pounds set by Bill O'Berry on July 6, 1986. More pictures of Smock's fish are available using the search thing at TrophyCatch.