Past LERA member and Strike Zone connection Jim Folks caps off the nine tournament series by winning four Toho tournaments and the division championship on Lake Okeechobee with a two day total of 53.24 pounds including a 9.18 big bass honors. Congratulations from SCBF. Read more on the Florida Today sports news by Bill Sargent
The only thing that was easy on Sunday November 15th was the drive over to East Lake Toho as the lake lived up to its past history of bad weather conditions and small creel limits. This did not stop the SCBF as every one of the fourteen teams returned across a wind blown lake threw the pepper grass to the weigh-in with a limit of bass. We were happy to see Jimmy Blount back in competition but his partner Jack Berry could not get the engine to fire up at the ramp and they made the best of the day as they used up the trolling motor batteries and the starting battery as well.
Congratulations to Jack Berry for winning the Cocoa Bassmaster AOY points race which ended up on Lake Poinsett this year. The tournament was won by one of our own, Rick Jenkins, who posted a impressive total to best the field.
It was a very good day for bass fishing, light winds from the northeast, air temperature in the low 70's, cloud cover, no bugs, water temperature in the 80's, hydrilla and pads growing all over the lake. What more could you ask for on a Sunday morning in central Florida. We even came up with a nice double rainbow on the north end of the lake captured in a nice photo by Mike Calloway. So what if there was a small quick shower crossing the lake just to cool things off and keep the bugs down.
The fourteen teams left the ramp at 7 am with high hopes and eight of them returned with a limit of Lake Kissimmee bass. The team of Rick Jenkins and Adam Brandes (alternate) racked up an impressive bag weighing 17.12 pounds to take first place with ease. Their bag was anchored by a 6.17 pound lunker that easily took big bass honors.
Jack Berry captured second place fishing by himself due to a sudden medical problem which sidelined his partner Jimmy Blount came in with 14.34 pounds capped with a nice 5.39 pounder. Jack caught most of his fish near the Overstreet ramp and in North Cove. I'll bet Jimmy would have been happy to see those bass and probably would have improved Jack's total catch.
Third place was taken by the perennial team of Cliff Semonski and Mike Calloway who weighed in 12.66 pounds topped with a 4.06 pounder to keep them placing in the top three for the year.
The new year for SCBF began on Sunday the 27th of September at the legendary Miami-Garcia Impoundment with 18 teams ready for action. A beautiful sunrise was captured on camera by Mike Calloway as the teams headed out to do battle with the usual obstacles at this lake such as hoards of mosquitoes, hyacinths, lettuce, pads, reeds, floating islands and fence posts, but mostly big Florida largemouth bass.
The lake did not disappoint as 17 of the teams returned with a five bass limit and the total days catch came to 88 bass. This total fish caught eclipsed the old club record set at the same lake this past May with the same number of boats entered in the tournament. The total weight of 234.51 pounds surpassed the old record by more than 15 pounds set at the same May tournament. This lake has been the best producing lake that the club fishes over the past ten years.
Buddy Perry of Vero claimed the first place prize with a total weight of 20.02 pounds which was made even harder as he was fishing by himself this tournament. Buddy reported that most of his fish came on a top water lure and was capped with a 5.80 pound big mama. The second place team of Cliff Semonski of Oak Hill and Mike Calloway of Titusville brought 18.14 pounds to the scales capped with a huge 6.72 pound big girl which turned out to be the big bass of the tournament. Mike reported that the big bass was caught on the last cast while flipping a sweet beaver with only minutes left to go in the fishing day. B.J. Biles of Palm Bay and Jackie Barber of Port St. John used the slow and steady approach to boat 16.20 pounds of bass and claimed third place.
What the heck is that? It's a gold largemouth bass! No, really... What the heck is that? It's a gold largemouth bass! As reported on Bassmaster.com, Jeff Puckett caught a golden colored bass at Titusville's Fox Lake in September of 2015. Apparently this is the result of a very rare genetic mutation called xanthism, but has happened in several other places in recent months. Read the bassmaster article for more details.
At the Palm Bay Bassmasters event on Blue Cypress Lake on September 12, Terry Walker weighed a 5 fish limit for 33.65. His bag was anchored by an 11.90 pound giant. BJ Biles, who is also a long time Space Coast Bass Finatic, weighed a 9.70 lunker as part of his 15.42 pound second place effort at the tournament. BJ took 2nd in the boat standings too with Jay Stein 3rd. Check out the PBB writeup.
This story was written by Mike Hampton:
The club assembled in the early morning darkness among clouds of mosquitoes, a slight drizzle of rain and the threat of a tropical storm on the horizon. The eleven qualifying teams were ready to take on anything mother nature could throw at them except lightning bolts. After final instruction at the ramp for the order of take off and a 3pm weigh-in the teams spread out from the dam at Lake Washington to Lake Winder, Lake Poinsett, south river and north river from 520. The rain and wind which was predicted did not come into play as much but at short periods of time it did get a little heavy. There were no reports of problems from any team at the weigh-in.
Congratulations to Dwayne Haga and Dave Metzler who earned the Bassmasters of the Year title in their first season fishing the club together. They dominated most of the season racking up 3 wins, 6 top 3 finishes, and 3 tournament big bass. They were the most consistent anglers this season. Calloway/Semonski deserve an honorable mention for finishing second in points with a strong effort, but Haga/Metzler were unstoppable. Well done Dwayne & Dave!
Jay Stein took home the Big Bass of the Year honors in the most unlikely of places, Lake Washington, in dramatic fashion at the season finale on July 26, 2015. His 9.00 pound giant out classed Dwayne Haga's 8.92 pounder from Lake Toho back in January. Congratulations Jay!