We headed out to Whaley's Landing on West Lake Toho on January 25th, the day after a big cold front blew through town. The post cold frontal weather conditions made fishing difficult, but resilient anglers figure out how to catch them in any conditions.
Dwayne Haga of Sanford and Dave Metzler of Debary have been on a hot streak of late finishing in the top 3 at each of the last 3 events. This time, they Carolina rigged junebug colored soft plastic stick baits in Lake Cypress to amass a 5 fish limit totaling 18.24 pounds to win the tournament. Their creel included an 8.92 pounder by Haga that was the tournament's biggest fish and the biggest fish weighed at any of the 5 events held so far this season.
The team of Matt Hinman and Yogi Norris of St Cloud, fishing their first event with the club flipped to catch 5 fish for 13.39 pounds and earn second place. Bob Barnette of Port St. John and Tom Southwick of Cocoa Beach took 3rd with 5 fish for 10.89 pounds.
Twenty boats launched onto Blue Cypress Lake to compete in the Space Coast Bass Finatics tournament on December 14. Despite our best efforts, only two of the teams would bring a five fish limit to the scales. While anglers found it difficult to catch numbers of fish, quality fish were found with three fish over six pounds weighed. The team of Jimmy Blount and Jack Berry, both of Rockledge, used texas rigged big plastic worms to catch 5 fish for 13.94 pounds to win the tournament. Their bag was punctuated by Berry's 7.98 pound lunker that was the tournament's biggest fish. Dwayne Haga of Sanford and Dave Metzler of Debary flipped soft plastics to catch 3 fish for 11.11 pounds to finish second. Santos "Junior" Solis and Jason Gonzales, both of Vero Beach, also flipped soft plastics to take third place with 3 fish for 10.82 pounds.
The month's small creel award, a $50 gift card to Strike-Zone, was earned by Alan Elder and Wayne Smith with 1 fish for 1.00 pounds. Strike-Zone's local buddy tournament series is coming back in 2015. For more information on that, drop by the store. Thanks to Strike-Zone for donating that generous and useful prize!
Justin Neal caught a 9 pound 6 ounce giant at Blue Cypress Lake on Sunday, November 30, 2014 while practicing for our tournament in a few weeks. What a magnificent fish. She appears to be in pristine condition much like the lake she lives in. Surprise, Justin didn't offer any information on where he caught her or the bait she ate. Not that I bothered to ask. The good news for the rest of us is that she's still swimming around out there somewhere.
The Space Coast Bass Finatics brought their monthly team tournament trail to the Miami-Garcia Impoundment on November 16th. Santos "Junior" Solis of Vero Beach, fishing in his first tournament with the club and without a partner, bested the 19 boat field with 5 fish for 23.42 pounds. He set the all-time club record for one day total weigh for a solo competitor. He also caught a 7.22 pound lunker that was the tournament's biggest fish. Crankbaits early and flipping the rest of the day caught his winning weight with the early crankbait bite producing the bigger fish.
Mike Hampton of Malabar and Charlie Coleman of Sebastian flipped junebug colored soft plastics to amass 5 fish for 20.25 pounds earning a second place finish. Dwayne Haga of Sanford and Dave Metzler of Debary also flipped junebug colored soft plastics to total 5 fish for 16.49 pounds to round out the top 3.
David Lloyd and Bill Groseclose earned themselves this month's small creel award with 1 fish for 1.59 pounds. The prize was 2 bags of fishing stuff including baits, sunglass lanyards, and other useful items. It was sponsored by Dwayne's wife Elizabeth who encourages you to download the free Paid2Save app on iPhone or Android phones and enter referral code 42215. The app helps you find sales and discounts at your favorite stores including Best Buy, Dick's Sporting Goods, Sears, Sports Authority, and many others. For more information on that you can call Elizabeth at 321-591-9847. Thanks Elizabeth!
There was an unfortunate incident involving a canoe in the E canal about the time our weigh-in started.
Governor Rick Scott signed an executive order reducing the cost of FL lifetime sportsman's licenses for people between the ages of 5 and 21 between November 24 and December 31 2014. Someone between 13 and 21 could save around $500 for a lifetime license to hunt, saltwater fish, and freshwater fish.
The Space Coast Bass Finatics took their monthly team tournament trail to Lake Kissimmee's Overstreet Landing boat ramp on October 26. Gary and Jake Hinman of Palm Bay flipped plastic worms to amass a 5 fish limit totaling 13.06 pounds to win the tournament. Jack and Sean Burt of Cocoa employed big junebug colored plastic worms to weigh 5 fish for 11.90 pounds to earn a second place finish. David Lloyd of Palm Bay, fishing without a partner in his first tournament with the club, found that his boat motor wouldn't start when he arrived at the boat ramp. Instead of giving up and going home, he made the best of the situation and caught a 5 fish limit on topwater frogs and spinnerbaits weighing 11.65 pounds to earn the third place prize money. Tony Ciavarella of Melbourne caught a 5.87 pound bass on a topwater frog around some lily pads in North Cove area of the lake that was tournament's biggest fish.
Randy Sanders, who fished with the club for a few years back in the early 2000s, died at the age of 44 on September 28, 2014. Randy operated his own guide service called Fish On Bass Fishing Excursions and could often be found at the Stick Marsh where he became affectionately known as the "Stick Martian". His personality and enthusiasm for bass fishing were infectious. He always seemed to be grinning. Our thoughts go out to his family. Rest in peace Randy.
Read his obituary at the Floriday Today website.
Memorial donations may be made to Central Brevard Humane Society, 1020 Cox Rd., Cocoa, FL 32926.
The Space Coast Bass Finatics kicked off the 2014/2015 season at East Lake Tohopekaliga on September 28 with 14 boats launching out of Lakefront Park. The team of Mike Calloway of Titusville and Cliff Semonski of Oak Hill weighed 5 fish for 11.22 pounds to win the tournament. Mike Hampton of Malabar and Tim Kopf of Melbourne brought 5 fish for 9.98 pounds to the scales to take second place. Third place went to the team of Jake and Gary Hinman of Palm Bay with 4 quality fish for 9.28 pounds. Their creel included a 3.08 pounder by Gary that was the tournament's biggest fish.
The small creel award went to the rookies Thomas Taylor and Brandon Veasey who narrowly edged me out with 1 fish for 1.47 pounds. The award was donated by Mike Calloway's Last Cast Products and included an assortment of punch skirts, jig heads, and some other items. Mike sells these items, rod sleeves, and other things and offers a 10% discount to club members. Just ask him about his wares at our next event. Thanks to Mike!
On August 31st, the SCBF's top ten teams in regular season points headed to the Miami-Garcia Impoundment for the annual invitation only classic tournament. For the second year in a row, the team of Mike Calloway of Titusville and Cliff Semonski of Oak Hill were victorious. This time, they sacked 5 fish for an impressive 25.32 pounds. Mike Hampton of Malabar and Tim Kopf of Melbourne took second with 5 fish for 21.39 pounds. Bob Barnette of Port St John and Dwayne Haga of Sanford finished third with 5 fish for
The top two teams flipped hydrilla and hyacinth around the area known as "The Pit". The biggest fish caught by both teams came casting junebug colored trick worms however. Mike Hampton caught an 8.58 pound lunker on a Carolina-rigged junebug colored trick worm that was the tournament's biggest fish.
All of the club's all-time classic records that have stood since the 2003 classic at West Lake Toho were broken during this tournament. Classic records for biggest bass (8.58 pounds by Hampton), team total weight (25.32 pounds by Calloway/Semonski), combined total weight (151.90 pounds), and combined number of fish weighed (47) were all set.
Tim Iler and Larry Cruce bested the rest of us earning the coveted SCBF Bassmasters title for the 2013/2014 season. This is their 4th Bassmasters points championship title which is a club record. They also earned the heavy weight championship belt along the way with a club record total regular season weight of 186.43 lbs. The two men weighed a 5 fish limit all 12 tournament days this season, a feat that, to the best of my knowledge, hasn't happened before in the club, ever. Congratulations Mr. Iler and Mr. Cruce!