West Lake Toho proves tough for SCBF

Justin Neal with Big Bass 6.43 lbs and Justin Sonnier (not pictured) with 11.62 lbs 3rd place
Brian Davidson and Karl Kearcher (not pictured) with 11.64 lbs 2nd place at West Lake Toho
Ryan Sperling and Chris Novak 1st place with 12.23 lbs at West Lake Toho

There was the usual congestion at the boat launch ramp at Big Toho Marina as there were two other groups going out on Sunday the 23rd. President Karl worked out all the details with the other clubs as to the weighin times and locations to make the end of the day go smoothly. The weather was perfect and the wind had finally subsided to a mild 5 to 10 mph, just enough to keep the bugs away. Twenty-seven teams were check in by V-P Buddy and Treasurer Jack except for Raymond and Zack Taylor, who had trailer problems and did not arrive until 8 AM, making the twenty-eight team field. Problems began as soon as Mike Hampton showed up with the permits ( which he made a copy of the last months permit by mistake ) and Jack starting passing out new hats with a spelling mistake. We are sorry to hear of the medical problems for Charlie Rigby and wish him the best for a quick recovery. Dave Tripp had to fish another tournament trail and could not fish with us. The President call a meeting for our launch procedure and safety reminders along with the weigh-in time and location. We still have problems with boats powering up on plane before they clear all other boats who are waiting at the launch point. This will be addressed at the next tournament and steps will be taken to correct this unsafe action. It was a beautiful sunrise on West Lake Toho, clear to partly cloudy, clean water, green hydrilla , bright sunshine, ducks flying and not too many bugs. So, where are all the big bass ? It seems that no one was catching them as the other clubs reported that small limits and five pounders were the best they could do.

First place was taken by Chris Novak and his alternate partner Ryan Sterling with a limit of nice Toho bass weighing 12.23 pounds. They reported that throwing a Senko around the pads and buggy whips in West Lake Toho was the key to their first win this season. Their bag was capped off by a nice 4.51 pound big bass. This should make Jay happy.

Second place came on a last hour decision to return from Lake Kissimmee to the launch ramp location and throw rattle traps out in the open water over a hydrilla bottom. President Karl and partner Brian Davidson made that good decision and landed an 11.64 pound limit including a nice 4.77 pound big bass.

Justin Neal, who got a 15 day furlough, and partner Justin Sonnier claimed third place by flipping and throwing everything else they had around the lake. Their limit weighing 11.62 pounds narrowly missed second place by a mere 0.02 pounds but it did include a 6.43 pounder which claimed Big Bass honors for the day and was caught by Justin Neal. Like everyone says just one more good fish is all it takes.

Rounding out the top four places was Brian Wical and his alternate partner Keith Baxley who used a swimjig and flipping the grass and pads to take a limit of fish weighing 11.11 pounds to take home the tournament sponsors gift certificate from Shawn Mecchella and Strike Zone of Melbourne. The team of Rick and Joe Jenkins, sporting around the lake with a brand new 250 Pro XS Mercury motor, captured the small creel award with 2.13 pounds and take home another great gift certificate from our tournament sponsor Shawn Mecchella. Thanks a lot Shawn.
President Karl concluded the tournament with a few words about next months tournament on Lake Okeechobee on the 28th and 29th of March. We will launch both days out of the Harney Pond Canal Ramp.