SCBF Travel to Lake Okeechobee for Two Day Tournament

Jimmy Blount  and Jack Berry with 27.73 lbs and second place on Okeechobee
Preston Humphries and Buddy Perry with 28.97 lbs and second place on Lake Okeechobee
Preston Humphries with Big Bass on Okeechobee 7.96 lbs
Matt Hinman and Gary Hinman (not pictured) first place  35.48 lbs and thier Big Bass 7.70 lbs

Many of the club members traveled south to Lake Okeechobee earlier in the week to see what was in store for the weekend. What most found was that their old areas were either entirely gone or changed to the point of being unrecognizable. Old boat trails were now open areas with scattered reeds and most reed lines were far from their old positions. The lake water was very dirty if you were in the open, but clean water could be found inside the reeds which is what most people were looking for. The water level was a little higher than it was last year, but one boat did find a way to hit bottom, bend a prop blade and ultimately cause the engine to break down, so he believes (Calloway). A rescue was quickly done by Alan Elder on both days as he provided and delivered a prop on Friday and a tow back on Sunday. The sportsmanship trophy along with some brownie points for a job well done by a true club member and friend.
As usual there were the parking lot problems, boat bumping, poor planning, ramp miscues, launching malfunctions, cutting off by other fishermen, guide boat arrogance, smoke filled morning and President Bill taking a header into the lake while setting hook on a huge one and a half pound Big-O-Bass. Results were bass landed, rod saved, wallet wet, phone damaged and pride slightly injured. Maybe, that new boat needs safety belts and safety rails and a better ladder to get in and out. Maybe, you could get some pointers from Brian Wical on how to best launch your boat. Next year we should implement a curfew at 11 pm and a wake up call system for the members, headed up by Lloyd and Jennifer so that everyone can launch their boats together. All in all, it was a good weekend with a new record set for two day weight for the club at 400.1 pounds and a new total number of fish weighed in at 184. It would have been perfect if we had not had that one dead fish which brought the fish survival rate down to 94.46%.

Matt and Gary Hinman used a strong day two comeback to capture first place with a total of 35.48 pounds. Their day one limit included a nice 6.36 pounder which took Big Bass honors for the day and was caught by Matt Hinman. Day two produced the largest bag limit of the tournament at 23.60 pounds and included a giant 7.70 pounder, second largest of the tournament.

Second place team of Buddy Perry and Preston Humphries used their favorite lures, top water, rattle traps and worms to bring in a two day total of 28.97 pounds of Okeechobee bass. Preston Humphries landed the Big Bass of the weekend at 7.96 pounds using a 8" worm, or was it a top water devil horse, to fill out their day two limit of 17.83 pounds to secure their strong finish. Good Job, Preston!

The biggest come back of the weekend was posted by Jimmy Blount and Jack Berry as they turned in a 21.41 pound limit on day two to move from fourteenth place on day one to finish in third place with a total of 27.73 pounds. Jimmy landed a nice 7.27 pounder on the second day to fill out their limit most of which came on speed worms, flukes and sinkos.

Fourth place went to Mike Calloway and William Flood who post a day one first place weight of 12.26 pounds then added 14.47 pounds on day two for a total of 26.73 pounds. Shawn Mecchella of Strike Zone of Melbourne, generously sponsored the prize along with a small creel prize which was accepted by Lloyd and Jennifer Hamilton. He also donated a nice gift certificate, which the club had a drawing for on day one and was won by Brian Wical. We greatly appreciate the continued support from Shawn and his staff. This should make the weekend breakdowns and late night out and lack of fish catching a little easier to take. Thanks Shawn !