The third tournament of the season occurred on November 19th on Lake Poinsett. The weather cooperated with light winds and temperatures less than 80 degrees. Water temperatures were in the low 70’s with stained water conditions with two to three feet of visibility in some areas. The St. Johns River system continues to be mostly void of submergent grass where bass love to live and feed. This makes finding bass somewhat challenging for those who do not spend the necessary time to find them.
The second tournament of the season occurred on October 29th with 14 teams eager to compete. We launched from Big Toho Marina at first light for what was expected to be moderate temperatures with winds picking up throughout the day from the northeast. Mother nature certainly gave us what was forecasted. By 11AM, winds were over 15 knots which made some of the fishing locations a little uncomfortable for sure. Air temperatures were in the mid 80’s mid-day, and the water temperatures were in the mid 70’s.
With the new season beginning, 15 teams made the trek thru the muddy pot holes that protect Ralph V. Chisholm Park ramp on East Lake Toho. Not the turnout we were hoping for, but still enough to make it interesting. For one of the few times in 2023, Mother Nature cooperated with light winds and finally some cooler temperatures that had all anglers hoping conditions would trigger a good bite on a lake that can be very stingy at times.
Only 10 of the 11 qualifying teams made the trip to West Lake Toho to participate in this year’s SCBF Classic. Unfortunately one team made a fatal error when they got the tournament date mixed up and were on the Classic waters during the off limit period, therefore being DQ’d. Kudos to Fred Reid for self reporting this. We appreciate your integrity and honesty, Fred. Not only did they lose the chance to win, but also the chance for the coveted “Triple Crown”.
The end of the regular season for SCBF was punctuated by the weather ( hot as usual in July ) and the points race for the AOY and the top ten " CLASSIC " berths along with the wild card winner. The check-in, launch and take off went off without a hitch just like the well oiled machine it has become for the club. The morning cool provided the only relief from the heat that the fifteen teams would see all day as the temperature went from 79 to 98 degrees and the wind would not offer much relief from that.
Blue Cypress Lake is a long drive south down a rough, but paved, road to one of Florida's most beautiful looking lake's. The abundant wildlife around the lake and on the drive there never seems to get old or boring. The tannic water, huge cypress trees, submerged stump's big alligator's and screaming Osprey's reminded us of the old Florida. The morning opened with a warm sunrise and it just got hotter and hotter as the day wore on. The wind did not give much relief as it kept changing direction and was not nearly enough to cool off that sweating brow.
The club was met with about everything that a lake can offer on Saturday and Sunday. There was Federation tournament at the ramp on Saturday for their two day event and there were two more on Sunday. The ABA/AFT Harris Division 20 and the Harris Open were there on Sunday which made for a crowd at the ramp and in the parking lot. The take-off and the weigh-in times were discussed between the participants and all was worked out to the satisfaction of everyone. The results were evident as both days went off without a hitch between the clubs.
The rescheduled April tournament worked out pretty good, as the weather conditions were a lot better than the previous weekend. Even with a little wind and quite a large celebration going on in the park by the afternoon. The music and food were in high spirits and a lot of people were celebration a late Cinco de Mayo.
We finally landed on a lake that the club could catch fish on and it was a welcome relief from the last two club tournaments. The improvements around the ramp and parking lot did not change how crowded it gets when twenty-one boats show up to fish with a few others who just wanted to have a nice day on the water. The mosquito population seems to have increased probably because the ramp light works all the time now. The water level and color was ok except the west dike water was dirty and stained due to FWC and SJRWMD work on weed control and erosion.
Well the waters have receded and so did the fish except for mud fish and catfish. SCBF did not have much of a showing for the St. John's River fishery as the word must have got out about the fishing conditions. It was a nice winter's day in Florida anyway with no mosquitoes, mild to nice temperatures and variable wind from the southeast. There were no major problems with the launch ramps except for a big wade of floating grass which the President took care of with a blast from his prop to clear it away from the ramp.