In the closest tournament in SAF state championship history, Cole Schmucker and Kaitlyn Boswell of the Bartow High School Yellow Jackets Fishing Team won the SAF Florida state championship Sunday, March 10, on Lake Toho by two ounces over Seminole High School.
Schmucker and Boswell had 14.15 pounds, Seminole High had 14.13 pounds. Third place went to Yellow Jackets Luke Ferguson and Dustin Bozeman with 14.11 pounds.
George Jenkins anglers Kyle Stafford and Matt Bedenbaugh took fifth place with 12.9 pounds. Schmucker had the big bass of the day at 5.5 pounds.
Bartow High School had 10 boats in the 42-boat field.
Only 11 ounces separated the first four teams and six teams brought in five bass limits as the wind was consistent throughout the tournament.
Freshmen Boswell and Schmucker used swim baits all day.
“It was kind of a grind and in all honesty I could have just brought one rod with us today as we threw those swim baits the entire day,” Schmucker said on a blog post at www.highschoolfishing.org.
The Yellow Jackets’ next tournament will be on April 27 on Lake Rochelle.
The first FL B.A.S.S. Nation High School Series Open Team event is Saturday, March 30, on the Kissimmee Chain out of Lake Toho City Ramp. It is open to all high school anglers in grades 9-12. Those interested can get registration information from Tournament Director Martin Bozeman at 863-640-8349.