There’s been plenty of action recently at another great spot to access our local lakes, Grape Hammock near the eastern Polk County line on State Road 60.
They recently hosted the South Florida Bass Pros out of Boca Raton. A dozen boats participated, with Doug White and Doug Jansen grabbing first place at 26.39 pounds. Kirk Zenke and Vance DeMartin were the runners up with 26.05 pounds and third place went to Greg Sweeney and Scott Lewis at 19.07 pounds.
The “big fish” title went to Carlos Suche who reeled in an 8.24 pound.
Grape Hammock next event is the Nov. 23 Sticky Steve’s Tournament which is open to public. There will be a camp out and bluegrass music on Friday, and a fish fry and music Saturday after the tournament.
And actually, before that, they will also have a local bass club having a tournament out of their ramp Sunday, Nov. 17 with 25 boats. It’s the Po Boys Bass Club of Lake Wales with contact of Buddy Mongiovi at 863-781-073.
Grape Hammock is an interesting place. Grape Hammock is in a historic spot on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes.
It was Alligator’s Camp before the second Seminole War, in December 1836. Zachary Taylor, at that time a general in the U.S. Army, raided it then and chased the Seminoles south to fight the Battle of Okeechobee. Fort Gardner was the staging area for that war. Fort Gardner was at the Camp Mack location.
Lt. Basinger was killed during that affray, and hence the fort named after him near the river in Highlands County. When Gen. Taylor returned back to Fort Gardner and sent his kill and battle casualties in, he was told to immediately leave Florida and return home. The president told him “I can’t afford for you to win any more battles in Florida.”
There has been recent action at Camp Mack, too, including the Lakeland Junior Bass Masters on Nov. 3. All winners get a trophy, plus rods and reels, weigh in bags, autographed Steve Rose caps, and digital scale from Bass Pro Shops.
For ages 11-14, first place went to Jackson Williams, 18.40 pounds, second to Gage Waters (16.6), third to Evan Barnett (14.85), fourth to Spencer Carter (14.50), and fifth to Jonathon Jones (13.10). Big bass honors wen to Evan Barnhardt (4.25).
In the older age division, Chris Cooper was first (24.55), Luke Ferguson was second (22.35), Henry Lensombagler was third (17.75), Jordan Marero was fourth (15.40) and fifth went to Cole Smucker (13.50).