Freshwater Fishing


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Small Lake Bass

Within minutes we boated a fat 3-pound bass, and that was the start of a steady parade of fish. By the time an early afternoon thunderstorm ended our day, we had tallied over 20 bass. The best was pushing 7 pounds.

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Teenager Catches State Record Flathead Catfish

Charles Patchen (13) from Alabama caught a 63.8-pound flathead catfish on the Chattahoochee River in Jackson County at 2:30 p.m. on May 15. He beat the previous certified state record by more than eight pounds.

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Frog Modifications

A big, protein-rich mouthful — that’s what frogs mean to bass. Anglers mimick this top-tier forage with topwater frogs that tempt fish hiding under mats or lurking in open water. Here’s a rundown of tips for maximizing your frog success.

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Swamp Bass

The next morning in Jeff’s truck, he explained what lay ahead of us. Years ago, he discovered a trail into a hidden lake, a long way back through a swamp. He’d even hauled an aluminum boat out there. I asked him how many buddies used his boat. He told me he’d never seen another soul out there. I knew right then that this was going to be very special.

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Lake Okeechobee Tributaries

Both waterways terminate at Lake Okeechobee, arguably the world’s most famous largemouth bass fishery. But if your idea of bass fishing is pitching soft plastics through hydrilla mats, drifting huge wild shiners and zooming home with 250 horses at your transom, you’re in for an awakening.

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South Florida Peacock Bass

When you hear the word bass, most think of sparkly boats, baitcasters and big tournament payouts. But for fisherman in South Florida, the peacock bass is the staple in the local freshwater systems. With their aggressive eats, strong runs and beautiful colors, these fish have become prized gamefish.

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Take Your Shiner For a Stroll

It’s not the most glamorous bass tactic, and you’re not likely to see it on the cable TV fishing shows. But there’s a reason why slow-trolling live shiners is the bread and butter technique for bass guides from Lake Okeechobee to Talquin–it works.

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Way Down on the Econ

If Stephen Foster had known about the Econlockhatchee, or Econ, the lyrics to his famous song may have been different.
The Econ doesn’t come up in discussions of great Florida fishing waters. Fishing the Econ is usually a lovely day on the water with a few beautiful fish thrown in. It can be better than that, but you really can’t expect it to be.

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April Freshwater Fishing is Awesome, don’t be a Fool and Miss It!

No joke here, you’d be an April fool if you miss the opportunity to enjoy spring fishing here in Florida. April is among the most popular fishing months for freshwater anglers. This time of year the weather can be glorious, with flowers blooming, birds singing and fish spawning.

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Finger Mullet for Bass

Fishing on Lake Okeechobee recently, I was surprised at how many mullet I saw jumping. The thought came to me, why not use these fish for bait?

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Clear Water Bass Tactics

Many of Florida’s rivers and lakes are fed by springs, and the water tends to be very clear year-round. But even on waterbodies fed primarily by surface runoff, late winter and spring can see exceptionally clear conditions, due to the cool water and limited growth of algae. This puts us anglers at a disadvantage.

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Florida Gar Fishing

Gar range from the Everglades to the Georgia border and west to Alabama. However, for some fast and fun gar fishing, potential gar anglers might want to journey to the rivers of Panhandle Florida and look for gar as they come to the surface to take breaths of air.

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FWC Approves New Freshwater Bass Conservation Measures

At its meeting Thursday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved sweeping changes to streamline bass regulations and increase effectiveness. Commissioners meeting at the Florida Institute of Public Safety near Tallahassee approved implementation of new black bass conservation measures, which will go into effect July 1.

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Rodent Lures for Bass

This came to mind because, every year at ICAST, the international fishing tackle trade show, there are a few more mice, rats, birds—and turtles—among the many baitfish, crawfish and frog lures engineered to fool bass—or bass anglers. Actually, mice lures have been around forever—my Uncle Bob back in Ohio was fishing one in the 1950′s, though I don’t think he ever caught anything on it.

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Shaky Head Fishing for Bass

The shaky head, essentially a Texas-rigged worm-and-jighead combo, is pure dynamite on bass oriented to the bottom, in deep or shallow water.

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Bass in the ‘Burbs

A streetwise fishing quest amid the sprawling city scape of Orlando. As a 12-year-old in ’62 Orlando, I mostly fished four nearby lakes. Equipped with the normal fascination with any tap transmitted from an artificial worm.