Freshwater Fishing


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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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Finesse the Pads

Lily pads make great sunshades for late-summer largemouth, but they are difficult to fish without snagging. One solution that works very well is casting small, weedless-rigged soft plastics along the outer edges of shoreline pads.

Capt. George Gozdz displays an average St. Johns largemouth.

New Fishing Regulations Go Into Effect to Improve Bass Fisheries Statewide

New regulations simplify rules to more effectively manage the quality of black bass fisheries
New black bass fishing regulations are in effect throughout Florida, beginning July 1. This regulation change will streamline existing rules, allow anglers to keep smaller, more abundant bass and protect larger bass in order to ensure that Florida continues to produce trophy bass in the future.

The Nervous Rex is similar in size to a magnum spook

Soft Plastic Topwaters

When bass are tight to cover or buried beneath it, getting a lure in front of them can be difficult. Plugs with treble hooks are suited for nibbling around edges of cover. If fish are active such an approach may work well. However, when bass hunker in places inaccessible to most lures, as they often do, a weedless offering is a must.

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Bow Mount Sonar

Now, every boat has sonar, and a lot of flats and bass rigs have sonar at both ends. In fact, for those who fish with a trolling motor, a sonar system up front has become pretty much standard equipment—and some of the bass guys even have a couple of big-screens mounted on the front deck.

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Three Tricks With Spinnerbaits for Bass

You can do a lot more with this lure than just cast and reel it. There are a lot of ways to use a spinnerbait, and a number of different retrieves that can make it more effective. Here are three retrieve methods that can increase your catch.

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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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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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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.