Freshwater Fishing


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Fishing Fast with a Worm

A slow-moving, bottom-bouncing worm is great for thoroughly working a small area. But there are situations where getting that worm off the bottom can be a better bet. Here are three ways to turn that bait into a faster-moving lure.

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Crankbaits in Grass

Jerk those lipless crankbaits through heavy cover. It works! Loud, flashy and long-casting, lipless crankbaits are the lure of choice when searching for bass in submerged hydrilla.

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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.

Unidentified Florida angler with one of the early introductions of tilapia, then-erroneously referred to as Nile perch.

Vic Dunaway Remembered: Where Have You Gone, Nile Perch?

The June 2012 issue of Florida Sportsman Magazine, has a feature article by writer Tom Levine on Florida’s “vegetarian” fish, such as mullet, grass carp, and the infamous tilapia. For a little more background on these unusual fish, check out the article by Vic Dunaway published in the April 1997 edition.

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Backwards Texas Rig

Hidden in the name is the essence of the concept—a backward Texas rig. Tekisasu—Texas, in Japanese—is phonetically reversed to form sasuteki, just as the weight is placed below the lure to turn the Texas rig itself upside down.

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Fishing a Spinnerbait Early

Explosive bass fishing doesn’t end with the coming of these hot, still days of midsummer. If you can urge yourself out of bed early, there’s a window of fast action to enjoy.

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Pattern Your Bass

A basic knowledge of bass habits, combined with keen observation, can make for a very productive day. A spot gives an angler a general area to fish. A pattern tells the angler the specific depth and cover situations within that area where his casts need to go—and those areas that can be ignored.

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Florida Freshwater Catfishing

Besides their willingness to bite when other fish won’t, catfish are crowd favorites at fish fries. The farm-raised channel cats, in fact, are among the few seafood offerings I find consistently satisfying at restaurants. Shrimp, salmon, lobster, and saltwater catches of the day such as mahi and grouper seem to arrive at my table in varying and unpredictable degrees of freshness and doneness—usually over-doneness.

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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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TrophyCatch & Tagging Studies

This basically goes without saying in the Sunshine State, but big bass are a big deal. Trophy bass provide a big part of the identity and draw of our state’s bass fisheries. Florida is often touted as The Bass Fishing Capital of the World, and trophy-sized bass play no small role in this reputation.

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TrophyCatch Program Wrapping Up Successful Second Year

Florida is now wrapping up the second year of what has turned out to be a highly successful effort to encourage anglers to release trophy-quality largemouth bass, thus allowing them to grow even larger while at the same time growing the state’s reputation as a destination for bass anglers.

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Crappie Questions

Well, its fall…at least it is while I am working on this blog… and the cooler weather it ushers in brings out anglers on the hunt for black crappie. Just so happens, fall is also when FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) biologists are doing the bulk of their sampling.

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Bass Fishing at Stick Marsh

If you can’t catch a 6-pound bass on this lake near Vero Beach, something’s wrong. What happens when you rear back into the biggest bass of your life, it dives into a hydrilla mat, and your premium grade hook snaps in half?

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Bluegill Fishing on the Fly

Tricks to take big bream on fly. Several years ago, I caught a mixed bag of four dozen bluegills and shellcrackers during a single, glorious afternoon. While that was practically all the law allowed, the real kicker is that these fish weighed close to a pound apiece.

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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.

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Wiggle and Wobble a Dipstick Worm

The technique is a minimalist approach that lets the two ends of the worm sink slowly to the bottom, pulsating on the drop.