Freshwater Fishing


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Taking the Tournament

Florida Sportsman member: capt louie Worked the area and added a 2 pound to the well and I caught a 5 plus pounder to help. Fishing was slow but we were able to cull twice and threw a bunch of 2 pounders back. I lost a big one flipping I never turned but it didn’t matter. Our 21.62 final weight took the win!

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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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Florida Sportsman Bass & Birdies Classic ICAST 2014

A 7.7-pound bass and a blistering score of 18-under par took top honors at Florida Sportsman’s Bass & Birdies Classic. The unique excitement of combining golf with fishing prior to the annual ICAST show proved to be popular for 60 participants from the fishing industry.

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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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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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Topwater Frogs for Bass

A hard- or soft-body toad is absolutely tantalizing to bass near cover. Working the bait on the surface in-between a mat of grass or stretch of lily pads produces exciting strikes from bucketmouths. It’s why the baits are so popular amongst bass tournament anglers, and why a number of lure-makers are producing impressive amphibian imitators.

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Chain Pickerel Fishing in Florida

Chain pickerel, or jack, are the ruin of shiners and fingers, but great fun nonetheless. How often have you heard “Oh, crap! It’s a bass,” from your buddy when his fish jumps in the middle of a dogged battle?  That’s right.  Not very often.

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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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Un-Reel, Cane Pole Fishing

Besides that, sometimes it’s just fun to shed the gadgets and drift back to basics. Relax. Kick your shoes off. Set a spell and harken back to a simpler time.

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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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Shining the Way to Your Biggest Bass

Florida-grown livies are still the killers for trophy fish. We’ve got plastic worms, spinnerbaits, topwater toads and all kinds of monster killers, but the closest thing to a can’t-miss is a live wild shiner.

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Florida Chain Pickerel Fishing

Way I see it, there’s not any kind of fishing much more exciting than pulling a buzzbait or weedless in-line spinner across a field of lily pads and having a big pickerel come blasting up to engulf the bait.

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Orange Lake Bass Fishery Gets a Boost

More than 102,000 genetically pure Florida Bass now call Orange Lake home after the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management completed their scheduled released of young of the year bass into the now full lake.

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Trolling For Peacock Bass

But what happens when they aren’t showing themselves, and the usual spots don’t produce? In these situations, I set my trolling motor to cruise control and cover as much water as I can. Trolling for peacock bass is an excellent way to break the monotony of an unproductive day, and finally get on some fish.

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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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Fishing Lake Okeechobee

Located in the eastern middle of the state, Lake Okeechobee is truly a huge body of water. Miles of shoreline, bays, airboat trails, grass edges, floating hyacinth islands and a host of other bass habitat await anglers. It seems that every foot of it is prime bass water. The lake also holds stable populations of black crappie, shellcrackers, bluegill, channel catfish, gar and a host of other freshwater fishes.