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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
During a recent fishing tournament, John Stewart, 54, of Alva caught, documented and released an 8-pound, 2-ounce Florida largemouth bass on Lake Trafford.
We (FWC biologists) are offering Florida bass fishermen a revised version of an age-old adage. “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it could be 13…pounds that is.” What we are referring to are largemouth bass, and in particular, one monster that had nearly grown to the 13 pound mark.
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