Freshwater Fishing


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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.

FWRI researcher measuring a largemouth bass collected during a routine electrofishing trip.

Working Over Time

The Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s Freshwater Fisheries Research section began a Long-Term Monitoring Project for Florida’s lakes in 2006. Our primary objective is to track freshwater fisheries trends over time, using standardized methods that ensure the integrity of the data collected across the state.

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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.

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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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Peacock Bass – Florida Butterfly vs. Brazilian Speckled

But how do the butterfly peacocks of South Florida stand up to speckled peacocks of the Amazon Basin? A look at the similarities and differences of the Florida Butterfly Peacock versus the Brazilian Speckled Peacock.

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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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Power Fishing for Bass

There’s something to be said for one big hook. Stick a trophy fish, and you can apply the full pressure the tackle will deliver, muscle it out of whatever cover it was hiding in and bring the fish to the boat quickly

In a recent Forum thread, FS Member spadoc79 contributed this picture of a young lady with a big Lake Jackson bluegill caught on a grasshopper popper. The article is a reprint from our back issues, which we thought appropriate given the time of year.

Bluegill Moon

When the light’s up, bream go bump in the night.

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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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Best Places to Catch Crappie

Crappie are among the most popular freshwater fishes in Florida. Their deep body with nearly symmetrical dorsal and anal fins and a speckled pattern on the body make them easy to distinguish.

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Phosphate Lake Bass Fishing

Phosphate pits are unique in Florida for their underwater terrain. Unlike our natural lakes, which are mostly shallow bowls, the dug pits contain humps, deep holes and even hilltops projecting above the submerged landscape.

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Peacock Bass Fly Fishing, South Florida-Style

Equatorial natives survive on the edge of the subtropics. During my high school cross-country running days, practice was held at John Prince Park, in Lake Worth, Florida. We trained around Lake Osborne.

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3D Fish Finders for Bass

Once you leave the comfortable world of visible shallow water cover, knowing exactly what’s below is a key to catching bass. Traditional two-dimensional sonar depthfinders can be your underwater eyes, but they’re sometimes a bit myopic. They will show “bumps” and “things” and “stuff,” but unless an angler is extremely skilled at interpreting that 2D display, that’s about all they will see.

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Small Lakes Can Offer Big Incentives

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) works hard to maintain our status as the “Fishing Capital of the World” by actively managing fishery resources to foster the best fishing opportunities possible.

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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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Pop the Top on Big O

Classic summer Okeechobee bass-bugging at its best. By early June last year, Lake Okeechobee was low, 11 feet, three inches, so low bass and panfish were jammed into natural depressions and manmade canals around Belle Glade.