Freshwater Fishing


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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.

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Another Year, More Fish to Catch!

The Blackwater Fisheries Research and Development Center (Holt County) and the Florida Bass Conservation Center (Sumter County) have completed their annual freshwater fish hatchery production for FWC’s Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management (DFFM) for Fiscal Year 2013-2014.

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Fishing the Forgotten Chain: Osceola County Lakes

There’s room to explore on these largely unfished Osceola County lakes. It’s The Rodney Dangerfield Chain O’ Lakes. Right alongside the magnificently named and fun to say Tohopekaliga, it dares names like Coon, Lizzie, Center, Trout for God’s sake, and Alligator, like that’s a species you don’t often find in lakes.

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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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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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Go Small For Big Results

Rigging and fishing little plastics for dug-in fish. Knowing the bass are there is one thing; getting to them is another. Given the opportunity, the largest bass in any body of water will conceal themselves beneath a canopy of grass, hydrilla, hyacinth or other cover.

Some courses authorize, or even encourage, fishing.

Golf Course Bass Fishing

Any way you slice it, golf course ponds can be prime sites for hooking largemouths. I learned to enjoy the best of both worlds long ago as a caddy at the Doral Open in Miami. After lugging around the bag for Julius Boros during a practice round, we small-talked a bit until the conversation swung to our mutual fondness for fishing.

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Flippin’ Freshwater Baits

n this Florida Sportsman seminar, Reel Time Host Capt. George Gozdz demonstrates a common freshwater technique of flipping in heavy structure.

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Reaction Strikes

Yet, if you dangle a ball of yarn in front of that cat it will take a swipe at it. Toss a ball and the dog will chase it. Bass are hard-wired with the same predatory responses. Given the right stimulus they will strike a lure, even if they are not feeding. Call this a reaction strike. The right lure presentation will trigger it.

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Season Three of Florida TrophyCatch Program Underway

Season two of TrophyCatch was a huge success. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), anglers and fishing-related businesses around the state are celebrating the success and kicking off season three. For the second season, which just ended, more than $200,000 worth of individual prizes will be rewarded, thanks to TrophyCatch’s valued corporate partners.

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Bass Fishing Toads

Toads kick up a topwater frenzy on Florida bass lakes. Most bass anglers are familiar with soft-plastic frog lures. Some would think that a toad would be a similar squatty amphibian-type bait. But, they’d be wrong.

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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.

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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.