A street-level approach to fishing Florida’s suburban lakes. The usual process is for the boat-reliant angler to painstakingly mount canoe, johnboat or kayak on his car and drive five miles to the designated “lake that lots of people fish in and is therefore the best around,” leaving the pond or private lake across the street thoroughly untried and ignored.
Florida anglers know it’s not always a fish-eatfish world out there. Vegetarian fish lack innate regard for the ingenuity lavished on modern sportfishing tackle and artificial lures. Florida’s fresh water hosts a few such ingrates, whose office it is to torture young anglers, frustrate them with their large bodies and small, declining mouths.
Great-eating wild hogs are never out of season if you know where to go. Wild hogs, also called wild boars or feral pigs, aren’t native to Florida. They either were introduced by colonists or may even have been brought over by the Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto as early as 1539. Either way, they have adapted and prospered in Florida’s mild climate and are plentiful throughout the state, found in all 67 counties.
A primer on the favorite flats habitat. They say Inuit people can identify seven different kinds of snow. There are almost that many kinds of sea grass on Florida’s flats, but if you can tell the difference between just three varieties, it’s likely to make you a considerably better angler.
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.
Spear fisherman offers insights into the new rage on the bluewater grounds: vertical flash teasers. Recently, light tackle hook-and-line fishermen have discovered the effectiveness of vertical flash teasers for wahoo and other pelagic fish. These tools have long been part of the bluewater spearfisherman’s game.
Assemble a fool-proof backing, flyline, leader and fly connection system. You should never lose a fish because the leader and fly line separated, or lose a fly line to a fish because the backing-to-fly line connection failed. Fly fishers should know how to make the proper connections in their tackle. Making these practical connections requires no tool other than a line clipper.