Jan 21 2014

Almost Ready for the Open

bass Almost Ready for the Open

I’ve been out in some brutally cold weather for Florida standards since Saturday. I spent the weekend on Lake Kissimmee and Monday on Lake Toho.

As far as Lake Kissimmee is concerned, I feel like I have this place so dialed in that I’ll get bites all day long irrelevant of how cold it gets. I have no idea what size the fish are since I practice without a hook. The “hitch hiker” screw locks come in real handy for this. Anyway, I’ve got 4 to 5 key areas where I feel like I can get 5 bites fairly quick. All these spots are near bedding areas so there’s gotta be some big females nearby.

I’m  catching fish in a mix of vegetation. I can catch fish anywhere with that combination. In fact, I ran all of Lake Kissimmee looking for that combination. Everywhere I saw it, I would pull in, get a bite, and go to the next spot and do the same thing.

I started Monday on Lake Toho and decided to focus on the trap bite. Within a few casts at my first spot I catch an 8 pounder and some smaller fish. The area had a mix of shells and hydrilla so I decided to try to duplicate the pattern and a few hours later catch a 5 pounder in a similar area. The only thing that concerns me is that the bites are not coming that quick. In fact, they’re few and far between.

At about noon, I decided to look for beds since it was getting really warm. My lower unit had other thoughts thoughts. I blew the darn thing and had to get towed to shore. The guys at the Mercury service trailer put on a new lower unit for me so I should be good to go for the tournament. Thank you Scotty.

I really don’t feel the need for any more practice but I’m heading out this morning anyway. I’ll start in Toho and who know what I’ll do from there.

The bites on the trap on Toho were good but I don’t necessarily know if they’re reliable. I’m getting a lot of bites on Kissimmee but I don’t know the size so there’s always something going around in your head saying you haven’t seen any big fish so do something else.

I guess I’ll finalize my game plan after today. Sun up until sun down should give me some ideas. I’m pretty dialed in and its scary. Hope this rodeo ends up being my time. Still need to find a more reliable trap bite on Toho.

Jan 8 2014

First Day on Lake Kissimmee

I heard the cold weather was coming so I spent the day on Lake Kissimmee this past Sunday in warm 80 degree weather with hardly any wind at all. It’s probably the best weather I will see in the next several weeks.

It’s absolutely amazing how much the grass changes from year to year. The places where they were bedding last year are now filled in with hydrilla and a lot of places that was topped out is now clear.

The fishing was a bit tough to start with. The beds are just not there for the most part but I did find one area with lots of beds without any roosters on them. I’m betting that they will at least have roosters after this cold front.

The water was in the low 60’s in the morning and got up to about 65 in the middle of the day. I started punching with an 1.5 oz and caught two 5 pounders in a 50 yard stretch… guess I’ll come back to expand this area a bit this weekend. Caught a few more with the usual swimbait and speedworm but those fish were tiny.

With the wind being so calm, I spent most of the running the lake and checking out how the grass is looking everywhere. I started in the “school bus” area, then went on to “lemon point”, “7 palms”, “27 palms”, “jack’s”, and the area with the one palm tree down south (no idea what this place is called). I pretty much ran the entire east side of the lake. Hopefully the wind will cooperate and I can run the west side next time.

The only thing I figured out is that I can catch them on isolated matts. I hope to find an offshore rattletrap or carolina rig spot in the next few times I go out. Stay tuned.

I’ve also noticed the more I can’t figure things out, I tend to get more superstitious. I noticed a lot of bad things in Tennessee and a lot bad things happened. The good news is that I’ve been noticing good things lately so my mind must be in the right place. I’ve seen rainbows the past 2 times I’ve been on water so I’m gonna take it as a sign of good things to come.

Dec 24 2013

First Day of Toho Practice

I checked out Toho this past weekend in preparation for the Open coming up in January. Water temps were in the high 60’s, air temp in the mid 80’s, sunny skies, but the bedding has not started yet.

The fish are still in the open water hydrilla in the same places I’ve been catching them all summer. They were gone for a while so I think they’re returning to the same areas in prespawn mode (I think).  In fact, my first stop in 5 to 6 feet of water had tons of fish in it although they were small. I had just rigged up all of my new Kistler KLX and Kistler Helium 3 rods with my new Shimano Chronarch CI4+ reels the day before and caught several fish on each of them. It was like I can call my shots… we’ll see if that happens during the Open since my best guess is that the bigger fish will filter into these areas in January.

I spent most of the day on the north end of Toho and caught fish at every stop I made. The largest was about 3 to 4 pounds on 2 of my new favorite sticks, the Kistler KLX 7’3″ MH Crank, Rip, and Twitch rod on a 6:2:1 Chronarch CI4+ with 17 lb Seaguar Inviz X and a gold and black rattletrap and a Kistler KLX 7’3″ Heavy Texas Carolina Jig Rod paired with a 7:6:1 Chronarch CI4+ spooled with 50 lb Sufix 832 rigged my speedworm.

I planned on looking for beds most of the day but the allure of catching fish on my new rods was too much. It ended up being a relaxing day catching about 40 fish.

I did take note of where the hydrilla is growing in the middle of the lake so I may check it out in the next few days when the next cold front comes in.

Dec 19 2013

Toho Practice Starts This Weekend

In preparation for the BASS Open on Toho I’m gonna attempt to keep a log of all of my fishing days. My first official day of practice will be this Sunday. My new rods from Kistler will be arriving Saturday and I can’t wait to get out on the water with them.

Much of the day will be testing the rods, looking for beds which should have started with this cold front that just passed, and a lot of driving around.

The water level is way up and I’ll probably start my search on Lake Kissimmee. Water temps should be in the high 60’s and Sunday should be the second day of a warming trend.

Hopefully, I’ll have some good pics for the next post.

Jan 29 2011

Don’t Need a Full Moon to Bed Fish in Florida

I imagejpeg 22 Dont Need a Full Moon to Bed Fish in Floridawent out on the Harris Chain today and looked for beds half the day. We’re no where near the full moon or the new moon but it doesn’t matter in Florida. It helps, but not necessary.

Bassdem of I Am a Bass Fisherman blog requested a post on how the spawn is related to the moon phases. It’s commonly believed that 3 days before and the 7 days after the full moon is best for putting bass on bed but I don’t think it’s necessary although it helps. You’ll probably see more fish on bed in this scenario but I saw plenty today regardless of the moon phase. The new moon is also supposed to be good.

All I know is that certain places have fish on bed regardless of moon phase while others really need it to get the bass on bed.

It seems like the weather and water temperature is more important. The water temperature was in the low 60’s and a nice warm day that got up to about 70 degrees. What a relaxing day.

I hooked an 8 pounder off a bed and my friend Danny hooked an 8 pounder off a bed. Don’t worry, there’s plenty more where they came from and should be some left for tomorrow’s tournament.

I boat flipped this joker with a Kistler Z Bone LE flippin stick…. my favorite, a red 3/8 tungsten weight, 4/0 Paychex hook on a snell knot, 50 lb Sufix Performance Braid, and a white Sweet Beaver.

How do you see so many big fish and not catch at least one?

It’s hard to fish any where else when you see fish this size and bigger cruising everywhere.

Tami Curtis from the Tami Curtis blog requested some pics so here’s one of them.

I saw a fish today that was at least 10 pounds if not way bigger and I’ll post the pic of that one if I pick it off tomorrow.

Jan 28 2011

Spawn in Full Swing

The first full moon in January was a week ago and you’re starting to see beds all over the place. I’ve been checking out the clear water spawning areas on the Harris Chain and seeing fry everywhere and lots of bucks on bed.

Many of them have a male and female chasing off bream. In this scenario, it seems you can catch the male but it’s hard to catch the female with the bluegill keeping them preoccupied.

I’ve seen several fish on bed but wouldn’t stay there long enough to make a cast into them. I don’t know if these fish are catchable but my guess is that I can come back a day or two later and they’ll bite.

I love and hate these clear water areas. The other day, I scared off 2 fish over 10 lbs and another half a dozen around 8 lbs. It makes you feel like you don’t know how to fish because those cruisers are hard to catch if not impossible.

I think I know where I’m spending the afternoon around the next full moon though.

Sight fishing has to be one of the most exciting ways to catch bass. My heart’s pumping out of my chest and I keep scaring them off when I see a big one and yell “holy @$#!”.

At this point, I’ll probably have to leave those beds where the bluegills are attacking alone. It also seems that they’re the easiest to catch immediately after they show up on the bed.

I’m not exactly sure what makes them locked on, but something makes this happen. I’m just not sure at what stage they’re locked on. Either they are or they’re not.

Any way you slice it, I’ll probably spend all of my time sight fishing for the next month or so.

My tournament fishing will be limited to just Florida for the remainder of the year. Sometimes I wonder if I’m a bad an angler as some of those tone deaf people trying to sing on American Idol. I guess it doesn’t matter. The one thing I’ve learned over the years is that success in anything depends more on how bad you want it and the amount of work you put in versus natural talent.

Jan 14 2011

Cold and Windy on Toho

flying eagle wallpaper 300x225 Cold and Windy on TohoI’ve spent the last couple of days on Lake Kissimmee and Toho and boy has it been windy and cold. I’m miserable out there. Florida people nor tan people do real well in the cold, but I’ve got to put my time in.

For me, the only way I can catch them when it’s real cold and windy is throwing a rattletrap in hydrilla.

I’ve got some real nice pennywart matts located that I’m gonna hit today which should be good for a flippin bite. Given that there’s no place on Toho or Kissimmee like it, there should be a concentration of fish there…. at least I think.

This weekend’s tournament at Camp Mack should be good practice for the Open. I’ve been trying to figure out how to catch them when it’s windy and cold, and it’s definitely be like that today and tomorrow.

I’ve got a bunch of fresh beds located without any fish on them right now but if the weather turns warmer as predicted then they should be on bed by the Open. If not, I hope the fish that I’ve got located already will stay there for another week.

I’ll report back after this weekend.

On a side note, there’s eagles all over the Kissimmee Chain right now. You know they’re nearby when all the koots start going crazy. All of a sudden, a giant eagle swoops in. It’s pretty neat to watch and it’s happening everywhere. Call it a little bonus for braving the cold.

Jan 7 2011

Toho BASS Open Prep

I’ve been doing a little pre fishing on Toho the past few weeks and haven’t caught a whole lot of big fish. It doesn’t worry me cause I’m taking a little different approach to the BASS Open this year.

I feel like I haven’t been fishing the conditions enough, so I’m trying to hold off on finding good spots until we get a little closer to tournament time.

So far, on my best day of pre fishing, I could’ve weighed in 15 pounds but the water temperature was only 55 degrees that day so it was pretty good for the conditions.

The only place I’d give a whole lot of attention to is something offshore, but I haven’t found anything out there yet.

Of course, I’ve got some trap fish located and hopefully they stay there. The fish I’ve been catching in this area are light colored so I believe they’re just coming in from open water. Usually this means it’s a spot that will have fishing coming in. We’ll know in a few weeks.

I’ve mostly been taking inventory of the grass and locating where beds are starting to creep up. I haven’t seen a whole lot of fish on them yet, but the bucks are nearby and you can’t hardly keep them off so I know the big ones aren’t too far behind.

Eventually you’ll see the big ones busting bait nearby and then you know they’ll be on bed the next day or two.

This coming week, I’ll be focusing on Lake Kissimmee in preparation for the BWS at Camp Mack and then I’ll decide where to focus my attention for the Open.

Dec 16 2010

I Got into the BASS Open on Toho

It’s been so cold lately, I haven’t gotten on the water much. Yes, even I can say no to going fishing every once in a while.

I did get a chance to check out Lake Okeechobee for the free Gambler tournament. I expected to catch them in all the places they were at last year, but man I was wrong. The water was about a foot to a foot and a half lower than last year and it changes everything on the Big O. I had another place with plenty of water, but I pull in only to find that it’s been sprayed.

Nonetheless, it’s Lake Okeechobee. You’re gonna catch plenty of fish cause they’re everywhere but I never did figure out where the big ones were. They’re there, I just don’t know where.

Also got an email yesterday saying I got into the BASS Open on Lake Toho. I thought I had no chance of getting in for only one event, but somehow I got in. Affirmative action? Probably more an act of God, but I’m in. Ooh yeah!

I’ll take it as it was meant to be.

If I ever have a chance at doing good at an Open, it’s gotta be this one. Now I have no excuses.

They’ve been spraying the north end of Toho lately, so all the hydrilla that I’ve been fishing is totally gone. If it gets warm, then it’ll make getting to the beds a lot easier for me and everyone else.

You can bet I’ll be spending quite a bit of time out there and calling everyone I know for the latest info, but I’m learning more and more that I do the best when I just wonder around aimlessly on my own until I figure something out.

I’m not saying I know anything more than anyone else. I’m  just saying it’s the process that works best for me. There’s plenty of guys out there that’s real good with the phone pattern, but not me.

Toho has been fishing phenomenal this past year, but now it’s getting cold and it’s fishing tough out there right now.

Normally, I’d fish matts, but it’s all gone. I’ve been to Toho way too many times, but I still have to cover a lot of ground to find them.

Right now I think I’ll be carolina rigging or throwing a trap if it’s cold and sight fishing if it’s warm. The full moon in January is on the 19th and if it’s warm, it could get stupid. I’ve got lots of places they bed on Toho and if I run out, I can just run to Lake Kissimmee. Hmm… I wonder if the locks will be fixed in time.

If I make enough money at this Open, then I’ll fish the rest. If not, then I’ll call it a year and just fish locally.

I always want to fish more, so I hope I do good on Toho. We’ll give it hell and see what happens.

Dec 5 2010

Sight Fishing Here I Come

It’s been cold lately, but all I can think about is sight fishing when this cold front passes over. I’ve been thinking about it so much I had had take a ride and check out some spawning areas I know about.

The water temperature is between 62 and 64 degrees and there were definitely some clear sandy shiny spots where I looked. I mean these jokers looked fresh. My guess is that I probably missed a tiny wave before this cold front and those beds probably had some fish on it last week.

All I know is that I’m going sight fishing in the next couple of weeks. The week after the next full moon which is the last week of the year or maybe even as early as the next couple days of warm weather should bring in the spawners and I’m going.

I’m already putting together my bed fishing bag which consists of a 1/4 and 3/8 red tungsten weights, white Sweet Beavers in all 3 sizes, and the 9″ NetBait Super T-Mac in Bama Bug.

For some reason, bass on bed don’t like that red weight. Don’t ask me why. It’s just something I’ve noticed.

Another key is a big bait. I’ll normally start with a small bait like the Smallie Beaver but sometimes a big bait is what gets those females riled up so I’ll go with a Double Wide Beaver or the 9″ straight tail worm.

You’d think with that long worm, you have more of a chance of them just getting the tail but I think that red bullet weight gets their attention where it’s needed.

I have no problems getting on the trolling motor and looking all day. I can’t wait.