Florida Update

Friday, December 4th, 2015

My wife and I left New York for the Sunshine State of Florida on October 23. The trip went smooth until I had a trailer tire problem when we were just south of Jacksonville. I noticed a bulge in the side wall and figured the tire was separating. A quick tire change in a rest area put us back on the road and to our winter home in Lake Wales.

October 29th, I fished a night tournament with my friend, Dale Johnson. We fished on the North Winter Haven Chain of Lakes where we normally do quite well, but not having fished there for several months, conditions had changed and we did terrible. My friend was running a Triton that he had recently purchased, and it was not getting up on plane very well. I contacted Triton Boats and they gave me the height measurements that the motor should be mounted, which holes to use, and the best prop for this set up. We adjusted the motor height and ran some other tests. Now the boat planes great, with the rpms, top end and water pressure excellent. If you are experiencing problems, call your boat manufacturer for the right set up. Make sure to have your motor, jack plate and prop information ready when you call them.

November 8th, we fished a tournament on the same Chain of Lakes. We managed to catch a few good fish on toads, chatter baits and plastics. By mid morning the bite had slowed, so we moved to another lake in the Chain, culled all of our fish and upgraded our weight. Zoom trick worms worked on this lake and our total catch for the day was 15+ bass.

November 16th, we fished the South Winter Haven Chain of Lakes. Our idea was to fish a few lakes we hadn’t tried before. We managed four bass in a six hour day, which was not going to help us on tournament day. Tournament day, the 22nd we went to Lake Winterset first and spent the majority of the morning washing baits. Four bass were boated with one making the 14″ size limit, so we made the run to Lake Summit. It took only a few minutes to dial in the bite, and we caught another 20-25 bass. Our problem was the lack of one big fish, but we did cull up several times. A fun day anytime you manage to catch that many bass. A mix of plastic baits worked, but Zoom Finesse Worms outfished the other baits.

December 1, we went to Kissimmee at the new park by Grape Hammock. Six hours of fishing produced four boated bass and a few missed opportunities. Our presentation and bait selection changed to target bigger fish. Some adjustments are still needed, but the overall result was encouraging. Swim baits and 10 inch Berkley Power Worms both worked.

Water temperatures are dropping and the crappie bite is picking up fast. Bass are quite aggressive and willing to bite. If you are not getting bit, change lures, and if that fails, change locations. Grass offshore has been holding good fish.

Trophy time is approaching fast, so book a trip (centralfloridabassinwithfrank.com) early to lock in your date.

Be safe, wear your life vest, and maintain a proper lookout.

Frank

 

Central Florida Bass Fishing Conditions

Monday, February 9th, 2015

We have been fishing several lakes in the Kissimmee to Lake Wales area with mixed results. Weather has been both friend and foe as we’ve ventured out in pursuit of those “little green fish.” Although we are in our shirt sleeves enjoying the warmth, it is winter in Sunny Florida, and the bass act accordingly.

A guide trip to the South Winter Haven Chain of Lakes produced several nice bass for two folks from Nebraska. They averaged over one per hour, each using artificial baits. Zoom trick worms, bass bones and a creature bait were the plastics used to tempt the bass to bite. We used a mix of colors, due to changing conditions, starting with watermelon/red, then red bug/red, motor oil and Okeechobee craw. The weather was warm and sunny, but we had a pretty strong wind most of the day, which made the bite harder to detect. The clients did very well for the conditions and being out of tune after not being able to fish for several months due to cold weather in their home state..

The North and South Winter Haven chain of lakes has been slow  to warm up, and as a result the bass are lethargic. The water will start to warm and then a cold front takes it back to 60 to 61 degrees. Sunny days will add a couple of degrees, but the wind will not let the water warm, so once again the cool night removes whatever temperature increase was gained. This has worked very well for the Crappie anglers, but the bass fisherman are frustrated. As soon as the water temperature climbs 5 or 6 degrees, the bass will hit the beds to spawn. Some of the lakes with stained or dirty water have a higher temperature, so try them first for pre- spawn/spawning bass.

Fish slow and work the area very good. The bass are not moving far to hit a bait, but when hooked, put up a nice battle. Be safe, wear a life jacket and maintain a proper lookout while underway.

Central Florida Bass Fishing Tips

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Lake Toho is in a state of transition, but still producing some good fishing. The bass are moving, and at times it can be difficult to pinpoint their location. Cold nights have dropped the water temperature across the region, slowing the bite. Shiners are the best bait to use in order to have the opportunity for a big fish.

The Winter Haven chain of lakes is similar to Toho. We caught bass using small creature baits on the outside weed edge in six foot of water. Move in and out until you locate the bass and remember to fish slow.

Lake Tarpon, north of Tampa, provided a real challenge. The water temperature was 59 degrees and the wind kept the main lake rolling all day. We managed to catch a few bass with most being on the small side. Weather had a huge impact on the fish activity. Most bass were caught using a wacky rigged Zoom trick worm.

Remember, we are comfortable when fishing, but it is winter to these Florida strain bass. Fish slow, then slow down more. Pick an area where the fish should be, and work every inch of that area, slow and methodical.

Frank

Central Florida Bass Fishing

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

We have spent several days fishing, both, the northern and southern sections of the Winter Haven chain of lakes and Lake Toho. This has been over an extended period of time, so all of the information is not current, but the methods have worked during all of our visits.

The North chain produced fish using creature type baits along the outside edge of weed lines. Baits were rigged Texas style using a light gambler weight and worked slowly along the bottom.

The South chain gave up some nice fish by wacky rigging a Zoom trick worm.

Keep changing baits and fish slow. The water has cooled and the majority of the fish are not aggressive. Last week on Lake Parker, wacky rigged Zoom trick worms produced about a dozen bass, with most being just under legal size. As I tell my clients, the bass are all fun to catch, but some are a little more fun than others. When that big fish hits, it is “FUN”.

Each year when we return to Florida in the fall, one of the most interesting sights is how much Toho has changed from our last fishing trip in April. We have never been disappointed. This presents a challenge and we enjoy being able to try new locations, searching for these cherished green fish. We start by trolling shiners, mark the spot when we get a bite, then return and look the area over and try to determine why the bass chose this spot. Usually we anchor and fish for a while to check for more bass. The next step is to find other similar areas, check for bass, and develop a pattern. Toho has been very good, but recently, with cooling water and spraying of weeds, the fish have started their transition. Challenging. Are you up to the test?

Frank

My 5 Favorite Bass Fishing Baits

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

In case you were wondering, here are 5 of my favorite bass fishing baits. With a little patience, these baits are sure to catch you some big bass in Central Florida. Come on a fishing trip with me and I’ll tell you more.

  1. Zoom Baits
  2. Spinnerbaits
  3. Topwater Baits
  4. Jig & Pig
  5. Shiners by the dozen