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Friday, March 25, 2016

FINALLY FISHING - AND A FIRST-TIME EVENT!

Still recovering and going to therapy after our auto accident and neck surgery, but the fishing guiding must go on!  Although I am getting a later start in the season than usual, it is proving to be a bumper crop of good-size largemouth bass. Most of my trips have been this month, but I believe April is going to be a good month for some big toads too.

As you know, the majority of my guide fishing is done with live bait ... wild or domestic shiners, running around 6-7 inches in length.  That is the natural forage for the Florida strain of largemouth bass, along with bluegill, shad, minnows, crappie, shellcracker, frogs, and just about anything else that they can fit into their bucket mouth!  The wild shiners are very difficult for the suppliers to procure this month because they also are bedding in such shallow water that their boats can't get to them.  So that is when I resort to using domestic shiners.  They are not nearly as active, but are much hardier and sometimes you can use them for more than one fish, if they are not damaged much.


Today I had something happen that I've never had happen before.  There have been other times when a bass would start chasing one shiner, and then give up on that one and go for one of the others.  But today I had a bass eat one shiner and before the customer set the hook, that bass ate another shiner of my other customer.  They both set their hook and they both hooked it!

 
Double Hook-Up


 Both of these guys have fished with me for several years, but they are having a banner time this year and, because of that, there was no squabble over who caught this one.  See below as to how well their trip is going this year ... this was over the last three days, and they still have one or two more days coming up! 





Sunday, January 10, 2016

It's A New Year ... Finally!

Boy, am I glad 2015 is over.  At my age, I'm not normally one to rush time to pass, but the last half of 2015 has been kinda rough.  On July 29th my wife and I were in an auto accident that totaled my Suburban.


We were both rushed to the hospital by ambulance.  After several CT scans, nothing broken or bleeding.  But upon further study with MRIs my wife and I have both had to undergo neck surgeries that involved fusion, plates and screws.  At this time we are both recovering from those surgeries and praying that no more are in the near future.

Needless to say, my fishing days have come to a screeching halt until further notice, from the surgeon, that is.  But I have been keeping up with what is going on "through the grapevine."  Most all of the waters in Central Florida for the bass population are beginning their transition.  We have had extremely hot weather all the way past going into the winter season, to just beginning to have some cold fronts reach this far south.  So this season's start to the spawn has been delayed.  In addition, we have had significant rains that have maintained much higher than normal water levels in all of the lakes that are not controlled, and even those that are controlled contain more water than usual.  Some ramps are almost leveled out to the water's edge!

Recent tournaments have had lower than usual totals weighed in, including a recent Lakeland Junior Bassmasters tournament held on Lake Kissimmee yesterday.  One division only took 9.89 lbs to win, a young man named Sammyjay Acree. 

 https://www.facebook.com/Sammyjay-Acrees-fishing-342090299306438/?fref=tshttps://www.facebook.com/Sammyjay-Acrees-fishing-342090299306438/?fref=ts
He has been quite well over the last year, having won his division overall and their classic, and he might well turn out to be the next Kevin VanDam! 
 SammyJay Acree's Fishing

He already has his picture on one of his sponsor's products, Bass Munchers lures.  Might want to keep your eye on this one, you can be sure I will.
https://www.facebook.com/Sammyjay-Acrees-fishing-342090299306438/?fref=ts

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

AWOL

I probably don't have any followers left, but if there are any I want to apologize for being silent for so long.  Haven't really had much to comment about.  The fishing hasn't been anything to get excited about for a couple of years, but hopefully that will change with this upcoming season.  Although my season is going to have a late start because I am going to be laid up for a couple of months due to an upcoming surgery on my neck.

South Caroline isn't the only one dealing with high water, although ours is still staying in the lakes and rivers, but they are all very high and don't see them going down in the near future.

As we are starting to have a touch of cooler weather, the crappie fishermen are gearing up for their season as well.  My wife works at a tackle shop and she said they have been coming in to buy minnows, crappie jigs, and to outfit their boats with our rod holders.

I'm sure you bass fishermen have been checking out some of the new products that were introduced at ICAST this year.  I think the lure that's going to be the big thing for Central Florida will be Live Target's Sunfish.  It's due to hit the shelves some time next month and my wife is watching for them at the tackle shop where she works.

I'm in the process of going over my boats with a fine tooth comb, making sure they are guide trip ready.  Of course, I am coming across a few things that need to either be tweaked, upgraded, or fixed.  One thing I don't have to worry about is the rod holders on my pontoon boat.  Shortly after developing our Katydid Fishing Products rod holders I added them to my pontoon boat and have been using them ever since. 






The only change I made was when we upgraded from using wing nuts to using T-knobs, which are easier to tighten down.  They work great for big bass fishing with shiners.  With the cooler weather hitting up north, many of my repeat customers are calling and emailing to set up their fishing dates for this year with my guide service, Southern Outdoorsman Guide Service.

Will try to keep updating the blog from now on, so FISH ON!

Thursday, June 20, 2013


The multi-lure rigs have become quite popular since the Alabama Rig hit the scene.  Now you can even buy rods specifically designed to handle the added casting weight, not to mention the added catch weight if you hook up on more than one fish.  This type of fishing can take its toll on an angler's arm in no time.

That's where the Mo-Bling becomes an advantage ... by replacing some of the lures with willow blades, you still have the illusion of a small school of baitfish but, by only actually having three baits with hooks and a light-weight spinnerbait type head, casting is quite a bit easier on the arm.  Now you will have some strength left for when you get bit by one to three bass and need to land them in that all-important tournament!!!

Of course, this makes for a lot of fun when you're just out practicing or fun fishing.  There is also the original Mo-Rig which is even lighter than the Mo-Bling because, instead of five lures it only has three.  Catching three fish at a time is possible on both rigs.  These rigs work great for trolling, too

Thursday, October 04, 2012


The only way to tell fall has arrived in Florida is the color change in the lilly pads, a few leaves falling from less than half of the trees, and nights that have become bearable.  The good news is that has started the waters cooling off slightly, but just enough to get the bass to start schooling up.  I noticed it on this last moon just before I was ready to call it a day around 11:00 am.  It is still too hot during the day to stay much longer than that, but I had to cast into them for a bit.  The sad thing is I didn't have anything in the boat that day that they really seemed that interested in.  Oh, we caught a few on swim baits and a few on live shiners, but nothing to brag about, so I won't.

After we get some substantial fronts through to cool the waters even more, get your small bait gear ready for some chunking and winding into hoards of schoolies.

Monday, September 10, 2012

 


MY APOLOGIES!

Sorry that I have totally neglected the blog for so long, but my wife and I have been so busy with our businesses that there is hardly time to blog.  Working 30 hrs/week at a tackle store around scheduled fishing guide trips, keeping up an online tackle store (www.moretackle.com), and promoting/selling at tackle shows for our manufacturing company's rod holders (www.katydidfishingproducts.com) - doesn't leave very much 'spare' time.

Fishing has been unpredictable lately because of such a fluctuation in the water levels.  Since Isaac skirted Florida and dumped a fair amount of rain the runoff has clouded the water and pushed it up into higher grasslines, but then they open the flood gates and the water drops again.  Pretty good fishing while the water is moving, but still dirty unless you can get into places where the grasses are filtering it well.

The summer heat has been sweltering this year, too.  You know it's gonna be a rough day when you start sweating outside and the sun hasn't even come up yet!  It's just too hot to eat, even for the fish.  Soon though it will start cooling down a bit at night which will stir their instincts to bunch up into schools and start fattening up for the winter months.  Fall fishing can be a blast if you like catching a lot of numbers.  Getting the bigger ones takes a little extra patience, since they still lurk below the smaller ones, waiting for their leftover kills.

I should have more to discuss when things get busier.  Until then, fish really early, really late, and watch some football inbetween ... or consider a fishing trip further north where it's cooler and more enjoyable.

Monday, September 05, 2011

LABOR DAY ADDITIONS

It was no labor at all to add these great items to More Tackle.  Hope there's something here to peak your interest.  We only have one or two of each model of the Fin-Nor reels, so first come, first served.

Fin-Nor Reels:
  • Offshore Star Drag
  • Santiago
  • Sportfisher Spinning
  • Sportfisher Lever Drag
  • Marquesa
  • Megalite
MonoMaster by Grasshopper Outdoors

Keep checking back periodically for more great items as they get added to the site.

Thanks for shopping with More Tackle and God bless you all!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fly Fishing for Bass

I’ve been fishing since I was a kid, and from the beginning, I knew my favorite times on the water would be when I was bass fishing. For about 95% of my fishing life, I used a spinning reel.I picked up a bait caster once or twice, but was never in thick enough cover to need heavy line, so I rarely even bothered.It is fun, fast, convenient and little still gets me as excited as a smallmouth crushing a topwater lure, but I never realized how much I was actually missing out on.

After I graduated college, my mentality toward fishing began to change. While always enjoyable, fishing just was losing a bit of it’s luster. I wanted more of a challenge. I thought back to a trip I took with my family to Yellowstone, where my dad and I had a guide float us down a river with a couple fly rods.I couldn’t get the fly to float to save my life, but I realized the scenery, the quiet, and the focus each cast took was what I was missing in my current outings.So I borrowed an old rod from my neighbor and decided to try fly-fishing.I’ve since found it is endlessly adaptable and never boring. It truly elevates fishing from a hobby to an art form. If you’re interested in getting started, here are a few suggestions to help you begin.

Just Do It

When I started I pored over magazines and even watched a couple of instructional videos. After some extensive studying I quickly realized there’s no substitution for experience. Like golf and other instinctive sports, fly-casting relies on muscle memory that improves with practice. If you have a friend who is already an experienced fly fisherman you’re golden. I had just moved right outside of New York City and was on my own.I found that local fly shops were happy to let me try a few rods while handing out helpful advice. Some shops even offer classes in casting, reel loading, or even tying flies. Look for a group locally or online that accepts beginners. Then, the best way to learn how to fly fish is go out and do it. Also, a day spent with an experienced guide can be worth more than weeks on the water by yourself. You won’t regret it.

Don't Go Crazy

Fly-fishing, like most hobbies, can get expensive. Open a catalog and prepare to be stunned by the infinite variety of rods, reels, lines, leaders, tippets, auxiliary equipment and, of course, flies. Fly rods and reels can be several thousand dollars on the high end, but can also be found for less than one hundred. I found that most other traditional fly-fishing gear, like waders, boots, vest, etc. were unnecessary since I was usually fishing from a boat and already had what I needed from years of bass fishing.I was able to find anything else I needed online at a discounted price after asking the local shops what they recommended and why.

Don’t Give Up

Any kind of fishing takes patience and perseverance, fly-fishing even more so. The beauty of fly-fishing is that it merges aspects of both science and art. The satisfaction of one perfect cast, the line looping effortlessly and a fly landing exactly where you sent it is worth five – maybe even ten – bad ones. It makes all those stares I received from my neighbors when I was practicing behind my home in Long Island worth it.If you love bass fishing and you’re up for an adventure, try hitting the water with a fly rod. There’s a good chance you’ll get hooked.

Written by Adam Coholan

On Twitter @Coho22

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

HOT ~ HOT ~ HOT

Hot Lures –
Summer fish and how they react.  In the summertime, when the water temperature gets in the 80’s, fish seem to get more lethargic and become rather finicky.  So, what can you do to remedy this kind of behavior?  You can use a Senko worm, which is pictured here.


You can rig this worm three different ways.  The way this picture shows you here is a Texas rig.  When using a Texas rig, run your line through a bullet weight, size of your choice (if using a weight), and then tie onto your worm hook.  I prefer a Palomar knot because of its strength and it won’t come untied.  Then run the hook down into the top of the worm the same length as the top of the hook prior to the 90 degree  curve.  Bring the hook out the side of the worm and pull the worm up to that top section of the hook.  Turn the hook back toward the worm and bury it back into the worm, making it weedless.  If it is a tough worm, you might want to run the hook all the way through and then back it back inside.  That way you get easier penetration at the hookset, but you might also be more likely to hang up on vegetation.


Or, you can rig it by putting an “O” ring (a size 6) around the Senko worm and roll it on to the middle of the bait.  This lets the bait oscillate and flex as you work it, giving the bait more action.  You can also use just a regular 6”-10” worm, working it around the edge of the grass or out in open water around brush piles and grass beds.


Here is another way.   A lot of people don't know about this.  You can use a Carolina rig, as this picture illustrates.


You will see I have a jerk bait, such as a Thunder Stick, a Long-A Bomber, or a Rapala.  This type of rigging will keep the bait just up off the bottom.  As you are working the Carolina rig with the weight, this pulls the bait down toward the bottom.  As you hesitate, the bait floats backs up a little ways.  It mimics an injured minnow.  Believe me, you will get bit.

You can also use a Senko worm with or without a weight by rigging two different styles.  Use a Texas rig or put your “O” ring on the Senko using a weedless hook.  Either way lets you get back and throw it into the grass, pads, gator grass, or pencil reeds without hanging up.  These are my favorite ways of fishing a Senko.
Some other lures you can use in the summertime would be lipless crank baits, frogs, and spinner baits. Sometimes around this time of the year you will see fish schooling.  When this occurs, take and throw your lipless crank bait into the school.  If this does not trigger a strike, you could start fan casting around for the fish.  Even though they are not on the surface, this has been known to still trigger a strike.  The best way you can find where these fish will come up is by watching the bait fish.  If you see the bait start skipping across the top of the water, get ready, because something is chasing them.  If you find yourself in this situation, you can catch a lot of fish in a hurry.

Hot Time In The Summertime –
Let me tell you about this one trip I had on May 28th.  The water temperature was 85°.  I had four people (two couples) from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  We were using live bait on Lake Kissimmee after coming out of River Ranch on the Kissimmee River.  Suzanne March had called me about this trip a few weeks before.  She and her husband, Mike, and Patrick and his girlfriend all went together on my pontoon boat to go bass fishing.  We also went catching … we caught around 15 or 20 bass, which is already a nice morning.  Patrick is playing with his cell phone when he gets a strike, and this picture is what that strike produced - a12 lb. 1 oz trophy largemouth.
 

That was the second largest fish that I had guided for this year.  So, while we were taking pictures, I said we've got about four shiners left.  Let's put all new shiners on and make another trip around the same area.  Well, guess what happened. So Susan and her girlfriend got in the two back seats and we went around again through the same area.  This picture will tells the rest of the story.  This fish weighed 13 pounds on the nose.  
Even I have never had this happen on a guided trip.  These are two fish of a lifetime and are now the two biggest largemouth bass caught in this season, which I generally consider begins in November and ends in May.  They were both photographed and then released in the same area.  Bet you would like to know exactly where in Lake Kissimmee I have been fishing all season long.  A successful guide never shares all of his secrets, especially the best ones!  After all … it is my livelihood.
Hot Tips –

There are a number of ways for keeping yourself from overheating while summertime fishing.  First, make sure you have plenty of water on hand.  It is extremely easy to get dehydrated before you even realize it.  Second, wear lightweight clothing that is light colored, breathable and dries easily.  Either wear long sleeves and pants for protection from the sun’s damaging rays or wear a strong sunscreen.  My dermatologist recommends Neutrogena’s 85 SPF.  Third, either carry some towels on board to soak with water and place around your neck or on your head for a quick cool down; use one of the various neck wraps available at local tackle or sporting goods stores; or there are neck scarfs/ties that have beads sewn in that, when soaked in water, absorb and hold it all day.
So, keep your cool and have a hot time on the water this summer.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Late Spring/Early Summer Bassin'

TROPHY BASS

Generally, a bass weighing in at 10 pounds or better is considered a “trophy.”  Many, including my wife’s father, have set that bar for whether or not to have a bass mounted.  Her father fished all of his life in waters from Canada to Florida and never boated that 10 pound plus bass.  He caught a lot of bass, both largemouth and smallmouth, walleye, muskie, and northern pike throughout his lifetime; and generally caught more than anyone he was with, but never the trophy largemouth bass that he sought after.  His wife (my mother-in-law) caught two in her lifetime and he made her mount them both!  Now, thanks to fiberglass replicas, we are able to “have our cake and eat it too” so to speak.  We are able to have a “copy” trophy mount on our wall or table, but we are  also able to release these trophies back into their habitat to continue producing more bass that are genetically prone to growing up to trophy size … like the one below:


This is a picture of the biggest bass landed this year.  On or about March the 10th we get a call from Tom Keady and Gail Klusek from New York. Tom and Gail have a place at Lily Lake in Frostproof, Florida. They were out at a restaurant and Tom picked up a copy of IN THE FIELD Magazine.  They came across the article that I had written back in January for the February issue about schooling bass, and what Joyce (my wife) and I do every Christmas morning, which is to go fishing and spend a little spiritual time with our deceased Dads, who showed us the great outdoors that God has provided for us.  Anyway, Tom read this and was inspired by it to the point that they called to book a trip, and this is what became of that trip.  This is Gail's 12 lb 12 oz largemouth bass, also pictured in my last article with Gail.  That same morning they had one that weighed 6 lb 12 oz.  Both were released back into the lake to give these fish a chance to lay their eggs, so we can have the opportunity to catch more like them.
SUMMER SCHOOL
As the kids are getting ready to get out of school, the bass are starting to get into schools.  For the last couple of weeks I have been catching schooling bass in Lake Kissimmee using both live bait with medium sized shiners and with artificial baits, such as lipless crankbaits and plastic swimbaits.  They have ranged anywhere from dinks too small to measure all the way up to around 6 lbs.  I’ve heard of bass schooling up in Lake Toho, also, but it is that time of the year.  With all the new hatchlings of a multitude of panfish, shad, and minnows, the bass are feeding on a virtual smorgasbord.  They have been known to gorge to the point of regurgitation and then feed some more.  It’s kind of like going out to eat to a buffet and, since you can’t make up your mind what to eat, you have some of everything.  At least we know when to stop … or most of us do, anyway!
This is a time that can be a lot of fun, but also very frustrating.  If you are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time when the bass run bait to the surface which lets you know where they are feeding, then you can cast almost any small bait just past the school and then run it back through it, almost guaranteeing a strike.  But if you are not lucky, you will run your trolling motor batteries down to nothing trying to chase after the schools that are just out of casting distance.  Your best bet is to determine what areas are holding the bait, and why.  Once you figure that out, concentrate on keeping your boat near those areas and sooner or later the water will appear to boil as the bass run the bait to the surface sometime during the chase.  It’s kind of like “feast or famine” or “hurry up and wait.”  Once you are in the right areas, continue to fan cast even if you don’t see them on the surface, because the bass and the bait are still in the general vicinity.
Another thing to keep in mind during these feeding frenzies is that generally it is the smaller bass that do the chasing, gorging, and regurgitating.  The larger bass have wised up (or have become basically lazy) and will cruise a little deeper beneath the school, scarfing up the injured, falling bait and regurgitation.  If you have had your fun already with the smaller bass, try twitching a fluke or anything that mimics an injured baitfish, a little deeper using a #3 barrel swivel with about 18” of leader.  The purpose of this is two-fold - by using a swivel, it helps to eliminate line twist that so often occurs when using twitching bait; and the minimal weight added using the barrel swivel will help bring the bait slightly deeper and create a slow fall during each pause between twitches.