When it comes to quality rods, “Fitzgerald Fishing” has really made its mark and they are quickly becoming the rod of choice for both pro and amateur anglers. We were very fortunate to have Trevor Fitzgerald, the man who started it all, speak at our February meeting.
Guest Speaker – Trevor Fitzgerald
He started several years ago building rods from kits. They worked well but he saw room for improvement. He purchased some blanks and hardware and got to work. With lots of trial and error the result was a high quality custom built rod to be proud of. When his friends became aware of his talent they too wanted a custom built rod and soon there was a waiting list. What started as a part time thing Fitzgerald Rods have certainly made a mark in the world of fishing. Trevor explained the entire process of rod making from start to finish.
The Many Steps Of Rod Building
He described the many types of grips and guides used in the process. He was eager to answer any questions that members had. He also brought along copies of his latest catalog and two “Versus” rods that we raffled off.
Rod Winners – Ed Ehrhardt and Wayne Barksdale with Trevor Fitzgerald
Lucky winners were Ed Ehrhardt and Wayne Barksdale. If you would like to see the full line of Fitzgerald rods, stop by Brookers Bait & Tackle in Leesburg. They carry the full line.
Only three days into the new year, FFC members Rip and Marni Strautman have reported not one but two Lake Rodman trophy catches. Rip’s 10lb. 7oz. giant hit early morning and it only got better from there.
Rip 10lb. 7oz. Lake Rodman
Shortly after noon, Marni landed a 10lb. 6oz. monster.
Marni 10lbs. 6oz. Lake Rodman
Both were submitted to FWC’s Trophy Catch program and there will be some nice goodies headed their way.
Bill Shelton 17.6lb. Longnose Gar Lake Harris
At mid month while fishing Lake Harris, FFC member Bill Shelton had a OMG moment. Bill quickly learned that anything can happen when fishing with live bait. Not knowing at first what had taken his offering Bill knew that it was something big. After what seemed to be an eternity Bill finally got his catch in the boat. This 52″ Longnose Gar tipped the scales at 17.6lbs. WTG Bill.
Thanks to all who have reported and sent in pics. Keep them coming.
NOTICE: We apologize, due to venue constraints we are not accepting new members and guests at this time. Monthly meetings will be open to current FFC members only. This web page is updated regularly and it contains a wealth of information that we hope you find helpful.
Wayne Barksdale Scores A Money Catch
For FFC member Wayne Barksdale the 2019 season got off to a great start. While fishing Lake Griffin on January 2nd Wayne landed a nice Bass with a bright yellow tag attached. Now I’m sure that anyone who fishes the Harris Chain on a regular basis knows that this is a “Money Fish” and in this case it amounted to a cool $100 for Wayne.
Wayne Barksdale’s Tagged Lake Griffin Bass
Wayne’s $100 Payout
As it turns out this was the third tagged fish that Wayne has landed. Two years ago he caught a 8lb plus Bass with a $200 payout and that same year a 3lb Bass with a $50 payout. The FWC tagging program started a number of years ago and it collects information from anglers who in turn are rewarded for their reporting. Wayne has agreed to give a short description of this program at our February meeting.
R&R Fishing Clinic / January 15th, 2019
Despite the cool morning temp, seventeen FFC members met at the Miona Rec. Ctr. pond for the monthly clinic.
January Clinic at Miona Pond
This months topic was how to rig and fish a creature bait. This method is normally very productive but unfortunately the fish had other ideas. All agreed to give it another try when water temps come up a bit. Anyone interested in attending a future clinic can sign up at our monthly meetings.
From selecting a rod to choosing what type of bait to use, Terry covered it all at the January meeting.
Tips For Selecting A Rod
He described in detail some of the best performing baits and how with slight modifications they can be made even more effective. Something as simple as trimming the skirt on a chatterbait to make it run deeper or adding a small spinner blade to a soft plastic worm to make it vibrate.
Modification To Soft Plastic Worms
He also shared some of his favorite colors and how water clarity is a factor when selecting color. Terry also provided some very helpful information to those who fish the St. Johns River. Fish seem to be active in areas of moving water. Great information for those attending this months trip.
After some fairly good fall fishing 2018 certainly ended on a much quieter note. A decent size catch in December was as rare as hens teeth but FFC member Frank Martines put in the time and was rewarded with this nice 4.1lb. Villages pond catch.
Frank Martines – 4.1lb. – Villages Pond
So where is Frank in the pic? Well Frank has a real cool way of taking pics of his catch. He sets the timer on his cell phone, places it on the windshield of his golf cart, holds up his catch, and bingo, done!! Just needs to move a little more to the left next time so all can see the happy angler.
Thanks to all who have sent in reports and pics. Keep them coming.
In cooler than normal temps fourteen FFC members met at Calumet pond for the December clinic.
FFC Members / December Clinic
This month we took a different approach with a soft plastic jerk bait on a Carolina Rig. Although not new the Yum “Swurm” has some great features. It is very soft and flexible yet seems to be quite strong. It can be rigged several different ways and has a lifelike movement with very little effort. We tried the 6.25″ size in three different colors with hopes of landing “The Big One” but the fish had other thoughts.
All agreed to spend more time with this bait and I’m sure that we will get some good reports soon.
If you would like to join us at one of our monthly clinics you can sign up at our regular monthly meeting.
Our guest speaker at this months meeting was Coast Guard certified Captain Zack Slankard. His passion for fishing really comes across when sharing his knowledge with others.
Capt. Zack Slankard Addressing FFC Members At The December Meeting
Zack described in detail the best tactics to use for the upcoming Crappie season which peaks from the end of December to the end of January. He also mentioned that Herlong Park is currently closed for facilities work and that the Griffin State Park launch is free. Also at this months meeting we raffled off a guided Crappie trip with Capt. Zack. The two lucky winners were Jack Hoban and Don Kindilien.
Jack Hoban, Capt. Zack, Don Kindilien