Fish Of The Month / October, 2018


October in Central Florida has always been a month of change and based on what has been reported, it looks like we’re in for some great fall fishing. FFC member Jon Young was the first to report. While fishing with shiners in the Oklawaha River on October 5th, he reeled in this 9lb. 14oz. trophy. I bet that he is still smiling!

Jon Young 9lbs.-14oz.

Jon Young 9lbs. 14 oz. Oklawaha River

For FFC member Wayne Barksdale, catching trophy size Bass is just another day at the office. On October 15th, it took Wayne only three casts and this 9lb. 3oz. Lake Griffin beauty was on. A Junebug trick worm did the job. What a way to start the day.


Wayne Barksdale 9lbs. 3oz. Lake Griffin

The month ended on a high note for our Club President, Randy DiSanto. Fishing Santiago pond on October 31st and throwing a crankbait with no results he decided to slow it down and fish a soft plastic worm. Two casts later this 7lb. 8oz. Villages pond giant decided to eat. A nice Halloween treat for sure!

Randy 7-8

Randy DiSanto 7lbs 8oz. Santiago Pond

Things are starting to heat up and November should be even better. Thanks to all who have reported and sent in pics. Keep them coming.
Rob Husson

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R&R Fishing Clinic / October 16th, 2018

The second clinic of the 2018-2019 season took place on Tuesday, October 16th at Santiago pond.

October Clinic Group

R&R Clinic / October, 2018

Eight FFC members were shown how to fish a soft plastic lizard. Other topics discussed were line type, size and weight, and types of leaders that are commonly used. With water temp still at 80 degrees, the fish just didn’t seem interested in our offerings. Club Secretary Jim Jones managed to land two nice fish.Jim Jones 4lbs. 11oz.
First was a 4lb. 11oz. Bass. A short time later he reeled in his second, a nice 2-1/2 pounder. A sign of things to come when the water temps start to drop.
The November clinic has been cancelled but will resume in December. Sign up at any monthly meeting.
Rob Husson

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Local Fishing Guides and FWC Representative Address Fishing Club

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L-R: Steve Jones, FWC: Capt. Grady Maynard, Guide; Capt. Zach Slankard, Guide

FWC representative, Steve Jones, advertised a job for Creel Clerk on Lake Griffin. Click here to see the job description: Creel Clerk001

Capt.  Grady Maynard discussed Bass fishing on Lake Griffin.  “It’s still hot and people are fishing grass out in the lake.”  He recommended fishing the attractors.  For big bass, he recommended big Texas-rigged worms, 12″, Red Shad or Watermelon Red.

Capt. Zach Slankard talked about fishing for Crappie.  “Crappie can be caught winter or summer, but peak time is the last week of December to the last week in January.”  He discussed using jigs and rigging practice.

A drawing was held for a guided Bass fishing trip with Capt. Maynard.  The winners were Art Hoover and Rich Grant.

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Art Hoover, Capt. Maynard, Rich Grant

President Randy Disanto reminded the membership of the upcoming “Pro Challenge”.  The Pro Challenge is a Villages retention pond fishing event featuring 4 teams captained by pro Tim Frederick; Head of District Recreation, John Rohan; pro Shaw Grigsby; and a Club membership team with captain yet to be named.  More to follow.

Webmaster, Jerry Lester

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O.T.B. 2’s Company 3’s ??? / Backlash B Gone / The Livewell

50 years ago Bassmasters was formed by Ray Scott. 40 Years ago Operation Bass/Red Man Tournament Trail known today as FLW (Fishing League Worldwide) was formed. 7 years ago MLF (Major League Fishing) was formed by anglers Gary Klein & Boyd Duckett with the intentions of “growing the sport”. With focus on competitive angling, the public wasn’t aware what transpires on the water during competition…henceforth camera crews & judges were put in each boat, with “real time” tracking and instant release.

Terry Scroggins New 2019 MLF Angler

Shaw Grigsby MLF Original Angler





MLF originally starting with 14 anglers. Upon airing on the Outdoor Channel in 2012, it was an instant success. The public liked the format with the following enacted:

  • Surprise venues
  • No practice days
  • Real-time leader board in each boat
  • No limits on the number of fish weighed
  • Implement time-based deadlines & weight-based cut lines

Fast fwd to 2018…Boyd Duckett & 79 other anglers have formed a new, invite only tournament circuit of the cream of the crop from the cast for cash community. Many anglers were disgruntled with B.A.S.S. for some or many reasons. But the who’s who in the business signed a 3 yr contract with MLF starting in 2019. And yes I said the who’s who…KVD just to name 1… B.A.S.S. scrambled to keep regular Elite anglers from dropping out with several changes such as lower entry fees & more money for pay outs… FLW is eliminating c0-anglers from the pro’s boats and more…

Will MLF, B.A.S.S. and FLW survive? It was thought that maybe all 3 tours could combine forces into 1…It was a thought…B.A.S.S. has over 500,000 subscribers. Do they fish bass tournaments? NO! Not all! Is there a niche for them? YES! Same with Fishing League Worldwide & Major League Fishing. My prediction is they’ll all make it. At least we may know something in 3 years. That’s when the MLF anglers contract runs out…on second thought they signed a non-disclosure agreement.

Money was no issue in forming the new MLF tour with 2 main owners worth 13.5 billion. Johnny Morris of BPS/Cabelas and Stan Kroenke of KSE Sports. Recording & live segments will consist of 350 hours of live coverage & 850 hours of recorded coverage. Networks that will air will be The Discovery Channel, CBSN, CBS Sports, WFN, & the Outdoor Channel…so far… The Outdoor Channel lists MLF as their number 1 show. In addition, the MLF 80 angler tournament organization now known as the Pro Bass Tour Anglers’ Association (PBTAA) will be ran by Gary Klein & Boyd Duckett. More to come I’m sure…

FLW says they won’t change much but will watch what happens. B.A.S.S. VP of communications, Dave Precht, said they may reduce the Bassmaster Elite Series field from 110 down to 80…or maybe even lower. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is since the inception of B.A.S.S. they’ve gone from showing how to catch bass to just tournament bass fishing. I know of only a handful of people that drag around 75-100k bass boats with vehicles to match. My guess would be <2% of anglers today are tournament fisherman. Many today dream of having success and shiny rigs while chasing little green fish…but the finances it takes pursuing such a life is a huge issue. I even contemplated this back in the 80’s but in “my” case common sense prevailed.

With MLF providing more tv exposure, it’s bound to reach the multitudes. Hopefully the younger generation will take interest…on a positive note, bass aficionado Ken Duke says fishing license sales are allegedly up nationwide.

A plug for NatGeoWild new show with Bassmaster Elite angler Mike Iconelli on Oct 12 at 10 P.M. “Fish My City”. Ike…you either like him or not. He does have one of the largest fan bases on the circuit.

Anti-Backlash Reel with microprocessor computer adjusts spool every 1/1000 seconds

Are you an angler that likes to skip baits under docks, trees, bushes….It comes with great success for many if you have the right gear. I’m lucky to skip a rock over a frozen pond. I remember eons ago watching Bassmaster TV when angler Woo Daves was using a Zebco 808 to cast under “stuff” to prevent getting a backlash. The reel was the size of a softball. Things have changed somewhat since then. Microwave ovens, cell phones, your kids in their 40’s…Check this Shimano Curado DC 150HG reel. It has a microcomputer that controls the spool rotation every 1/1000 of a second. I don’t know if it’s a guaranteed thing but maybe Santa will bring you/ME one. It’s without a doubt one of the most technologically built reels on the market. It comes in both right & left retrieve with gear ratios of 6.2:1 / 7.4:1 / 8.5.1 and available at Brooker Bait & Tackle in Leesburg.

Opening Late Nov 2018

Here’s an update on the new ramp going in at Venetian Gardens on Lake Harris. The City of Leesburg has created a perfect venue for competitive and recreational boaters/anglers alike with soon to be ample parking, restrooms, and a 2 lane ramp with floating docks. Project completion for the ramp is expected within 2-3 weeks or safer to say late Nov… although the first tourna- scheduled is the B.A.S.S. Nation on Nov 10 & 11….Dec 2 thru 8 with Team Championship, and in 2019 Jan 24-26 with a B.A.S.S. open. This is just the start of many tournaments to come. The money generated in the area by visiting anglers & guests will offset much of the cost of any project. Build it and….

September 25th on the Tsala Apopka Chain near Inverness, (Rt 41 & 44) another tournament barn burner weigh-in for 21 anglers took place…I donated $$$…The results were 64 fish caught, 1st place was 5/6.36 lbs. Big Bass was 2.92 lbs.

  • Feast Your Eyes On These

Lake Harris Trophy Catch

Trophy Catch Award Winner Shane Lancaster Sep 30….weight 8.8 lbs Lake Harris

New Personal Best 9.94lbs

Trophy Catch Award Winner Brett Hobson Sep 25….weight 9.15 lbs Palatlakaha River

8.81 lbs

Trophy Catch Award Winner David Fritz Sep 22….weight 8.13 lbs Lake Harris

What a fight!

Our own FFC speaker/guide Captain Zachary Slankard Sep 18….weight 8.0 lbs Lake Griffin….Nice job Captain Zach…. Captain Zach bookings can be made by contacting him at or (352) 255-3474.

If you like what you see, scroll down the right side and sign up for future reports and remember, O.T.B. stands for Outside The Bubble of The Villages.

See ya at the meeting Tuesday Oct 9 at Lake Miona Rec Center. Doors at 6:30 PM.

Hurricane Michael GO AWAY 

Stay safe everyone

Steve Henderson

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For some folks the month of September is a waiting game. With feels like temps approaching triple digits and water temps still in the upper 80’s some would consider these less than ideal conditions. For those who do venture out the rewards are often unexpected and here are two nice examples. FFC member Mike Toneff shows off a nice Villages pond Bass that tipped the scales at 7.2 lbs. A cream colored soft plastic shad did the trick for this early morning catch.

Mike Toneff 7.2 lbs

Mike Toneff   7.2 lbs.  Villages Pond

At mid month FFC member Chuck Westlake landed this nice 8.0 lb. beauty while fishing the weed beds on Lake Griffin.


Chuck Westlake 8lbs. Lake Griffin


As temps drop things are sure to pick up. Can’t wait to see what October brings. Thanks to all who have sent in pics. Keep them coming.

Rob Husson


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On September 20th, sixteen FFC members met at the Dead River Marina for the first monthly trip of the 2018-2019 season. With water temps still in the 80’s, Lake Eustis and Lake Harris still gave up a number of nice fish including this nice 4.23 pounder caught by Harold Hartley

Harold Hartley

Harold Hartley 4.23 pounds Lake Harris

Our monthly trips will continue right through May. Click on the Meetings/Events tab at the top of this page for more information about upcoming trips. Sign up at monthly meetings.
On September 22nd, The winners of the Lake Sumter guided trip really put their fishing skills to the test.

Group of Winners

Wayne Sheperd, Richard Anderson, Ray Ison, Rob Husson

Areas that were weed free earlier in the year are now full of Hydrilla. Some might think that this is a bad thing but it didn’t take long to discover that its the perfect hiding place for fish. Several fish were taken in open areas but the majority came right out of the weeds. Ray Ison did have several hook-ups on a spinner in open water and I had success with a drop shot rig.


Ray Ison

Ray Ison

Sumter Catch

Rob Husson

A Texas rigged soft plastic stick worm proved best. All together we landed a total of twenty fish ranging in size from 1-1/2 to 3-1/2 pounds. Now lets do some math. Its a two hour trip, twenty fish, tells me that a fish was caught every six minutes. Can’t beat that.

Rob Husson

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R&R Fishing Clinic / September 18, 2018

Under bright blue skies and warm September sunshine, nineteen FFC members and one guest met at the Miona Rec. Center pond for the first clinic of the 2018-2019 season.

Members & Guest / Sept. 18th Clinic

Participants were shown the many ways to rig and fish soft plastic baits. Methods discussed were the Texas Rig, The Carolina Rig, and the Drop Shot Rig. Instruction was also given on how to simulate a natural movement of the bait. After several hits and misses one of our newest members Bill Foley landed the catch of the day, a nice 4lb. 1oz. Largemouth Bass. The biggest of two fish that Bill caught during the event.

Bill Foley / 4lbs. 1oz.

This program has been very well received and it will continue right through May. Sign up at regular monthly meetings.
Special thanks to club Secretary Jim Jones for helping out and providing the great pics.

Rob Husson

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