December 2019 Monthly Meeting

This months guest speaker was Thomas Blackwood from Freedom Boat Club.

Thomas Blackwood / Freedom Boat Club

Founded in 1989 in Sarasota, FL., Freedom Boat Club is the oldest and largest boat club in the nation. It provides an affordable option to boat ownership and to deliver a hassle-free recreational boating experience for its members.

Q&A With Thomas Blackwood

After a very informative presentation of how a boat club works, Thomas answered a number of questions from members.

Rob Husson

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Brooker’s Open House Well Attended by FFC

A goodly number of Freshwater Fishing Club members attended Brooker’s annual open house.  Food was tasty…and free. Tim Frederick and  Shaw Grigsby were in  attendance.  A few of the members attending were not in the photo, including yours truly.

2019-12-07, FFC At Brookers

Jerry Lester

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November Happenings / Fish Of The Month / And One Unusual Sighting

Temperatures are finally going down and the fishing is starting to heat up. Along with another very successful “Pro-Challenge”

Tim Frederick’s 2019 Winning Team

November was a very busy month. As always the monthly club trip is a highlight and the November trip to Lake Panasoffkee did not disappoint. FFC member Tom Spade sent in some great pics and the smiles say it all.

Now my guess is that Bowfin was not the targeted species but it ended up the majority of what was caught. Anyone interested in attending one of the regular monthly trips can sign up at any monthly meeting. Information can also be found on this site by clicking on the Meetings And Events tab at the top of this page.
Another great November event was the B.A.S.S. High School Bass Tournament held on The Harris Chain Of Lakes. FFC Program Chair Bob Knorr sent in this report. “Spent some time Saturday and Sunday at Ski Beach in Leesburg , Fl. Watching High School Bass fishing teams from Florida weigh in their catches.

Harris 1Harris 2

Have seen the College Series but never HS. Weigh in is just like the Pro Bass Tournaments, 151 teams of two anglers in a boat, the boat is run by a parent or volunteer. These kids are great and had a ball fishing our lakes. They actually pay out money , called scholarship money. If you ever get the chance to watch one of these weigh ins, give it a try, these kids will be our future Pro Bass Anglers in a few years”
As always there is one outstanding catch that merits the title “Fish Of The Month” but this one comes with quite a story. Let’s just call it a story of “Old School” vs “New School” At the beginning of last months meeting, FFC member Tom Yazel was proudly showing off pics of his big catch that he had in his phone.

Knowing that it could possibly be the Fish Of The Month I asked Tom to send them to me. Judging by the look on Tom’s face it was like I had started talking another language. The “Old School” method of fishing a soft plastic worm and catching a big fish suddenly clashed with the “New School” method of sharing the pics. After several failed attempts we were finally able to make the transfer. This 7lb. 8oz. beast was taken on November 2nd at Miona Rec Center Pond. If only our smart devices came with directions!  Great catch Tom!FOTM
Now here’s something you don’t see every day. FFC member Wayne Barksdale probably spends more time on Lake Griffin than most and has most likely seen it all but this even surprised him.

Yes folks that’s a Manatee coming over to check out Wayne’s boat. I guess this guy/gal has been seen several times and is quite healthy according to FWC.
Thanks to all who have reported and sent in pics. Keep them coming
Rob Husson

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Pro Challenge Results

Click on the following link to see the article and pictures by professional photographer, Ron Pearce.

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Pro Challenge Event

Bass fishing pros Shaw Grigsby, Trevor Fitzgerald, and Tim Frederick were in attendance at the November meeting of The Villages Freshwater Fishing Club. They came to participate in the Pro Challenge event the following day, November 12. The Pro Challenge is a six pond, multiple team event that allows members to fish with or compete against professional anglers. Returning for this years event will be “Pro Team” Captains, Shaw Grigsby and Tim Frederick along with the newest “Pro” Captain, Trevor Fitzgerald. A team from The Villages Recreation Dept. will also compete in this years event.

The pros entertained questions, each in turn at the podium. The questioning led to good-natured banter between the pros about baits to be used…or not, and techniques to be employed…or not, always somewhat secretively, in the interest of competition.

The three pro team captains took turns drawing raffle tickets to fill their teams with three lucky club members each.

The Fitzgerald Team: Jack Hoban, Jim Jones (Score Keeper), Trevor Fitzgerald, Gary Leonard, Tom DeYoung

The Frederick team: Bill Gorman, Stephen Laky, Tim Frederick, Jim Geiger, Jim Greene

The Grigsby Team: (Randy Disanto, Club President), Lorri Lewis, Shaw Grigsby, Jan Windsheffel, Kirk Miller

Teams will assemble at the Miona Rec. Center parking lot at 7:30 AM on November 13. Participants will fish six designated Villages ponds until 1:15. They may fish any of the designated ponds they choose. Then they will proceed to Cody’s at Sumter Landing where the winning team will be announced and awards presented. Anyone wishing to attend as a spectator is welcome.

Bill Brooker, proprietor of Brooker Bait And Tackle, was also in attendance and explained what’s in store for their upcoming December open house on December 7. There will be a free barbeque lunch with all the sides, live music, equipment reps, and deeply discounted fishing equipment for the event, only.

Brooker’s Bait &Tackle

Brooker’s has thousands of fishing items.

Jerry Lester

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Fish Of The Month / October, 2019

When a member reports catching three fish in a Villages pond its not really a big deal. When those three fish weigh 4lbs. 3oz., 5lbs., and 7lbs. 1oz. now that’s a different story. A combination of years of experience and little bit of luck certainly paid off for FFC member Chip Austin. This early October catch is a good indication of what’s to come.

Chip Austin / Villages Pond Catch

Thanks to all who have reported and sent in pics. Keep them coming.FOTM

Rob Husson

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FWC At FFC October Meeting


Scott Bisping (L), Daniel Nelson (R)

Scott Bisping and Daniel Nelson of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission presented information about the Harris Chain of Lakes fishery

The Lakes have improved over the last 40 years.  Water clarity has improved.  As a consequence, weed growth has increased, which has resulted in greater fish populations.

Creel surveys are used to estimate catch rates. If you have fished Lake Griffin, you may have been surveyed by Denny Denis Dzurinko, one of our club members. In fact, that is Denny in this slide, although difficult to identify.

This is the result of creel surveys on Lake Harris. As to be expected, catch rates are higher for Black Crappie than Largemouth Bass.

This is an interesting chart of total catches per given site in the lakes of the chain. It shows that with the exception of Apopka, the lakes are about the same.

In the analysis of Hydrilla desirability, it was determined that fishing and recreational boating usage was split rather evenly, with boating being slightly greater. Additional survey results indicated that fishermen were inclined to be more tolerant of Hydrilla than boaters, some actually preferring more than at present.

Additional information was presented on the state of the Harris Chain fishery. All in all, it was a very informative presentation by Bisping and Nelson.

Daniel Nelson, FWC

Scott Bisping, FWC

Jerry Lester, 10/9/2019

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