TRIFECTA – FLW – Something Fishy Smelling Here

Ah yes – what better thing to do on Valentines Day than to go fishing…and especially when the finned freaks of nature, as Dave Mercer calls them, are cooperating and not on one of those “Hi…I’ve lost 50 pounds by eating cheesy nachos & drinking diet CC on the rocks”…per Marie Osmond. I think that’s what she said – maybe. Yeah anyway ūüôā

Wayne Barksdale – Another Trophy Catch Wt 8 lb 7 oz

I never get tired of seeing this guy shine by catching another Trophy Catch qualifying bass that weighed 8 lb 7 oz. He has definitely got the knack and patience. Wayne Barksdale says he caught this bass using a slow moving ultravibe worm. To date, there’s nobody else that’s been featured on here that consistently catches fish this large. Nice job Wayne.

Jerry Echols, former FFC President, is well known for his crappie fishing success. Echols fishes open water with spreaders on his boat that pre-positions all his rods consisting of 8 or more. Just imagine going through a school of specks, as they’re known in the south, when all the rods start bending toward the bottom. Echols tips small jigs with minnows with his boat cruising at a snails pace. This master has been scarfing up slabs like this for years. It was nice to see some results after hearing about his success for so long. Keep em coming Jerry! This fish equates to 2 lb 5.28 oz.

Former FFC President Jerry Echols with a giant “Speck” or Crappie for us Yankees




















Trevor Baileys largest crappie EVER Wt 2 lb 12 oz

Okay – so Jerry Echols isn’t in the boat alone…although some of us have timers set on our camera phones. On this day he had FFC Board Member Trevor Bailey along and wouldn’t you know it Bailey catches the largest speck of his life that weighed 2 pounds 12 ounces. WOW! This is almost enough to make me switch to speck fishing. These specks are lifetime achiever catches for sure. WTG Trevor & thanks to your guide too.




Tim Frederick wins FLW Tour at Okeechobee 1/28/18

Homosassa GMC Sponsored Frederick







The FLW TOUR starts Thursday Feb 22 thru Feb 25. Daily launching and weigh-ins are conducted at Venetian Gardens in Leesburg. Lets get behind Leesburg’s own, Tim Frederick, and wish him another win on the FLW circuit. Frederick walked away from the Big “O” with a nice check and Angler Of The Year (AOY) lead. Keep on keepin on Tim. See you on stage day 4.

That’s the smell

4 days later & RIPE

Heading home after a Tuesday club tournament on Feb 13, I put my toys away and closed the garage door. The next day my wife walks out thru the kitchen into the garage to get in her car. She casually mentions that the garage smells like fish. I figured it was from a 3.3 lb catfish that I slammed on the deck after he’d devoured a lipless crankbait. Slimy thing…I only wanted my bait back. It’ll dissipate, I thought. Friday…where in the hell is the fish smell coming from? I looked throughout the boat propping open all lids to no avail. As I walked around the boat, from the floor in the garage, one side in particular smelled worse than ever. I leaned under the boat only to see a tail protruding from the trailer bunk. My theory was that prop wash, while loading the boat on the trailer, washed this dead bass onto the bunk of the trailer…only to be squished by the boat. I’ve had tree limbs, lily pads, and always hydrilla on my trailer but NEVER a squished fish. I took the boat close to home Friday night and off loaded it from the trailer. Surprise surprise….Did I mention that my wife had made reservations at the Waterfront Inn until I got the fish smell out of the garage? Nah – I didn’t think so.

(Click on any pictures to enlarge)


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1400 plus Lakes in
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There’s a lot happening this week. Check our meetings/events calendar on here and pick someplace to go.

Steve Henderson

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Bernie Schultz Appears at February Meeting

IMG_2179 Since graduating college in 1979, Schultz has become one of Florida‚Äôs most accomplished anglers. His achievements include two Canadian and two U.S. titles, while qualifying for eight Bassmasters Classics and five FLW Championships ‚Äď the sport‚Äôs highest levels of competition.

Some pointers shared by Schultz for Bass fishing:

  • Make long casts when surface fishing to prevent spooking Bass
  • Don’t discount “Bluebird” days, as they will produce
  • Basic principle of lure design hasn’t change in 100 years
  • Match lure size with forage size
  • Shultz uses only monofilament line, no braid or fluorocarbon because neither of the latter stretch and fluorocarbon sinks, undesirable qualities in his opinion.
  • Rapala jerk baits, twitch baits, prop baits are good attention getters

Schultz spoke to 84 in attendance.

Daytona International Tackle Show

You may be interested in the tackle show on March 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 2018 at the Plaza Resort and Spa, Daytona Beach, Florida. Click here for online registration for the 2018 Daytona Beach show.fatclogo

Jerry Lester

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Wanted DEAD or ALIVE & Rapala Pro Bassmaster Angler Bernie Schultz Appearing

Now before you go off the deep end, hold your horses. “YGBSM” translates to You Gotta Bass Shockingly Massive….at least that’s the way it needs to read??? While checking results of a recent bass club tournament at Hernando, I chuckled after seeing the weights. 1st Place was 5 fish that weighed 8.43 lbs with Big Bass of 2.90 lbs.

Weighed 14. 2 lbs but….

Deceased GIANT

Feast your eyes on this monster….Jim Jones, FFC Board Member, was fishing a pond in The Villages Feb 5th. Unfortunately Jones didn’t catch this fish but noticed it was floating & deceased. Curiosity still played a roll and Jones decided to hang it from the scales. How about 14. 2 lbs WOW!!!¬† Can you imagine hooking into this monster? Sadly no one will but this goes to show what’s available in not only Village ponds but any Florida waters. Register for Trophy Catch. The link is at the top of this page….but once you do, make sure you read the rules. It costs nothing & the next cast could be a giant.

Here’s Mark Lemieux that has the leading Largemouth Bass so far in the annual Trophy Catch contest that weighs 14 pounds 5 ounces caught in a Marion County lake. The bass measured 27.625 ” per FWC & was released. We could have them this size and larger within the bubble (Villages). So the next time you venture out to the local water hole, you may want to think twice about using that Snoopy Rod with 6 lb test line. It’s a good chance that you’ll get your string stretched or even worse, broke.

Bassmaster Elite Touring Professional Bernie Schultz

Just a reminder that Bernie Schultz will be at the Freshwater Fishing Club, FFC, monthly meeting Feb 13th. Doors open at 6:30 P.M. & meeting starts at 7:00 P.M. You MUST be a Villager with Village ID to attend.¬† Schultz has been on the tournament trail for many years & is an author plus collector of antique tackle. Follow him on Feb 8th-11th while fishing the Bassmaster Elite Circuit. I’m sure he’ll have a story about his latest tournament & hopefully a $100,000 win like Leesburg’s own FLW Pro Tim Frederick had 2 weeks ago at the Big “O”. Also sign up for the next fishing excursion with program chairman Steve Felix. Steve says the next trip is at Panasoffkee. Trip details can be seen on the Meeting/Events tab at top of page under March 1, 2018.

If you like what you see, scroll down right side of home page and submit your email to follow us. It goes no further than this club. Find out what’s going on in & outside the area. The whole truth & nothing but the truth so help my digital scales & pictures.

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1400 plus Lakes in
Lake County, FL







Steve Henderson

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Fish of the Month-January 2018

Trevor 5lb.
Despite the cold temps and that relentless northeast wind, there were still a decent number of fish caught in January.
FFC Board Member Trevor Bailey’s efforts certainly paid off landing this nice 5lb. Lake Griffin beauty and earning the title “Fish Of The Month”
As it was reported, he used a blue and silver Booyah 1 Knocker lipless crankbait to fool this one. Now if you look closely at the pic, you can spot a package of Zoom plastic baits just in front of Trevor’s left foot. Is there more to the story? We’ll have to ask at the next meeting.
Thanks to all who have reported and sent pics.

Keep them coming.
Rob Husson     FOTM  

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Tim Frederick Gets It Done At The “Big O”

Tim Frederick 3rd yr on FLW Tour with his 1st win worth $100,200.

Last October the FFC put on a bass tournament in The Villages that was called the “Pro Challenge” headed by Leesburg professional angler Tim Frederick on the Pro side and FFC member Chip Austin on the challenge team side. At the end of that tournament Frederick’s team got beat by 5 ounces. At today’s FLW weigh in on Lake Okeechobee at Clewiston FL it came down to a nail biter. After 4 days of competition Frederick won the FLW Tour tournament by 1 lb 2 oz catching a largemouth bass over 8 lbs during the last 10 minutes. Frederick said he fished the same water for 4 days and he was blessed to catch the size of fish he’d caught. He competed against the best in the business. He will now be ranked among those that are considered to have risen to the top. Frederick missed qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup tournament last year but with a win under his belt and the next tournament on his home water, the Harris Chain, he said he feels good that he’ll make the cup. Things are starting off great this year with Falcon Boats & GMC Truck just to name 2 of his new sponsors.

Tim Frederick wins FLW Tour event at Okeechobee 1/28/18

Congratulations to Tim Frederick that took home $100,200 for weighing in 20 bass in 4 days that totalled 85 lb 4 oz. Second place paid 30k to Bryan Schmitt. 60th place was the final spot to receive any $$$ & still paid 10k. There were 186 professional anglers & 182 co-anglers. Winning co-angler received $20,000 after weighing in 10 bass for 2 days totaling 42 lbs 1 oz.
1400 plus Lakes in
Lake County, FL


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Steve Henderson

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Randy and Rob Fishing Clinic

FullSizeRender (10)

Cold weather could not stop members of the Freshwater Fishing Club from attending the “Third¬†Tuesday¬†Fishing Clinic” held at Calumet pond.

Anglers were introduced to the techniques of fishing a 6″ soft plastic lizard.

Members will be able to employ techniques learned in the upcoming “Villages Bass Tournament”, scheduled¬†for¬†March¬† 27th 2018

Randy Disanto

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Breaking The Ice

Windchills to minus 40 in Minn Uh Sow Tuh, near blizzard conditions elsewhere & mudslides & fires to the west….lets change the pace somewhat & let the folks know what’s happening or not south of the Mason – Dixon Line.

At our recent club meeting a report was given on the lack of fish caught at the Tsala Apopka Chain near route 44 & 41 west of The Villages. Blame it on pre-spawn, cold weather, or Trump. They just aren’t hitting. Florida bass hate cold front conditions & when we have temps drop into the 20’s for a few days that shuts them down. But that first sunny calm day when temps climb into the 70’s….well that could be “bumper crop time”.

Trevor Bailey 1/11/18 Lake Griffin Wt 5.0 lbs
Booyah 1 Knocker (Lipless Crankbait)

FFC Board Member Trevor Bailey has caught 45 +/- bass over the past 30 days in excess of 2 lbs….nothing giant but probably better than most reading this, including this writer. His latest 5 lbr was caught using a Booyah 1 Knocker lipless crankbait silver & blue on a calm foggy morning while fishing Lake Griffin. You do not need a boat….there are PLENTY of fish to be caught in The Village retention ponds and also much larger. I encourage all to sign up for Florida Trophy Catch. There’s a link at the top of our home page. It costs absolutely nothing and you could win a fully rigged Phoenix Bass Boat worth over 50K. Steve Felix, FFC fishing trip organizer, submitted a picture of a bass weighing over 8 lbs to Trophy Catch officials.¬† Once approved, he should receive $100 gift card, Spiderwire braid, T Shirt….the larger the fish the bigger the prize. And the next cast could be huge.


Rob Husson Villages Pond
Wt 4.0 lb Bitters 7″ Blue Flake Worm

Here’s VP Rob Husson that’s already received confirmation from Trophy Catch recently on¬† a 9 lb plus bass he caught within The Villages. I believe Rob holds the record for the largest within the bubble. WTG Rob….and he’s still catching them. In the past 3 weeks he’s caught 22 bass and only 2 have weighed <2 lbs. The pictured fish was caught on a Bitters 7″ blue flake worm. (Brooker Bait & Tackle sell them locally).


Bassmaster Elite Touring Professional Bernie Schultz

Our next speaker on Feb 13, 2018, will be 9 time Bassmaster Classic Contender & Professional Elite Angler Bernie Schultz. Schultz is not new to the game of casting for cash. He’s an author + an avid antique lure collector and a seasoned professional in promoting sponsors. If you have any questions about antique tackle or want to get his professional guestimate worth on any items you may have….now’s your chance….so bring it with you. Who knows, he may even buy it…. Also one of many places to keep up with Bernie is on Facebook.


Welcome to the 33 new members that joined in January. The Freshwater Fishing Club (FFC) is always changing with new faces and ideas. Trying to keep up with todays tackle and fishing techniques, especially here in Florida, isn’t easy. Find out from the locals who fish here year round by attending the meetings & following the web site. If you want to stay abreast of events click on Meeting/Events at the top of the home page. FL Bass Tournaments will list most all local tournaments in the area allowing you to witness a weigh-in, participate, or avoid fishing a lake because of a tournament. Nothing worse than pulling into a boat ramp on your weekend off & see the lot over flowing with trailers. You get the idea. Don’t forget to get your name tag and order an embroidered shirt, jacket, hat. Name tags can be ordered at the meeting payable in advance. They are similar to the FFC LOGO. The FOTM is a new program awarding an angler a hat pin. There are stipulations. Check with officials at a meeting.
1400 plus Lakes in
Lake County, FL

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Steve Henderson

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