Local Angler Records 13lb. 11oz. Villages Pond Catch!!

Fishing Florida waters this past December was certainly a challenge. Frosty mornings, warm sunny afternoons, and water temps all over the place certainly made things interesting. On top of all that, finding a bait that worked took considerable time. Well it looks like FFC member Frank Martines figured it all out and the results speak for themselves. On December 7th Frank took this 6lb 9oz Chatham Square Pond Bass on a Squarebill.

Frank Martines, 6lbs. 9oz., Villages Pond

Franks second big catch in December was this 7lb 2oz beast that was taken with a Bluegill color Red Eye Shad crankbait.

Frank Martines, 7lbs. 2oz., Villages Pond

Thats 13lbs 11oz of Villages pond Bass!!! WTG Frank. Another “Fish Of The Month” pin is headed your way.Pin

FFC member Jim Jones is having success fishing the ZMan “Fatty Z” soft plastic bait.

Jim 3.8

Jim Jones, 3lbs, 8oz., Villages Pond

Best fished with a Shakey Head or Jig Head this 5″ bait is definitely worth trying. This 3lb 8oz Villages pond Bass found it irresistible.

Z MAN FattyZ ElaZtech 5″

Now it’s been a while since I’ve reported a decent catch but that all changed on December 19th. This 5lb 2oz hit a gold lipless crankbait.

5lbs 2oz. Villages Pond

Apparently this fish has an appetite for artificial baits. Two days later club President Randy DiSanto took this same fish on a silver crankbait.

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

Rob Husson

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Fish Of The Month – November 2020 / Are You Superstitious?

“Just like walking under a ladder, crossing paths with a black cat or breaking a mirror, many people hold fast to the belief that Friday the 13th brings bad luck. Though it’s uncertain exactly when this particular tradition began, negative superstitions have swirled around the number 13 for centuries” (Source: History.com)
Now FFC member Wayne Barksdale has a totally different view on the subject and is best told in his words.
“So much for Friday 13th bringing bad luck. This morning I was fishing Lake Griffin with a long time snow bird Bill Chumbler. We started fishing at 7:30am and at 8:00am I was throwing a white Zoom frog in and around pads. The water exploded in about 3 feet of water and I was fortunate enough to land a10lb 9oz Bass. I have two pictures
One is the bass on the scale.

Wayne Barksdale / 10 lbs 9oz / Lake Griffin

And on the other look on the back of the bass and there is a $100 tag.

Tagged Trophy Bass

This is the fourth tagged Bass I have caught. Three from the Harris Chain and one from the Winter Haven Chain”
FWC provided some additional information about Wayne’s catch. Records show that this Bass was released in March 2020, about eight months prior.

Close Up Of Trophy Tag

When released it was 25″ long and weighed 10lbs. 5oz. Using Google Earth maps it was determined that this fish was caught in basically the same spot wher it was released. According to FWC this is fairly common. For more information about FWC’s Largemouth Bass Tagging Studies here is a helpful link. Largemouth Bass Tagging Studies | FWC (myfwc.com)

Now back to that Friday the 13th thing. Wayne might say “Myth Busted”

Thanks to all who have reported and sent in pics. Keep them coming.
To find out what other members are reporting, just click on the “Fishing Forums” tab at the top of this page.

Rob Husson

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I Know What You’ve Been Eating And It Shows

Back on November 6th, FFC member Wayne Barksdale fished one of his favorite spots over in Lakeland, Fl. Several nice Bass were taken and this 6lb. 2oz. beauty was the catch of the day.

Wayne Barksdale / 6lbs. 2oz. / Lakeland, Fl

Now if you look close you will see a lot of yellow or gold looking colors. According to FWC this happens when Bass are feeding heavy on Craw The high level of Iodine in Crawfish will produce some bright coloring. Thanks for sharing the info. Wayne.

Rob Husson

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Retention Ponds Are High in Contaminates

That’s why they are mandated by Florida regulations: To protect rivers and lakes from the suburban runoff. The article from the Orlando Sentinel: http://bit.ly/32Yid8n begins with:

Regional water managers began requiring these ponds a decade ago to catch dirty rainwater running off streets and parking lots before it flowed into clean rivers and lakes.

Now scientists are re-evaluating these panaceas, concerned that the ponds may be causing another environmental problem.

Scientists know that toxic metals from gasoline, motor oil, rubber and asphalt settle to the bottom of these retention ponds, accumulating in the sediment. Now a regional biologist who is studying the man-made ponds says that fish feeding on organisms in the sediment also pick up these toxic metals.

Orlando Sentinel, 11/18/2020

Jerry Lester

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Fish Of The Month, October Happenings, And A Villages First

Fall fishing in Central Florida can sometimes be quite tricky but this past October was an exception. Water and air temps remained steady for the entire month making for some excellent fishing. This 9lb. 24+ in. Lake Griffin giant taken on a very windy October 29th by FFC member Dave Larsen earned the title “Fish Of The Month”

Dave Larsen / 9lbs. / Lake Griffin

Dave’s method was a soft plastic worm worked along the edge of a grass line. I would guess that as soon as Dave got home he updated his Lake Griffin map. Definitely a spot to re-visit.Pin

There were a number of fish caught in October that deserve “Honorable Mention” On October 26th FFC member Rich Grunwald reported this 8+ lb Oklawaha River beauty.

Rich Grunwald / 8+ lbs / Oklawaha River

It certainly looks like this former Mid-West fisherman has got a good handle on how to fish our southern waters. Rich finished the day with a total of 18 Bass taken on both live and artificial bait.

The local ponds have also provided some nice fall fishing. On October 10th Club President Randy DiSanto landed this nice 5lb 10oz Ashland Pond Bass while fishing a Ned Rig.

Randy DiSanto / 5lbs 10oz. / Ashland Pond

Now we don’t see Randy in the pic but his his name is on the scale. Two days later at the same pond I landed a 5lb 9oz Bass with a crankbait. Same fish? Could be.

Me / 5lbs. 9oz. / Ashland Pond

FFC members Frank Martines and Jim Jones both reported 6 plus pound Bass taken from Chatham Square Pond on Calumet ave.

Frank Martines / 6lbs. 3oz. / Calumet Ave

Jim Jones / 6lbs 6oz / Calumet Ave

Both fish were taken with a chatterbait. Jim recorded a 6lb 6oz on October 13th and Frank recorded a 6lb 3oz. on October 16th.

Now here is a Villages first and it comes from Club President Randy DiSanto. On Saturday October 10th Randy claims to have caught the first ever “Rock Bass”

Randy DiSanto / “Rock Bass” / ????

It was taken with a Ned Rig at Chatham Square Pond. Based on the photo it appears to be a juvenile weighing less than a pound.

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

Rob Husson

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Fish Of The Month – September 2020

Although there were several notable catches reported in September, they don’t compare to what we saw in the previous two months. The month started with several reports of 5lb Bass and nothing hitting the 6lb mark. That all changed on September 23rd with a report from FFC member Wayne Barksdale. Wayne and his son Jeff hadn’t fished together in about 5 months and a trip to one of Wayne’s favorite spots in Lakeland, Florida seemed like a good choice. Using basically the same set up, a 5/16oz. Shakey Head tipped with a Magnum Finesse Junebug worm they worked an area approx. 10-12 ft deep. with a gravel or shell bottom. The results would put a smile on any anglers face.

Wayne Barksdale / 8lb. 4oz. / Lakeland, Fl

By 11:30am Jeff had a 5lb. 4oz. recorded and at 12:00 noon Wayne landed this 8lb. 4oz. trophy earning the title “Fish Of The Month”. The day ended with over 20 fish caught! WTG guys!Pin
The local ponds are still producing and those who put in the time are rewarded for their efforts.

Jim Jones / 5lbs. 9oz. / Villages Pond

Jim Jones reported a nice 5lb 9oz Villages pond Bass taken with a Ned Rig.

Ted Kasubik / 5.96lbs. / Villages Pond

Ted Kasubik managed to land a 5.96lb Villages pond Bass before a Gator moved in and took over his spot.

Steve Felix / 4lbs. 10oz. / Poinciana Pond

Steve Felix took a nice 4lb. 10oz. Bass from Poinciana pond.

A final “Fish Of The Month” submission came from our Club President Randy DiSanto and it could qualify in about 6 years from now.

Early Entry For “Fish Of The Month”

I doubt this little guy even moved the scale. Thanks to all who have reported and sent pics. Keep them coming.

Rob Husson

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Fish Of The Month – August 2020 – Where’s Frank??

Having a catch recognized as “Fish Of The Month” is nothing new for FFC member Frank Martines and his photos have inspired us all. Frank has a neat way of taking pics by placing his phone on his golf cart, setting the timer, and lining up the perfect shot. Well it appears that Frank wandered a little too far from his golf cart this time and the lucky angler does not appear in his pic. So what are we looking at?

Frank 7-14

Frank Martines – 7lbs 14oz – Villages Pond

Frank’s Villages pond Bass was taken on a Chatterbait and tipped the scale at 7lbs. 14oz. We miss you Frank but it’s O.K., It’s “Fish Of The Month’ not “Fisherman Of The Month”Pin
There were several outstanding catches reported in August that deserve “Honorable Mention”

Jim 7-9

Jim Jones – 7lbs 9oz – Villages Pond

On August 14th, FFC member Jim Jones took this 7lb 9oz. Villages pond beast on a slim shake worm.

Steve Felix and Tim Doyle reported identical 7lb. 1oz. Villages pond Bass. Steve’s was taken with a Shiner and Tim’s was taken with a watermellon red flake Senko

Felix 7-1

Steve Felix – 7lbs 1oz – Villages Pond

Tim 7-1

Tim Doyle – 7lbs 1oz – Villages Pond

Last July we saw Rich Grunwald’s 8lb. 1oz. Oklawaha giant. Well he backed it up in August with this 7lb. 4oz. Oklawaha catch. WTG Rich.

Rich Grunwald – 7lbs 4oz – Oklawaha

Gene Jackson has reported great fishing on Lake Harris. Check out this 6lb. 12oz. beauty.

Gene Jackson – 6lbs 12 oz – Lake Harris

Gene also reported some great Bluegill fishing.
Thanks to all who have reported and sent in pics. Keep them coming.
To stay informed about what others are doing, click on the “Fishing Forums” tab at the top of this page and follow the directions.
Rob Husson

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Fish Of The Month – July 2020 & What Makes The Number Seven Lucky?

With air temps in the 90’s and feels like temps in the triple digits, fishing Florida waters in July can sometimes be a less than pleasing experience. Some good sun protection and plenty to drink can certainly make your outing more enjoyable. Just remember, fish still have to eat and here is a good example. On July 30th while fishing the Oklawaha River, FFC member Rich Grunwald took this nice 8.1 pound Largemouth Bass with a live Shiner.

Rich Grunwald, 8.1 Lbs. Oklawaha River

A catch worthy of the title “Fish Of The Month” but it also qualifies as a Florida “Trophy Catch” WTG Rich!Pin
Now lets take a closer look into that “Lucky Number Seven” thing.

There are seven days of the week, seven colors of the rainbow, seven notes on a musical scale, seven seas, seven continents, and Snow White ran off to live with seven dwarfs. July is the seventh month so lets take a look back and see if this “Lucky Number 7” related to fishing.
On 7/2, FFC member Wayne Barksdale reported a nice Lake Griffin Largemout Bass that weighed in at (get ready for this) 7lbs. 2oz.

Wayne Barksdale, 7lbs. 2oz., Lake Griffin

Wayne also reported five others having a combined weight of 20lbs.

On 7/27, FFC member Jim Jones reported this Villages Pond beauty that weighed in at 7lbs. 4oz. (there’s that number seven again)

Jim Jones, 7lbs. 4oz., Villages Pond

On 7/28, FFC member Frank Martines reported this Villages Pond Channel Catfish that tipped the scales at 7lbs. 3oz. (do we see a pattern here?)

Frank Martines, 7lbs. 3oz., Villages Pond

Finally on 7/28, FFC member Bob Heinbach reeled in this nice Villages Pond Tilapia that measured (watch for it) 17″

Bob Heinbach, 17″ Tilapia, Villages Pond

Now is this just luck or something more. Who knows? Certainly interesting.
It’s now August, the 8th month. Will we see some 8 pounders? Time will tell.
Thanks to all who have reported and sent in pics. Keep them coming.
Rob Husson

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Fish Of The Month – June 2020

With the exception of a few good reports, the month of June was fairly quiet. The local ponds have produced some average size Bass and some decent size Tilapia. Central Florida lakes seemed to have done a little better and here’s a good example. FFC member Denny Dzurinko posted this on the Fishing Reports page on June 24th and for those who have not yet signed up, here is the story. “Yesterday, 23 June, my wife wanted to take a ride around Lake Harris, Little Lake Harris, and Lake Eustis. So we rented a pontoon boat 8:30a – 12:30p from Venetian Gardens. Knowing how far it is around those three lakes, I didn’t think Id have enough time to do any fishing but I brought one rod with a green twist tail rubber worm left over from my last trip. A tiny tackle bag with tape measure, but no scale. After almost four hours of cruising the perimeters of three lakes, we got back to Venetian Gardens about 10 minutes early. We called Venetian Gardens per their instructions when we were 10 minutes out so they could meet us at the gas pump. The guy said give me 5 minutes and come on in. So I grabbed my pole with only 5 minutes to fish and on the second cast, caught a nice bass on the edge of Lilly pads.

Denny Dzurinko – Venetian Gardens Catch

It measured 22.5″ long with a girth of 15.25″. When I got home, I went online to the FWC bass weight calculator and it turns out that those measurements converted to 6 lb 5 oz. Not a bad day for two casts in 90 seconds. I put her back unharmed and headed in”
Now this was not the biggest fish reported in June but definitely a noteable catch and worthy of the title “Fish Of The Month”FOTMThere were several “Honorable Mentions” in June and they were taken by several different methods. A Heddon Torpedo did the trick for FFC member Len Durcholz.

Len Durcholz – 5lbs. 9oz. – Villages Pond

Len quickly waved down a nearby landscaper that snapped the pic of Len holding this 5lb. 9oz. Villages pond beauty.

FFC member Trevor Bailey took a different approach and landed this 7.46 lb. Lake Griffin giant with a soft plastic Speedworm.

Trevor Bailey – 7.46lbs – Lake Griffin

A chatreuse/pepper lizard got the job done for FFC member Frank Martines. This 6.10 lb. Santiago pond Bass just couldn’t resist.

Frank Martines – 6.10 lbs. – Santiago Pond

Another Santiago pond catch for Frank was this 7.1 pounder taken with a Ned Rig.

Frank Martines – 7.1 lbs. – Santiago Pond

Some nice size Tilapia have been hitting on flies. FFC member Bob Heinbach took this 17″ long, 3lb. 10oz. at Freedom Point.

Bob's Tilapia. 3.1 Lbs

Bob Heinbach – 17″ long 3.10 lbs. – Freedom Point

Thanks to all who have sent in reports and photos. Keep them coming. If you have not yet registered to receive fishing reports just click on the “Fishing Forums” tab at the top of this page and follow the directions. It’s a great source of information.
Rob Husson

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Fish Of The Month – May 2020

Going to change things up a bit this month and let the lucky angler describe his catch. I received this message from FFC member Wayne Barksdale on May 12th. Here is the story.
“What a great bass trip I had today. Went to Lakeland to fish the Winter Haven chain. All ramps are open..my big bass was 8lb 7oz.

Wayne Barksdale – 8lbs. 7oz. – Lakeland

Next was a 6lb 2oz. I caught several bass in the 3 and 4lb range. All of them were in 10 to 12 ft. water..no grass just a hard bottom. Used a Tokyo Rig with June bug trailer and magnum trick worm. June bug. Used regular 5/16 weight for magnum”
Sounds like a great day to me!

Several nice fish were reported last month. I encourage everyone to sign up on the fishing reports page and share what you have been doing.FOTM
Rob Husson

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