March Happenings

Club Hatchery Trip
On Monday March 18th seventeen FFC members visited the the Florida Bass Conservation Center in Webster, FL.

FFC Members At The Bass Conservation Center, Webster, FL.

It is the largest of two freshwater fish production hatcheries in the state. Along with Largemouth Bass and Crappie, it also supplies Catfish, Bream, Triploid Grass Carp, Striped Bass and Sunshine Bass. The Florida Bass Conservation Center also conducts extensive research on aquaculture methods.

Fish Tagging Station

After a power point presentation describing the operation of the center, FFC members were given a tour of the many raceways on the production floor that contain fingerlings to adult breeders.

Raceway Containing Breeders

Adult Breeders

For those interested, a behind the scenes tour of the water pumping and filtering system used at the center was offered. If you missed this years trip, the center is open to the public year round.

R&R March Clinic
This months clinic was held at Poinciana pond. Those who braved the chilly morning temps were instructed on how to rig and fish a “Wacky Rig”

(L to Rt) Tom Helmold, Ted Kasubick, Steve Felix (behind the hoodie)

If you want to know if this method works, Just ask FFC member Tom Helmold.

Tom Helmold’s 3lb. Wacky Rig Catch

This nice 3lb Bass was the catch of the day. Members who would like to attend one of our clinics can sign up at our regular monthly meetings.

Greetings From Tennessee
FFC Program Chairman Bob Knorr made the trip north to attend the Bassmaster Classic in Knoxville Tennessee. In conjunction with the event was the Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expo. This three day event was presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods and covers 220,00 square feet in two venues. Guests have the opportunity to see the newest products from all of the major manufacturers. A few familiar faces were spotted and Bob took advantage of some good photo ops.

Trevor Fitzgerald, Bob Knorr, Brian Thrift

The guest speaker at our February club meeting, Trevor Fitzgerald was there to introduce his new line of Brian Thrift Signature Series rods. Also spotted was our January guest speaker Terry Scroggins.

Bob Knorr, Terry Scroggins

Thanks Bob for sharing the info. and pics.

 

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. We do encourage residents who are interested in joining our club to get on our waiting list. Just send your name and phone number to fwfmemberwaitinglist@gmail.com When space becomes available we will contact you in order received.

Rob Husson

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Scott Bisping of FWC On Harris Chain

Scott Bisping of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) presented a comprehensive review of the Harris Chain of Lakes as a fishery.  His review included many graphs of the areas of study. The data was drawn from electo-shocking, creel surveys, and user input.

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Scott Bisping

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The members of the Club took advantage of Mr. Bisping’s knowledge by asking many questions.  His opinion was that the Harris Chain fishery was as good as it had been in a long time.  Jerry Lester

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Example of graphics

 

 

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Fish Of The Month – February 2019

Its always fun opening my inbox and seeing what members have submitted. It looks like February was a good month for several FFC members. The first report came from FFC member Ron DeLeonardis.

Ron DeLeonardis – 6lbs 3oz – Poinciana Pond

While most of us swear by a Texas rigged soft plastic worm to get the job done, Ron took a different approach by fishing a 5″ long diving minnow. The result was this 6lb. 3oz. Poinciana pond beauty. It might be time to change it up a bit and start throwing a hard bait for a while. You never know.

On February 19th during the annual Villages Bass Tournament the news of a big catch at Bonita pond traveled quickly to the other ponds.

Chip Austin – 6lbs. 1oz. – Bonita Pond

It wasn’t long before we all knew that the lucky angler was FFC member “Chip” Austin and his 6lb. 1oz. catch was enough to clinch not only second place in the tournament but also took “Big Fish” at the event.

The report I received on February 24th from FFC member Tom Spade is one to be shared.

Tom Spade – Sunshine Bass – Lake Harris

No monster fish here but a nice example of a hybrid or “Sunshine Bass” For its size it certainly packs a punch when hooked. Tom was fishing Lake Harris just west of Venetian Cove Inlet in approx. 11 feet of water when this one took the bait.

FFC member Bob Heinbach’s February 28th catch rounded out the month.

Bob Heinbach – 15″ Tilapia – Calumet Pond

Now fly fishing folk do things a little different. They take great pride in tying their own flies and they record their catch in inches instead of pounds. I had to chuckle when Bob reported his catch. It goes something like this, “I caught this 15” Tilapia at Calumet Pond today using a “Trash” fly. Now what is a “Trash” fly? Apparently it is something that Bob has created and clearly it works. WTG Bob

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

Rob Husson
FOTM

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2019 Villages Outdoor Expo

This years event was very well attended and the interest in fishing is still very strong. With the help of FFC members Bill Gorman and Phil Beitel we were able to answer everyone’s questions during the two day event.

14th Annual Outdoor and Sports Expo

The fact that we are not accepting new members was not an issue. Most everyone we talked to thanked us for providing such an informative web page.

Pres. Randy DiSanto and V.P. Rob Husson

 

 

Rob Husson

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Villages Bass Fishing Tournament – 2019

Now in its 10th year, The Villages Bass Fishing Tournament is going strong. On Tuesday, February 19th a total of 59 anglers put their skills to work fishing Bonita, Poinciana, and Ashland ponds.

Poinciana Pond – 7:15 AM

Fishing started promptly at 7:30 AM and within the first 30 minutes three fish had been recorded.

Pam White assisting Art Hoover with his 3lb 3oz Poinciana catch

Ted Kasubick – 2lbs. 15oz – Bonita Pond

Chip Austin – 6lbs. 1oz. – Bonita

Fishing continued until 10:30AM when a whistle blew and all fishing stopped. Anglers turned in their score sheets showing that a total of 14 fish had been caught, weighed, and released during the three hour event.

Participants at Ashland Pond

The awards banquet was held Thursday, February 21st where participants enjoyed a great dinner followed by the presentation of awards.

Awards Banquet – Churchill Rec. Center

With a total catch weight of 6lbs. 9 oz. FFC member Ted Kasubick took the top prize.

Ted Kasubick – First Place

Second place went to FFC member “Chip” Austin with a 6lb. 1oz. total catch weight.

Janet Austin accepting for Chip – Second Place & Big Fish

Third place went to FFC member Neal Parkhurst with a 4lb. 8oz. total catch weight.

Neil Parkhurst – Third Place

The “Big Fish” prize went to “Chip” Austin for his 6lb. 1oz. Bonita pond giant. Unfortunately “Chip” was away and unable to attend the banquet so his wife Janet accepted in his behalf. Thanks to all of the volunteers that made this years event possible.
Rob Husson

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February Guest Speaker – Trevor Fitzgerald

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.

Rob Husson

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Fish Of The Month – January 2019

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.FOTM

Rob Husson

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