10″ Worms to Wire Leaders

On Aug 8th there were 17 of us that fished Lake Harris launching from Venetian Gardens. Have you launched there lately? Hydrilla & eels grass everywhere. Obviously they’ve not sprayed that area….although good for the fish & savvy anglers….not so for the boaters. Here’s John Hendry showing 1 of his 5 that weighed 5.34….Hendry caught his largest bass at 1:52 with 8 minutes to get to weigh-in.

John Hendry wt 5.34
Big Bass Aug 8. 2017
Lake Harris Tournament

Hendry’s total weight was 5/12.20 lbs giving him 1st place & Big Bass. As for the rest….well not so good. 35 fish were weighed in with 6 out of 17 anglers having zero. I only had 4 that weighed 5.13….called my Sparta, Ky friend Rick Cayton & he said, “You could have fished the Ohio River and had that weight”….and that’d been for 5 fish. I just laughed – but it’s true.

Rick Cope 2 of 5
Lake Griffin May 2017

Here’s Rick Cope with some late entries from Lake Griffin he caught back in May of 2017. Cope was also fishing a tournament. Nice sack Rick.

Rick Cope 3 of 5






Wayne Barksdale Wt 5.11
Lake Griffin 8/9/17

I saw FFC member Wayne Barksdale yesterday at Eagles Nest ramp on Griffin. He said he’d had a good day but it was getting hot & decided to quit. His arsenal consists of swimbaits & worms slowly dragged across the eel grass & hydrilla. Barksdale generally catches them….but he’s also told me “You don’t hear from me on days I don’t”!

Barksdale said “You’re getting late start aren’t you?” My reply was that I was just launching the boat because I’ve got a bunk trailer bracket that broke & was taking it to Jungle Welding aka Updike Welding in Leesburg across from the post office. I dropped off the trailer & within 2 hours received a call from Peter saying it was done. He had to fabricate another steel bracket for me & drill 3 holes. I was VERY pleased with the service and the cost. And yes you may be thinking I can do this myself. Well I could have if I had the steel, a drill press, and bits large enough to bore the hole. It’s like this….better to have it done by a professional than try this myself. Highly recommend his services if you need any welding on steel or aluminum. The only reason I didn’t wait was because Peter was going to lunch.

While waiting for my trailer to be fixed I went to Brooker Bait & tackle in Leesburg. Visiting with George, who was working the counter, a young man age 13 or so came in and purchased a bag of Zoom watermelon red 10″ worms that he casts on his baitcaster and drags them slowly across the bottom with great success fishing at Venetian Gardens. Duh – no Steve, launch from Venetian Gardens and run to Apopka where there’s no fish. Mental note to self to stay in Venetian Gardens. Shortly thereafter a couple came in & the man asked if I could help him & showed me some soft plastics the shape of a 2″ willow blade. Personally I’ve never seen anything like them before. He said a friend had given them to him but with no hooks and he wanted some. The only thing I could figure was a drop shot rig with a small hook or nose hook them on a 1/16 oz road runner. And his next question was “Do you have wire leaders?” Stop right there….This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this. Owner Bill Brooker has mentioned this several times in the past about people coming into the store & wanting wire leaders…..folks we’re not fishing for walleye, muskie, or northerns even though we have some toothy critters. Well that prompted me to do this: Over the years many have tried to catch bass since moving to Florida with little success. This aint minnuhsowtuh or mitchigunn – “GO BUCKS” These fish don’t read the same literature as their brethren. Below is a picture of what has worked and is tournament proven by many especially me. Keep in mind this is only a SMALL PORTION but will definitely get you started towards success when rigged properly. This isn’t junk you’ll see advertised on TV for nineteen ninety nine or WAIT receive the next box free….just BS shipping and handing. Bill & Natalie Brooker at Brooker Bait & Tackle have the inventory sheet printed out so all you need to do is call and say you want The Villages Starter Kit. Please allow 24 hrs before pick up. There’s 91 pieces including the box consisting of 40 trick worms, 5 crankbaits, 15 weights, 10 hooks, 10 toads, 10 flukes. $85.99 out the door. This box will be pre-assembled/loaded. Call the store at 352-460-0695 to order. And BTW, the Freshwater Fishing Club makes zero from this sale. We’re here to help.

Villages Starter Box 91 pc $85.99 – Tournament tested & works in FL













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Steve Henderson

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