O.T.B. – Outside The Bubble (Click on any pics to enlarge)
Lots of happenings in the past few weeks…my microwave quit…I broke a guide off one of my favorite rods…gas has increased a quarter a gallon…but what the heck…the kids are back in school. Having been the only man in the house out of 4 occupants led me to fish FISH A LOT to find my sanity…Although my girls have been out of the house for 20 years, some say I still haven’t found my sanity. BUT I’M STILL FISHING!
Well here’s a start. Wayne Barksdale is off to catch whatever wants to eat on a beautiful morning on Lake Griffin. And recently these sunrises produce majestic mornings with horrendous downpours in the PM with everybody’s favorite lightning show. But as usual Barksdale continues to score and embarrass this writer wondering how he catches when many don’t…especially me.
For one Barksdale is very patient & throws/drags many pastics across/through eel grass & hydrilla. A phone call last week from a potential FL newbie said he’s a bank beater from MN. I told him that whatever he learned in MN you can pretty much forget here in FL. Myself being forgetful comes natural…okay easy now…However not all of this holds true. Lets just say whatever you’re comfortable & have confidence in try it. You can always learn from your results, or the lack of there of…even find a tip occasionally on here.
On July 10th, nineteen anglers, me included, fished a small club tournament on Griffin. First place was 5 that weighed 16.45 lbs. Big Bass weighed 7.81 lbs. There were 54 fish caught weighing 96.34 lbs and all released alive. Better hurry…they’re all swimming around the lagoon at
Herlong Park 🙂 Big Bass was caught by none other than the new tournament director, Sharon Reed, that weighed 7.81…here’s the kicker…Since Sharon took over, she thought it’d be fun to also have a dollar side pot for the smallest bass. Not only did Sharon win Big Bass but she also won small bass by weighing in a giant at a whopping 0.25 ounces. WTG Sharon!! These weights are a far cry from another tournament Sharon hosted at Rousseau on July 24th. I don’t know how many anglers participated but total weight for 5 anglers that had limits (25 fish) was only 24.14 pounds. Yes folks…you read it right. Hurricanes have taken toll on the Tsala Apopka Chain…Lake Rousseau especially. Time heals all. Hopefully in this decade. These weights show a troubled fishery for sure.
A publication from Southwest Florida Water Management District said that Lake Panasoffkee’s water level compared to this time last year, is nearly up 3 ft. I’m sure that makes the hydrilla gnats happy…hate those things. All water levels are up considerably with Ma Natures help. The St Johns River has been either in or close to minor flood stage for several months.
Here’s 2 of 5 that I caught on Griffin throwing a white chatterbait. The best thing about a chatterbait is when you do catch a fish, normally they’re hooked in the top of the mouth & rarely die. FLW Professional Tim Frederick told me that if you have a fish that bleeds, pour Mountain Dew down its throat. Yeah I said the same thing. Ask him the next time he’s at the FFC monthly club meeting.
Hearing reports from various outlets & individuals leaves one skeptical many times. I always think “Show me the scales”… But from a reputable source such as Bill Brooker from Brooker Bait & Tackle in Leesburg I’ll buy what he’s sellin. Brooker said a few weeks ago during a 3 bass limit tournament held on Harris – you’re only allowed to weigh in 3 fish – that 1st place was 22 pounds plus. 2nd place was 21 plus. Now gang I’m here to tell ya that’s one helluva sack of fish.
Next question is from where? If you decide to search for what’s rumored to be the address of these lunkers, you may need an airboat, push pole, or something that’ll fit this criteria. At the entrance that opened into a vast area, it was topped out with plenty of hydrilla. The fish might be in there and for me to gain access I’ll have to downsize or wait until the first frost to knock back the hydrilla…you see where I’m going with this. It’s understandable that there would be giants back there…Send me pictures 😦
Recently FFC President Randy DiSanto sent out a picture of pan fish he was catching (40) one right after another and the only reason he quit was because they’d ran out of bait. His first words were they weren’t bass. A fish is a fish and fun regardless but when found dead floating in the livewell during a bass tournament can render a person somewhat unnerved. This little guy was about 4 inches in length. And no you can’t stuff him down the fishes throat. Can you imagine losing by 1 ounce? Our own hometown Leesburg grown FLW Professional Angler Tim Frederick failed to qualify for the FLW Cup. Payment for 55 anglers ranged from 1st place of $300,200 to 55th place of $10,000 and you didn’t even have to catch a fish. Congratulations to Clent Davis from Montevallo, AL who after 3 days of competition on Lake Ouachita at Hot Springs, AR weighed in 36.13 lbs to collect a check for $300,000. His next closest competitor 2nd place angler James Niggemeyer’s weight was 29.9. John Cox from Debary, FL came in 8th with 13 fish that weighed 24.7 lbs to win $22,000.