F.O.T.M. (Fish Of The Month) June, 2018

Most any angler will tell you “If what you are fishing for isn’t biting, something else will” Thats exactly what happened when FFC member and Fishing Trip Chairman, Steve Felix went Bass fisSteve Felix 11lb.3oz. Garhing on Lake Harris back on June 11th. This 11lb. 3oz. Longnose Gar just couldn’t resist Steve’s offering. Definitely not the targeted species but these toothy critters can be a blast to reel in. A quick pic and it was back into the lake for this beast.

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

Rob Husson



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Camp Villages Fishing Derby – 2018

The annual Camp Villages Fishing Derby has always been a favorite and this years event sold out quickly.
On Tuesday June 12th we had 40 future anglers and their grandparents gather on the banks of Lake Mira Mar to learn the basic skills of fishing.
Participants were separated into groups and guided to six different stations which included a biologist, knot tying, a fishing boat, and practice casting.

Biologist Station

Biologist Station

Knot Tying

Knot Tying

Fishing Boat

Fishing Boat

Casting Practice

Practice Casting

At the last station, participants got the chance to try out what they had learned by casting a line in the stocked pond. As soon as the lines hit the water it was nonstop action for the next hour and a half. Nearly everyone caught a fish.

The Catch

Fish On!!!

Waiting For The Bite

Waiting For The Bite

The day finished off with lunch that was prepared by The Villages staff and each participant was given a new rod and reel combo to take home. Special thanks to all of the Freshwater Fishing Club members who volunteered their time to make this years derby a great success. Thanks also to club President Randy DiSanto and FFC member and webmaster Jerry Lester for some great pics.

Rob Husson

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Outside The Bubble or O.T.B.

(Click on any picture to enlarge)

Having lived with acronyms in my previous life, some things are hard to get away from. So going forward consider this authors topics to be Outside The Bubble or O.T.B. While the locals have been hammering the big bass in The Village ponds, there’s also quite a bit of great action “Outside The Bubble” too.

(L) Ethan Warfel & brother Braden 5/26/18
Wt 9 oz Memory Endless

Ethan Warfel of Fenton Park, MO Second Place (SMILE SAYS IT ALL)

Here’s 6 y/o Ethan Warfel that weighed in a 9 ounce bass, to take home a prestigious trophy for 2nd place. While not a Florida Trophy Catch qualifier, come on….this is Missouri….this young man caught his FIRST BASS while fishing a “Derby” near his home town of Fenton Park, MO. Ethan appears to have the right sponsors lined up already….Nike & Shimano for starters. Tiger Woods even has Nike….This kid could be the next KVD!!


Rick Cope wt 7.8 Pitchin
Lake Jackson 5/11/18

Rick Cope Lake Jackson 5/11/18
wt 6.7 Frog

Rick Cope Lake Harris 6/1/18
wt 6.15 Swimbait

Feast your eyes on these. Umatilla, FL resident Rick Cope fished Lake Jackson a few weeks ago with a friend. He scored as usual catching some bragging size bass. Cope said he caught them pitchin, throwing a frog, swimbait, and casting a squarebill, concentrating mainly on shallow water.

On a quiet calm morning, Mother Nature showed me some mercy and said throw a topwater to get bit. I could not buy a strike. Plan 2….Screw this I’m going into search mode. And so I put the trolling motor on go fast & started slinging away. I soon was getting smacked by 12 to 13 1/2″ bass on my lipless baits. Nothing big but fun anyway. I then switched to the 1.5 squarebill. My first

L to R
Spinnerbait, Booyah 1 Knocker, Spro Aruka Shad, 1.5 Squarebill

Squarebill Griffin Wt 4.9

fish weighed 4.9 lbs. The strike was dismal but once it reached the boat or saw me….EZ now….she took off only to eventually swim alongside & get snatched. She was then weighed, photo’d & released. In  5 hours I caught 18 but only had 4 over 14″ & the largest was the 4.9. No tournament weight but I wasn’t fishing a tournament anyway.



Wayne Barksdale No Moby’s but STILL NICE in my book

Father & Daughter Danny Barksdale & Ashley finsihed 3rd at KY Lake 14 lbs +

Earlier Wayne Barksdale told me he’d been catching plenty of 2’s & 3’s and an occasional 4 but no Moby’s….as in Moby Dick. I’d take his catches any day. I seldom hear from Barksdale when he’s not catching….but when he contacts me it’s usually because he’s on numbers, size, or in many cases both. Then there’s his son Danny with Danny’s daughter Ashley that just fished KY Lake and came in 3rd with 14 pounds & change. Danny lives near KY Lake & fishes it often and has won many tournaments there. It seems it’s in the Barksdale gene pool.

Pine Island – Launch here to fish N end of Griffin $5 fee

Fisherman are known to launch at 1 end of the lake & run to the other. You weren’t aware that all the fish in the lake are at the opposite end??? Really….they must be….then you get back to the ramp only to hear that some guys fished just outside the takeoff area and filled their limits. Also remember that many boat ramps are release areas & seeded often by weekend tournaments….except for maybe Pine Island that’s located at the north end of Griffin. I’ve used this ramp dozens of times.

Griffin 6/5/18 wt 5.8 Squarebill 1.5 Chartreuse

Boo Yah 1 Knocker Pair of 12 inchers

Your much closer to Haines Creek and the Oklawaha too.  Yes the river flows North out of Griffin. Although this looks like old Florida, your gear is probably more secure there than at Herlong Park. They charge $5 to launch and you pay inside. You don’t mind it especially if the bass are biting. This day they were. The 1.5 squarebill proved itself again when I caught a bass that weighed 5.8. And don’t sell the 1 Knocker or Aruka Shad short. I caught another 4.9 on the Aruka Shad and had a double on the 1 Knocker. Total bass caught for the day was 22 with 5 best weighing 14.11…..You know where I’m going tomorrow!!

Steve Henderson


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Lake Sumter Guided Fishing Experience / F.O.T.M.

When FFC Board Member Charlie Byus was notified that he was one of the ten names picked in the lottery for the guided fishing trip on Lake Sumter, he had no idea what was in store. After several frantic calls, he quickly assembled his team of three, FFC President Randy DiSanto, FFC member Joe Clouse, and yours truly.

Charlie Byus, Rob Husson, Dave Weston, Randy DiSanto, Joe Clouse

Charlie Byus, Rob Husson, Dave Weston, Randy DiSanto, Joe Clouse

The date of May 30th was selected and armed with an arsenal of baits and tackle, we headed out under threatening skies and looming showers.
With nine previous trips under his belt, our guide Dave Weston put us right on the fish and the fun began! Within minutes it was “Fish On” and it lasted for the full two hour trip. There were a couple times when all four of us had fish on at the same time and Dave didn’t know where to put the net.

Dave Weston assisting

Dave Weston assisting

When the dust settled, the total count for the trip was 65 fish caught. A staggering number for fish taken with soft plastic baits. Sizes ranged from 1-1/2 – 4lbs.

Biggest fish almost didn’t happen. Randy had one so deep in the Hydrilla we thought it would never see the light of day but he kept the pressure on and landed a nice 5lb. 4oz.

For more information about the guided fishing trips on Lake Sumter, visit the district web page, click on the departments tab, then the tab marked recreation. There you will find a complete description of the tours and a printable list of dates, times, and fees.

Rob Husson


F.O.T.M. (Fish Of The Month) May, 2018
We’ve all heard the stories of the monsters that swim in The Villages ponds. Well folks, here’s the proof.

While fishing Poinciana pond on Saturday, May 12th, FFC member Ray Bidwell got the surprise of his life. This Common Carp tipped the scales at 29.76 lbs. Considering the fact that Ray was fishing with 12lb. test line, I would guess that landing this beast was no easy task. FFC member Jack Hoban was close by and snapped the great pics.
A Common Carp weighing 35 lbs. would qualify for state record so who knows, the next time this fish appears it might be a contender.

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

Rob HussonFOTM

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R&R Fishing Clinic / May 15, 2018

The last fishing clinic before our summer break was held at Calumet pond. Sixteen participants were given instruction on how to rig and fish soft plastic worms. R&R Clinic May 2018
This method of fishing is by far the least expensive yet the most effective way to catch Florida Bass. Instruction was also given on how simulate a natural movement and attract more fish. Things worked out well for FFC members Jack Hoban and Bill McGovern as  they each landed a Bass weighing over 3 pounds.

This program has been very well received and will resume again in September along with our regular monthly meetings.
Rob Husson

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FFC Monthly Meeting, May 2018

The last Freshwater Fishing Club meeting of 2017/18 was held Tuesday, 5/8/18 and the officers for the 2018/19 season were voted in. The results are as follows.

Board Of Directors (Officers)
President – Randy DiSanto      Vice President – Rob Husson
Secretary – Open                        Treasurer – Len Durcholz
Board Members
Trevor Bailey, Jim Jones, Jerry Echols,
Don Kindilien, Charles Byus, Paul Besse
Board Member At Large
Steve Felix
Program Chair
Bob Knorr
The position of club secretary remains open at this time and will be addressed when our meetings resume in September.
After some general announcements and the presentation of the “Fish Of The Month” pin, the Glen Lau film “Bigmouth” was shown. This has always been a club favorite.
Camp Villages is fast approaching (June 12th) and should be another success. Thanks in advance to all who have signed up to volunteer.

Rob Husson

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F.O.T.M. (Fish Of The Month) April, 2018

Early morning downpours and the threat of passing showers all day couldn’t keep FFC member Frank Martinez from doing what he enjoys most, fishing the local ponds.
On April 23rd, while some folks were home watching “The Chew” or catching up on what was happening on “General Hospital”, Frank was tossing a Strike King Red Eye Shad in Calumet Pond. Well folks his effort paid off big time when he reeled in this 7.2 lb. beauty and proving that weather has a bigger effect on fisherman than it does on the fish.

Frank Martinez 7.2 Lbs. Crankbait Calumet Pond

Frank Martinez 7.2 Lbs. Calumet Pond

Thanks to all who have submitted photos.  Keep them coming.
Rob Husson


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