- FALL AND EARLY WINTER BASSIN'
Actually, the fish will cooperate, even in the cold weather. It is the fishermen who get all stoved up with numb fingers and toes, ice in the rod guides, and sleet all over the boat that make the Winter fishing tough.
- SHELL BEDS 101
I get a lot of emails and telephone calls about how to effectively find shell beds IN THE Stick Marsh, so I will attempt to provide some basic data:
- How various fish tend to strike shiners
If a bass strikes a shiner, it usually engulfs the entire bait and starts to move away from the strike point. The bobber normally goes down quickly and fully out of sight. A bass may stalk a shiner for awhile, which is detectable by the excitement level noted in the shiner and his erratic movements. Not having teeth to hold the prey, the bass must engulf the bait completely within its mouth cavity in order to hold it securely. That is very advantageous to us, in that it assures we will normally be able to hook the fish effectively. The key is to take your time and not set the hook too soon.
- Stick Marsh & Farm 13 Bass and Crappie Spawning Periods
"Jim gets a lot of queries about bass and crappie spawning periods this time of year. The following article is a warmed over version of one done last year on bass and crappie spawning profiles in the Farm 13/Stick Marsh. It has been updated to reflect this year's events and predictions."
- Getting a handle on structure fishing
It is a common question that professional anglers are asked at seminars and tournaments: "What is structure and how do you fish it?"
- Logs and Hawgs
Of all the ways to fish for bass, I venture to say that casting to shallow water cover has to be the best. You can see the target, pick your casting area and, if the fish is there, the response is usually swift and violent. The anticipation and suspense associated with visible cover is so much more than that of deeper, unseen structure.
- Addressing Structure and Marking your Fish
Outdoor magazines, newspapers, books and even television programs stress 'structure' as THE KEY to repetitively successful bassin'. Many will go on to describe the characteristics of good structure; some will explain how to go about locating it; and, a few will expound on the lures to use.
- Summer Crappie
Whether you call him Crappie, Freckles, Specks or Specked Perch, he sure is a tasty eating panfish. Rolled in a bit of cornmeal and fried to a golden brown, a platter of Mom's crappie sure were good when we were kids. Yep, that's one meal this old country boy likes year-round.
- How to find trophy bass
'Trophy' bass come in three sizes-big, bigger and 'holy mackerel, Kingfish'!! But, the actual weights associated with the bass defined as 'trophies' depend on the section of the country you may be fishing and the particular species of bass being sought. A 5-6 pound largemouth is worth 'bragging rights' in the more northern states, while Florida and Georgia residents don't bat an eye unless the old sow is over 12.
- Trolling - Why?
In many bassin' circles, trolling is often considered the lowest form of fishing. However, it is positively one of the most effective way to rapidly locate and catch bass.
- Stick Marsh Water Quality Concerns (March 13, 2002)
I want to address the Stick Marsh/farm 13 water quality concerns of late.
- Spring Transition
Spring is the time of great fishing expectations, as anglers dust of their gear, service the boat and prepare to venture away from the side of the fireplace. And, Spring fishing is great, IF one manages to get everything just right on a given day. It is a time of BIG fish.
The problem is that Spring is a time of change and those changes do not always occur in a predictable manner nor on a predictable schedule. A good warm spell may move the fish up towards the shallows and provide great angling success. But, a fast-moving cold front puts a quick end to it. Most anglers assume that the cold front put the bass off feed, when, in actuality, all it did was cause them to move back out towards the deeper water a bit. Understanding the effects of the weather changes, the on-going reinstitution of life in the warming shallows, and the sporadic activity of the bass are the keys to being able to compensate for the rapidly fluctuating conditions of this time of year.
- Stick Marsh Spawn
Past experience shows these exceptionally small bass are trying to spawn, but are probably not at a reproductive age yet. However, Nature says to go do it anyway. One thing we know is that the small fish of a species always seem to go to the spawning areas first. Whether it is bass, crappie or bluegills, the small ones always show up first. With Stick Marsh bass, this influx of small bass has historically been 45 days (+/-) before we started to see the 2-4 LB males making beds. So, I expect to see the larger bass heading into the spawning zones around the first of Dec. This tells us we may see some large females around the beds 1-2 weeks from that. In a nutshell, I expect to see decent, catchable bass really pick up in the spawning zones between 1-10 Dec and some genuine "Oh, Son' giants in there by mid-month. And, it should continue until about mid-Jan.
- Basic Structure vs. Cover
The following is a short list of 'truisms' regarding bass fishing structure.
- The Weekend Crowds - How To Compensate:
One of the most frustrating sights for the weekend angler is to show up at his favorite bassin' hole at O'dark Thirty in the morning and find three club tournaments and a host of locals going out of the same ramp. If it happens to coincide with the Crappie spawn, he may also find an additional 24 Jon boats, six canoes and a light cruiser patiently waiting their turns to launch. This is not an uncommon situation and is enough to make some give up and head back to the 'barn'.
- Largemouth Bass Feeding:
Like most predatory fish, bass have a large mouth and are very quick. Florida biologists told us: "Various senses are used to locate prey, although bass feed primarily by sight. The location of their eyes creates a field of vision much greater than our own, since they can see in all directions except directly behind and below.
- Catfishing in the Summer:
If you have ever spent much time chasing old Mr. Whiskers, the catfish, you probably recall how many of your fishing buddies often said that night was the best time to go after big cats. I know that I have heard it all my life, but I am just to lazy to spend my sleeping time chasing fish.
- "Deep Water Bassin' in Florida:
One fateful summer day, a Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission biologist introduced this poor transplanted and beaten angler to a bit of Heaven-and, 'Heaven' was a phosphate pit!!
- Florida's Hot Weather Bass:
There is a common mindset that hot weather makes fish go deep to escape the heat. That is one of the 'old wives tales' of fishing that has survived over many years. It is just not so.
- Roadbeds and Bass:
Virtually all man-made bodies of water contain a number of submerged roads and probably an old railroad trace or two. These features are ideal structure, which nearly always hold bass.
- Understanding Basic Bass Structure:
Of all available structure features, ledges and drops are the most common AND the most continuously productive.
- Creek Channels Bassin':
The point to be made is that, while any off-shore structure may hold some bass at a given time, those which do so on a continual and predictable basis are nearly always directly influenced by a channel of some type.
- Love those Rainy Days:
Gradually, we began to notice some very positive aspects about angling under rainy conditions.
- Late Fall/Winter Locations and Lures:
When the surface water temperatures start to pass into the mid- to lower 40 degree ranges, the bass will move very deliberately towards their wintering locations.
- Autumn Gold:
Fall is a time of change for the bass; and, it probably has the most significant and compelling effects of all the seasons. What takes place during this period has a major effect on the survival of the species.
- The Summer 'DOG-DAYS' Myth:
With this natural avoidance of creature discomforts has come the misconception that fishing successes are somewhere between `poor' and `impossible' during the Summer months.
- Ideas & Comments on Cold Front and Barometric Effects:
This was a Web page discussion on cold fronts, falling/rising barometers and the effects on fishing.
- The Summer-Fall-Winter Transition:
In order to overcome that major difficulty of finding the bass, we must first have an understanding of what goes on in his watery world and how he reacts to the various conditions and changes.
- Ledges and Drops, The structure basics:
The Summer season makes it essential that he understands structure, for most fish, particularly the bass clan, take up residence at these locations during the warmer months.
- Positive Thoughts for Winter Fishing:
OK, it’s getting to be Winter in most places. Fishing’s have gotten (or is about to get) tough. What to do?
- Roads to Success:
Road beds, not being obvious except to the seasoned, knowledgeable anglers, are rarely fished, often resulting in a bassin’ bonanza for the one who puts forth the effort to locate them.
- Tidal Water Bassin':
In 30 years of bass fishing, the most predictably and consistently productive waters this author has found have always been in tidal areas.
- Bassin' tactics for muddy water:
There ARE productive ways to take bass from even the muddiest of waters. The key is that, under conditions of reduced visibility, the fish depend a great deal more on sound, rather than sight, to detect and locate their prey.
- 'Homely Bass':
I have maintained a fishing log book and the study of that data, coupled with the recollections of countless trips to the pond, indicates that fish may be just like people and animals when it comes to living in a specific area.
Recommended sites by The Fishin' Tipster
A common question that we get: "Is there somewhere close to get bait and tackle?" This is where we get our bait.
Pete and Tina Heinz / 9 South Mulberry St. / Fellsmere, FL 32948 / 772-571-9855
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