First Quality Bass

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Well-known member
May 22, 2015
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Orlando, FL
Over the holidays I worked on my 14 ft Landau some and finally cut into the front casting deck to gain access to storage underneath that was previously unused (not sure why the previous owner built the deck without access). I then moved the battery under the deck and rewired the trolling motor and fish finder.

After making the small modifications I wanted to get out on the water to try and catch some fish. So Friday morning I went fishing on a local lake. I didn't really look at the weather the night before and when I got to the ramp I realized how cold it was and with shorts and just a long sleeve shirt I was freezing in the 42 degree temperature. Fortunately I found some long socks in the Jeep before I pushed off the dock which helped a bit, but I was still cold.

I only fished for a couple of hours because it was getting pretty miserable being cold and I had to be back to the house by 8:30 am.

After not getting a single bite all morning I decided to go to a spot I went last time on the lake where I got a solid bite (but didn't hook up). I was fishing there for about five minutes and then noticed something long across the cove swimming on top of the water. I wasn't sure what it was and decided to troll over and check it out. I've never seen any gators on the lake and last time on the water there was an otter playing in between me and a paddleboarder. After I casted out to to the side of my boat I aimed the tolling motor in the direction across the cove. As I was fiddling with the troller and was looking away I got a big hit on my line. Without looking I instinctively jerked the rod back and set the hook.

All the sudden line started peeling out of the reel and I realized I had a pretty good fish on. I had to tighten the drag down several times while fighting it. As I was getting the fish closer to the boat I realized how big the bass was as it was rolling and trying to go under the boat. After fighting it for a few minutes I was fortunately able to land him and snap some photos. This was definitely the biggest bass I'd caught. Some might not think that it is HUGE but it is huge by my standards. I'm not the best fisherman in the world and don't always catch much or big fish, but I love fishing and being on the water.

I fished the same area and nearby spots for another 15 minutes without any other bites. By this time the sun was out and it was starting to warm up, but I was content with my fish and needed to get back to the house so I motored over to the ramp.

I shared the photos with some friends and they were impressed and asked me how much it weighed and how long it was. I've never had a scale or a tape measure on the boat as I usually don't catch quality fish. Hopefully that will change the more I use the boat and spend time fishing. My next modification will be adding a measuring two to the boat and buying a scale.

good job !! what lake did you go to? what lure?

yeah, them folks "Up Nawth" don't understand that our 40* weather
is just as bad on us as their 10* below !!!
next week should be much better weather - in the low 80s.

and I would guess your bass is in the 2# range.... great catch !! great writeup too.
spend some money on the digital scales - it will be worth your while.
Thanks Johnny. I was on Lake Orienta and was using a plastic jerkbait.

I like the idea of a digital scale.
Any recommendations on a specific one scale or brand? I really know nothing about them or what I should look for .

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I don't get to the Orlando area lakes.
I have recently moved to Kissimmee from Winter Garden and fish big Lake Toho on
the North end.... my wife routinely catches 3-5 pounders just from
the bank with live shiners or small blue gill for bait and does quite well.
She uses minnows for crappie and that works well. she is not a fan of artificials.
I, on the other hand, don't have the patience to soak bait LOL.
I like popping top waters like frogs, etc through the grass.
but with the onset of arthritus in the joints and bursitis in the elbows,
I tap out in just a couple of hours. (then resort to soaking bait).

as for the scales, go to your local sporting goods store (or online) and just compare
the different models to see what will best suit you. (and your budget).
a big dial and/or numbers is the ticket - must be able to read it quickly when
the fish calms down for 3 seconds.... small numbers and dials don't work for me.....
I have only used the gill hanger hook style for ever and found a Berkley digital lip gripper
at a yard sale for $10 and really like it. The cheap yellow Bass Pro spring scales only last
a year or two (for me) and rust quickly. I fish a lot of salt water so I need the rust resistant one.
other members here with more experience than myself can recommend a good all purpose scale.
some can go over $100 lol which is way out of my budget. Even the Berkley that I found for $10
retails for 49.95 new.

good luck in all your adventures !!!!
Johnny, I'm like you, I don't have the patience to let bait soak, although to be honest that is most of the kind of fishing I grew up on. Catching fish is fun any way you do it, but for me it is a lot more fun using artificials. Problem is I've never consistently put my time in to really learn the best way to fish artificials and so most times I fish I get skunked or catch small bass.

Thanks for the advice on the scales. I had no idea that some of the scales cost so much. I'm probably going to head to Bass Pro or Gander this week and check them out and see if I can find any on sale.

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I had an uncle that was Florida's top bass angler back in the 50s and 60s.
more so than Roland Martin or the other guys.... he was fabulous with a pole.
he did most of his serious bass fishing just wading around the edges of the lakes.
hardly ever in a boat. (come to think of it, I don't think he ever owned a boat in his lifetime).
I remember seeing his tackle box full of old school wooden top water plugs. (not much plastic back then).
some were so chewed up by monster bass that all the color was gone and only
the propeller and hooks were identifiable.
he made several himself out of broom handle wood - he said the hooks stayed in better
than the the store-bought type.
when he passed away, I inherited his 19 pound large mouth that was professionally mounted.
that thing was a HOG !!! caught in Johns Lake in Clermont back in the 60s.
sadly, hurricane Charlie got all my stuff - including the monster fish.
here is a photo of me at 2 years old holding one of his 10 pounders. (funny as all get out).
I very clearly remember hearing the little Brownie box camera snap the photo then
when I dropped the fish, it sounded like dropping a watermelon.
Johnny with Bass.jpg
good luck in all your adventures !!!
That's awesome! It's so cool how some of those memories stay with you throughout life. That 10 pounder is a hog itself, I can't imagine how big the 19 pounder was. It's too bad that mount got lost in the hurricane, I bet that bass was one of the coolest fishing pieces you had. At least you still have that picture which I'm assuming you really cherish.

I wonder if those old broom stick lures would still work? It might just go to show that we really don't need all this fancy equipment and gear that is marketed and sold to anglers in order to catch fish. Might not even need a boat, although boats are fun!

I do some shore/dock fishing and I'm contemplating keeping a small rod and reel and some select lures in the Jeep for those times when I happen to be near a pond or lake that might hold fish. Lately, when the house is empty or I get an hour to myself, I've been grabbing my pole and riding up to a few small ponds/lakes near my house on my bike. Haven't caught anything yet but looking forward to the day I do.

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if you wade or fish near the water - always keep in the back of your mind that
ALL lakes in Florida have alligators and cotton mouth moccasins!!! (and soon to be pythons also).
just be aware of your surroundings and have FUN pitching some rubber frogs in the grass.

Johnny said:
if you wade or fish near the water - always keep in the back of your mind that
ALL lakes in Florida have alligators and cotton mouth moccasins!!! (and soon to be pythons also).
just be aware of your surroundings and have FUN pitching some rubber frogs in the grass.


Holy crow. Remind me to stay away from the lakes next month when I am in Kissimmee.
Macrosill - the slithering reptiles are pretty docile in the winter time here.
but - the summer months are their breeding season and they get quite aggressive.
so you should be safe on your vacation !!

Pappy said:
They were all caught around the Eustis, Mt. Dora area lakes. Tons more photos of good fish but those were stand outs!

Awesome! I haven't fished around that area. One of these days I'm going to make more of an effort to go outside of my normal fishing radius and explore some other waterways and fishing holes.

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