I always look forward to reading new issues of This Is Fly. If you haven’t checked out this great fly fishing magazine yet, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do because there are now 41 issues for your viewing pleasure!
When I read about the passing of Doug Hannon this morning I was hoping it was just a bad April Fools joke, but several credible news sources have all confirmed the sad news. Hannon was truly a fishing legend, catching and releasing more than 800 bass over 10 pounds. He is one of the first guides to insist on catch and release as well as the inventor of several great fishing products, including the WaveSpin reel.
Some plan trips to Florida based on the number of mouse ears they can buy in a gift shop, some plan trips to Florida based on the number of bars or nightclubs per square mile, but serious anglers plan bass fishing trips to Florida after researching a few key factors.
Check the lunar calendar and try to schedule your trip during the week before a full moon.
Find out when the bass will be spawning in a given region of the state. Depending on where you plan to fish, the spawn will occur at different times and is dependent on seasonal weather patterns. South Florida, for example, will experience the bass spawn earlier (often as early as January) versus the mid to northern parts of the state which typically experience the spawn in March or April.
Be flexible. Give yourself at least one or two days of flexibility in the event of heavy winds, a cold front or during times of steady pressure.
Plan to go out at dawn or dusk. This is when the fish will most likely be in feeding mode.
Bass in the 12 to 13-pound range can be caught on Florida’s freshwater lakes every year during the spawning season. However, your results will be dependent upon your level of planning. If a trophy bass trip is on your fishing bucket list, consider more than mouse ears or drinking beers.
Debbie Hanson has fished competitively for the past ten years through participation in the 2003 Islamorada Women’s Sailfish Tournament, the 2004 Professional Tarpon Tournament Series, the 2010 Women’s Professional Tarpon Tournament Series and the 2012 Women’s Professional Tarpon Tournament Series. She and business partner, Natalie Leeke, co-own a fishing blog and T-shirt brand for female anglers, B’ASS Fisher Women. Visit their website or Facebook page for more information. Follow Debbie on Twitter at @shefishes2.
This report comes from Tristan MacRae and was submitted as part of our 2012 Contributor Contest.
I was in Orlando, Florida during March break this year. My Dad and I both like fishing, so we went out with a guide called Capt. AJ Jackson to Lake Tohopekaliga. I was getting really bored because my Dad was catching all the fish and so I got annoyed and when the next fish hit I swiped the rod and then I was in. I was pretty scared, because the fish looked huge when it jumped and so I was worried I might get pulled into the water. I was fighting the fish for a few minutes and finally I got it in. Capt. Jackson pulled the fish on board the boat and then it was paparazzi time. I was amazed at how massive this fish was. I’ve caught Bass before, but nothing like this. Capt. Jackson told me that this was a once-in-a-lifetime fish – ten pounds, he said. He even put a picture on his website. My picture shows up after a few other people’s. We released the fish after the pictures were taken.