Orlando Bass Fishing Report
John’s Lake September 6th
Today we did some more exploring on John’s Lake. Waters are still looking great out here, with water temps starting the day out at 85 degrees. Very light if any real breeze to speak of. We started the day in the cut to the Horseshoe, working the Gitem Drop and picking up 3 very quick bass before heading to the shorelines and doing some flipping.
Schooling activity was pretty much non existent this morning with only a few blows here and there but very small schools. Hitting the grass beds away from the cut to the horseshoe produced 2 descent bass on the Gitem Shad in watermelon red tight to the grass bed, before making another move to the main lake area.
Hitting the main lake grass beds was the key for the day, and fishing very slow was the only way to catch anything. Flipping the grass beds and just bouncing your bait around the holes produced a couple more bass. I did manage to flip a few of the docks out there and you had to work extremely slow doing so, pitching all the way under the docks and boats, and letting your bait just sit there, giving it an occasional twitch to get a strike. None of the hits today were by any means aggressive in nature, so paying close attention to your line was very important, as they would pick up the bait and slowly move, if at all.
Today I had a good friend out on Butler Chain to help him scout out a few areas for a tournament he has coming up soon. We had started the day out in Lake Pocket working schoolies for about 20 minutes when they settled down, from there it was pitching docks and working shoreline with deep drop offs close by. With a move into Lake Sheen, the pattern had pretty much stayed the same, working shoreline that had deep drop offs close by and grass beds set up in waters 6-9 feet deep. Baits used in these 2 lakes were Mepps Minnows and Gitem Shads, with a small screw in weight.
Lake Isleworth, as usual was a good stop off for some drop shot action for about 45 minutes before making the move into Lake Louise, where we worked spinner baits and lizards thru the Eel grasses managing 2 descent bass in 12 foot of water.
Lake Down and Little Lake Down produced some good numbers using Gitem KO’s and Shads with no weight, and worked extremely slow in the 4-8 foot depths. Once again fish were just picking up the baits and moving slowly, so line watching was a big key to catching today. Fish were very scattered other than the schoolers on Lake Pocket. Total fish today was 16, with the best 5 coming in about 14 pounds. Not bad for numbers, but trust me on this folks, we had to work hard for the ones we caught, 16 fish with probably 20 moves around the lakes.
Hopefully the weather starts cooling down some soon, with the rains we have been getting, the water temps have come down a good bit, starting the day out with 83 degree water temps is a lot better than the 89 degree we had been seeing before the rains. Water levels out on Butler look great, and waters are still very clean with visibility in areas roughly up to 4 feet, we did hit a few areas where water depth was 9 foot and could clearly see the bottom, which makes for long casts and 10 pound test line.
East Lake Toho
Today I hit East Lake Toho for a few hours, My old tournament partner wanted, for some reason to tackle East Lake and get away for a few hours. Normally East Lake is pretty much a last resort fishing spot, as it has not really been producing that great as of late.
We started the day out searching the deep water brush piles in hopes of finding a good bite, managing 3 nice crappie on a drop shot, now this is an awesome lake for crappie.
Making the move to shallow water and working Gitem KO’s in baby bass color, and Shads in watermelon red we did manage to pick up a few here and there in and around the reeds and scattered grasses. Bit was very soft, so you really had to pay close attention to your line. We had one very solid, hard hitting bite, and I mumbled it was a mudfish, and after a few minutes of a good fight, it was a 5 pound mudfish!
From there we made a move to check out Boggy Cove, a few weeks back it was tough going to get in there, if at all, but with the rains, the lake is up atleast a foot, so we ventured back there and tried our luck. Using the same baits, we slammed a bunch of bass, a total of 28, but the sad thing is, of the 28, only 3 were of keeper size and just barely at that, as you can tell in the pictures. Lake levels are looking good, and the waters are very clean, have not seen the waters this clean in a long time. Water temps started out at 82.4 first thing this morning and when we pulled off they were right around 83.9, cooler temps have made the bite a little better, with more schooling activity going on around the offshore hydrilla beds.
We did manage to spot several good bass, in the 4 to 6 pound class cruising in and around the scattered reed, but as you know, generally if you see them, they have also spotted you. Other than the small size, it turned out to be a fairly good day. If we get the waters to cool down maybe another 10 degrees this lake should really turn on good.
St Johns River
This past week we decided to mix things up a little bit and spent some time back out on the St Johns River and Lake Monroe. We had great weather all week long which made for great fishing conditions, water temps starting the day out in the upper 70’s an ending the days in the very low 80’s, what a nice change of pace that has been. Thursday we saw some schooling action, but other than that the waters had been pretty much calm.
Wide range of baits were used, from Sweat Beavers to rattle trap, only thing the traps got, were a few mullet that got snagged. Most action and fish caught were on the Beavers, Senko type baits and Fluke type baits. Lake Monroe itself fished pretty good, working grasses, hydrilla, and reed yielded some descent bass, but no aggressive hit, all the hits we got were very light taps, almost as if it were dinks hitting the bait, these bass were just picking up the bait and holding onto it, only reacting once you set the hook.
St Johns River itself looked pretty good, with a good flow, we were able to set a shoreline drift without having to tap the trolling motor, allowing us to be very stealthy closer to the shoreline, and flipping very tight to cover, again the bass were just very lightly tapping the baits, so you didn’t know if you were setting the hook on fish or weeds, so every tap you felt, you set the hook, although several bass were missed, with most coming unbuttoned close to the boat, they were showing good size, and very scrappy fighters. The big key to fishing the river, was finding submerged trees with scattered grasses around or very close by.