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Lake Toho, Butler Chain and Johns Lake Bass Fishing Report May 2006

 Orlando Bass Fishing Report

John’s Lake

Today we did some more scouting on Johns Lake for future trips we have coming up that will be done out there. One of the greatest parts of our job is to have the ability to be able to scout and fish several lakes. This lake is unlike most Florida lakes as this lake has some very clean waters, great shad population, and some very hard fighting bass. The cleaner waters combined with the great shad population, excellent grass beds and scattered timber make for some great bass fishing action.

Lures of choice today consisted of a wide variety of lures, Rattle Traps, Spooks, rattling spinnerbaits, Gitem KO’s, Gitem Toads, and Gitem Shads.

Morning bite started out with what was some excellent schooling activity in the cut on Johns Lake and once that slowed to a crawl, we had moved into Clear Lake. Working the undeveloped side of Clear Lake, we saw a ton of bait fish and had some good action with the bucks coming out to play. As the sun got up and really started to cook, the bite slowed and the pattern of choice was positioning the boat in the middle of long scattered grass beds and slow trolling thru, tossing Gitem Shads with a small screw in bullet weight, and tossing it to the edges and into potholes in the beds. Several good solid bass fell to this pattern and made for a very successful scouting trip.

Tomorrow we are back it at one last day before hitting the trips again, so we will be targeting the Horseshoe area as well as the Black Lake area of Johns Lake.

John’s Lake
May 3rd

Today we did some more scouting on Johns Lake for future trips we have coming up that will be done out there. One of the greatest parts of our job is to have the ability to be able to scout and fish several lakes. This lake is unlike most Florida lakes as this lake has some very clean waters, great shad population, and some very hard fighting bass. The cleaner waters combined with the great shad population, excellent grass beds and scattered timber make for some great bass fishing action.

Lures of choice today consisted of a wide variety of lures, Rattle Traps, Spooks, rattling spinnerbaits, Gitem KO’s, Gitem Toads, and Gitem Shads.

Morning bite started out with what was some excellent schooling activity in the cut on Johns Lake and once that slowed to a crawl, we had moved into Clear Lake. Working the undeveloped side of Clear Lake, we saw a ton of bait fish and had some good action with the bucks coming out to play. As the sun got up and really started to cook, the bite slowed and the pattern of choice was positioning the boat in the middle of long scattered grass beds and slow trolling thru, tossing Gitem Shads with a small screw in bullet weight, and tossing it to the edges and into potholes in the beds. Several good solid bass fell to this pattern and made for a very successful scouting trip.

Tomorrow we are back it at one last day before hitting the trips again, so we will be targeting the Horseshoe area as well as the Black Lake area of Johns Lake.

May 4th

Today as planned we started the day out in the main cut working swim baits from storm, 3 inch curltail in Pearl color and worked the deeper waters around the cut. Catching a few good school sized bass we moved on over to the Horse Shoe area and worked the mouth in the same manner, tossing around swim baits, which was the definite bait of choice. Moving along the shoreline we were working Gitem Shad and Warlocks and managed a few more good school sized bass. From there we headed to the extreme west side of John’s Lake known as Clear Lake. This area has some of the best looking waters out there and tossing around white spinner baits was the definite way to go here.

May 5th

Back out on John’s Lake yet again, the bite had dramatically slowed down as the normal schooling bass did not make their appearance in the morning as they have been, We made the move over to the horse shoe area once again picking up one good bass off a spinner baits before making the move to the west side of the main lake. Here we were tossing chatter baits in Chartreuse color picking up a few more slot sized bass. Weather played a big factor as a front was starting to move in on us, giving us calm breeze one minute and a good stiff wind the next. Bait of choice was definitely chatter baits and small spinner baits.

John’s Lake
May 9th

Today we had a run out on John’s Lake.
Morning bite had started out catching 2 quick keepers on a Storm CurlyTail swim bait before 6:30am, still slightly dark out and with heavy rolling cloud cover. Shortly after that the skies opened up and yes, the rain finally came, and so did the lightning!!! After a quick run back to the ramp for cover and about an hour wait for the skies to somewhat clear up, we headed back out in the rain to once again locate our fish.

Opting for a change in baits to kick things off again was a good choice, as we switched to Gitem Shads with a small screw in weight and long casts into scattered grass beds, we managed to pick up 3 keepers really quick. The rains had changed our approach as the bass had seemed to move tighter to the cover but remained on the deeper edges in 6 to 8 foot of water. Baits were worked VERY slow after about a 5 second count down to allow them to fall deep enough.

We had made several moves to different areas of the lake and the same pattern held true at every location we hit, long casts, 5 second count down and worked VERY slow, hits were very aggressive, picking up 3 or 4 bass in every location we hit. Stronger winds kicked up and once again changed the bite, Bass seemed to position themselves in the middle of the grass beds and on calmer sides of isolated grass patches. Main lake points and a few boat docks also produced. With the water levels down some, look for the submerged grass beds, which are becoming easier to locate to be holding some good bass, spinner baits and Gitem Shads have been hot baits on this lake as of late and are a sure fire way to catch some good limits.

Butler Chain

Today we had a great run out on Butler Chain. With Tim and his Dad we headed straight to Lake Down trolling shiners along grass bed edges and nothing wanted to play, from there we headed into Little Lake Down, slow trolling shiners the guys managed a few good bass, which all came from the deep waters, ranging in depth from 10 to 26 feet deep.

From there we headed over to Lake Louise and worked the eel grass beds picking up a few more bass. Tim had a serious toad just absolutely hammer his shiner and a after a brief fight, it actually snapped 50 pound braided line.

With a phone call from a friend, we opted to move into Lake Isleworth to be positioned to make a fast get away as a bad storm was heading our direction. Shiners pitched to shoreline vegetation and in and around lily pads produced a few more good bass, rain started to kick in some along with the winds and the guys opted smartly to head on out.

Waters are getting low so getting the total downpour we got was great to see, the cut going from the bay into Lake Down is very shallow and getting narrow as you enter Lake Down. There is a tree, laydown in the entrance to the cut leading from Lake Islewoth to Lake Louise, so pay close attention as you motor thru there.

Butler Chain

Today we had a great bunch of guys out on the water from England.
These guys have never been to America before and NEVER bass fished before either.
Needless to say this was a shiner trip, and the day had started out on the slow side.
Isleworth was where we had started the day out, with no real good action to speak of, and with the guys only fishing a 4 hour trip, we had to find fish fast, and did we ever.
We made the move into Lake Lousie and the guys picked up a few here and there when out of nowhere, 2 rods slammed over and the fights were on, or so we thought. As father and son battled their bass, one surface and did a beautiful dance on the water and we knew at least one of them was a serious toad .Keith got his to the boat, and as I lipped her I saw Keiths hook in the corner of the mouth, and his sons hook and shiner deep in the bass’s mouth, so not only did they share a GREAT day on the water, but as a team, they both hauled in the same bass, that weight in at a very nice and SOLID 10.1 pounds!!!!

Remember folks, when you go fishing, take your kids with you, the smiles and chatter after this bass was released alive and well was absolutely priceless.

John’s Lake week ending May 21st
This past week has had us out on John’s lake with a mix of scouting trips and guide trips.
With the waters still dropping, the bass have pulled more to the outside edges of the grass beds and deeper water grass beds. Spinner baits in all white or Gold have been very good producers. Storm swim baits have seen some good action on the early morning schoolers in the cuts. As the day warmed, the flipping bite in and around the docks have produced some very nice bass as well.

Mixing the lures up a bit to see how the bass would react was a good bet, with a #5 Mepps Minnow picking up a few good bass as well as a Long A and rattle traps. Most of the flipping baits were the Gitem Bugs and the Gitem Shad. Top bait producer in and around the docks was the Gitem K.O in Red Bass, this has been a great color out here.

Shiner bite is still going good, if the schoolers don’t take a freelined shiner, use a bobber and set it to 8-12 inches early on in the day, and late afternoon, pinch on a small slit shot to drop the bait just a little deeper, surface schooling may be over but the bass are still there, suspended in deeper water.

With the air temps rising and the dog days of summer fast approaching, the early bite is going to be key if you want good topwater action, then the bite will slow down but with the switch to slow rolled spinnerbaits, and senko type baits, you will still get some very good quality fish.

Lake Toho

Today we did a little scouting around out on Lake Toho.
Day started out with a very light breeze and ended very calm.
We started out the day working grass beds with Gitem K.O’s and Toads, managing to pick up 2 slot sized bass on the K.O in Red Bass color. From there we made the move to the grass and reeds just past Makinson Island, this was a move that would pay off in a big way.

We started out flipping Gitem Bugs with one good thump and a drop and watched as reeds were getting banged around, noticing this we tossed bugs and K.O’s up into the reeds managing to pick up 3 more good solid bass before they just stopped biting.

Shad had moved thru and the bass seemed to be more focused on them, so we made a switch to some top water minnows. Quick pops WITHOUT moving the lure was the key, as we managed to get 6 more bass, all of which came in between 5 and 5 ½ pounds each.

Pop R’s and chug bugs managed 3 more bass about 2 to 3 pounds each before we decided to call it a day. A lot of great hydrilla in these areas, which was a big key to catching the bass, also saw a lot of schooling activity out around the island, mostly which was taking place about 20 to 30 feet off the grass beds and pretty consistant. Bass all looked very healthy and were very aggressive when they hit.

Butler Chain

Thursday we were out on Butler Chain scouting new waters and working new baits from Gitem Baits. Baits were the new drop shot baits and with the bass staged up and holding in the deeper waters, these baits could not have come to us at a better time.

We had started the day out on Lake Isleworth, hitting the deep holes, 10-18 feet with the drop shot rig set at 2 ½ feet. Lighter tackle and 10 pound mono and stand out hooks made these baits look very impressive as we picked up 6 good bass.

With a quick move over to Lake Louise to work a few more deep holes picking up a few more good bass before calling it a day. With the dog days of summer beating down us, drop shot is going to be a good bet to get some good quality bass.

Friday we had a 6 hour trip out on Butler, Janet and her brother Kirk came for some good bass fishing action and the chain did not let them down. Kirk had the hot rod, hooking up several nice bass. Lakes that we had worked were, Lake Isleworth, Lake Louise and Lake Tibet. Waters were very calm as we had no real breeze to speak of, which this trip being a shiner trip, didn’t really effect the bite for us today. Once again it was the deeper holes, 12-18 foot of water that held the bass. In all it was a great day on the water, especially for Kirk, since his sister treated him today for his birthday.

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