Sunday, July 8, 2018

Orange Lake Series

This post is on the fishing sessions on my trip to Orange Lake Resort in which I had caught fish. I fished different lakes throughout the trip, but unfortunately, I didn't catch as many fish as I had hoped, especially considering the fact that I fished multiple times in the 5 out of 7 days while I was there. Still, the 7 total fish (4 for me, 3 for Jacob) were fun to catch and definitely worth it.

July 8, 2018

Jacob and I started fishing at Circle Lake, a lake in the resort with a bridge on it that connects an island in the middle to the land. Jacob was fishing with worms under a bobber, and I was fishing with a Texas-rigged Zoom Trick Worm soft plastic lure. It was Watermelon Red colored. Jacob had never caught a Largemouth Bass before, and he was eager to catch his first. Jacob started fishing from the bridge, and I started casting my Trick Worm on the island parallel to the bridge, a few feet away. Before long, something crazy happened. I saw a splash in very shallow water next to the bridge, so I went over to check it out. I couldn't see anything, but I decided to cast in the area just in case whatever made the splash was in the area. I was retrieving the same way I retrieved it for the rest of my trip: twitch, twitch, reel up the slack, pause. As I was bringing the Trick Worm closer, I could see a small fish going after the lure. I felt something on the end of the line, and believe it or not, I had caught a baby Largemouth Bass that was about half - 3/4 the size of the lure itself! Because it was so small and because I wasn't expecting it, it wasn't hooked very well and came off a few seconds after I had brought it out of the water. Still in disbelief, I casted again in the same area to try to catch it again. I did not hook it, but I did see it go after my lure. A minute later, I saw another juvenile Bass right next to the island I was standing on. I called Jacob over and told him that he was about to catch his first Largemouth Bass. He slowly dropped the hook baited with a live nightcrawler into the water, and after a few seconds, the Bass came right at it. It ate the worm, and Jacob hooked it and reeled in. He had caught his first bass! He lipped the Bass, something he had also wanted to do, and released it. It was very exciting. Although we did not catch any more fish, we did find a school of Bream that stole a lot of our worms. The school of Bluegill would eat anything that penetrated the surface of the water. Unfortunately, our hook was too big to catch them. We left when we ran out of worms. It was a successful and fun trip in which Jacob had caught his first Largie and we learned about the school of Bream there. We were definitely going to try again.


July 10, 2018

Today, I woke up early ready to fish. At around 7:15 AM I was walking toward a lake that I had fished before but hadn't caught anything at yet. There are some trees in the lake, which is good for bass fishing because it provides structure, and Bass stay near structure. I was fishing with my Baitcaster reel, which is a type of reel that's new to me. I was using this reel because the Baitcaster is mostly used for Bass fishing and is preferred by most Bass fishermen. One of my goals in fishing is to learn about different types of fishing and to try (and succeed in) them all. To not be a fisherman that focuses on only one method. My goal was to catch a Bass on my Zoom Trick Worms and a Baitcaster reel, by myself. Then, I would prove that I can Bass fish and that it is a method that I have succeed in. I started to cast at the north side of the lake through some trees. Although I had been practicing using my Baitcaster reel in my backyard, I was not experienced enough and I accidentally casted into one of the trees on the first cast. It broke off my hook and lure. I had forgot to ring extra hooks and lures, so I walked all the way to the house to rig up again and back. By 8:15, I was back at the lake. I was slowly working my way around the lake to the south side, casting and retrieving. I wasn't catching anything. I met another Bass fishermen, Chris. I was talking to him and he gave me some tips on using the Baitcaster, ways to upgrade my gear, and more. After he left, I saw a small, round, bay-like area on the south edge of the lake. It had a small tree in the middle and it looked like it had fish, so I casted there. After about 15 minutes of casting and retrieving, I wasn't expecting a fish, as I had never caught one by myself before, and according to Chris, who had tried both topwater lures and artificial lures at the lake, said that the soft plastic worm wasn't catching fish. But, after a good cast, as I was about to reel in the slack after twitching the rod, I saw the line move to the right. I reeled in, and I felt a tug and saw the flash in the water. Fish on! I reeled it up and caught it! A Largemouth Bass! I pumped my fist in the air in excitement. My first Largie on the Baitcaster and Trick Worm! I have successfully learned how to Bass fish, especially using plastic worms and a baitcaster reel! As far as Bass go, it wasn't very big. But, a fish is a fish, and this one's a grown Largemouth Bass! I felt very accomplished having caught a Bass using new methods to me. It was 9:23 AM when I caught the fish. I packed up and went back to the house, feeling very exuberant. I did it.


July 11, 2018

On the last day of fishing on this trip, Jacob and I returned to Circle Lake with hopes of finding the school of Bluegill and catching some. From what we saw last time, the Bream in that school were pretty big. I rigged up a much smaller hook and baited it with a piece of live nightcrawler. We waited for a little bit for the school to come, but soon after, the school had arrived. In total, we had caught 4 Bluegill, two each. We would have stayed, but the typical Florida storm that comes out of nowhere was approaching, so we decided to end our fishing session. Jacob and I had a lot of fun catching the school of Bream to end the day.


Fishing on this trip was brutal. I woke up and left early to walk to a fishing spot multiple times, we lost some gear, had to deal with tangled lines, (especially with the Baitcaster reel) and only had 7 total fish to show for it. Even though we didn't catch so much, the fish we did catch were awesome. Jacob's first Bass, My first Largemouth on the baitcaster and Trick Worm, and a few big Bream. Definitely a successful trip. Stay Tuned and Tight Lines!!!

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