Friday, December 27, 2019

Small Bass at Orange Lake

Back at Orange Lake Resort in central Florida, I was excited to hit the water and try again at catching Bass. I started out waking up early in the mornings and trying different lakes, however none of them worked. They didn’t seem to have much life either, and the water was flat and quiet, which isn’t exactly a great sign for active, feeding fish. I ended up going back to the lake on which I had caught a Bass before. There I had seen many birds, small fish, and splashes in the water caused by predatory fish chasing prey. I went fishing over the course of about 4 mornings, walking around to different lakes, casting with my bait caster reel and Zoom Trick Worm, and I had started to go to the Bass lake on the second day. That day I saw Bass bear the bank, however, I noticed that they were rather small. I got one strike and no hookup, while not enticing any other Bass, probably due to to the small size of the fish and the large bait and hook I was using. On the third day, I arrived to see, to my dismay, that it was raining and there was no life to be found. I casted around the lake for a few hours, but I did not manage to catch anything. I didn’t even see any fish this time. On the fourth day, I decided to change up my presentation. I used a smaller Zoom Ultra Vibe lure in the same color, Watermelon Red, and cut off a piece in order to shorten the lure. Now, the bait was manageable for the smaller Bass of the lake. I got to the lake and immediately started casting. I saw many small Bass schooled up near the Bass. (By small Bass I mean Largemouth Bass under a pound. I thought it must have been post-spawn for the Bass, as these were young.) I decided to focus my attention to a patch of weeds near the bank, repeatedly making casts around the patch. My retrieve was based on a pattern of making two quick jerks of the rod to bring the lure up off the bottom, letting it fall again, reeling in the slack, and repeating. At one point, a Bass hiding in the grass made a big splash as it jumped to try to take my bait near the surface. I got really excited, but the fish didn’t bite the bait. However, in about 20 minutes later, at 9:17 AM, I hooked up with a Bass and reeled it in. It was small, but a fish is a fish. Unfortunately, the fish was barely hooked and it came off and flopped down the bank and back into the lake before I could take a picture. I kept fishing afterwards, but not for long, without any other results. It was a fun trip, even though I only caught 1 small Bass. I was happy that I was able to come away with with a Largemouth Bass, even if it was a small one. That seemed to be how it was this winter, just small Bass swimming close enough to the bank to be caught.

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