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I really need some help with these finicky Florida bass.

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I am in need of assistance. I am at my wit's end with Florida fishing. I have done the majority of my fishing in upstate NY and I just can't seem to catch fish in Florida. I don't know if it is technique, lure selection, bodies of water, or what. 

I have tried pretty much anything. Every jig there is, crankbaits, swim baits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, t-rigs, and frogs. I cannot seem to catch fish. 

I currently do not have a boat so I am stuck fishing from shore. This almost exclusively leaves me with punching and flipping heavy shore grass (gator grass as the locals call it) or cattails and this isn't working. I seem to be simply spooking fish by putting a lure near them. In my experience this actually causes them to strike, but not these fish. 

The areas I fish are Lake Somerset, Saddle Creek, Lake Parker, and Teneroc. Most other places seem to require a boat. 

I cannot figure out what I am doing wrong. I don't know if it is lure color or if the fish are just that heavily pressured, but I have only caught one fish in the last three months going out weekly. I can key in fine on northern bass and can usually catch at least one fish every hour but Florida is killing me. 

If anyone around the area can turn me on to what I am doing wrong. I am not looking for you to tell me some secret spot or anything. I just need some help.

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Zoom trick worm is a staple in Florida, I like Junebug color . Weightless or with a bullet slip sinker. 

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Fish soft plastics as weightless as possible. One of the biggest mistakes I see newcomers make is too much weight. You want soft plastics to sink as naturally as possible .Flukes, Senkos, ribbon tailed worms should produce. Google map small ponds around you that are fishable , and key on drains / outlets if any, also shade. .They are easier to find fish in than larger water bodies. Fish through any grass as fish will hold there often. If you see people feeding bread to ducks go right after they leave and fish it. The bread also attracts baitfish, which attracts bass.

Good luck.

Ps. A good motto in Florida is, if you are not catching fish, slow down your presentation. I catch at least 75% of my fish just dead sticking these baits.

 

 

 

5 minutes ago, TnRiver46 said:

Zoom trick worm is a staple in Florida, I like Junebug color . Weightless or with a bullet slip sinker. 

I agree. June bugs always in my boat, and watermelon red with chartruese tail.

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How did you catch them up north?

 

Were you catching green fish or brown fish?

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Having fished teneroc before, I think your biggest hurdle to cross is the lack of a boat/kayak

 

Those banks typically see a good bit of pressure, and bass tend to steer clear of them. Doubtful it's your baits or techniques, most bass in that area are post spawn. 

 

Maybe like Mike said, try to venture out and fish different areas and ponds until you can get a boat/kayak. 

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1 hour ago, N Florida Mike said:

Fish soft plastics as weightless as possible. One of the biggest mistakes I see newcomers make is too much weight. You want soft plastics to sink as naturally as possible .Flukes, Senkos, ribbon tailed worms should produce. Google map small ponds around you that are fishable , and key on drains / outlets if any, also shade. .They are easier to find fish in than larger water bodies. Fish through any grass as fish will hold there often. If you see people feeding bread to ducks go right after they leave and fish it. The bread also attracts baitfish, which attracts bass.

Good luck.

Ps. A good motto in Florida is, if you are not catching fish, slow down your presentation. I catch at least 75% of my fish just dead sticking these baits.

 

 

 

I agree. June bugs always in my boat, and watermelon red with chartruese tail.

this is it in a nutshell...……...……….also try downsizing your baits. sometimes smaller 4" in grubs,worms will do the trick.

good luck

 

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You don’t catch a bass on every cast?? That’s the misconception down here. 

Some of those lakes you mentioned receive TONS of pressure. Every single day, but they’re getting caught. 

Do this: 

bring a spinnerbait 

pack of junebug

pack of red Shad 

pack of any green worms

lock every other bait up in your truck.

hit every corner of every piece of vegetation you can get to.

you will catch them.

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Lots to respond to.

 

Up north I went for green and brown. I know they are different. Also up north I had a boat. So that helped a lot. Up north I used many of the techniques mentioned. Jerkbaits and swimjigs seemed the most productive for largies up there unless it was summer. Then top water rules all especially when bull frogs were spawning. Of course those Mountain lakes were a LOT more clear water than what I have found in Florida and I think that may be part of my problem. People talk about how clear the water us when I can't see my jig 2 feet below the surface. So that may be a takeaway.

 

Currently I am fishing weightless flukes and wacky rigged senkos since I have had the most success on those (3 fish) both in watermelon. I have every soft plastic imaginable from black to white.

 

Senkos I have been using watermelon, green pumpkin, and black/blue. Lizards in June bug and watermelon red. Curly tail grubs in junebug, salt and pepper, white, and chartreuse. Ribon tail worms in junebug and ox blood. Craws and creatures in black/blue, pumpkin, and watermelon. Flukes in watermelon and white. If they aren't weightless I think the heavies weight I use is 1/8 ounce.

 

The only hard bait I can get bit on is a black back chartreuse squarebill. 

 

I have tried all matter of ned rig, shaky head, or neko rig combos as well as spinnerbaits and chatter baits. As for top water I have had nothing. Not even a swipe.

 

The problem I am having finding other bodies of water is that there is little to no shore access, either from cat tails or from fences. This may be an issue with the area I am in though.

 

I don't expect a fish on every cast. Or every 10 casts for that matter. I DO expect to catch more than one fish a month going out for at least 10 hours a week.

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You are already fishing my go-to bait when I visit Florida.  An unweighted 10" ribbontail in Junebug.  I don't know what to tell you if you can't catch bass on them.  I do fish from a boat when in Florida, but like a lot of boaters we are fishing the shoreline a lot.

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If your going to fish heavier cover (which would be a wise choice) your going to need more weight. I fished central Florida last weekend and 1/2oz was barely enough to get thru. Wasn’t punching but heavy pads.

There are a million retention ponds in that area. Strip malls, by the interstates etc. You can always catch them there. If you get asked about the no fishing sign, tell’em you can’t read, or respond in Spanish. It works

 

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Don’t ask me why because I have no clue, but a black Zoom trick worm rigged Texas style with a 1/16 or 1/18 sinker.

 

Been using it for years and it catches big fish also. Biggest on this rig was 11.5 and I know I’ve caught at least 60 7 plus on it. To look at it in the water you would think no way, there is nothing to it ! Obviously the bass see it differently.

 

Keep it simple !

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You are not doing anything wrong! FL bass fishing is not as easy as Roland and Scott Martin make it out to be. lol I have been down here 3 years and my biggest is 6 lbs and I have only caught one of those. Also, these bass really react to changes in the weather. They will totally shut down from one day to the next. What I really miss is variety of fish. If you aren't catching bass you probably won't catch much else!

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That's the d**n truth. One day I had to tangle with a bowfin without grips or pliers though. Traveling light that day. I was so happy to catch it though. Never caught one before. I'd really also like to catch one of these pint size pike but I don't know how. Maybe I'll start carrying an ultralight and some of those tiny rebel crankbaits to get a bluegill when the day is shot.

 

When I am fishing around the heavy vegetation I have been using 3/4 oz pegged bullet weights and that seems to do fine but like I said it seems to spook the fish rather than force a strike.

 

Anyway, I appreciate the advice guys. It has helped. I'll try slowing everything down and do a little more work on finding other bodies of water and getting a little jon boat or something for the time being.

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You might want to look in to a kayak. New ones aren’t that expensive and used ones are sometimes reasonable. Will open up your world for a minimum investment, especially in Polk county.

 

While she doesn’t catch a lot of big fish she sure has a lot of fun - on YouTube - “The old lady angler”. Quite entertaining.

 

Also check out on YouTube - the bass guy. If you watch closely you can pick up some helpful tips.

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Mostly as an experiment because I wanted to get out in the middle of a 12ac pond, I bought one of the 89.00 inflatables off amazon. No where to keep an actual kayak. Net net it got the job done for roughly an average TW order. The water is too nasty to make it a regular thing, but it really did only take about 10 minutes to inflate and launch. At least that way you could see if it made a difference. 

 

Of course we don't have any gators so that might get in the way of the whole inflatable idea. 

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Any and all baits in June bug and Candy bug. Worms, craws, creatures, spinner baits, swim jigs, hula poppers, I don't care what it is get it in June bug or Candy bug when you see it.

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This, what the guys suggested above is great.

 

I am going to suggest you check the water temperature and clarity.

 

Remember, bass' behavior is based on water temperature and their strike attacks are based on water clarity.

 

So check out the water temperature to find what the bass are doing.

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Well. I went ahead and went for a 5 hour pond hop across 5 different areas today. Not an even split of time on said lakes as non native weeds made some lakes un-fishable. I didn't bring any heavy jigs or bullet weights to punch it.

 

I went with the advice of only taking soft plastics and spinnerbaits. I got hit hard on a junebug senko but somehow missed it on Lake Hunter. Finally in the 5th hour got a little 12 inch gal on a chartreuse spinnerbait with gold Willow/ silver Colorado at Lake Parker. 

 

Not the best day but I did learn some stuff. Bass at Saddle Creek were schooled under any overhang they could find and were not eating at all. I was trying to sight fish them and they would not take a single thing. But I did almost catch a gator skipping a senko under some branches. 

 

I'm probably going to get a jon boat over a kayak/canoe. Mainly for peace of mind while standing. Plus, some of the jon boats I am seeing in the area are cheaper than a decent kayak. Either way, I'll be looking forward to learning the bass down here. 69 degree water up north is active shad hunting time. It looks like the bass down here are used to 80 degree water so I imagine I am going far too fast for their tastes. 

 

I appreciate all the advice guys.

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Spend a few hours on Google Earth to find nearby lagoons and retention ponds. I guarantee you'll find bass and even big pass in those ponds.

 

If you're fishing the larger lakes you'll want to look into fishing with live bait. Big ol' shiners. If you go fishing with a guide most will recommend using live bait. Even if you're not a fan of using live bait it might provide you with information if you've been fishing the wrong locations of the wrong bait.

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