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George Welcome

Stick Marsh/Farm 13

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I get e-mails and calls daily asking me: where's the reports? Am I okay? Folks, let me tell you. I have been busier than you know what and have not had the opportunity to keep up with the reports. The following trips have been made since the last report and most have been successful. However, we have had some wind to deal with and when the wind got up the catching fell down. From a low of 1 fish in the boat to a high of 73 fish in the boat, the last month has been most interesting.

Kevin Busch of Toms River, NJ on the 23rd of February

Mike Quinto of Boone, NC on the 23rd of February

Bob Qua of St. Albans, VT on the 25th, 26th, 28th, and 29th of February

Bruce Stangle of Silverton, OH on the 25th of February

Dave Storm of Stewardson, IL on the 26th of February

Bob Qua of St. Albans, VT on the 1st of March

Joe Vennarini of Philladelphia, PA on the 3rd and 4th of March

Gary James of Greensboro, GA and friends - 4 boats on 5th and 6th of March

Joe Justice and Charles of Winabow, NC on the 7th of March

Kenny Case of Wantagh, NY and friends - 2 boats on the 8th and 9th of March

Jim Poindexter of Lake Oswego, OR on the 11th of March

Gary Morgan of Oxford, ME and friends Mike and Fred on the 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th of March

Bill Payne and son Doug of  Murray, KY on the 17th of March: 1/2 AM

Debbie Marchi and friends Marcie and Bob of VanDalia, OH on the 19th of March: Full

Marty Plennet and son Paul of Vero Beach, FL on the 20th of March: 1/2 AM

Jim Pardick and friend Jerry of Palm City, FL on the 20th of March: 1/2 PM

Jim Pardick and Friend Jerry of Palm City, FL on the 21st of March: 1/2 AM

In every case the most productive bait has been the Gary Yamamoto 5" Swimming Senko followed by the 5" Senko and the Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap 1/2 ounce. For any of the Gary Yamamoto products used the general rule of color has been simply dark. For the Rat-L- Trap, the color of choice has been chrome/blue w/orange belly.

Productive locations: Presently we are in the midst of our extensive spawn. Spawning Habits - Spawning occurs from December through May, but usually begins in February and March in most of Florida when water temperatures reach 58 to 65 degrees and continues as temperatures rise into the 70s. Depending on the year the occurrence of spawn dictates our fishing location and for the last month that has been in the deep south areas of Farm 13, with a smaller area that has produced some nice fish in the area we call the "Back Lot". Fishing the south end of Farm 13 takes considerable care as the stumps are huge and getting seriously hung up on one, or having one damage your boat and very much a possibility. However, with care and patience it is very workable. The producing spots are not seeable due to the dark waters of the Marsh/Farm, but finding them is simple enough. Find a stump, and find a stump. I like to call this our "bump a stump" period. For the most part, the numbers will come from closer to the south levee, and the bigger gals will come from areas further out into the lake. Working the Back Lot presents a bit of difference in that the cover is brush instead of stumps. Casting a weightless Senko, or a spinner bait directly into the brush will give your best bait and production target. Again, patience is key here as the bass move in and out of the area throughout the day. The Back Lot is located up the C54 canal region on the north end of the Marsh.

During the early part of the spawn cycle the above mentioned baits will be most effective in producing outstanding catches for you. In the later part of this cycle as the bass recover from the rigors of the spawn, our number one bait switches to everyone's dream bait: the top water. We are about a week away from that period and it will extend well into May. Our best producer in the many choices of top water baits is the Storm Rattlin Chug Bug in 3/8th ounce. Although it is obvious that other top water baits will work, our number one choice is the Chug Bug. Interesting Read about the top water bite on this lake.

I hear almost daily concern expressed about the lack of Hydrilla on the Marsh/Farm. During the storms of 2004 a rather stout crop of Hydrilla that was in the lake was completely yanked out and blown out of the lake. Now, with the lack of Hydrilla the question is where to fish. It seems that for many, without the Hydrilla leading them to obvious fishing locations, the catching has become much more difficult. The Hydrilla simply led you to the more heavily concentrated areas of wood. These areas of heavier wood were the openings in the beds of Hydrilla. Knowing a bit about the lake is much more important now, however with some patience and some exploring it's not so difficult to find. Also, knowing the seasonal habits of our bass is much more important now. The Hydrilla will come back, but conditions need to be right. For those that think that there is possibly some from of treatment of the lake's water to keep plant life down: There is no treatment taking place. Treatment would be counter-productive to the purpose of the lake which is first and foremost the clean-up of water run-off from the extensive Fellsmere Farms, but it also would be cost prohibitive. The only treatment that takes place on this lake is the contact spraying of Hyacinth. The spray used is a contact spray only with an extremely low tolerance to dilution. Once it hits the water it is harmless. The Hydrilla will return!

Some of the fish caught in the last month: 9 bass over 8-pounds; 3 bass over 9-pounds; 2 bass over 10-pounds. There have been reports of multiple bass over 10-pounds with the grand-daddy report of one that went over 15-pounds.

Both numbers and size will be on the increase over the next two months and most of them will come on top water. If you want to sample a bit of this action give me a shout. I still have several openings in April and May and would be glad to share my knowledge of this fantastic body of water.

See you out there. If you get the chance swing by and say hi.

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Thanks for the report George!  Glad to see the lake is still healthy.

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