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George Welcome

More Summertime Marsh/Farm

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Before the excitement of the chase ensues there is a lot of planning and preparation in hopes of ensuring a successful day on the water. I rise at least two hours before the scheduled rendezvous time in order to get the boat prepped for the days outing. There is fuel to be gotten, drinks to be put on ice, and equipment to be prepared for the much anticipated seeking of our wily adversary.

Once all is ready it is off to the ramp to meet the days clients. Most of them have been preparing for this trip for a considerable period of time, making accommodations, airline reservations, auto reservations, and in general prepping their gear. Their excitement level is difficult to control as they ready for their day on the waters of Stick Marsh/Farm, a lake that is reputed to have some of the finest fishing in the world.

Today I met Troy and Ray Rogers at the ramp at daybreak. This was their second trip to these fabled waters. After a two hour drive from Winter Haven, Florida the guys were ready to wet the lures and bring some bass into the boat. We started the day using three different baits to see what the bass would prefer if anything. Ray worked a popper while Troy worked a frog in hopeful anticipation of a top water bite. I picked up my rod rigged with a Yamamoto Swim Senko on a 4/0 Gammy, and weighted with a 1/4 ounce torpedo. The first fish of the day which came early on showed us the today would be a day that the slow retrieval of the Swim Senko would be the enticement that they preferred.

Ray.JPG

The hot rod on the boat belonged to Ray with the bar being set by this 5.5 pound lady. During the course of the morning the catch would be repeated again and again giving us a accumulation of 45 bass in the 4 hours spent on the water.

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Although Troy worked hard to better his big gal caught on his last trip he never quite got there. The numbers were there, but size avoided his baits throughout the morning. Several of Troy's bass came on a 10" power worm.

Heading in after a very successful trip, I headed home to do the inevitable: clean the boat in preparation for my next trip, answer e-mails, and put together a report of the days occurrences. My life is a series of early rises, the daily challenge of finding our wily prey, and a lengthy follow-up to insure that tomorrow will yield what today's efforts did.

Water temperatures are up as we come into the summer months, and as has been the case in years gone by, the fishing is in a word, fantastic. If you find the bait, the forage, and the bass, the catching will be something that you will rarely experience on any other body of water. This time of the year look for the deeper water directly adjacent to shallow and work slowly. Once you catch one, you probably are on a bunch so slow down and work the area thoroughly. Don't be in a rush to move on as a bit of work and perseverance can send you home at days end with a smile and memories of an experience to be treasured forever.

See you on the water.  

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George as always I *** your persistence, wealth of knowledge and ability to always put together some kind of pattern to find nice sized fish.  My dad and I will make it down there one day to fish Stick Marsh.  It's definately on my list of places to visit and fish with a guide.

Thanks for the pictures.  Keep catching buddy.

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Hey George you ever fish lake Kenansville on the other side of the marsh. I fish this lake all the time there is also a great little 10 hp zone right next to it that's amazing. Just wondering if you haven't checked them out lately you should it would be a long drive for you though.                      Good luck and tight lines    

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Is there a sign now that designates the north pond as 10 HP? It was for a long time no motor.

Haven't been out except once, since they blocked the lateral canal and lowered the lake.

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Yeah they changed it to a 10hp zone about 3 months ago. That little pond is world class. i,ve had 50 fish days ,with big'uns mixed in with out even trying hard. You should look into it. it has a huge population of talopia, big bass food .

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Can you enter that area if you only use your trolling motor, or are not allowed if you have a large engine on your boat?

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Hows that road leading to the ramp now? The last time I was there it was muddy and a 4x4 was required,or at least helped, but that was a long time ago, I fished that when it first opened had to be 15 years ago maybe more. It was great. I see the orange trees are all gone, how long did they last?

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Yeah, this was when they first opened it, it was a flooded orange grove and there were tops of trees everywhere.

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Maybe Farm 13 entering by Felsmere, I always got confused over there. but they had just opened it up I'm talking about 15 years ago maybe more. It had a horrible mud road to travel to the ramp at the time, and you couldnt keep fish.

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1: Bass are immediate catch and release - they did allow for one year the keeping of one bass but that proved to be a mistake.

2: Stick Marsh/Farm 13 is one lake - the center divider levee is there to force more water flow through more of the lake.

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3: The marsh side simply kept the name it had had for years. Any remnant of orange trees, (the SE corner only) were from 80+ years ago. Most of it was cypress, palm, and a dense brush, wax myrtle. The farm side was farm #13 of Fellsmere Farms, which was a radish field.

The lake was closed in 98, (or 99), for a resurfacing of the road and a new ramp. Although the road is still dirt it is far better than it was. Since then the parking lot has been paved, and the ramps extended.

After all the many storms most of the trees have been chopped off at the water line as it existed at the moment. There are still some palms standing in the NW of the Marsh.

The random chance of connecting with wood on the Marsh or the southern end of the Farm: Very good.

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Great, very informative so to answer my original question they fixed the road and ramp and the trees are gone.

I called my friend last night who went with me, I said when did we go to the Stick Marsh about 10 years ago? He said try 20+ it was around 89. It wasn't opened long, it was loaded with stumps and trees, it was a cold February raining right after a front, and we still caught 20 fish. Time keeps flying by. faster and faster.

Thanks for the info George.

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