Catchin' Bass in Florida Canals

Catchin' Bass in Florida Canals

Unread postby Captain Coleslaw » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:02 pm

Early March in PA typically calls for extreme weather dyslexia and delayed spring sport seasons... so to buy some time, it seems that a trip to Florida for some Florida-Strain bass could be therapeutic in a variety of ways!

For 8 days, I've been in West Palm County with my high school baseball team for spring training. In the meantime, I've taken advantage of the downtime to explore the various canal systems and lakes which scatter across Florida's interior. Southern Florida is extremely big on water reclamation; essentially the entire southern half of the state is criss-crossed with canals in order to catch as much rainwater as possible and make it available to as many regions of Florida as water can be transported naturally.

Unlike most of PA's river/lake systems, most of South Florida's waterways are extremely shallow and lack cold-water stratification, making these areas prime habitat for warm water species including bluegills, crappies, largemouth bass, and a variety of exotic species introduced from across globe. At any rate, when conditions are right these warm water species are voracious and ready to attack a multitude of baits through the day.

When sun gets high and waters flatten, I've found that canal fishing is at its toughest. Fish can still be caught, but just like anywhere, they're skittish and hesitant... especially if you spot them from shore (by then, it's too late. If you see them, they saw you 5 minutes earlier). You need to downsize your lures heavily to get a bass's unspooked attention. My ticket was a watermelon senko worm hooked right though the nose and jigged in an almost vertical manner along the ridges between shallow and deep water. Naturally-colored Zoom super flukes imitating local shad and chiclid populations also did the trick. If there was any cloud cover and any chop on the water, fish became increasingly active on topwaters, such as poppers and stick baits. In a week, nearly 70% of the 40 fish caught were on topwaters.

The real ticket to catching fish in these Floridian waterways was to be actively fishing said topwaters at dawn and dusk. The sky cover is quality, and the fish abuse prey across the canals in an almost angry fashion. This gameplan allowed me to hook into some giant bass... and score some great photo opportunities of the sunsets and sunrises! Next time I'm in Florida, I look forward to tackling more freshwater challenges which will await me!
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Last edited by Captain Coleslaw on Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Captain Coleslaw
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Re: Catchin' Bass in Florida Canals

Unread postby biggamecameraman » Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:10 pm

thanks for this report fishing from the sunshine state Captain Colesaw well done enjoy :D :D :D
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Re: Catchin' Bass in Florida Canals

Unread postby bigcitybowhunter » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:37 am

Good report Captain! Nice pics!
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Re: Catchin' Bass in Florida Canals

Unread postby TRipple » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:31 am

Excellent story and beautiful pics. Dayum, that sunset!!
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Re: Catchin' Bass in Florida Canals

Unread postby tomcbigbucks » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:53 am

That's awesome! Some great pictures. Good luck with the baseball team
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Re: Catchin' Bass in Florida Canals

Unread postby Captain Coleslaw » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:16 pm

I've been in a debate all week about what's a grander sight, a sunrise or a sunset. I'll take sunsets any day of the week


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