It's been a great week off from work, and today was the last day so I decided to get up before light and find some water. There was a pull towards the coast, but I opted out of the wind and stayed in Orlando. I have been hitting some of the down town lakes where I use to walk the shore line as a kid. I love my kayak, because after throwing it on the C-Tug and taking a short walk across the field, I was in Lake Highland and headed to parts of the lake I could not reach before. It was early and the third cast ended in a fight with a really strong 3 pounder, but then I tangled all my lines and ended up cutting and retying 3 rods in the dark. What a waste of time. It didn't take long to find fish again though.
Well Spring has sprung and if they aren't bedding they may be willing to hit on some power method that hasn't produced much at other times of the year. I had some success with a lipless crank bait in Lake Ivanhoe so I decided to throw that and a spinner bait in here. No takers on the Rat L Trap, but I landed a few on the Spinner, and had on what was probably a personal best Spinner bait fish, but she actually broke the lure in half. I have never had one snap like that before, it was like getting the smaller half of the wish bone.
I took fish on a Booyah Spinner bait, Producto Tournament worm and Producto Hot Rod. Tournament was Tex posed and hot rod was Wacky. There is a lot of Eel grass in some of the down town lakes so go weedless or hunt the edge with a Trap.
I wondered how all this Road construction would affect the fishing in Ivanhoe, but I actually caught bass on a Rat L Trap next to the barges. 3 on traps and a couple on a Motor oil Tournament worm.
Lily wanted to practice shooting some, and there was a fish she couldn't quite make out, so she handed me the bow. That was a mistake, because I broke her only arrow. Luckily it was just the Nock, so later that day we picked up a bag and the archery guy at Bass Pro hooked us up with some free 2 part epoxy. 24 hours later and it was good as new.
Not the best fishing day, 16 mile per hour winds and clear blue skies, but I can't wait to try out my new Yak. I built an anchor Trolley for it the night before and a winch system using 2 old deer skinning gantries that consist of 4 pulleys. This makes loading and unloading at the house an easy one man operation. Back to water though, and I chose Lake Underhill, because I heard there use to be decent fishing there, but it was over pressured now. Maybe, but still worth a shot, so I loaded up the kayak and headed to the lake.
Even though the conditions weren't the best for bass, I did manage 2 misses and a decent chunk on one of my go to lures, Producto Tournament worms.
I stopped in at Producto in Sanford to pick up some more lures for the Spring season, and as always it was a pleasure to talk and share fishing stories with the owner. Great baits and highly recommend them.
We also did a trip to Turnbull the week before and poor Lily lost a good redfish. Every time he saw the boat he took drag, and she got impatient and grabbed the line. Oh well, we will go again and part of fishing is disappointment, it builds character.
Lily looking for Gar at Econ. We have been out a few times with the bow, and she has only been able to take a handful shots. We couldn't find any gar that day, but it is always a beautiful walk. I did manage a nice bass on topwater, but Scalelily was unimpressed.
I found Gemini springs using a Google satellite image. You could see Tilapia beds in the image, so we crossed our fingers and drove up to scout it out. They were there in force, along with a sign that only allowed fishing from the pier. There were no beds by the pier, so Lily quickly learning the disappointment side of fishing and the overuse of rules and signs around local waters. She wasn't very happy.
I took her to another spot where my brother and his friends frequently shoot Tilapia. One of the people, who live on the private side of the lake, called OPD. We got the siren and then a voice over the loud speaker telling her to drop the bow. She froze and couldn't understand him so he asked again and I told her to put it on the ground. he said we couldn't shoot there, but according to FWC regulations, I told him we could. I read the regulations before we left and I have been there, at another lake, when the police were called on my brother and his friend. Peter explained to him then that we were well within our rights and that as long as you can fish then you can bowfish. The restrictions are species. You can't shoot bass, but you can definitely shoot gar and Tilapia. I recommend Tilapia because they are much easier to clean. Anyhow, the police officer and his back up ended up being nice guys and we joked that they would rather her bow fish then turn to a life of crime and drugs, but certain people had to call about everything. Anyway, it's good to question authority in a respectful manner, when you know the law is in your favor. Make sure you read your regulations; police officers have enough to deal with, especially thanks to "concerned citizens", who would prefer no fishing signs everywhere.
Still love to fish, and I recently sold my canoe, so I will be looking for a kayak here soon. I really like the pedal drives with the ability to go in reverse, but I may have to lean toward a tandem, like the Big Tuna instead, because it sounds like Lily wants to do some saltwater with me. Here are some pics of some fish taken by me and friends of mine this year.
Getting ready for spring. I lost my favorite spinning outfit a few episodes ago, but I purchased a Penn Battle and Fierce combo, and have been very impressed thus far. I put 20 lb. braid on the Battle and 8 pound stern on the Fierce. They both cat a mile and have already seen several bass on each, can't wait to chase some reds and flap jacks.
On Pleasant Hill Road, where the possibilities are many, we found a nice paddle, giant bluegill, red bellies, and oh yea, those one's with the big mouths too. We parked at the bridge on Pleasant hill road where it crosses Shingle Creek, and then paddled east towards the glories of Toho.
The sunfish in here are aggressive, beautiful, and very robust. The Blue gill below managed to take drag after swallowing a white Rooster tail. It reminds me of Econ in parts but without as much dead fall and it stays rather deep at this end.
I tried pitching a craw, a rattle, and a worm, but ended up taking all my fish on top water, and between 1 and 4pm, not my usual time for throwing top water but it was the Lunar period. We got a lot of hits but only several good sets and fights that made it into the canoe. It's a nice paddle and inside the creek you do find some shade but make sure you bring plenty of water to deal with the afternoon.
The Zoom toad got a lot of attention near the mouth of the creek flowing in to Toho. This was my nicest fish for the day.
A great run in your kayak or canoe and you get to enjoy some good creek fishing on the way to one of Florida's premier bass lakes. Beautiful day!
This was to be my third attempt at exploring Shingle Creek with my daughter. The first time Lily wanted to see the creek and hunt for snakes, so we pulled over by the bridge on Sand Lake road. There was a smaller, very clear stream, flowing towards the creek, and as we walked beside it we could make out the sounds of splashing up ahead. This turned out to be something other than wildlife and when Lily saw the gentleman bathing beneath the bridge, she was done with the adventure. Ah, the city, you never know what you will see. Underneath the bridge on 192 there was the stash of another homeless community.
I didn't realize I had my camera on the wrong setting, so a lot of the shots looked over exposed. I saved a few that are ok, but nothing really does justice to the beauty of the south end. It is a magnificent sunken forest of cypress, with stained water, reminiscent of my trips to Econ but what a different feel.
The water was quite cool in the swamp and with a decent amount of flow between the trees. It can get a little tight in spots as you try to navigate your way around other paddlers.
The fishing, well, I tried a few things and talked to another angler that was kayaking the North stretch. He had caught one on a shiner and one on a wacky rigged Senko. I tried a spinner, a soft craw and finally switched to top water to see what would happen. There several follow and a few bumps on a Tiny Torpedo, but nothing made it to the boat and some were most definitely gar. Econ gives me a lot of nice bass on poppers, and so I gave it a try. I took two small bass and the blue gill above helped me free my lure from a branch. Now that's an aggressive little guy there. If I still had my ultralight or a fly rod set up, I would probably go with throwing a small Rooster tail and some fly poppers in here. The creek flows all the way to Tojo, which is world renown bass water, so the next time I may launch closer to the lake.
So, we are back at the launch, a great park, free, and easy to get to. It is right off 192 and we took John Young parkway south and turned right on Vine (192). It is only a few miles from there on your left. Shingle Creek regional park is a great little paddle and not far from the city of Orlando, Kissimmee and Disney. I highly recommend it and it's free if you launch your own kayak, but there are also rentals on site.
Yes, girls fish too, but only the coolest ones. I was deep into that REM sleep, counting hook sets and big girls, when a knock came to my door. "What time is it," I asked? "Eight thirty three," my wife said. Oh no, I promised the little girl next door that we would take the canoe out and catch some bass - at 8:30- she was right on time. So me and Drew wiped the dust from our eyes, I splashed some water on my face and we headed for the lake.
It was super foggy and calm. I had fished another lake on Thursday, and it is a spot known for its power fishing approaches, but not that day, and I took one on a spinner in 3 hours of trying. Yesterday I paddled around our lake and tried the power approach for a bit but to no avail. I decided to grab a stick bait and wacky rig it; that led to eight fish in about an hour's time. The other method, that looked promising on this slow bite, was pitching the weeds but I broke off the tip of my Abu Garcia Veritas 2.0 in the pads shortly after. Drew broke my other Abu, I use for crank baits, on a back cast today. Too bad, because I really like the feel of these rods. It was an expensive weekend, but the girls had a fun time, and once we slowed things down, the bite was on.
They look so sweet here, I know, but don't be fooled, these are two focused and ruthless competitors. There was so much trash talk going on, that it was like being out with my buddies. Drew jumped ahead with 3 fish, but Tyla refused to give up, even though I begged and pleaded for lack of coffee. I just need one fish Calvin, and then Drew reminded her that she had 3. It was more than Tyla could accept, and I told her the big fish wins, so you still have a chance for that. We pulled into another cove that you can't reach from shore, and both the girls cast deep into it. Drew was reeling her bait in for a recast when a fish tried to take it on top, she missed, but then Tyla's rod bent way down and she started screaming. The screaming actually lasted all the way back to the ramp, and she tried to hand the rod of several times during the fight, but I kept telling her no, and even though she passed under the canoe, mercilessly bent the rod and jumped for her life, Tyla still got her in. I weighed the beast, and she hit 4 pounds, it also looked like she was post spawn. What a beautiful fish, and a very persistent little girl. She said this was one of the best days ever, and I am sure she will say that a lot of times, but at least I got to be there for her bass day.
The lures I used this week were Producto Hot Rods, Big Bite Baits sticks, and Tuscaroran Pro lures sticks. Tuscaroran Pro lures are new to me, but a new friend from South Florida left me and Brian some to try. I like the texture on the stick baits and the action is nice.
Forty years old and still in awe of the outdoors.