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Be sure to hydrate before heading out to fish in our area’s many rivers, lakes

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Hello Folks,

I hope you had a great weekend and a great Independence Day. It’s gettin’ hot but like I said last week, if there is a breeze and you have plenty of water and Gatorade, you should be good on the water. Just get on the water early and take advantage of the mornin’ bite. When that’s over, move to deeper water or flip the heavy cove for bass.

I want to mention one thing this week that I found out after the paper went to print. The St. Johns River is closed in certain areas due to the rains. As of July 1, a flood warnin’ was issued for the St. Johns north of Lake Harney near Geneva. Please pay attention to the news if you are plannin’ to go to that part of the river to fish. They have closed a couple of ramps in that area, so check things out before you go there to fish.

Up on the north end of the St. Johns, folks have been fishin’ in Lake Woodruff and catchin’ panfish and bass. The best bass bite has been at first light, so get there early and remember the early bird gets the worm.

The Kissimmee Chain is doin’ good for bass. Folks are fishin’ in the mouths of the lakes where the water is flowin’ into each of the lakes. Plastic worms, Carolina-rigged plastic worms, and square bill crank-baits have been producin’ some nice stringers of bass. Also look for schoolers in that same area as well. You can catch some nice bass early in the mornin’ on plastic frogs and Horney Toads fished around the shoreline cover. Fish around the pads, isolated grass patches, and the scattered grass along the shoreline.

The bass fishin’ on the Butler Chain has been good, especially if your name is Rick. There is a reason they call it fishin’ and not catchin’. There are some days that what ever you throw you just can’t catch a bass. Well, that’s what happened to me last week. Rick and I fished the Butler Chain on Friday. It was kinda warm but a little breeze was blowin’ so that helped out a lot. Rick caught seven nice bass up to 4 lbs. each. Rick caught all of his bass on a slow-sinkin’ Senko-type bait. I didn’t boat a single bass. I had some strikes but I just couldn’t put one in the boat. The week before I caught 14 bass, but this past week, zero, nanda, not one bass. Well, I will give it a try again this week and hopefully the catchin’ is better than the fishin’.

A buddy of mine Paul Solomon guided a couple of new anglers to the Butler Chain for a half-day of fishin’. Jose and his daughter Kimberley took their first bass fishin’ trip last week. It was a Father’s Day gift from Jose’s wife Susan. Jose and Kimberley caught 12 bass up to 2.5 lbs. each. Neither Jose nor his daughter has ever caught a bass in their life. They had a blast and enjoyed their first bass fishin’ trip together.

My buddy at work Rich fished the Butler Chain with co-worker Thomas on Monday. They caught 20 bass up to 3 lbs. each. They caught most of their bass on Gamblers Big Easy, and Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper. Rich said the bass were crushin’ ’em as they swam the baits around the grass patches and pads.

The fishin’ on The Harris Chain has been good to real good most days. You will do best to get on the water early and fish the shoreline cover with plastic worms, swim-baits or a noisy top-water bait. Once the sun gets up, try findin’ some submerged hydrilla or eel-grass beds. Use a swim-bait like the Gambler Big Easy or a spinnerbait. You can also try a shallow-runnin’ crank-bait over the grass beds. Some nice bass are bein’ caught by flippin’ the heavy cover with your favorite flippin’ bait. Try findin’ some mats that have topped out and flip those with a heavy weight. You need to get your bait down to where the bass are hangin’ out.

Well, that’s it for this week. I hope you had a great July 4 and celebrated with your family and friends our independence in the greatest county in the world. See ya next week.

Tip of the week: go fishin’.

Save a few and good luck!