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Cold weather in early January has given water in lakes, river a chill

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Hello Folks,

Well, we are off to another year of fishin’ in Florida. I hope you have a great year and you get a chance to do as much fishin’ as you want to here in the Central Florida area.

The cold weather we have had these past few days has dropped the water temperature down in the 50s. The colder water should help the speck fishin’ in all the lakes and the major chains. If the weather permits, try fishin’ for specks in the Harris Chain, the Kissimmee Chain, and the Butler Chain. You will have to drift open water with jigs tipped with a minner. You need to cover a lot of water until you can locate the specks. Once you find ‘em, keep driftin’ back and forth over that same area until they quit bitin’.

The bass fishin’ has been on and off dependin’ on the weather. A buddy of mine fished a tournament over the weekend on the Harris Chain. The fishin’ was tough and it took only two bass that weighed a total of 10 lbs. to win. Our own John Ricketson and his partner Chip fished a tournament on Saturday called Anglers Team Trail on the Butler Chain. You were allowed to weigh in up to five bass per team. Chris Casteel and Bryan Slover had a winnin’ stringer of 21.84 lbs. They also caught big bass that weighed 6.68 lbs. There were 34 boats in the tournament. So it was a good day on the water to catch some bass on the Butler Chain.

This comin’ weekend, the temperatures are goin’ back down to the 30s and 40s, so if you think you want to go bass fishin’ over the weekend, cover a lot of water and try to find the balls of baitfish in open water.

Once you locate the baitfish, the bass shouldn’t be too far away. The best way to catch ‘em is to try fishin’ a jiggin’ spoon near the drop-offs and in the deep holes. Also, keep an eye out for the divin’ birds while you are fishin’. The birds will be divin’ on the baitfish as the bass bust up the balls of baitfish.

I want to conclude my column this week, and ask everyone to keep an Apopka fisherman by the name of Nik Kayler and his family in your thoughts and prayers. As you have probably heard, Nik was thrown overboard in Lake Okeechobee on January 4 durin’ a FLW fishin’ event. His body was found Wednesday, January 10. Nik was a veteran fisherman and fished many tournaments over the years. Please keep his family in your prayers.

See you next week.

Tip of the week: check the weather.

Save a few and good luck!