Summer fishin’ is in full swing in area’s lakes and rivers

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Jim Keck Goin' Fishin'

Hello Folks,

As I mentioned last week, summer is here and in full swing in Central Florida. The fishin’ has been really good in most of the lakes and chains in our area.

Kyle at Bitter’s Bait and Tackle reports that the folks in his area are still catchin’ a few bluegills and shellcrackers in Lake Monroe and Lake Jesup. All you need is a cup or two of red worms or some crickets and you are good to go. The bluegills and shellcrackers are still beddin’ most of the lakes.

Rick and I fished the Harris Chain last week and we saw lots of boats fishin’ for bluegills. We saw one boat of anglers who were fishin’ a bluegill bed and they were puttin’ ’em in the boat, as fast as they could catch ’em. So, get the family and head out to your favorite panfish lake and catch some fish. The specks are still bitin’ in Lake Jesup. Folks are still catchin’ nice stringers of specks under the State Road 417 bridge on minners.

The bass fishin’ has been doin’ good in most of the lakes in our area. Kyle reports folks catchin’ lots of bass bein’ caught on shiners in all the local lakes in our area. The Harris Chain and the Kissimmee Chain have been producin’ some nice stringers of bass for a couple of weeks.

Major League Fishin’ was in town last week and 80 anglers fished the Kissimmee Chain for a chance to win $100,000.

The winner of the tournament was Jordan Lee, who weighed in 12 bass on the final day that weighed 52 lbs. and 9 oz. He also caught the largest bass on the final day that weighed 7 lbs. 4 oz. His big bass won him another $100,000 on the final day, making Jordan’s total winnings $200,000. Congrats to Jordan on his win.

If you have been readin’ my fishin’ column any length of time I have always reported that Florida is the “Bass Capital of the World.” I want you to think about these results from this MLF tournament.

These 80 anglers caught one bass that weighed more than 9 pounds. They caught six that weighed over 8 pounds each. They caught 11 bass that weighed more than 7 pounds each. They also caught 16 over 6 pounds each, and 45 bass more than 5 pounds each. Folks, that’s 79 bass that weighed more than 5 pounds that were caught in one week.

If you bass fish here in our state, you know about the Trophy Catch Program. This program started in October 2012. You can register for this program on the FWC website.

When this program started, you had to catch a bass of more than 8 pounds and release it back into the water where you caught it. You had to weigh it on scales and provide a picture of the bass on the scales. Well, since its inception, anglers in Florida have caught and released 10,000 bass that weigh more than 8 pounds each.

The biggest bass that’s been caught and released weighed 16 lbs. and 12 oz. So, if you like to bass fish here in our great state, you are where you need to be. If you like to fish for bass, just remember these numbers I have shared with you.

The next time you go bass fishin’, your next cast could be a big bass. I hope you get on the water this week and I’ll see ya next week. 

Tip of the week: go fishin’. 

Save a few and good luck!