My son just moved to Orlando so I now have a family obligation to learn how to fish the area. Being from North Georgia, I'm used to fishing deep, clear lakes, and know nothing about Florida-style bassing, other than what I've read in articles and seen on the tube.
My plan is to take my 16' aluminum bass boat down there in the middle of September and leave it for a month. Right now, we plan to put in at High Banks marina and fish our way south, maybe checking out the lower Wekiva River in the process. From what I've been able to learn, speed worms, spinner baits, flukes and frogs fished back in the pads should produce a bass or two. Since I don't know jack about punching mats, I'll wait until I can go with somebody who does know what he's doing before I try that technique.
If there's enough water, we might also put in south of Lake Harney and fish those marshes.
I'm looking for info on just what I should be looking for that time of year? What baits should we try? Any info is appreciated.
When it gets closer hit me up and I'll give you more current advice.
Right where Weikiva and St Johns meet, rig a blue sinko no weight and cast up weiliva river on the west bank and let the current float it along the bank slack line and watch for the hit. there is a heavy root system there and you'll need braid with a floro leader (I use 20 lbs)
Next up Weikiva some more there is a tree/mat in te middle of the river. Anchor above it and do the same thing..float the sinko down to it.
You can do this at each of the "BIG" bends in the river..especially along the cypress trees root system where the secondary creek joins the weikiva just up river from above.
There is a BIG DEEP bend a little up river from that people fish for catfish.
And of course, flipping into the pads up and down there is good especially right at the confluence of weikiva and St johns eastern side or weikiva (there is /was a fallen tree with it's base up and showing..there is a hole right there.
If you use live shiners..just anchor right there and float the shiners against the pads and the far bank (1st statement above)
I've pulled several nice bass outa there and it is really good not that summer is here and the bass are migrating into the springs cooler water.
And yes..I'm giving up a bunch of info that people may not like (but EVERYONE knows it..get there early or a boat will be there) but taking a kid fishing AND catching is worth it. Post how ya did!!
That whole stretch up to Lake George is BIG BASS Heaven in Florida..
Do the same at the Blue Springs confluence
I read that the first mile of so of the Wekiva is a manatee no wake zone. I guess we'll just put the trolling motor down and fish our way up.
Do you like to whacky rig your senkos, or texas rig them (I've never fished one whacky style, but I here it's very effective in Florida).
Texas rig..too many hangup's and the current will provide the action. I also like the 6" Senko not the small ones. They have more wiggle
The current/spring flow is pretty high, running a trolling motor to get headway can spook the fish- Noisy..I like to either anchor and float the bait with the flow or motor up and drift back with minimal trolling motor. These fish are hammered so a quiet presentation is more effective. and yes..it's a manatee zone
Wow..weikiva is pretty narrow for jet skiers to be blasting through there...hopefully they idle up. Get the FWC to police it if they are harassing fishermen.
Is that not an idle only manatee zone?
I perfer going upriver and drifting down with the trolling motor for control.
The area south of Lake Harney on 46 is highly variable, depending on rainfall. The river can be very low to very high.
Last few years the water was up, which makes Puzzle Lake easier to reach in a typical boat. Banks, overhangs and especially
matted weeds all hold fish during this time. I don't fish Harney for bass so I don't know much about it.
Hence the name Puzzle Lake!
Yeah, I know it's a different world from what I'm used to up here (yesterday I was drop-shotting with 6-pound line on a brush pile that sits in 30 feet of water, adjacent to a ledge that drops to nearly 100 feet, in Bald Ridge Creek on Lake Lanier).
That's why I started this thread in hopes of picking up a sliver of two of info to at least start us in the right direction.
As far as taking a local expert with us, I'd be too embarrassed to subject a real bass fisherman to my 25-year-old Fisher/Starcraft aluminum hull with a 22-year-old Mercury/Force, 40 hp motor that only idles when it wants to (I call it the Energizer Bunny). I originally bought it to trout fish the Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam. Funny thing is, I've owned Ranger, Dynatrak, Winner, Skeeter and several other bass boats over the last 40 years, but in none of them have I caught any more bass than I catch out of this piece of junk. (It's especially good for doodling boat docks in the winter and early spring 'cause you are not afraid to put the bow in the tight spots where your $50,000 glitter monster will get gouged.)