After work bassin on the Santa Fe

I spent most of my holiday weekend last weekend riding mountain bikes in the mountains away from this oppressive Florida heat, but I've had the itch to fish real bad since I haven't really had a solid fishing trip in a while. Yesterday even the itch became too much to bear, but a lack of time and low tides on the coast made a trip closer to home a better option. I threw the boat in at around 6pm. The water on the river is very low and extremely clear right now, which is awesome for sight fishing and makes for a very visual fishing experience. Watching the fish come up and clobber your bait is a blast. But it also means the fish can see you and spook easy so you can't be a goober and sit right on top of the fish and expect to catch them. Anyway, the bite started out slow and I could see the fish following my spook but they wouldn't eat it, so I switched to a crankbait and it was on. Unfortunately there's tons of floating algae right now which made fishing treble hooks annoying. I tried soft plastics but they fish weren't interested.

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A little later in the day I started throwing my spook again and the fish were hungry for it.

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I caught over a dozen fish in the span of 3 hours before I headed out. Fishing has been pretty good on the river lately. I caught a few shellcrackers too but none of any decent size. One thing about the clear water is it shows the entire river is basically one gigantic rock, and shallow in places. A lot of skegs and props have been busted out there and it's pretty hazardous right now. We need some rain in a big way.

Replies

  • Rick1-2Rick1-2 HorseshoePosts: 962 Officer
  • Biggary16Biggary16 Posts: 469 Deckhand
    Nice Jim, I was wondering where your good reports were at. Glad you got some action.
  • Alex from GAAlex from GA Posts: 1,374 Officer
    Good catch. That bottom fish looks like a big Suwannee.
  • RedbonzRedbonz Posts: 4,538 Captain
    Hopefully we will get some much needed rain. Every spring seems like the Santa fe floods from too much rain, but not this year...
    If it don't fit force it. If it breaks it needed replace anyways. :banghead
  • Snook SpankerSnook Spanker Inglis / YankeetownPosts: 1,840 Captain
    Good catch. That bottom fish looks like a big Suwannee.

    Nice change up Jim!! Change yer tactics and match the tackle to the target fish and have a blast!! A Suwannee bass is still on my Bucket list of fishes to catch! Very cool and also very smallmouth looking feesh! I'll bet they fight like nobody's Bi?? Thanks fer sharing Bro!!!
    I am'z what I am'z and that'z all that I am'z!! > Popeye!
  • SlackerSlacker Posts: 1,570 Captain
    That is a neat river.
  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,945 Captain
    The Suwannee bass are fairly predictable and prefer much heavier current. I believe they are also known as a "shoal" bass for that reason. Coincidentally many of the ones I catch are around shoals. I've got a few good spots that usually produce them. I catch plenty blind casting likely cover as well. As far as low water conditions it's definitely been unusual for the upper part of the Santa Fe. The lower spots down by Ichetucknee have been recently flooded, as well as the sections down where it meets the Suwannee. But the top part of the river has been really dry.
  • Luv2YakLuv2Yak Posts: 944 Officer
    Compared to 25-20-15-10-5 years ago the SF (and Itchetucknee) Rivers have been becoming cesspools. Algae growth? Stagnation.

    Recent below-historical average rainfall rates have certainly contributed to lower rivers' levels.

    That said, reduced springs' flow rates into these rivers, due primarily to increasing aquifer withdrawal for agriculture/development/mining, has greatly diminished water quality/quantity of these once pristine Florida waterways. Adding insult to injury, increased influx of nutrients and pollutants (run-off ag. animal wastes, fertilizers, herbicides, leaking septic tanks, nutrients, pesticides, etc.).

    And this is what washes down these rivers into the Suwanee then into the Big Bend area of the Gulf.

    Enjoy it while you can. Won't be much longer before whatever fish you can extract from the rivers will "glow in the dark". Don't worry, be happy.

    But if you have concerns for future generations then get educated and get involved.
  • HammerheadTedHammerheadTed Posts: 1,256 Officer
    It's always good to scratch that itch with a topwater! WTG
  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,945 Captain
    Luv2Yak wrote: »
    Compared to 25-20-15-10-5 years ago the SF (and Itchetucknee) Rivers have been becoming cesspools. Algae growth? Stagnation.

    Recent below-historical average rainfall rates have certainly contributed to lower rivers' levels.

    That said, reduced springs' flow rates into these rivers, due primarily to increasing aquifer withdrawal for agriculture/development/mining, has greatly diminished water quality/quantity of these once pristine Florida waterways. Adding insult to injury, increased influx of nutrients and pollutants (run-off ag. animal wastes, fertilizers, herbicides, leaking septic tanks, nutrients, pesticides, etc.).

    And this is what washes down these rivers into the Suwanee then into the Big Bend area of the Gulf.

    Enjoy it while you can. Won't be much longer before whatever fish you can extract from the rivers will "glow in the dark". Don't worry, be happy.

    But if you have concerns for future generations then get educated and get involved.

    Agree 100%. Amazing to watch the decline of these rivers even in the last 10-15 years. Too many people pumping too much water. The droughts have only made the nitrogen runoff even more concentrated. Lots of vegetation choked out by algae. But... I still enjoy it, and I do my part to protect it.
  • Luv2YakLuv2Yak Posts: 944 Officer
    Robert Knight: If we sacrifice our springs, are we sacrificing Florida’s future?

    Last year, three-quarters of Florida’s residents spoke with a unified voice when they voted for Amendment 1. This amendment to the state’s constitution requires state government to spend 30 percent of document stamp revenues to purchase, protect and restore environmentally sensitive lands.
    In spite of this grassroots initiative, the 2015 Florida Legislature opposed buying and protecting more environmentally sensitive lands. Those politicians are concerned that protecting more of Florida’s most sensitive lands from exploitation will hurt the profits of their supporters. In the midst of a complete meltdown of the 2015 legislature, the fate of Amendment 1 awaits a special session in June.

    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20150524/OPINION03/150529875/-1/opinion03?p=2&tc=pg
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Since passage of Amendment 1 in November 2014, the Florida Legislature thus far has blatantly ignored the expressed will of Floridian voters while dismissing and spitting upon the democratic process these legislators were elected to uphold.
    If you enjoy a healthy environment in which to fish, if you respect and treasure Florida’s natural water resources, and if you want future generations of Floridians to do likewise, then you can help by contacting your current Florida Representative and Senator as well as Gov. Scott NOW (during the Florida Legislature’s special session in June) and tell them to quit “playing politics” with Amendment 1 and serve the expressed will of the people of Florida.
  • VertigoVertigo Yankeetown, FLPosts: 617 Officer
    "If you enjoy a healthy environment in which to fish, if you respect and treasure Florida’s natural water resources, and if you want future generations of Floridians to do likewise, then you can help by"....moving back to Michigan.
  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,945 Captain
    LOL, I'm already seeing our little quiet town getting surrounded by urban sprawl. A trip to Ft. Lauderdale last week solidified my view that I am not a big city guy, and I like my quiet little area. Even looking at Gainesville I'm amazed by how different it is today than even 10 years ago. Archer Road is starting to look more like Highway 19 in New Port Richey.. crap everywhere. Shops and business on every corner, hardly a tree to be found. I'm getting old.
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