Bubble Gum Bone Vapor and Fire Triple Trouts

Fire and Vapor - Bubble Gum Fire and Vapor on Bone - 8" Triple Trout SSB Bundles

Fire and Vapor – Bubble Gum Fire and Vapor on Bone – 8″ Triple Trout SSB Bundles

I’ve only got quantity (1) of each …  This color and bait isn’t for everyone, and maybe a bit gimmicky for some, but shoots,  you think this bait will get bit?  You betcha!  Bone and Bubble Bum are 2 colors that tend to get bit, so why not have some fun and do some fusion.   These are 8″ Models and come rigged with Owner ST-36 Treble Hooks and  Owner Hyper Wire Split rings, and include a spare set of tails.

When I had a couple of these before, they went quick.  So, just know I’ve only got one in each color and will do my best to keep the blog here updated, in case you’re comfortable with yourself, and you aren’t afraid of a little fire and vapor, ala Scotty Whitmer.

Bubble Gum Fire on Bone Triple Trout

Bubble Gum Fire on Bone Triple Trout

The 8″ Bubble Gum Fire on Bone Triple Trout Bundle:  $84.95

SOLD OUT

Bubble Gum Vapor on Bone Triple Trout

Bubble Gum Vapor on Bone Triple Trout

The 8″ Bubble Gum Vapor on Bone Triple Trout Bundle: $84.95

SOLD OUT

Bone on Top Too...

Bone on Top Too…

The Bundle means rigged with Owner Hardware, and a spare set o tails.

The Bundle means rigged with Owner Hardware, and a spare set o tails.

 

Full Circle

matt-donovan-july-4-2013-san-clemente

My brother’s baby boy, Donovan, who just turned 1 the other day. 24 hours into Southern California…4th of July in San Clemente with my brother, sister and their families. My liver hates me. I have been a little thirsty since I’ve been back!

I have been quietly transitioning back home to Southern California.  In May, I was at a company event in Chicago, when I overheard a conversation about a new office for BeyondTrust in Aliso Viejo.    Actually, it was moving the Irvine office back down to Aliso Viejo.   That is a 15 mile move to the South, closer to my hometown Dana Point/San Clemente area, and a significant savings in commute time, toll road costs, and just hit me a time when I was already looking to relocate from West Palm Beach to a more beachy scene within S. Florida….Jupiter/Juno area to be exact.   So, rather than move 15-20 miles within Florida, I made a quick assessment of things, and decided right then and there I was heading home.  Florida is awesome.  My decision to bail on Florida is complicated….understand Okeechobee, of all the years I’ve fished it now, 2013 was the worst for swimbait fishing I’ve encountered.  The lake is overgrown, choked out and more a flip/punch thing than an open water swimmer thing.   So, Okeechobee’s tough cycle, and the amount of rain we endured (and it was still raining when I left) told me it was gonna be a harsh year on the Big O for a guy that likes to swim bigbaits.

And they say California has a lot of red tape!  Count how many regulations and rules there are to fishing a pier in Florida!

And they say California has a lot of red tape! Count how many regulations and rules there are to fishing a pier in Florida!

I was 'this close' to moving from West Palm Beach to Juno...just to be near the surf and even closer to Okeechobee, but tide and time wait for no man!

I was ‘this close’ to moving from West Palm Beach to Juno…just to be near the surf and even closer to Okeechobee, but tide and time wait for no man!

Getting Gone

I essentially closed down my apartment in West Palm Beach within a week, downsized my stuff for the 50th time, and headed for Georgia.  Getting back to California, from S. Florida, wasn’t going to be easy.  Thankfully, I have good people, a good career now so finances aren’t so rough, and I’m really good at just packing up and getting gone.   So, this was the itinerary:  FL>GA>AR>CA.    I had to get from Florida, back to Georgia and the Atlanta area and shut down things in Atlanta first.  So, I was able to touch bases with my tenant, in my Roswell home, get some things squared away and focus on getting all my stuff out of my phenomenal friend, Rodger Ray, Social Circle home.  Social Circle has been my Atlanta base of operations on and off for the last 4.5 years since renting out my apartment, and of course, meeting Rodger, as my co-angler partner,  Day 1, Lake Eufaula, FLW Series 2009.   Rodger has been so hospitable, professional, fun, interesting and wise—-I cannot thank him enough for his friendship.

General Sherman aint got nothing on me.  He marched to the Sea.  I towed to the Pacific, from the same starting place, and the only burning and looting I did was on the White River. And the assualt on Orange County has just begun!

General Sherman aint got nothing on me. He marched to the Sea. I towed to the Pacific, from the same starting place, and the only burning and looting I did was on the White River. And the assualt on Orange County has just begun!

Rods inside.

Rods inside.

Amazing how much 'spare' room I had to utilize my truck with a Uhaul in tow, at least until I got to Arkansas and the other 50% of my stuff!

Amazing how much ‘spare’ room I had to utilize my truck with a Uhaul in tow, at least until I got to Arkansas and the other 50% of my stuff!

My Ranger Z520 posted some pictures on Facebook with her connected to another truck.  She got me back, don't you worry! That's how I knew she made in the Ozarks!

My Ranger Z520 posted some pictures on Facebook with her connected to another truck. She got me back, don’t you worry! That’s how I knew she was made in the Ozarks!  Blurred out the FL License Plate so she cannot socially engineer and manipulate me either!

Of boats and men

I own 2 boats.  I have a Ranger Z520, and a 16 Grizzly Tracker aluminum rig (I loaned it to Team 85 for the filming of Southern Trout Eaters, because they needed some help getting on the water with current states of affairs with their lives at the time).   I literally cleaned out my Ranger, and left a pile of paperwork and stuff that will be needed to sell the boat (if that is the route I take), and just left it parked up in Social Circle.  I have learned, when you don’t know what to do, no decision is the best decision.  I needed to take a U Haul trailer full of stuff from Georgia, and onto Arkansas, where I’d fill it up and cull thru stuff from Arkansas, next.  The problem:  You cannot simultaneously tow a 20′ fiberglass boat and a dual axle U Haul trailer!  So, the Ranger sits in Atlanta, paying for insurance and the 14 months of warranty my Yamaha still enjoys ticks away toward expiration.   On one hand it makes a ton of sense to sell the boat:  I have equity in the boat, the engine is still under warranty, and truthfully, I’m not worried about fishing tournaments where a Z520 is required anytime super soon.  I love my Ranger Boat, don’t get me wrong, but to me, boats are tools, and usually very expensive tools.   I am now living <10 miles from the Dana Point Harbor, where I can out throwing swimbaits at calico bass within minutes.  I’m sorta re-tooling if you will, and the transition time will be longer than anything I can predict–that’s just how things go.   An inshore series boat, deeper v, and better able to handle ocean type conditions is in my future.  Something that I can still tow and hit the San Diego lakes and such of course.  There is a compromise in there somewhere with the right boat….ie, the great lakes/walleye style of Ranger Boat…the Fisherman Series.  Or perhaps a Whaler type boat, center console style. I’m not sure yet.  Trolling motor mandatory of course.

One last trip to Clarks Hill, while I stayed over in Social Circle.  In search of the herring eaters with the SSB Herring.

One last trip to Clarks Hill, while I stayed over in Social Circle. In search of the herring eaters with the SSB Herring.

The Other Boat/Arkansas

My 16 foot Grizzly (that I bought from Triton Mike Bucca, btw) has had a wild journey itself.  I got a 25HP 4 Stroke Yamaha, and a 82# thrust Motorguide up front.  The rig frickin charges.  I got the boat back to Arkansas last year, right about this time, as I was trying to make Arkansas work as ‘home’ and figure out a way to make a living thru fishing, sans tournament fishing.  Well, things in Arkansas didn’t go as I’d hoped, and then opportunity came knocking with getting my software career back in action.   This boat I will keep.  I am flat addicted to the idea of hunting big brown trout with swimbaits on the mighty White River.  I spent 2 weeks in Social Circle/Atlanta (first half of June) and spent the second half of June in Arkansas.  Understand, end of June is end of fiscal quarter, end of Q2, in the business world.  I stalled and timed everything to travel on the weekends, work on my move after hours, and just be in a position to sell enterprise vulnerability and risk management solutions to new customers.  I had more like 10 days in Arkansas, but man, was it great to be back there. I have some really good friends and family there.  My friends are friends thru fishing, and they are as ate up with it as us.  I had some really close calls and learned a lot in that short window I was in Arkansas about the White River. I had more action in approx. 7 outings, than I did the ENTIRE 7 months I spent there last year.  I did NOT put any fish in the boat, and had “the one” on, but she came unglued.  Doh.  Still haunted by that one.   So, I put the cover back on the boat, parked her up and just left her.  I foresee visiting Arkansas often, to spend time with my parents and Grandmother (who lives with my parents now too), and of course, to fish the Ozarks.   There is an airport in Branson, MO about an hour from my parents house.  It’s a no brainer, easy, and financially feasible for me. I will be able to work during the day, and fish after hours/on weekends, and spend a couple weeks at a time there, with a boat that can fish the river or the surrounding lakes.    And the wade fishing around the Ozarks is sick.  Canoes are probably the best boat at times too.  My buddies there are blowing it up and I’m excited to get back there.  It’s a different deal though. It’s not tournament fishing blowing things up…it’s fly fishing, guiding, outfitting, and getting their world’s right with relationships, marriages, finances, real estate, etc.  Which I’m learning is the key to fishing and pretty much everything!

June Stoke.  Chad knows where they live, has access to the land to get to the fish, and his wife will drop us off and drive the shuttle for us too!

June Stoke. Chad knows where they live, has access to the land to get to the fish, and his wife will drop us off and drive the shuttle for us too!

Few people I've encountered are as awesome as my friend Chad Johnson, Flippin, Arkansas resident.

Few people I’ve encountered are as awesome as my friend Chad Johnson, Flippin, Arkansas resident.

The 16' Grizzly, and a chance to take my Aunt Kim out fishing. She's battling breast cancer and has risen to the challenge.  We took some pics to celebrate the fight and be crazy bald heads together.

The 16′ Grizzly, and a chance to take my Aunt Kim out fishing. She’s battling breast cancer and has risen to the challenge. We took some pics to celebrate the fight and be crazy bald heads together.

Don't think the smallmouth haven't gotten some sore lips. It's not all about fly fishing in skinny Ozark streams.  Bigbaits boy!

Don’t think the smallmouth haven’t gotten some sore lips. It’s not all about fly fishing in skinny Ozark streams. Bigbaits boy!

 

4th of July 2013

I arrived in Dana Point on the 3rd of July.  I have a good friend that lives at home with his Mom (don’t laugh, this is how we all roll at times in our lives!) and they were awesome enough to have me stay with them until I got settled.   I was able to use the first week of July, after the End of Quarter crunch, to drive from Arkansas to California.  So, I had loaded up all my stuff from Atlanta, loaded up all my stuff from Arkansas, and towed a full UHaul trailer all the way back to California, pretty much backtracking the journey I started in January 2005.    I have had more fun in the last 2 months being here!  Oh my goodness, my liver hates me.  Truthfully, I haven’t made a cast since I left Arkansas.  I am taking some time to allow myself to settle in over here.  I love to fish, I love throwing bigbaits, but honestly, I’ve made a conscious decision to just sorta put that stuff on the back burner a couple months and just let myself get settled in.  Summer time in Southern California is awesome. I have been surfing like crazy. I have a lot of catching up to do.  My surfing has progressed a ton the last couple months, I got my arms and shoulders back to compete from a paddling standpoint, and I walk around with my shirt off and woman generally hoot, holler and whistle at me!  Hahahahahahahah.  Okay, forget the last part of that sentence, but there is a profound difference in healthy life and lifestyle for me lately.

Shooting down the South County Coast from Dana Point.

Shooting down the South County Coast from Dana Point.

Trolling surfboards for white sharks!  10' single fin, yeah boy. My boy Tyler Craig hooking me up with the trip.

Trolling surfboards for white sharks! 10′ single fin, yeah boy. My boy Tyler Craig hooking me up with the trip.

Surfboards and boats are a close second to boats with fishing rods aboad.  Lower Trestles Run. Scored.

Surfboards and boats are a close second to boats with fishing rods aboad. Lower Trestles Run. Scored.

BeyondTrust

Please visit my companies website sometime:  beyondtrust.com We have very talented security and research thought leaders in the world of internet security.  We have ‘productized’ or otherwise make software tools that emulate the skills and expertise of the white hat style ‘hacker’.   At the end of the day, we make tools that help companies manage and assess risk.  On a scale of 1-10, are we a 7 or a 5 when it comes to overall ‘security’ across the 10,000 assets that make up our computing environment?  Are we compliant to do business with the Department of Defense because we make parts that go into missles or SUVs, and in order to do business with the DoD, you better be compliant to various standards.  Or HIPAA, are hospitals doing the right thing to make sure your medical records are being sold on the black market.  You could be blackmailed if someone knew you had HIV or something gnarly and private, and hadn’t publicly disclosed.   Think Fortune 2000 account that need to assess the overall security posture of their entire network, across multiple locations, mobile devices, virtual devices, etc.,  It’s a cool space, and I’m enjoying being back in the game.   Sales is no walk in the park career and you are on a cycle much like fishing, where you are on ‘em and life is good, then …. the droughts and the doldrums come and you have to be prepared to endure and make adjustments to break the cycle.   I work in Aliso Viejo, in a a wonderful little tech corridor.  There are companies like Buy.com, Dell/Qwest, and Micro Semi in the same building/neighborhood.  I haven’t met the ‘her’ yet….but like fishing, you gotta get around ‘em before you can catch ‘em.  Catch the right one!   I’m not saying I’m going to find “her” in Aliso Viejo, I’m just saying Orange County is full of young educated professionals who are doing great things with their lives.  Conversations about welfare, DUI, child custody, social issues, etc don’t exist.  Education, sophistication and opportunity abounds and I just am stoked to be around it.   Finally got ‘around ‘em’ again!

 

Click the above to be re-routed to a CNN article featuring our company CTO, Marc "Mainframe" Maiffret speaking on cyberterrorism and Syria.

Click the above to be re-routed to a CNN article featuring our company CTO, Marc “Mainframe” Maiffret speaking on cyberterrorism and Syria.

 

So you quit fishing?

NO, I haven’t quit fishing. I have taken a womping 2 months off in the last 30+ years.  Forgive me!   I see myself re-tooling and getting myself in a position to charge bigbaits/bigfish around San Diego, OC, LA…..and slip the same boat in the Dana Point Harbor and slip slide thru the massive kelp beds and do my best Kevin Mattson impressions!  But these things will take some time. I am super stoked and flattered to have so many invites to come fish with guys. Until recently, I literally haven’t had all my possessions in one location in >5 years when I lived in Roswell, GA.

The irony of all this is new clarity and focus.  My life, especially my fishing life, since Southern Trout Eaters, has really been a rocky road.  Not horrible and I don’t regret any of it, just saying, not a certain path or one that has been easily felt out and gone with.   I haven’t really found one thing that has really worked and stuck.  Florida was hot then got cold.  Arkansas, same thing…hot and cold.  Finances dwindling….. All the sudden, I have 8 years of pictures, video and story, and have gone full circle from Southern California to the South and now back.   I’ve got a story to tell and I hope to see it thru, because I think I can provide perspective, wisdom and insights beyond catching more and bigger fish.   Fishing is our lives, and it’s an addiction.  Making a living from fishing is a crazy wild endeavor that is like chasing the rodeo.  A bunch of young (and not so young) men mostly all chasing their dreams, from all sorts of backgrounds.  And some ARE that good.  You have to be ‘exceptional’ not just good.   The young people today have more opportunity than ever.  It’s the age of the cloud, the age of Facebook, the age of GoPro, and the “i” everything.

Ranger Boats---the follow me everywhere I go.  I see a saltwater series of some kind in my future

Ranger Boats—the follow me everywhere I go. I see a saltwater series of some kind in my future

Now What?

Everything is a work in progress.  I’m by no means back on my feet career wise like I was when I hung it up to go fishing. However, I’m back on that path and track.   It takes money to make money and grow things.  I have plans and intentions, but like most things, they tend to take way longer than originally expected.  And since I’m not able to focus 100% of my time towards fishing with a full time job in software, I’m even more challenged with tide and time.  However, I am in the best mood and general flow I’ve been in years and super stoked, and sorta just re-charging/refreshing.  To me, it’s really healthy to take a break from fishing a bit and just allow myself to get West and get settled.  I am looking forward to missions to San Diego jumping in other guys’ boats, missions with this one guy name Kevin Mattson who charges harder than anyone I know,  and random saltwater and Sierra Mountain trips.

chloe-matt.-aloha-from-from-san-clemente-cajpg

Yes, I am the world’s greatest Uncle. It’s rough work hanging out in San Clemente at the beach with friends and family, but someone has to do it. Don’t worry, I got my Duck Commander safety trunks on, so still representing!!!

 

 

 

 

The Super Slammer From Mike Shaw

I just saw this and had to share.  The Super Slammer, are you kidding me?  The beauty of the MS Slammer, and the wood bait thing, is that in a 12 or 14″ bait (14″ is the size of the Super Slammer) it doesn’t weigh that much.  I’m shocked at how easily the 12″ MS Slammer fishes, so this 14″ big daddy Super Slammer makes sense to me.  14″ Big Wood baits will fish far easier and low impact on your body vs. composite material or soft plastic baits of this size.    I think the striper guys will go nuts over this Super Slammer, but so will the guys who hunt big largemouths.  Walk, stall, pause or just straight retrieve…..day or night, rain or shine….I’m gonna get some of these and test them out, I suggest check you them out HERE

Supah Slammah!

Supah Slammah!

 

Slide Swimmer

Pea Green Soup.  Fishing main lake grass lines, uphill and parallel.  Eelgrass.   Low Down Customs 8' XH.

Pea Green Soup. Fishing main lake grass lines, uphill and parallel. Eelgrass. Low Down Customs 8′ XH.

Just in case you’ve somehow missed the glide bait thing, you best be throwing glide baits, bottom line.  The Slide Swimmer is so killer its hard to quantify.  I have to admit, I’ve only caught a few glide bait fish, and they were on the S-Waver.  I don’t have a ton of experience with glide baits. They are something I’m going to have to learn a whole lot more of.  But do yourself a favor and find yourself a Deps Butch Brown Slide Swimmer 250 in case you don’t know that yet.  Do not pass go without one.  They are that good.  The hardbait version of the Huddleston, it’s been said.   Get yourself an S-Waver to get started into glide baits, or go Roman Made.   I know someday Butch is going to release a film that just blow everyone’s mind with giants.  I’ve seen a video he played at ICAST in 2011 in Vegas at the Bassaholics Booth.  It was sick and wrong, and it had many Slide Swimmer 250 in it back then.  I know some guys who’ve been devastating big striper on it.   My pals in the world of swimbait fishing pretty much have been crushing fish on the glide baits out West for >2 years at least.   I know Oliver Ngy is going to blow some minds with his Big Bass Dreams DVD coming out.  Oliver throws the Rago Glideator, and l don’t even know what else.  I’m a boring old Hudd, TT, MS, and Rat guy!  I don’t feel like I’m letting the cat out of the bag by any means at this point. I just hate talking about a technique or bait or something I don’t have experience on.  I can tell you, the 80# Braid, the Slide Swimmer, the LDC 8′XH, and the 400 TE are just incredible altogether.  Power fishing at times, and glide bait fishing it at times.  Crazy swim on this bait.  Hard to do wrong, but you can get incredible 3-4 foot wide side to side S walks, stalls, turn-arounds, etc and it can be burned and killed and 180′d and all kinds of craziness.

Flash Carp, yikes what a color!  Saiko Butch you da man.

Flash Carp, yikes what a color! Saiko Butch you da man.

 

Controlled glides.   I love the term glide because it nails the style of bait.  Glide is a discussion point among surfers.   There are 1000s of variations in surfboards that are between 6 and 7 feet long.  Small changes in volume/displacement/buoyancy do dramatic things in the water, let alone changing shapes, width, thickness, rocker, length, concavity, etc.  I think the world of glide baits has similar abundance of variations that will likely work if for no other reason, this style of bait gets bit, and things are just starting to warm up with them to the masses.   These glide baits are killer, and I’m just getting going really focusing time on them, and I advise you do the same if you aren’t already!  The Roman Made Mother, was the bait our boy Manabu caught Her on.

 

Wheat Grass

Would you like a shot of Wheat Grass? How about 1,000,000 surface acres of it! Okeechobee has lots of different grass. Eelgrass grows in some areas consistently year-to-year, and you always get different main lake water colors. This year, pea green soup is the theme in some favorite haunts of mine. Flipping and Pitching bite more so than a swimming bite I find in most areas, save the Box the the Pond.

Okeechobee has been a moving target this year.  It’s not horrible, but it’s not the slug fest stomp its been the last 2 years.   The water just isn’t good for a swimbait guy either.  So its sorta fickle fishing at times, mixed with bad water (and wind) most places, most of the time.   Algae bloom, dirty, choked out and the fish are outside grass line-ish oriented, so the bite becomes more pitching jigs and punching mats and that style attack.  I have been throwing the Slide Swimmer 250 Flash Carp in less than ideal conditions on Okeechobee thus far.  I was hoping for 3-4 feet of black clean water to work with, outside grass line, in certain areas, and it just hasn’t been there yet.

okeechobee-deps-slide-swimmer-flash-carp

The LDC XH

Want to give a shout to Ben Dehnadi and Low Down Custom Rods.  Ben’s rods have really opened my eyes to much more progressive rod design.  You need to get yourself a LDC 8′ XH for the Slide Swimmer 250.  The Slide Swimmer is heavy…close to 6.5 ounces and it maxes out my Loomis 966 BBR rods that I love so much.   The LDC XH fits that rod category you need for ‘megabaits’.  The > 6 ounce baits, the big 3:16 Hardbaits, the big rats/terrestrial baits, the big Rago hard and softbaits, and whatever.   >6 ounce baits require a special rod, even among the bigbait rods.   I do fish the 8″ Weedless  Huddlestons on this LDC 8XH rod, and love it.  I swear I can lob that Huddleston 20% further in the open water sometimes.  That thing flat flings a bait way out there.   The longer than I’m used to rod handle really has extra leverage and surprisingly I find it fishes nicely under my arm pit, and just feels right to me. I’ve got 32″ arms.  I get dress shirts with 17-18″ necks and 32″ arms!  Hahahahaha.  That aint no lie either.  So the super long rod handles sometimes feel awkward to me.   The LDC 8XH has a less parabolic action than the 966, but it still loads up pretty darn well, its just got more tip to it.  You have a really more involved tip section, that is more in tune with finer things of swim, and helps soften the impact of bites so you don’t rip the bait out of a fish’s mouth, and definitely helps you in the casting department, it will load up and lob a 6.5 ounce bait like the Slide Swimmer very easily and low impact on your wrists and shoulders.

Net Net

Just like recommending the 8″ Huddleston and the G-Loomis 966 BBR combo, I think you’ll find the Low Down Customs 8 XH and Slide Swimmer 250 a winner.  I have to admit, the LDC-8HX throws an 8″ Huddleston really well, and really far.  It’s anexcellent big and mega bait rod, yet has the tip for the 8″ Huddlestons and 10″ Triple Trouts.  You need to be throwing the Butch Brown Slide Swimmer 250.   End of story.  You’re current bigbait rod may not have the guts to throw it.  I have many Loomis 966s and find them under-gunned for the Slide Swimmer.  Get a rod for heaving and lobbing the >6 ounce baits

Notice, I've tied directly to the slip ring here.  I think I like it without the split ring on front better.  You get bait head and bait control without the ring, just like with the Triple Trout on your stalls and twitches.

Notice, I’ve tied directly to the slip ring here. I think I like it without the split ring on front better. You get better head and bait control without the ring, just like with the Triple Trout on your stalls and twitches.

Bluegill Beds on Okeechobee

I DO NOT have this bite figured out and by no means can speak as an authority.  Something is always bedding on Okeechobee….bass, bluegill, talapia/goggle-eyes, and Asian armored catfish.   There is a cycle and way of life in the lake, in all lakes I suppose, that mirrors this to some level.  You notice bass beds become bluegill beds or talapia/goggle-eye beds.  The beds get re-used.  Sometime I’ll share what I do with the 3:16 Rising Son around bedding bass, but for now, just wanted to share a nice one I got on Okeechobee over the weekend.  It’s NOT easy out there for me.  Okeechobee is on a fickle cycle for a swimbait guy.  Lots of algae bloom, weird color water, bad wind, overgrown and choked out.  The good black clear water I like to fish is really hard to come by.  The fish are more ‘outside’ grass edge oriented and ideally, I’d have nice black clear water, or inside grass pools with enough depth and life to hold fish.    The bite right now, as usual, is a flipping and punching bite.  That is how you will win on Okeechobee.  If tide and time completely come together and you make the right moves during a 4 day event to pull it off, I think a sight fish/swimbait bite could beat a pure punching bite.  I missed my opportunity, twice, at the Tour level to prove and show that.   I have nightmares about it. It haunts me, and that is no joke.

See the light spots on the bottom?  Those are the 'beds' that get recycled during the year, bass>bluegill>talapia>etc

See the light spots on the bottom int he bottom 1/3rd of this photo? Those are the ‘beds’ that get recycled during the year, bass>bluegill>talapia>etc

I am fishing in and around the Monkey Box, Harney Pond, North Shore area and I found some big hydrilla beds with clean water and bedding bluegill, that is all I can tell you.  Hydrilla seems to be key for me, and I know was key for Brent Ehrler when the Tour was here and he finished 2nd.   And Lord knows I could/should be punching, I just love the challenge of finding swimbait fish.   The bite is way more a flipping bite and pitching jigs at the reeds.  Anyway, I’ve found some bluegill beds (I think) in some thick hydrilla fields, and the water is by far the best black water I have found,  and the water is fishable.  The grass is not topped out  in some pools and you can swim a bait thru it quite nicely.    The 3:16 Sunfish (the Bluegill color is killer too) is a favorite bait of mine. I fish it with a 1/0 ST-36 Owner Stinger Hook, and 65# Braid, M Action 8 footer,  and a Curado 300.  It has a very down the line, nose down swim, which is amazing for a line thru bait with a 45 degree angle of attack between hook and line thru insert in the bait, that you’d think would bias more upward.   The bait does not swim up or plane up, it really keeps its depth and drive ‘right’ on the straight grind.  You don’t have to be overly technical to get the right down the line swim out of the bait, and can stall, snatch and buzz/burn it along too.  It’s just a great bait, and I’m learning that May/June is bed time for bluegill all over the South, including Florida.  You need to be throwing bluegill baits, and the post-spawn time of the bass tends to lead into the bluegill/brim spawn, which tends to be when the heat is setting in, mid Spring style.   I catch fish on the 3:16 Sunfish and 22nd Century Bluegill right now.

Notice the round and honeycomb nature of the bluegill beds.

Notice the round and honeycomb nature of the bluegill beds.

 

The Florida sun has been quite nice lately.  Mid to Low 80s, but the wind has been relentless.  Keeping it simple and setting my boat down 2 minutes from the launch ramp was a good decision.  I 'live' in Lakeport on weekends.

The Florida sun has been quite nice lately. Mid to Low 80s, but the wind has been relentless. Keeping it simple and setting my boat down 2 minutes from the launch ramp was a good decision. I ‘live’ in Lakeport on weekends.

Blood sweat and tears, literally.

Blood sweat and tears, literally.

I have been working hard out there, glad to get a good bite

I have been working hard out there, glad to get a good bite