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PECo



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 5201
Location: Avon, CT

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:50 pm    Post subject: Lake Okeechobee, FL 02/21 Reply with quote

My daughter wasn't feeling very well last night, so my father-in-law (aka Joe) and I headed out without her very early this morning to meet our guide, Captain Mickey Maynard (aka Captain Mick), at Lake Okeechobee. We met up at the Alvin L. Ward Sr. Memorial Park boat launch ramp on the Herbert Hoover Dike, just ouside the town of Moore Haven, FL. We saw the sun rise at 6:30 am and were on the water before 7:00 am. It was slightly foggy and a cccold 50 degrees, but we could tell that it was going to be less windy than it was yesterday. An osceola tom turkey that was perched in a tree across from the ramp saw us off. We headed up a rim canal on the western side of the lake:



After a 30 minute run to the area we were going to fish, we began fishing in vast beds of pads next to a channel. The water was heavily tea stained, but clear down to the bottom, which was never more than 3-1/2 feet down. Shocked Yes, the lake is really THAT shallow in the entire area that we fished. We spotted a lot of large empty spawning beds on the bottom. As the sun rose higher in the sky, the air quickly warmed up:



It wasn't long before Captain Mick boated the first fish, which was a nice three pound, four ounce largemouth bass:



It took an hour before I boated my first bass, which was just a short:



However, just 15 minutes later, I boated a three pound, 13 ounce bass:



We each caught several bass, although most were small. My theme of the day was missing fish. I missed more than I boated. I threw a bullfrog colored Zoom Horny Toad every once in a while, but missed several strikes. I missed what probably would have been my best fish of the day when I set the hook on a bass that created a huge wave behind the frog before hitting it and the 15 pound PowerPro braided line broke right at the eye of the hook. Mad That's why I use 40 pound test or better, Stephen! I also threw a spinnerbait for a little while. A couple of casts after I got a "Thump, thump!" miss, I hooked into a small bass that was able to leap free of the trailer hook. The air temperature eventually hit a high of 78 degrees under mostly sunny skies. As the temperature rose, clouds of tiny black flies appeared and covered us. It got so bad that every little breeze we got was greatly appreciated. On the bright side, at least the flies didn't bite. Rolling Eyes The only other negative thing about our day was the nearby spraying of herbicide by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, using noisy airboats. The herbicide they used smelled like your typical lawn fertilizer with weed control. We tried to stay upwind of and as far away from the spraying as we could. Now, although I booked an eight hour trip with Captain Mick, I have to say that he was gracious enough to keep us out on the water for A LOT longer than that. The reason I mention this is that I had the lunker until 4:24 pm, when Joe thought he got hung up on some lily pads (again Rolling Eyes ), but soon realized that he actually had a fish on. And it was one heck of a fish:



Yeah, that's a 24 inch long, seven pound, one ounce POST-SPAWN bass. After boating a couple of more small bass, we stopped fishing at 5:45 pm in order to get back to the ramp before dark:




We arrived back at the ramp as the sun began to set and were greeted by the same osceola tom turkey that saw us off at sunrise. We finally got off of the water at 6:15 pm, after 11-1/2 hours! Shocked All told, we boated over 20 largemouth bass, including the two three pounders and the seven pounder. We also spotted several large gars and a bowfin.

Thanks for another terrific outing, Captain Mick! http://www.luckycharter.com/ We'll see you after you get back up to Lake Champlain for the Summer. http://www.angelfire.com/home/lake/fishing/lake.html
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DirtyDawg10



Joined: 27 May 2009
Posts: 2238
Location: Granby, CT

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice report, Phil! That is a beast of a fish your father-in-law caught. So I just have to ask...how many senkos did you throw?
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SeaDog1



Joined: 21 Dec 2009
Posts: 2629

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi DD,

Heck! I'm waiting for that 10 pounder for Phil to catch! Shocked

If he does? -> Whooo Hoooo! Very Happy

SeaDog1
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PECo



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 5201
Location: Avon, CT

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't throw any wacky Senkos, Dawg, but can't claim the thought never crossed my mind. There's just too much vegetation on Okeechobee to do that very much. For most of the day, a slowly twitched and retrieved weedless soft plastic bait was the way to go. Captain Mick is always right about what to throw and how to throw it. Wink
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BassRican



Joined: 21 Mar 2011
Posts: 116
Location: Meriden

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh Man! Your pictures bring back memories! Did you see any gators? We would throw texas rigged senkos or use wacky hooks with a weed guard. I'm sure the suggestions from your guide were perfect because he wants you to catch fish. Glad you had a good time. 15 lb braid is definitely too weak, especially for Lake O. Thumbs Up
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chud059



Joined: 29 Mar 2011
Posts: 413
Location: Manchester

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

your hat is one of the funniest hats I've ever seen!!!
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PECo



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 5201
Location: Avon, CT

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BassRican - When we headed back to the ramp on the first day, we saw a dozen large gators sunning themselves on the sunny side of the rim canal. Shoot 'im, 'Lisbeth!

chud059 - What do you mean by "funniest"? Cool
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fishfinder



Joined: 19 Jun 2011
Posts: 1672
Location: Naugatuck, Ct.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post Phil and wow is that a fish!!!
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Elixir



Joined: 30 May 2011
Posts: 288
Location: Danbury, CT

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great Report as always Very Happy way to go! Super congrats to your father-in-law for the monster he pulled up! Very Happy
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MarkO



Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Posts: 330

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome post Phil. Thanks for taking the time, especially the photos!
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Michael



Joined: 28 Jan 2012
Posts: 3823
Location: Bridgeport

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report and good fishing!
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