Florida Bass “Challenge”

Sunday, November 18th, 2018

Many of you folks read ads from different guides claiming thousands of bass over 10 lbs. In some areas and with some guides, double digit bass happen. Usually folks who do not fish all the time have a hard time controlling a six to seven pound bass on the end of their line. Fortunately, Florida is a land of opportunity and she produces several great bass each season. January, February, and March are the prime times to catch a giant bass. This is when they will be at their egg laden heaviest and located shallow where the spawning takes place. If you happen to be blessed with one of these trophy fish, take good photos and measure the length and girth. Release the bass and have a replica made to hang on the wall.
A big challenge for me in Florida is the changes that take place during my six months while up in the Finger Lakes region of New York. In October when I return to Florida, the areas I fished in April, are either choked with weeds or are devoid of cover for the bass. This will cause the bass to relocate, and I have to start a learning process for that body of water to determine where the bass have gone and what they are feeding on now. Although it can be frustrating, the rewards are worth the effort when you hook up and boat a nice fish.
We are in a cold snap right now which should cool the water and help get the crappie bite get going.
As always, be safe, wear your life vest and maintain a proper lookout. See you on the water.
Frank

Sodus Bay/Canadaigua Lake/Honeoye Lake

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

What a busy time of the year. We are winding down the guide business and getting ready to make the treck to our winter home in Florida. I fished a tournament on Sodus Bay September, 15th and lost five bass during the day. Normal areas were not producing, but I did catch a small limit. The following day during a guide trip on Canandaigua Lake, a similar situation occurred when the bass were not in their normal areas. The clients caught some nice bass but not the numbers that I had anticipated. During the day I thought maybe the bass were starting their Fall patterns and were on the move. Both bodies of water were quite clear so the bass should have been able to see the bait. I did catch some bass on a chatter bait and one on a buzz bait while fishing Sodus Bay. This was an overlooked clue straight from the bass.

Monday I was on Honeoye with two clients and the lake was quite choppy. Between the algae bloom and suspended dirt from rough water, the bass were having a tough time seeing the bait. The clients put a dozen bass in the boat and missed several, but I decided we had to make some adjustments. Tuesday, with the same clients, I switched to spinnerbaits and crank baits. Bang, the bite was on and I realized that this old man was just a little slow picking up on bass going into their Fall patterns. Noticing that most of the bass were hooked on the back hook of the crank bait, I instructed the clients to change their presentation and soon the bass were taking the whole bait into their mouth. The water temperature would drop overnight and then rise during the day. Bass were scattered at all depths with some shallow and others deeper. While the temperatures cool the bass bite is heating up. Enjoy some great Fall fishing before freeze up.

Here we are on September 27th writing this blog after pulling the docks and hoist from the lake. It is always a sad time knowing that another season on Honeoye Lake is coming to an end. The Ranger has a few more items to take care before she is put to rest for the winter. She also has a couple of things that need to be addressed in the Spring before we put her to back to work, but she has performed well for an older rig.

Keep us in mind if you are coming to Florida this winter. Be safe, wear your life vest, maintain a proper lookout, and we will see you on the water in the Spring of 2019.

Frank

Honeoye and Conesus Lakes

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Conesus has been good for tournaments but tough for guiding. I have to locate fish that novices can catch and they are difficult to locate this year. Places that normally hold good bass are not producing. The catch ratio is much lower than past years and Conesus is a much better lake than she has shown. I have noticed that the lake seems to be very busy with both local traffic and the boat ramp being full.

Honeoye Lake has been on a downturn for the past three weeks. Just when things seem to be picking up, either boat traffic or wind will dirty the water and the fishing suffers. Many of the bass are quite thin and I attribute that to their inability to see the forage. The algae bloom this year has not been as bad as the past couple of years, however we still have a bloom. Soon the water will start to cool and we should be into the Fall patterns. Do not be afraid to go shallow, much like the Spring time and fish close to shore.

With the water close to cooling, be safe, wear your life vest and maintain a proper lookout.

Keep a proper lookout and wear your life jacket.

Frank

Honeoye, Conesus, and Canandaigua Lake Fishing

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

Honeoye has been fishing good all season, but recently the catch rates and bites have slowed. The water has colored and many of the bass are on the thin side. Wacky, drop shot and Texas rigs have been working if fished slow. The bass transitioned to slightly deeper water and you will just have to move in and out until you locate them. Don’t be afraid to throw spinnerbaits, crank baits and other style baits that will be noisy or give off vibration so the bass can locate your offering. Fish your baits slow.

Conesus Lake has been a challenge for me this year. It has been fishing good for tournaments, but I have to locate bass that novice anglers can catch. Pitching, flipping and drop shooting are not for the novice angler to master during a five hour trip. During a recent trip we had our licenses checked by the DEC and they were surprised that we had been catching some nice fish. Although for me, we were having a slow day, the officers told us that other anglers they checked were catching no fish.

Canandaigua Lake has been on fire this year. Usually I am able to find some active bass, this year has been exceptional and the catch rates reflect the same.We have managed anywhere from 11 to 25 bass on a five hour trip. Color of bait has made a big difference in the catch rate. As light conditions or wave activity changes, often the bait section will have to change along with the color selection. Good fishing, wear your life vest and maintain a proper lookout.

Frank

Honeoye, Conesus and Canandaigua Lakes

Monday, July 30th, 2018

It has been very busy the past two weeks on local Finger Lakes. I spent five days on Canandaigua Lake and it was quite good for largemouth bass. Most were caught on wacky rigged Zoom baits with colors being changed throughout the day.  Trick and finesse worms worked well and when conditions changed we used some salty centipedes AKA French Fries. Bass were anywhere from right on shore to almost twenty feet deep.

Conesus was a test and then we either figured out the right location, the right bait, or they just decided to eat. The quality of the bass was very good. We did best at the South end in six to fifteen feet of water.

Honeoye has been about the same as normal for this time of year. The water has some color and most bass are on the thin side. We have not caught many large fish, and it appears that the large amount of fisherman and the ice fishing may have reduced the overall bass population. Many areas that held quality sized fish for years now yield one or two bass and those are on the small side. Studies have shown that for a bass to reach 4-6 lbs., it would be 7-9 years old. These are also the genetics for continuing the production of larger bass. When a majority of these bigger fish are harvested, you are basically killing the lakes ability to produce a new resource. There is nothing wrong with a fish fry, but take only what you can consume fresh. Do not waste this precious resource. Next time you keep a good breeder to eat, think about the future bass you have just filleted.

Be safe, wear your life vest and maintain a proper lookout.

Honeoye Lake Bass Fishing

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Some years strange things happen and 2018 is proving to be a zinger. April was cold and then May came through with some extra hot weather. Things were setting up for a big spring of catch and release when May 31 started a downward spiral of the water temperature. In a weeks time the water went from the mid seventies to sixty degrees. Even the northern bass are affected by such a large drop. As the water cooled the bass changed locations and the bite slowed. As the temperature started up ,the activity level increased in the afternoon and we managed to catch more bass in the afternoon and evenings.

Watermelonseed and watermelon/red Zoom trick worms were the preferred bait, but when the water cooled we broke black grape worms in half and slowed the presentation to almost dead sticking. If you are not getting bit, slow down and then slow down more.

Good fishing, be safe wear your life vest and maintain a proper lookout.

Frank

Honeoye Lake May 22nd

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

A very quiet day today probably because of so much rain. Monday we put my neighbors boat in at the NYS ramp and it was quite crowded. I fished with the ultralight last evening for just over an hour and managed 3 largemouths, 2 smallmouths, 3 rockies and a sunny. Just a fun hour on a wonderful lake. The water temperature varied with my location from 64.5 to 66.5 degrees. I expect the water to warm in the next few days, and the bite should turn on big time.

Be safe , wear your life vest and maintain a proper lookout.

 

Frank

Back in the Finger Lakes @ Honeoye Lake

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

We arrived back in Honeoye on April 27th, a moderate day with nice weather. After unloading the suburban and having the water meter installed, we found that none of our heat sources were functioning. We fired up a little electric heater which is the equivalent to striking a match in a windstorm. It wasn’t much, but we made it do. Melody and I went to work on the heat pump and repaired a bad wire in the unit. That fixed the problem, and the heat pump warmed us up into the mid sixties. Then we tackled the fireplace log set and the Vermont Casting stove. By Sunday afternoon we had the old place warmed up to 84 degrees, and we felt like we were back in Florida.

Several trips for groceries and supplies filled the cupboards and we were officially open. Now the real work started with the changing of boat covers, getting the lawn mowers running and putting the docks in for the season. I finished the docks yesterday, and now we will go through the Ranger and put her in the water for the summer.

Conesus Lake was very cold last Thursday. The water temp was 46.5 to 47.5 degrees and the fish were really turned off. I was quite surprised because when we installed the docks the day before on Honeoye Lake, the water was cool but not bone chilling cold like usual.

This brings us to the issue of safety. With this early season water so cold, remember to wear your life vest and maintain a proper lookout. Be safe and we will see you on the water.

Florida Update From the Tennity’s

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

I am sure many of you get a laugh out of my spelling Honeoye Lake wrong, so here goes the explanation, it is the spell check that corrects me for spelling my lake wrong. Very frustrating, but that does not have any detrimental action on the fishing. We have been in Florida about three months and have not been as active as usual. The weather has been marginal and I have done many jobs for people in the community.

The crappie bite is a little late but is very good. Most that were cleaned had no eggs so the spawn may be a little late. Bass on the other hand have been both good and lousy. When the hurricane came up through central Florida, she wreaked havoc on the existing weeds. Areas that we have been fishing for several years are now barren. The bass have not left the lake, but we have not adjusted to the changes as fast as I would have expected. As January comes to a close, some buck bass are moving into the bedding areas followed by a few sows. The next three months should be very very good. With less vegetation, it will concentrate them and make the bass easier to locate. One of the biggest problems with Florida bass fishing is so much of the cover looks like it should hold bass, and it doesn’t. When you do find them it could be a honey hole.

If you are thinking of coming to Florida, keep us in mind for a guided bass fishing trip. If you ice fish, be careful.

Frank

Florida Update

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

It is February 6th and the weather is improving each day. Water temperatures are on the rise which is having a positive effect for the bass angler. A trip to the Butler Chain in the Orlando area Saturday was windy and quite cool, slowing the bite down compared to the previous Thursday. The water stayed between 61 and 62 degrees so the bass were a little slow to bite. The following day on Toho, part of the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, conditions were better, but good shiners were not available.  Some bass got caught early and then the high winds put a damper on things.

Monday dawned with a slightly overcast sky and then sunshine later on. It was a nice warm day and not too hot. Water temperatures rose during the day and the bass at the Winter Haven Chain were on the bite. Customers boated 15 and lost or missed at least 8-10 bass. Several of the bass had big egg sacks but were not fully developed yet. For the next three months, February, March, and April, fishing will be the ideal time to catch a trophy bass. If you can’t make it to the Sunshine State this year, start planning ahead for a visit next winter.

Good fishing, be safe if you are on the ice back home, and if your fishing on open water, wear your life vest.

Check our blog for more reports.

Frank

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