Been A Long Time Comin’ Round Here: A Great day on Okeechobee

This was one of 12 chunky largemouths up to 3.5 pounds.
This was one of 12 chunky largemouths up to 3.5 pounds.

A dozen bass on Okeechobee to three pounds does not, by Florida standards, constitute a great day on the lake. It’d probably fall somewhere between ‘okay,’ and ‘not bad,’ from what I’ve learned.

I ain’t from Florida and I had that day and I’m still walking on air. In Upstate New York, where I’m from, a two-pound bass garners celebration. A two-and-a-half-pound bass will give you a special glow around you later that night at the barstool with your buddies. And a three-pound bass? Oh man, that’s a serious fish.

Now down here on one of the world’s most famous bass lakes, three pounds isn’t a lot of largemouth. But the thing is, I didn’t listen to the people telling me that, so the three-pounder that nailed my shiner this morning is something I’ll be talking about for a while. Turning it away from the weed line was a struggle but I finally got her to the boat and up for a picture.

In total, guide Larry Wright and I put 26 dollars worth of fish in the boat for the melanoma research foundation. I can tell you that Wright, who has fished in professional tournaments including B.A.S.S. tournaments, knows his stuff. I mean this guy would tell me a spot the size of a large pizza to cast to and there’d be a fish there. It was amazing.

Although we had to work to find the spots where fish were holding, when we did find 'em, it was fast and furious. Here I'm holding a bass Larry caught as well.
Although we had to work to find the spots where fish were holding, when we did find ’em, it was fast and furious. Here I’m holding a bass Larry caught as well.

The start to this trip was a struggle but it’s coming together. People are getting on board to help, the fish are coming in and hell, I even sold a T-shirt.

I can  tell you that if you’re fishing Okeechobee in the summer, hooking a shiner right through the lips and drifting it under a popping cork right next to a weed line is the way to go. Tossing heavier, dark jigs into the “thick stuff” can produce too. You have to rip your fish out of there to keep it from getting buried in the weeds, but once you get the hang of it, it’s as fun as anything you’ll try.

I feel a little lighter after that trip and am extremely grateful to Mr. Wright for helping out. If you’re ever on Okeechobee and want to catch fish, give him a call at 1-863-467-2149.

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