Breaking into Triple Digits With a Great Day on The St. Johns

Connor Cato holds up a two-plus-pound largemouth that inhaled a live shiner on the St. Johns River
Connor Cato holds up a two-plus-pound largemouth that inhaled a live shiner on the St. Johns River

Thanks again to Bassonline guide Steve Niemoeller, Catch a Cure broke the $100 mark today on the St. Johns River here in Florida. I tagged along with Steve and clients Willy and Connor Cato and we had an eventful day on the St. Johns pitching shiners on the river to some chunky bass. The first fish of the day, pushing just more than two pounds, brought us from $98, where we’d been stuck, to 100-plus when it weighed in at two-plus pounds The fish would be one of six that added, in sum, twelve more dollars to our total raised for the Melanoma Research Foundation, bringing us to $110.

Connor, the younger Cato, of course stole the show with some nice fish although his father bagged a few chunky bass as well. It was in interesting experience testing out a different type of bass habitat. While the St. Johns, at this section, is a slow moving river, you’re still looking for structure that can break the flow of the current and provide some habitat for these fish.

It was agonizing but amazing to see these fish toy with, whack and finally crush the three-inch-plus shiners we were swinging into pockets and holes on the St. Johns. It was proof positive than in these slower, hot summer days, nothing beats a live bait for bass.

The guys all went home sporting a Florida Sportsman limited edition Buff after a beautiful day on the river… juuuussst before a brutal storm hit and flooded me out of my motel room. The flash flood that left me “wading” by my bed was a reminder why Florida, while beautiful, like any place, has its own set of difficult circumstances that can arise. But after a day like we had on the St. Johns, nothing could dampen my spirits. To top the day off, once we were off the boat, Mr. Cato handed me a hundred-dollar bill toward the Melanoma Research Foundation’s efforts. I was speechless, and still am.

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