The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission’s TrophyCatch program is offering up all the evidence an angler needs to be convinced it’s trophy bass season.
This time of the year, the big females are preparing for the most important spawning moons of the year, especially the March moon. That means they’re feeding aggressively and the feeding activity is concentrated by warm-weather periods between the cold fronts that push through Florida every seven to 10 days.
Even when it’s cold, or “cold” by Florida standards, the big girls can be caught lurking under and around floating mats of vegetation. Flippin’ jigs and soaking shiners are the top big bass tactics.
Where should you fish? The FWC’s list of Top Spots for Black Bass highlights some of the state’s most productive water bodies. For up-to-date reports of trophy fish landed, go to the TrophyCatch Facebook Page. Be sure to "like" it.
Over the past few days, a bunch of 8-pound-plus fish have been certified as “lunkers.” Where are these lunkers coming from? Lakes all over the state have been producing trophies. These include a 9-pound, 13-ouncer from an Ocklawaha-area lake, an 8-pound, 15-ounce sow from Lake Santa Fe near Melrose, and an 8-pound, 1-ounce fish from Lake Okeechobee. John Anderson and his daughter Tahne O’Neil registered two, eight-pound-plus fish in two days fishing on Lake Istokpoga, near Lake Placid.
About the Program
All of these anglers earned a $50 Bass Pro Shops gift card, Bass King Clothing custom Lunker Club T-shirt, as well as a certificate and decal. Fish over 10 pounds (Trophy Club) and over 13 pounds (Hall of Fame Club) earn even better prizes.
The TrophyCatch angler recognition program is the hallmark of the long-term Florida Black Bass Management Plan (BBMP). TrophyCatch will promote ecological, social and economic values that are important to everyone who supports conservation. TrophyCatch will help ensure that Florida is the undisputed “Bass Fishing Capital of the World” through the Black Bass Management Plan.TrophyCatch aims to:
- Create a statewide record keeping system to document catches of trophy bass.
- Instill a stronger catch and release conservation ethic among anglers.
- Educate anglers about the importance of trophy fish to our fish populations.
- Allow the public to participate in the management of Florida’s unique aquatic resources.
- Provide an understanding of the necessary components of a trophy fishery.