During a recent fishing trip to Everglades, I brought along a dusty copy Ecosystems of Florida for bedtime reading, never expecting that something in that classic anthology of Florida naturalism would cause me a start of panic.
Did you know that there are more than 7,500 lakes in Florida, and that most have healthy populations of black bass, other bass species and panfish? I thought I'd fished most of the really good ones, and realized that no, I'd fished most of the really great ones – a lot – and ventured off the beaten bass trail more than occasionally.
What have I missed . . ? Where should I start? How much time would it take? Tick, tock . . .
Join me in a New Year's resolution to make a bass-fishing sojourn through this great state, one that takes in famous waters and hidden gems. And join me in thanking the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission for its efforts to monitor catch rates and manage most lakes for high productivity. They produce online reports that give great suggestions about the must-fish stops. Check it out. I've dedicated a feature to the subject of which lakes are fishing best now and are likely to remain highly productive for years. Once you've read the feature, check out the VISIT FLORIDA Fishing Capital of the World site to map a route to big bass.