Big bass in Florida

Since arriving in Florida about a week ago, I have been following the weather back home and it looks like things still haven’t really shaped up.
Although I’m not going to complain about the weather here in Florida, I can tell you it’s been anything by tropical here, as well. In six days, I’ve only worn shorts one day, bundling up with pretty well everything I have along on most of the others.
Temperatures also have been near freezing at night, but we’re finally hitting a warm trend now and it looks like things are going to get really nice by the weekend.
I’ve been fishing a number of lakes over the past week trying to get my skills back on track after not fishing out of a boat for a few months. It’s been fun and despite the cold weather, which notoriously makes the fishing tough in Florida, I’ve seen a few big fish.
The highlight of the trip so far happened this past weekend when my friend, Seth Feider from Minnesota, caught a 13-pound, four-oz. largemouth bass—by far the biggest that I’ve ever seen!
Seth was down in Florida fishing a Bassmaster tournament last week on Lake Toho, just south of Orlando. The day after his tournament finished, he and a friend hooked up with August and I to head out fishing for an extra day.
We were going to explore a small lake that I caught a few bass in last year when I was down here.
The cool thing about Florida is that just about anywhere you find water, you will be able to catch bass, so it’s fun exploring the many small lakes.
Seth and his buddy brought their boat while August and I fished in mine. After a pretty good morning of fishing, we heard Seth yelling across the lake (he is a quiet guy so I figured something must have happened).
We quickly drove across the lake and pulled up to him unhooking the biggest bass I’ve ever seen.
After weighing the fish, we took some photos and measurements before letting it go. It was pretty impressive to see a bass of this size, especially when you consider that a five-pounder is a giant in our part of the world.
Seth caught the big fish flipping a small soft plastic crayfish into a clump of bulrushes. This particular lake was very shallow (only about four feet deep in the middle).
The neat thing about these Florida lakes is that they generally don’t have many navigational hazards like rocks or trees in the water that you could hit. The general rule is if there is a trail in the vegetation, you should be good to go.
Seth’s previous big bass was a six-pound fish that he caught in Minnesota, so he obviously was pretty excited about his big catch. Heck, so was I!
This week, August and I are taking part in a charity bass tournament in the south Florida Everglades. The event is being organized by FLW Tour angler Mike Surman, and will include a few Miami Dolphins’ football players.
I will be taking some sponsors of the event out in my boat while August is fishing with our friend, Blair Dingwall, who is going to school down in Florida this year.
The fishing is supposed to be pretty good down where we’re going for this, so we’re excited (information about the event can be found at if you want to see who gets the bragging rights in our house).
After the charity event, August is headed back to Canada while I’m headed to Clewiston, Fla. at Lake Okeechobee to get ready for FLW Tour derby next week.
We are allowed to start practising on the “Big O” on Sunday.
Look for my practice report from Lake Okeechobee next week.