George Welcome

As many of my days off start, 4/18/08 was no exception. I had the boat ready before daylight, made a call to Don Willis, and agreed to meet Don at Ansin/Garcia. Five minutes into the drive I called Don again and after a short chat it was decided that today we would go to Blue Cypress Lake. We hadn't been out there in a while and I really enjoy the peace and solitude that is found on this absolutely gorgeous body of water.

Within the first fifteen minutes on the water we had already boated 4 bass and the day promised to be a fantastic one. However, we had no idea just how fantastic a day it would turn out to be. When I go fishing, many times it is not the fish that I truly seek, but rather the whole experience of the commune with nature. The peace and solitude offered on a weekday with little if not any boat traffic, and the abundant activity of the wildlife that we find on our Florida lakes, is truly what I venture out onto the water. Don and I make such good fishing partners because his appreciation of our surroundings is the same as mine.

We fished our way southward from the ramp canal entrance and as is typical of this lake, we found the fish in and around the mix of Kissimmee grass, bulrush, and maiden cane. Nothing too big mind you but certainly big enough that in the grass they put up quite a fight. After nailing down fourteen bass we headed NE to the opposite of the lake as the wind coming out of the southeast was becoming a pain. Working our way southward we only managed one bass through the stretch we were on, and with the wind switching to the south we moved to the south end to get a bit of protection in the Cypress. Working our way westward along the south end we found what made our day one of the best in my lifetime of fishing on Florida waters.

This you Owlet is a Great Horned Owl.

This is the closest I have ever gotten to an Owl nest and the encounter made Don and my day. It's nice to catch fish, but not near the excitement of encountering such a magnificent bird.

Unseen in these photos is the owlets sibling. Unlike this owlet its brother/sister was much more timid and kept bobbing up and down to observe us taking pictures.

I actually shot thirteen photos of these two, but these two were the clearest. With the excellent camouflage of the down covering these youngsters it was difficult to get good clear pictures. I have been on several owl nesting observation trips during my college days, but this is definitely my closest encounter in my lifetime, and one that I will remember always.

On the eighteenth I had Justin Wilson and his son Justin Jr. up from Pembroke Pines, Florida, and we had a fantastic day on the water. Unfortunately my camera sat at home next to my computer and Justin's didn't do a very good job. However, here's a shot of Justin Jr. holding a nice seven pound lady.

As you can see, if with the haze, the fish was a good one, and the weather was fantastic. Justin Sr., not to be left out in the cold managed this bass in addition to many others.

Forty fish to the boat all on Swimming Senkos made for an exciting and satisfying day.

Yesterday I went out for a one half day venture with Steve P and friend Don (Avid). Working the same area as I have been for a while now we had twenty bass by noon. Dropping me at the ramp Steve and Don went back out. Swimming Senkos, and speed worms accounted for the fish.

It takes a bit of knowledge and Mother-Nature cooperation to catch the numbers that we do, and the size of fish that we do on the Stick Marsh. If you plan on coming to this fantastic body of water and are going to hire a guide, it would be prudent to check out the guides references prior to booking. A web page that is well developed doesn't make a guide successful, nor does articles written make for a knowledgeable guide. For the record: I have heard it said that this winter was one of particular windy weather, and yes it was. However, we only had to cancel three days this winter for safety and comfort reasons, and always found areas that were fishable on the Marsh without running to Garcia. The big fish are on the Marsh, and with that in mind we always strive to get our clients out on this, the lake that they booked the trip to go on. We have had some great days and some not so great days with the great days definitely being the majority.

The lack of grass also seems to be an issue for those less knowledgeable of the Marsh, however for those that truly know the lake and get out there on a regular basis, grass as a indicator of where to fish is not needed. If you find a guide that is crying the blues because of weather and lake conditions perhaps you should be questioning his ability as a guide. There is obviously those times where no one could put together a successful trip, that's fishing, but for the most part you should expect honest effort, not crying the blues. For those that want to lay the blame of his deficiencies on the lake's conditions and weather, perhaps they should be looking in mirror at what their true shortcomings are.

See you out there. Say hi if you get the chance.

Fish Species: LM Bass
Bait Used: artificial
Tackle Used: baitcasters
Method Used: plastics
Water Depth: 2.5
Water Temperature: 60's
Wind Direction: west
Wind Speed: 5-10

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George Welcome

About The Author: Captain George Welcome

Company: Imagination Bassin Guide Services

Area Reporting: Stick Marsh/Farm 13

Bio: Capt. George Welcome has been guiding on the Stick Marsh & Farm 13 for many years. His weekly fishing report for provide a good overview on what's biting and where. Capt. Welcome offers a first class customer oriented guide service and will do the best job possible to help you catch the bass of a lifetime! He wants to hear from you. So, if you have questions or comments, please email him.

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain George Welcome