George Welcome

Summertime in Florida arrived a bit early this year, and is usual for May and June the fishing has been from good to outstanding. There has to bit of a change-up in your approach to the Stick Marsh/Farm 13 from now through Sept./Oct., however if you put things together correctly you can anticipate some pretty good action and the strong possibility of something big.

May was a short month for me as I took a couple of weeks off, spending some of that in South Carolina. No fishing on that trip, as I was attending a RC aircraft fly-in in Woodruff. However, the two weeks I did spend on the lake proved again why Stick Marsh/Farm 13 is considered some of the finest bass producing waters in the world. Marcelo Manastarla, Mauricio Brignolli, and Rogerio Batagliesi from Sao Paulo, Brazil and Miami came out and what a blast we had. Steady catching was the order of the day with the incredible Gary Yamamoto SwimSenko doing the trick. Nothing much happened on the top although we did give it a try.

Although May was a good month, as we rolled into June the catching picked up drastically.

Dave Adams and Dave Williams came out for a day and a half. Over 130 bass were hauled in and released. Rattle traps and Yamamoto SwimSenkos were the ticket with the edge falling to the tried and proven Bill Lewis 1/2 ounce trap. Chrome/blue with orange belly definitely produced better than any other selection. As a matter of fact, last week was an absolute banner week: Monday on Stick Marsh: 1/2 day 41 bass. Tuesday on Godwin: 1/2 day 31 bass. Thursday on Stick Marsh 76 bass. Friday on Stick Marsh: 92 bass. Saturday on Stick marsh: 1/2 day 40 bass. Sunday on Stick Marsh: 21 bass in 2:45 mins.

This Monday Mike Rogge and his son Nick who are here visiting from Wisconsin went out for a 1/2 day trip in the morning. Three things made for a fantastic morning on the water with one minor catastrophe occurring. We started at daylight with rattle traps but switched to Yamamoto SwimSenkos as the sun rose. A search of the area where the bass were last found yielded only one fish, but as we worked our way eastward from there we found the masses. For the rest of the morning the catching was steady with some really nice bass coming over the rail.

Eight year old Nick holding one of the many that our baits produced for the morning.

This guy was a trooper throughout the entire a trip. Another SwimSenko bass.

As the morning wound to an end Mike made a cast and had his bait stopped the moment it hit the water. At first it seemed Mike had found one of the many stumps in this area, and then the stump began to move. Mike had on his second trip with me, finally found the big one and the fight was on. This gallant lady made one partial leap right after the initial hook-up and then headed for the wood. The leap was obscured by splashing water so although Mike knew he had a big fish on, he didn't truly realize her size. As the fight went on and this fish led Mike around the boat it became obvious that Mike just might have that fish that peaked the magical over-ten weight and the adrenaline kicked in full force. As she approached the side of the boat Mike lifted, she leapt, and off she went. As she broke free, Mike stood there in utter amazement, watching his much sought after lady disappear back to the murky depths. I have seen a weighed a lot of fish, and although I didn't get the Boga Grip on her, I can tell you with complete confidence that this gal was 10.5 pounds or better.

What happened to Mike is typical rather than atypical of first encounters with bigger bass. Handling them in the heavy wood takes an extreme balance of controlling the fish without overpowering it. As the fish neared the boat she was still very much green and made a power surge under the boat. With almost all his line reeled in this put tremendous pressure on the location of the hook making the hole much larger. As Mike attempted to lift her, her leap allowed the hook to simple fall out of the enlarged hole, and off she went. To counter this pressured run I always am ready to release the spool and let her run, using my thumb to maintain a non-severe drag until I get control of the fish again. This prevents that hole enlargement and increases the odds of bringing the fish to camera and scale.

We are entering our rainy season, and with some luck this year bringing us more water than the last couple of years, we should see moving water conditions. Anyone that has fished this lake under those conditions knows just how phenomenal the catching can be. However, even if we don't get the usual heavy rains, fishing should remain very good as the bass move into their summer areas. Look for structure that forms a deeper water situation next to shallow and you should find the fish. With three major N/S ditches on the Farm and one major E/W ditch this can be a daunting task. Good bow electronics are needed and some patient exploring, but the benefits of finding one of our schools of bass make the task well worth while.

See you out there.

Fish Species: Largemouth Bass
Bait Used: artificials
Tackle Used: Baitcasting and spinning
Method Used:
Water Depth: 5
Water Temperature: 80
Wind Direction: easterly
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