Fishing is always a great sport. But the fish-catching is not always great. That truth was apparently on full display last weekend to the surprise and dismay of lots of area anglers.
Rolling along at a pleasing clip on Newnans, Lochloosa, and Orange Lakes, the speckled perch-catching slowed considerably through the weekend. In a flash, the “on/off switch” that has confounded anglers for generations apparently flipped, and strong catches turned meager.
Trout and redfish action along the gulf coast had been going so strong that few expected a mild front to derail it.
Cool weather-loving speckled perch continue to bite well in area lakes.
‘Beeper’ Coleman of Waldo fished last Friday with James McKinney of Hampton. The fishing buddies picked Lochloosa to try for specks … and that turned out to be a good choice. They drifted in open water with minnows and Hal Fly crappie jigs. The bites came fast and the men caught 77 fish, keeping the fifty largest.
Newnans Lake might lose its recent area crappie crown to Lochloosa here in the late fall season — but it’s not going down easily. Ren Gallon fished Newnans alone Friday, casting Bass Assassin grubs around vegetation standing near the cypress-ringed shore. In the dark shallows, the Gainesville fisherman fooled 22 fine slabs. Gallon returned Saturday with Caroline Leverette, and they took eleven more fish — all over one pound.
Right around this time of year, the first big wave of speckled trout seeking to escape the chilling shallow flats, floods into gulf coast tidal creeks. Some have learned to predict pretty accurately this influx of hungry fish — and among this group are Gainesville anglers, Keith Chapman and Don House.
Chapman and House were in a creek near the mouth of the Suwannee River’s East Pass Saturday morning, and it didn’t take long for the men to see that their timing was right.
They twitched Bomber 14A jerkbaits over sandy spots in the current to catch and release “around 100 trout”… unable to give a precise count, having lost track by mid-morning.
e season’s first really cool mornings put the minds of local anglers on “specks.” The freshwater fans are thinking light tackle or poles with little jigs or minnows.
Speckled perch, best known throughout the rest of the country as “crappie,” is their game. Meanwhile, the fisher who’s only happy while smelling the salty marsh has speckled trout on his mind.
Through the last few days, the freshwater speck seeker seems to have enjoyed more success.