Big bass specialist, Capt. Sean Rush has solidified his spot atop the world of bass guides. In 2013, Rush guided New Jersey angler Bob Williams to the largest bass caught and entered in Florida’s TrophyCatch Program that year — a 14-pound Rodman Reservoir giant. Monday, his party made yet another catch that will send shockwaves through the bass fishing community. Capt. Sean’s just-completed three-day trip to Rodman with Josh and Richie Whitmore produced amazing results. He explains, “After boating a 10-pound, 10-ounce fish Sunday, we thought we had the big fish of the trip — boy, were we wrong!”
Monday morning at 8:30, Richie tied into a huge bass. When they got it in the boat, the guide weighed the monster at 14-pounds, 1-ounce. Well-experienced in such times, he knew exactly what to do. Rush phoned the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; and at 11:30, Travis Teuton of FWC arrived to certify the massive bigmouth. After having resided happily in Capt. Sean’s large livebait tank for three hours, the fish measured 26 1/8-inches in length and 21 ¼-inches in girth. She weighed in officially at 13.94 pounds.
Acquainted with the embattled lake better than anyone else I know, Capt. Sean Rush summed things up with this truth: “Rodman Reservoir is truly one of the best bass fishing and wildlife sanctuaries in the world.”
Bass anglers always perk up noticeably this time of year. When it’s time to hang a new calendar, we know our prime time for fish catching has arrived … complete with a clean tourney slate and the real opportunity for a huge bite.
For a couple of weeks now at the very start of the bass spawn and the tournament season, largemouth lovers have collectively gone on point. Invoking all of the sports’ current names and catch phrases, bassing brethren have come in to check out the Brush Hog and Sweet Beaver baits, shake the Ghost and American Hero rods, and wind the Super Duty reels.
And, not surprisingly with all the renewed interest, good bass-catching tales are on the rise.
Subpar speckled perch fishing persists locally, but a few better reports are starting to come in. With winter weather sure to be finally at hand and water temperatures falling closer to those expected in January, some still hold out hope that the best of the deep speck bite is yet ahead.
So far this season if I were to rank the major nearby lakes in perch productivity, Lake Santa Fe would get the top spot.
Lochloosa and Orange would follow. Newnans, easily the number one speckled perch lake for at least the past two years, seems to have gone into a hard-to-explain crappie freefall and is a distant fourth.
It could be argued that January produces more giant largemouth bass for Florida anglers than any other month. Just about on schedule, a few catches of pre-spawn lunkers were reported during the Christmas holidays.
Still, dedicated bass anglers mention only two area lakes as truly strong bets right now.
Rodman Reservoir is, as usual, a top big bass spot — especially for trophy seekers fishing with live, wild shiners. A Christmas Eve 11-pounder was reportedly caught and released here.