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Got a chance to fish a few days at Loxahattchee in Florida last week with a good friend some of you know, Don Caggiano.Weather was cool as you may have known. Mornings as low as 44 degrees and daytime temps at 68-75. Two days we had winds at 30 plus .If you know anything about Florida fishing, this is not what you want.Water temp one day was 68 and the next morning 55.Week before it got as high as 74.This plays havoc on southern bass. Let me explain a little about Loxahattchee condtions.Hundreds of sg miles of vegetation and shallow water filled with milfoil,cattails,pickeral grass,lilly pads,hydrilla.and coontail.Everything at first glance looks the same.Being a nothern bass fisherman all my life and an avid jig fisherman, the first thing I want to do is just start pitchin and flippin everything in sight or spinnerbait and frog all. But hold your horses son. With the temps dropping like I said , this is not the way to success.These fish shut down from the chill. Keep in mind I said the water temps were 68 by later mornig and that would be fine if you were back up here in NY but you have to change your mind set real quick and Don was there to reign me in.He has been living and fishing there in the winter for many years and has learned that these are not the most productive ways to fish in the winter. You think you can just cast to edge of the cattails but there is water underneath them for as far back as 30 ft. and there is no way to get to them. The fish have so much cover to just sit back there. Also this is where the fish nest. If you were in a tournament you could just hunt for five bites and maybe succeed. You have seen this plan tried on tv and some work and other times for naught. We were looking for more action and hoping for acouple of big ones..We found our fish in the northeast canals mostly. Don has most luck right now with 8lb test spinning and a wacky or texas rigged black trick worm.We also did this out in the open flats.Each day we caught close to 50 fish which were mostly 1 lb ders.We did manage at least one 5+ lb fish each day and a couple of teenagers as we called them in the 2-3lbs. These fish fight well though with their longer bodies and wide tails.Let me tell you , everything looks the same,and it all looks real fishy.If you have not been there or are not with someone who knows something your are really screwed. Another thing you can really get lost out there if you do not know your way or have gps.Plus nothing is tied down. I mean big islands of cattails are constantly moving. They can block your roadway . Fish some islands one day and the next day they have moved some place else. One day the wind was blowing so much while we were fishing open flats, that islands were drifting past us.Froggin was another story. Tons of some of the best looking stuff you ever saw.but you were not getting them fish to come up with that drop in water temps. Me personally,It was great fishing in the wintertime while you guys were having a blizzard but you can have southern fishing. I will take our type of waters and fish anytime.Rock, weeds, wood, deep water,sm and northern lm. Fishing our ways up here..Nice break in winter and now it seems not long before I will be out next month sometime. Thanks for listening and hope you enjoyed. Ps tons of ugly alligators .Andy
 

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Wishin' I'm Fishin'
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Andrew,

Sorry to hear that you did not find any really 'bigguns' down there at Lox.

As Andrew stated , Florida Strain bass really shut down when a cold front hits; far, far worse than thier northern-strain cousins do.
 

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You were fishing!! Thanks for the memories.... cant wait for this ice to go...
 

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HighBottomBass
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You are so right Andrew with the weather down there. When the water temp goes below 68 degrees the fishing gets sluggish.I will be going to lake okeechobee tomorrow on business for a few days and hope to sneek in a little fishin in.I read a few reports there and kinda confirmed what you posted.
I will also have the good fortune of going down to mexico the first week of march and fish Lake Elsalto.Life is good.
Brendan
 

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Cast-Set-reel-release!
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Pictures, pictures, pictures, northerners need visual stimuli...Help a broter out. Show me da Fish. Any fish. A 1lb dink with one eye and a bum fin will do.
 

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Thxs Andrew... Great points / Info. I do FLa trips 2-3x a year and have been "swayed" into fishing like we do up north based on visuals.. A few days this past December when the temps dropped, fishing was super SLOW.... much more than I would have thought.... (try explaining that to 2 kids I woke up early to fish..LOL)

Nice report - Thxs.

Steve
 
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