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Bass Fishing in Florida

I wanted to share with our readers a recent bass fishing trip I made with my wife Linda and my good friend Steve Sergeant, to Orlando, Florida.

"Stevo" and I had to fly to Florida on business and Linda was coming along for a well deserved break! Our first morning was going to be "open", so the fishing trip seemed like a great idea.

Searching through the Internet looking for a sensibly priced, reliable fishing guide service can be a daunting task. As a New York State guide and professional tournament fisherman, you can imagine how particular I am when it comes to choosing someone to take me fishing!

After a few false starts, I discovered Tom & Jerry's Guide Service. http://www.angelfire.com/fl/tomandjerrys/ 

A toll free call connected me with Jerry's charming wife and a reservation was made. A map was faxed to

 
me prior to departure from New York (a nice touch!) indicating a meeting point and we were ready.

The directions were perfect and we met Jerry at the designated meeting point at around 6:15am.

After only a few minutes, we arrived at Lake Tohopekaliga.

Lake Toho (as it is known locally) boasts excellent bass fishing. This lake is a popular site for both professional and local bass tournaments.

After purchasing the necessary live shiners we headed out toward the first of two locations Jerry had selected. Within 5 minutes, we had the first fish in the boat. A solid 3lb plus bass inhaled the live offering under a partially inflated balloon, which acted as a bobber. My wife and Steve fished with live bait while I continued for an hour or two searching the water with a spinnerbait and a Texas rigged red shad worm. Linda and Steve continued to catch bass one after the other, all the fish ranged between 2lb and 3lbs with a few 4lb fish thrown in for good measure. This may seem fairly ordinary for Florida, except that of all the boats on the lake that morning, only one other guide service was catching fish, and they were less that 30 feet from where we were located. By the time the morning session was over and we were heading back to the tackle store we had boated over 25 fish. Other guides who had come back in earlier had either caught a few fish or nothing at all. This was the first indication of Jerry's expertise.

After a brief lunch and a replenishment of live bait, we again ventured out into the lake in search of location number two. This time, several boats were in the area, but I noticed that not one of them were landing fish. Once again we rigged the shiners and cast towards an area outlined by Jerry. Within two minutes Linda was battling a huge bass, which shook free from her line when it saw the boat. Both Jerry and I estimated the bass to exceed 6lbs. This was the first of three large bass Linda was to lose that day including one which easily reached the 9lb mark and threw the hook as she "did battle" with the monster to the boat. As the other boats moved away in disgust, we continued to hook and land large quality fish on live bait and on a rattletrap. I had watched Jerry fish the rattletrap with much success casting to schooling bass that were busting shad on the surface. I personally find this kind of fishing the most exciting of all. 

Jerry's pleasant and helpful way, in addition of course to his ability to locate fish, made this both and enjoyable and successful day of bass fishing. Within a two-hour period we had caught another 20 plus fish, some of which we placed into the oversized livewell on Jerry's boat and took the following picture. Modesty forbids me to tell you about the largest fish of the day caught by the author and exceeded 8lbs.

Next time you are in Florida, and get tired of Mickey & Minnie, or the slides and rides. Give Jerry a call at (800) 328-5685. Fishing with him is as exciting as Space Mountain and as heart stopping as Sea World's Shamu. Thanks a million Jerry!

 

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