As the rockets red glare and bombs burst in the air, the freshwater species seek the same things we humans do here in Florida – places to stay cool and out of the sunshine. Fish the Clermont Chain when you can, but early morning, late evening and nighttime fishing will be rewarded with more catching than fishing in the blistering heat of the day.
Early morning topwater bite can still be found in Clermont. Try frogs, buzz baits, and weightless swimbaits in canals and grassy/ pad areas. Vary your retrieve on swimbaits from a slow-roll to quick and steady to mimic dispersing baitfish. The bait colors of summer out in Clermont and West Orange County tend to be Junebug, watermelon red, bluegill, and variants of shad. For flipping, try the Ugly Otter and Burner Craw from Gambler in any red, white, and blue variants. You can also get creative by heading towards deeper water for bass. Use lipless crankbaits or deep diving square bills – we like the Scamp and ProV from 13 Fishing as well as the 1/2 to 3/4-ounce Rat-L-Traps.
For a fun fight on a slow target species day, you can always go after Bowfin (aka- Mudfish) at the mouths of canals using cut bait (ask your bait shop for “fresh deads” to use). Bowfin will eat almost anything and put up a good fight. They have a rockhard head, so set the hook with all your might, and hang on tight!