Water levels are up. The Florida cool down begins soon. Fish are behaving in their summertime patterns. Water temperatures will be the key to catching bass – they love cooler water during the daytime hours. The ‘bite’ doesn’t last long – daybreak, moon over, moon under, and right before a storm are when they feed aggressively. Downsize your lures and mimic fish fry that are schooling. Rattletraps, crank baits, Senkos, and flukes will find fish. High water means the bass have lots of places to hide – look for small creek runoffs that have water flowing out. Start outside on each side of the runoff and work your baits with the current. Soft plastic colors for the river: 1) black with blue flakes, 2) black with light blue accent, 3) dark colors. Watch the afternoon storms, lightning is not forgiving!
Crappie season is almost here. The largest specks are usually caught in November, in the Shad and Crappie Derby but during September and October the word begins to slip out that slabs are coming in. Black Crappie are usually found jigging structure all along the river and near bridge and dock pilings in early season. Deep water in the bends and overhanging or fallen trees is a great combo for slabs. Try a white curly tail on a 1/8th ounce jighead, then drop to the bottom and jig it 3 times every 2 feet on the way up. Patience is key, run and gun fills the frying pan.
Catfish up to 20 lbs. and sunshine bass up to seven pounds round out the summer targets. Fish for cats with peeled fresh shrimp or red worms, and use just enough weight to hold the bottom. Look for sunshine bass (stripers) to bite hard plastic lures at the mouth of the Wekiva River and both the south and north mouths of Lake Monroe at sunrise.