I did something a little different for today’s charter with Jay Johnson. He had mentioned to me that he had heard about certain salt water species being caught in fresh water ponds and asked if I could make it happen. As always, I accepted the challenge. I chose to fish some areas I’ve had a lot of luck with in the Hillsborough River.
This is Hillsborough County’s largest river system that runs from the Green Swamp area out to Tampa Bay via Downtown. That’s about a 59 mile stretch through some of the county’s most precious landscape. Many species of fish thrive here including various panfish, snook, largemouth bass, catfish, bowfin and on the other side of the dam (located inside Rowlett Park), snook, tarpon, redfish and more.
It didn’t take long for us to find fish, but getting them to bite was a different story. We spotted huge gar and bass that paid no attention to anything Matt had to offer. This went on for two hours before the first strike. As soon as the trusty pumpkin finesse worm hit the water, a small bass hammered it, but it came loose. The hook set gave Jay hope and motivated him to stay focused on landing a fish.
The wind found us, so we moved on toward a small pond attached to the river that would offer protection, but that wasn’t all. Jay dug deep with the Stickminnow 70 through some thick vegetation and, within minutes, was rewarded with his personal best bass at 22 inches! Congrats buddy! It was all downhill after that. He even let me get in on the action!
Yet another productive day on the water for us at PFW. Many fish were caught, missed and seen. The waxing Moon and the upcoming cold front will be a deadly combo to fire up these fish. Be on the lookout for nice low sodium fish to be caught before the fronts. Good luck and we’ll see you on the water!