Springtime Feeding Frenzy
Surface Temp: 78F
Clarity: Tannic 18-inches
Guide Tip : With the water temperature warming up the bass are definitely on the hunt and are roaming for food such as shad and bluegill to fatten back up. They won’t be in one place for too long so keep this in mind and try to cover as much water as possible. So big topwaters and bulky streamers will be the ticket since they have more drawing power and pull fish from greater distances and can also get that reaction bite from an inactive fish.
Techniques: Whenever fresh rain is dumped into a lake by a culvert pipe or other drainage system fish will congregate around these areas to pick off food that is swept into the lake. All types of critters are available on this smorgasbord such as worms, minnows, nymphs so try several “drifts” with various flies in brighter colors since the water is typically churned up and stained around the pipes. Streamer season is kicking into high gear as the water temperature is getting back up and the fish are going to go into a post-spawn feed. The evening topwater action is beginning to get real good as the water temp rises. If the bass have an orange coloration in their mouth or reddened lips they have been feeding on crawfish. These flies are best fished with a sinking line, since once the fly hits the bottom its best to let it sit and crawl along the bottom. For the fish that are cruising searching for baitfish a white shad patterns fished against windblown grass lines have produced some steady action. The crappie action is still good with some anglers still catching them on the cooler nights drifting in 5-8 feet of water over submerged grass lines with their green lights trailing the side of their boat. The bluegill and panfish bite has been pretty good with more amounts of larger fish creeping up and staying shallow. Bluegill love the current from the pipes too they will munch on the same flies fished by culvert pipes as the largemouth this keeps the action pretty consistent. They will begin to spawn soon and then the big bull bluegills will be shallow and aggressive, a warmwater fly fisherman’s dream. Some Caddis flies have been hatching in our lakes so fishing Caddis nymphs and dries near overhanging trees or bushes is a good idea. This has been a early morning hatch for the most part. Topwater spiders and ants fished around shade during the warmer parts of the day have brought some good fish to the boat. We’ve noticed the gar pushing shallow and they appear to be approaching spawning time. The fish are a fun change of pace and can be sight casted with whatever fly you were bass fishing with but presented very quickly in front of the gars face getting that reaction strike. Some caution should be had while unhooking these fish as they like to headshake so grab right behind the head where the “ears” are.
Weather and River Levels: The wind is staying manageable with afternoon temps rising the fish activity will continue to be good. The water level on the Peace River, Hillsborough River, Myakka River, Kissimmee Rivers, Withlacoochee River, and Econ Rivers are low. This will soon change as the rains are coming.
Submitted by: Hunter Towery
Peace Creek Guide Service