Importance of Scoping Out a Spot First…

Importance of Scoping Out a Spot First…

This morning I decided to head out at 6AM down in the Bonita Springs area. I first decided to go to an area I hadn’t yet been to. This was a poor idea. When I got there, I found there was nowhere to park anywhere near the canal. This spot wouldn’t work. It was at the Vineyards Elementary School/Park. I decided to head up nearby Oakes Blvd as the canal runs right along that. I pulled off at a dead end and got my gear all ready. As I approached the canal I found it was completely covered in hydrilla. There was no open spots for anything and was extremely shallow. I quickly left and decided to head to the nearby Physician’s Regional Medical Center. I have caught a bass or two down there and decided to try to salvage this trip.

The temperature was already 77 by 7:20am when I finally got there. No clouds and no rain in the previous day, however, the sun was still blocked by the hospital. The water is very clear and has a rocky bottom with some hydrilla. I started with a white pearl Zoom Super Fluke. I tried it around the dam and a few other spots. I worked it slow with a double tap every 4-5 seconds. Nothing. Then I switched to a white/chartreuse 3/8 oz spinner bait with a willow and Colorado blade. I tried that in the same spots, still nothing.

I decided to switch to my BPS Lazer Eye white tiger mouse. I started casting this out parallel to the bank. I got a hit on the first cast as soon as I moved it, however, it was too small to even grab the mouse. I kept working it in this fashion up the bank about a tenth of a mile or so. I didn’t get any other hits. By this time the sun was just starting to come up and I decided to go back to what I know works in here. It’s not that I have anything against worms, it’s just I want to try to catch something on these newer lures I bought recently.

I went to a tequila (purple) Zoom U-Tail worm. I also went back to the dam. I texas rigged this worm with a 3/0 EWG red Worm Hook and a 1/16oz bullet weight. I let it fall all the way and then worked an extremely slow retrieve trying to just drag it along the bottom and through the hydrilla. On I believe the second cast I had a bite, however, I am pretty sure it was a bluegill or something because it felt like when one takes your bait. I never even tried to set the hook. After a few more casts I got a bite in the hydrilla. I waited patiently for about 2-3 seconds and set the hook. I brought this guy in through all the weeds, what a fighter too! I heard my drag going right after I set the hook.

I tried for about another 10 minutes or so with no more luck. What I did see however were a ton of panfish with one huge one bullying the others. I decided to go back to my car and get my panfish stuff. I set up my panfish pole with a gold trout magnet. In hindsight, I probably should have used some of my crappie jigs, oh well.

Of course, when I got there-there were 3 bass about the same size or slightly larger than the one I caught. There were also 2 smaller ones about 8-10 inches but really skinny. As soon as I cast a smaller bass grabbed the trout magnet. I waited and he spits it out after about 4 seconds. I ended up catching about 5 or 6 small panfish, bluegills and the like. The big one just kept swimming away whenever my trout magnet came near him. After 15 minutes I got tired of getting all these little 3-6″ panfish and left.


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