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If I Were to go to Stick Marsh...

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by AndroDoug, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. AndroDoug

    AndroDoug Duke of Bucketmouth

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    I have never taken a trip south before to fish (or anywhere out of NEO for that matter). I want to go to Stick Marsh Florida this winter to escape the icy doldrums. This fishing bug I have acquired has really picked up steam the last few years, or since I turned 30, and I cannot go a whole winter without catching bass by flipping, spinning, and skipping. Last winter was the worst as I discovered the "old" web site in the late summer/fall, and got to talk fishing with all you wonderful guys and gals. That will not be enough this year!

    I have heard great things about stick marsh (#13 I believe), in books, on here, and from people I have talked to. What would be a good month or time of year to go? I am thinking Jan or Feb, after the holidays. What is the weather normally like down there at that time?

    I don't make alot of money and I have alot of bills, so this will be a bare bones trip for me. I probably will camp to cut down costs. Any places come to mind that I could go? I have a little 12' semi vee and a 7HP motor. Will that be enough for that lake? I probably will go by myself for a week or less, unless I can convince a buddy to go, or my retired friend Bob (who has a sweet bass tracker 25HP). Only problem is, he is in Fla right now on vacation with his wife, he would be doubtful to go back again.

    Thanks in advance for any help! If there is a place that would be better for me than the famous stick marsh, let me know as well. I don't like busy crowds, I just want to get away.
     
  2. Lewis

    Lewis ORIGINAL TEAM OGF

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    Talk to captnroger or Lundy..both have been to the Stick Marsh.
     

  3. captnroger

    captnroger OGF Webmaster

    I've fished Stick Marsh 6 or 7 times now, on guided trips. I'm not an expert by any means, but can give you an informed opinion.

    Stick Marsh is a fairly large body of water, and it's shallow (I don't think I've been in a spot there that read over 15' deep). In the winter the lake level is drawn down. Given the fact that there are thousands of stumps underwater that you can't see, it makes navigation difficult. In other words, if you don't know the lake, the combination of the stumps and the low water that time of year make for a dangerous situation. There are running lanes and canals, but getting to/from them, you gotta know what you're doing or you'll hit something.

    Regarding your rig, Stick marsh is large, open and shallow. Fronts like to move through FL that time of year, which brings wind. Between the two it can get rough in a hurry. Throw in there the large gator population of the lake and I don't think I'd tackle it in a 12' boat, no way.

    I tell ya, if you have the means, and your buddy has a bigger boat, what I'd do is go down the and get you a guide for a day. You can find one for around $250 for the day, and they will show you the ropes. Then you can spend the rest of the week fishing your own boat. The guides are there to help, and they want to see you catch fish so you'll tell buddies and come back ;)

    IF you decide to ignore the above, and want some opinions on where to fish, let me know. Stick Marsh is fickle. Every time I've been down there I've hired the same guide, and with a couple of exceptions, we've fished all over the place. It's a big open lake, and you gotta find the schooling fish. I would recommend you go down in late Feb/early March, although anytime in Jan-Mar is good for a trophy fish (heck, anytime down there you have a shot at a 10+ fish). Just ask Stretch....one guided trip down there they put 4 in the boat over 10lbs, in ONE day.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Lewzer

    Lewzer Powderfinger

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    I've been there 6 times and second what Capn Roger says. Big, very big and shallow. The things is you cannot cut across the lake due to the stumps and the weeds. It's two big rectangular lakes with old roadbeds running N/S and E/W. You have to stay on the roadbeds where it is deeper to avoid the stumps and weeds.
    It used to be an orange grove. It was built to catch all the agriculture runoff to prevent it from entering the St. Johns River. So it is a very fertile lake with lots of weeds and lots of big bass. It's catch and release for bass but take panfish. The crappie really turn on around the new year. Big crappie.
    You can fish your 12'er around the road beds near the launch ramp. I wouldn't enter the main lake as the winds really move across the big lake. There are canals around the lake maybe 30-40' across. The southern portion is known as the zig-zag canal. We caught some big moma's in the canals and the only thing you would need to worry about is the 250hp bass boats that consider you to be a minor speed bump. I've fished there Thanksgiving through March.
    A big wild shiner under a balloon catches the big ones, artificials have their moments too.
    Lake Toho near Kississmee is pretty good (sometimes:D ).
    Good luck if you go. Wish I could be there. The boss has other plans for me this winter.
    I never used a guide. Send a email to Hugh Crumpler on the out of state forum. He has been guiding on the lake for a number of years. He is a wealth of info on the lake and willing to share it with you.
     
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