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Need Advice for Florida Bassin'

Discussion in 'Fishing Reports - Out of State' started by AndroDoug, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. AndroDoug

    AndroDoug Duke of Bucketmouth

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    I want to get away this winter and take a cheap fishing vacation to Florida in January or February. To save money, I will be camping and cooking out. I need to know of a lake, or an area with a few choices of lakes with camping nearby. I would also like the campsite to have electric (to charge batteries).

    I posted in the general forum about Stick Marsh this week, but I am going to rule that out because of the dangerous stumps at low water levels. I have only a 12 foot boat and a 7 HP motor, so I need a lake that I can handle with that. I am targeting bass. I would also like the lake(s) to be serene and undeveloped if possible. Half of fishing for me is the atmoshere and beauty of the surroundings. I don't want to go to a lake that is covered with condos and docks.

    If anyone can steer me in the right direction, I would be very grateful.
     
  2. captnroger

    captnroger OGF Webmaster

    There literally are hundreds of lakes in central florida. St.Johns River comes to mind, although I dont know much about the fishing there. Check around Ocala too, some beautiful lakes in that area.
     

  3. AndroDoug

    AndroDoug Duke of Bucketmouth

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    I will do a search on those areas you mentioned captnrog. I just know absolutely nothing about the area and I guess I hope to find websites with info I need.

    I would absolutely LOVE to find a backwoods, multi-lake (all between 100 and 1,000 acres preferably!), campground complex!! ...All away from the crowds and recreationalists. Of course, 5-15 pound bass are a must too, although this may be too much to ask for, however! If central Florida is the area with hundreds of lakes, I am sure there is more than one private lake or complex, in addition to public areas, that might fit my bill.

    Thanks Captn for the direction. If anyone has info on a specific lake or campground in mind, give me a lead to look into it if you can.
     
  4. Check out the ocala national forest. They have camping and I'm pretty sure some decent lakes/rivers to fish.

    Another good place is the Harris chain of lakes. The chain consists of Lake Harris, Little Lake Harris, Lake Dora, Lake Griffin, Lake Eustis. All of them are connected by canals or so called creeks. Alot of good fishing, tons of camp grounds around the area too... If you are doing a search for campgrounds use Leesburg Florida as your into. Hot Spots sells a map that shows all the lakes and canals/channels.
     
  5. captnroger

    captnroger OGF Webmaster

    Stinky Figures is our resident Florida transplant, so he'll know best. BUT - I did spend 8 years in FL, and I can tell you two things. 1.) Most of the lakes down there look extremely fishy and 2.) they are no different than our lakes here. You have to find the fish and throw them what they want to eat. In the wintertime, this usually means live wild shiners.

    Good luck to you.
     
  6. throw a tube or a white jig caught a gator when i was in flordia
     
  7. AndroDoug

    AndroDoug Duke of Bucketmouth

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    Thank you so much for the replies! All you guys are extremely helpfull, that is why I love this site so much. I try to give back when I can because I get great information like this from others. Everyone helps each other out!

    Feel free to keep the ideas coming! I really do appreciate all the help so far. My friend and I (since we thought of this idea last week), have been bouncing off the walls dreaming of all we are going to do. We will have so much fun. Neither one of us have ever taken a "fishing" vacation before, and it is about time we do.
     
  8. If you guys are looking to camp. I would research the ocala and silver springs area. The ocala national forest has camping and silver springs is a 15 minute drive. Spend a couple days there. Then I would head down to leesburg/mount dora/taveres area... Find a place to camp there and spend a few days fishing the harris chain. There is a section of river that goes for 8-10 miles north of lake griffin. You will see lots of gators and there are a bunch of bald eagle nests along the way. Spend a few days exploring that catching bass and specks. If you get board there head over to the St. Johns river. Tons of places to camp and fish along the way....

    If you are bring a jon boat... Head over to homosassa or crystal river. Fish the rivers and flats for redfish.... Same type of gear as bass, plugs/jigs or live bait (shrimp or pinfish).... You will have a blast and they are fighters... Homosassa is a blast. The river is fresh water dumping into salt, so the majority of the river is brackish. If you go up river you will get to the spring. The water is in the 70's year around and safe for a swim. We usually go up there after a day scalloping, swim around, have a few cold ones, and enjoy the view. There is always alot of nice eye candy to look at!!! :)

    Ocala and Leesburg both have good camping areas, tent or cabin, just depends on what you want to do. Either area is centraly located to good fishing.

    Ocala to Leesburg - About an hour drive
    Ocala to homosassa/crystal river - About an hour and 15
    Leesburg to homosassa/crystal river - About an hour and 15

    If you plan to come down over the winter make sure you make reservations soon!!!
     
  9. I heard once that green fishing line is almost a must in FLA> Any truth to this?

    Eric
     
  10. AndroDoug

    AndroDoug Duke of Bucketmouth

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    I would like to help everyone that helped steer me in my decision of where to go in Fla this winter. I have made reservations at Highland Park Fish Camp in early January. It is located just 4 miles south of Lake Woodruff National Wildlife refuge, on the Norris Dead river, a small trib of the St John's river. Everything I have read about the St John's river and it's countless tributaries and creek channels and connecting lakes, is that the whole area is world-class lunker heaven.

    Highland Park has all the ammenities you'd need. Camping, cottages, RVs boat storage and docking, guide services, boat and motor rentals, tackle shop, showers, everything. It is EXACTLY what I was looking for. The whole area is undeveloped and there are 10 or more lakes of varying sizes within boating distance. I have a feeling, even before I go, that this will be a yearly thing for me!! :)

    Thanks again everyone! Here is the link to their website... www.HPFishCamp.com You will find their phone number on there and if you give them a call, they will send out a packet of info that has a TON more stuff than on the website.
     
  11. i checked out the website...it looks pretty fishy :D
    let me know how you do.
     
  12. captnroger

    captnroger OGF Webmaster

    Nope, not true. FL is like any other state when it comes to water conditions.

    Might want to check around before your trip. Jeanine left Stick Marsh a mess. They are saying the fishing there might not be the same for a year or more. The ajoining canal (C54) was full of dead bass. As shallow as that lake is, I'm sure it took a beating in the wind.

    Today was Stick Marsh all the way and fisherman zero. There is water running at all points with the exit gate at the C54 in overflow condition. Water level is just short of 25 feet and the water is chocolate.
    Twin Palms: no trees left standing
    NW area of Marsh: Pandora's Box is down to only a few trees left
    West levee took quite a hit and St John's has their work cut out for them in repairing it.
    Fisherman's shack: gone!
    Pump house area: building damaged but pumps running
    Spillway area: very dirt with lots of floating vegetation. Spillway structure has minor damage.
    Dock at ramp: Dock is broken with a large section blocking the south ramp. North ramp is good. Good ramp etiquette will be appreciated by all until they get to clean that up.
    On a good note we noted no dead fish other than some small blue gills at the front pipes. Several of our gators didn't make it through Jeanne as we noted about 4-5 floating.
     
  13. Lewzer

    Lewzer Powderfinger

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    Fisherman's shack: gone!

    Twin Palms: no trees left standing

    NW area of Marsh: Pandora's Box is down to only a few trees left

    The wind and wave action muust have been something else!
     
  14. I would have to go after some of those crappies.That board is loaded.Must not be any limits?
     
  15. Good luck andro. I myself started an annual "winter-shakes" florida camping, bass fishing vacation 8 years ago, and have made it down every year since. The tricky part with when you're going, obviously is the weather...it may pummel you or be perfect with biguns on the beds. I generally go at the very end of Febuary anymore. Usually 3 vehicles with cb radios and 3 little aluminum boats. I went to the Blackwater Forrest several times. Never needed more than 400 dollars for the whole deal. It has lakefront camping w elec hookups, nice showers on three small lakes. Hurricane Lke(330acres) is the biggest of the bunch. The other two are Bear Lake(107acres) and Karick(80 acres catch & release only)Blackwater river is a half hour drive and it's great for a change of scenery. The Blackwater Forrest is located in the northwest corner of the panhandle. I've been literally beat down a couple different times with horrible weather, other times have been awesome. Beer is no problem on the campsite either(which is very important for my group). A perfect fit for you with that 12foot jon boat i say. Especially Karick on windy days. Good luck with the spot your going...let us know how you like it etc etc. I'd be interested to hear especially as I always welcome new ideas for my annual deal.
    Captn Roger, We all were planning on wandering down to the Stick Marsh this winter...it's beat down that bad? Yikes!
     
  16. AndroDoug you may have a hard time fishing down here. I live just south of Ocala and Hurricanes Charlie, Frances, and Jeanne dealt a devastating blow to the bass fishing down here. Specifically the river systems. St Johns, Withlacochee, and Ocklawaha. All the Lakes that are a part of these river systems are extremely tough to fish right now. I just fished the Lake Dexter and Woodruff area this weekend and didnot even get a bite. Very discouraging right now. Don't mean to be the bearer of bad news but the fishing isn't going to be very good.