Stay Close: Keys Patch Reef Fishing

Summer time in south Florida can be a bit tricky due to those pesky pop-up thunderstorms. They seem to pop up everyday around the same time–you can almost set your clock to them. Several miles offshore is not somewhere you want to be when these guys decide to show up. Although they rarely  last that long, they typically have high winds and really dark thunderheads that spew lightning. And as we all know, lightning and water do not mix. But of course we still need to get that fishing fix in. Well for all you island hoppers down in the Florida Keys, I have some good news. You can get that offshore fix and feel without making those longer runs by the way of fishing patch reefs.

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Bass Fishing: America’s Pastime

Fishing for bass is as American as eating cracker jacks at a baseball game or having a warm slice of apple pie at your grandmother’s house (don’t forget the scoop of ice cream on top). A lot of us hardcore fishermen started out fishing at the local pond with dad or grandpa for panfish at an early age. Catching a bass as a bycatch when fishing for panfish was a real treat. That treat soon turned into an obsession as we strived to catch bigger and bigger bass. Our techniques to do so progressed as we learned new skills with different baits and lures. From throwing worms under a bobber from the shoreline to finesse fishing a plastic worm from a bass boat, we all know the personal steps that we took to get to where we are today.

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There are many reasons why bass fishing is so popular here in the United States. For starters, bass are found throughout the nation. From Washington state to southern Florida to Maine to southern California and everywhere in between, you’d be hard pressed to find a body of freshwater that didn’t hold some sort of bass. Largemouth, smallmouth, shoal, spotted and striped bass are some of the more popular types of bass, but there are many, many more. Some are even specific to certain bodies of water, which means whatever area you may be fishing, there’s a chance to catch a type of bass not found anywhere else! What a great reason to explore different rivers and lakes all over the U.S.

Bass fishing is also so appealing in that the ways of catching them are endless. Bass are gluttonous and will readily hit a wide assortment of baits and artificial lures. This actually makes them a fairly easy species to target. No matter what you decide to tie on, you have a pretty decent chance and hooking up with a bass. I personally enjoy topwater fishing for bass the most, and fishing with a frog over heavy vegetation is the best! Nothing like an explosion to get the adrenaline pumping on an early morning fishing quiet, glass-like conditions! That’ll wake you up!

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Of course, getting away from the shoreline or docks can offer up better chances at finding larger fish. This can be done in a variety of ways other than those speedy bass boats that we always see on TV and such. For smaller lakes, ponds or even rivers, downsizing your watercraft can often times get you into places otherwise inaccessible. Vessels such as kayaks, small jon boats or similar small watercrafts are a blast to use and are easily transported with little maintenance required.

So next time you’re looking for something to do, consider joining in on America’s favorite pastime: bass fishing, located at a lake near you!