A Bassball Road Trip to the Wakulla and Wacissa
Four guys from Florida River Fishing got
together and took a February trip to Florida to beat the cold
weather. This is my account of what transpired in, as I like to call
it, a bassball format.
I had heard good things about the spring fed
rivers in Florida so when Sumtershoaliefan (our starting buzzbaseman)
asked me if I wanted to join he and Shoalieseeker (starting finesse
fielder) for a trip down to warm Florida to fish some spring fed
rivers, it was a no-brainer. I invited Shoalbandit (starting
pitch/flipper) to join the team. I suppose I am the starting spinner
The cold weather in GA had been getting to us
and we needed a break. Did we find sunshine? Did we catch fish?
Did the home team get a win? I thought you’d never ask…
We headed out on Feb 15th and the
plan was to fish 3 or 4 days on the Wakulla and Wacissa rivers.
Unfortunately, the cold weather seemed to follow us all the way down
to our opponent’s turf below Tallahassee, FL. Still, we were in high
spirits because we knew the spring fed waters were constantly coming
out of the ground between 68 and 72 degrees.
On day one of our road trip series against the
bass we fished against the Wakulla River bass. It is a very short
river that comes start when several big springs come boiling right
up out of the ground only 11 miles from the ocean. There is a state
park there that prevents you from floating the first few miles, so
there is really only one stretch to float and fish entirely fresh
water. So, that is the area we decided to hit because we were after
big largemouth and Suwannee bass.
The first thing we noticed is just how much
life seems to be in these waters. All kinds of wading birds, fish,
crabs, and reptile activity could be seen. I suppose they all
served as the home team’s fans. They would soon be disappointed.
To me, each day on the water is a completely
new ballgame between the bass and each one of us. It can be an
especially tough when it is one’s first time fishing on new water –
the fish have a serious home field advantage. They were playing
solid defense for the first few hours until Shoalieseeker broke
through with a base knock when he scored a small largemouth. We
were on the bases! It wasn’t soon after that Sumtershoaliefan,
Shoal Bandit and I were accruing RBI’s. We figured by the end of
the day we could figure them out enough to score a decent one – a
Well, by mid afternoon I was able to strike
with a couple solid fish – solid 1lb 11oz Suwannee (pictured above) and a healthy
looking 4lb 6oz largemouth. Despite the cold weather and the home
field advantage I think we barely squeaked out the victory, even
though we didn’t catch big numbers of fish this day. Our team -
“Have Yak, Will Travel”- 1 Bass – 0
On the second day, we continued the road trip
over to play the nearby team of bass that lived in the Wacissa
river. The temperature that morning dipped down into the low
20’s! The wind was expected to be howling at 15-20 miles an hour as
well. Despite the poor conditions, we suited up bright and early to
take on our opponent. Shoal Bandit and I split up from Shoalieseeker
and Sumtershoaliefan to try to sneak up on the bass from the back
door. We paddled upstream from a put in and began hitting base knocks
with small largemouth and Suwannees.
We just knew that eventually
we might get a chance to hit a home run. Well, as it got close to
dark I was able to fool a spawned out largemouth into striking my spinnerbait. Until then, one of my favorite baits, the spinnerbait,
had not produced much at all in this clear water. We had been
catching most of our fish on tube baits flipped into heavy cover or
worked on the bottom around undercut banks. This was at least a
triple that checked in at 4lbs and 12oz.
We knew we had them on the ropes and not even
30 minutes later Shoal Bandit hit a walk-off home run with a fat
pre-spawn female that weighed 5lbs 8oz. It was a great way to end
the game and begin our road trip 2-0!
The second half of the trip will be