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  • Writer's pictureChris O'Byrne

The Kit Lake Solace

October, 2023

It was a restructuring month on Kit Lake, my home water, in central Florida’s largemouth bass country. Young Turks stepped up to lead, wearing sneakers. The Catalog changed its cover. And the change of seasons transformed the fishing structure on Kit Lake. So, each fishing outing was a searching chore.

The real heat finally broke, and the rains almost stopped. Our water was lower and clearer, so we were able once again, to productively turn our casts toward the shore. But aquatic grass sprouted and reached the surface seemingly overnight, so trusting anglers took the first top water bass of the autumn using inverted poppers as searching flies.

Then as the air temperature rose above 80 most days, those flats fish disappeared. Prepared anglers used a second rig about 50 feet offshore to catch them on baitfish imitations.

But the structures that we had come to count on changed, or went away completely. Markers stakes that a secretive someone had installed slipped out of the storm-tossed bottom and floated with the cool breezes. Lilly pads began to go dormant while their fields shrank. Anglers who did not find fish in these summer holding spots found some of them with sinking flies like whistlers in about 8 feet of water.

Whether lazy or attentive, these same anglers noticed chizzywinks in the grass and dragon flies over the water, when morning air temperatures were in the low 60s. They fooled the year’s first crappie, and took the occasional bass with dragon fly nymphs (Our presumptuous name for weighted olive wooly buggers) presented slowly in 8 to 10 feet of water.

In between these cooler bits, teenage boys, fishing from someone’s Alumacraft, decided it was shirt off weather. A boom in fishing by teenage girls followed.

Next month we hope for consistent weather, and fish holding structure.

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