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  • Writer's pictureChris O'Byrne

The Kit Lake Solace

FEBRUARY 2024

     It was a month to look back, on Kit Lake, my home water in central Florida’s largemouth bass country. Anniversaries left us with elevated views of melancholy pasts. Old friends, with new boats, had old situations. And we viewed new developments through old memories. Like those old memories, signs of summer appeared. Coppertone on the truck’s dashboard. Tabebuia flowers on the hills, then down near our lake. And cleavage at the boat ramp. All this promised increased fishing activity. But looking back, it came slowly.

     Kit Lake Anglers had to be on the water at the right time, which changed throughout this month. Yearling bass ventured in and out of the shallows, so observant anglers presented sparce EP flies at casual speeds to fool the older predatory fish that chased them. But cold weather delayed the pre-spawn most of the month. So, anglers who could bear up to our conditions caught bass on the big drop off about 50 feet from shore. Mrs. Byrd put on her grey sweatsuit, and her old New York toughness to hook up using bushy, sinking flies and slow presentation to pester the bass like a little brother.

     An unpredicted earthquake materialized, but storms that threatened to wash out days of fishing did not. So, locals who could look back on other winters knew to follow their fishing plans. Some got out and caught fish in the morning warmup.  And some lucky anglers stayed on the water until the end of the morning, to catch fish in the shallows.

     Crappie enjoyed the extended cold, anglers using an almost vertical presentation with jig flies were able to bring them in.

     Fishing gives solace even when the good action is in the future. And, unless your job is looking back, looking forward is more productive. On Kit Lake, we are happily looking forward to summer fishing.

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