• Chris O'Byrne

The Kit Lake Solace, April 2021

This was a month of revelations on Kit Lake, my home water, in central Florida’s largemouth bass country. Practically no rain fell, so the lake’s water level was drawn down. Various hazards to boating, exposed now, appeared just under the lowered surface of the water as we searched for fish.

In the cool morning light of one trip we saw (just in time) the jagged top of another abandoned pipe sticking out of the bottom in those shallows on the west side of the lake. And around the point we almost hung up on the sunken frame of a dock that let go in a storm a few years ago. At seemingly random locations around the bank some cattails died from lack of support, changing the holding spots for many fish.



But in a few scattered areas of protective cover left in the shallows, we did find bluegill waiting out the dry spell. Their strikes were tentative like a rookie umpire making a safe-out call. But the chizzywinks were hatching and our large versions of zebra midge flies presented with a Dwight Yoakam rhythm matched well enough to trick several fish. We did catch bass during the heavy-feeding evening hours casting flies that imitate fry near some of the still standing vegetation.

Seeing hazards you never knew existed is unsettling. But there is an island of opportunity in the middle of every challenge, right? We didn’t hit any of those dangerous artifacts, and the bass will surely be around them when the water rises. Plus, the lily pads are budding, promising good fishing this summer. And there is a rumor that Mrs. Rollen, the divorced airline stewardess sunbathes on a slope of ground that used to be hidden by cattails.



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