• Chris O'Byrne

The Kit Lake Solace, December 2021

This was a month of change in the medium term on Kit Lake, my home water, in central Florida’s largemouth bass country. Managers changed their sentence requirements, weather changes altered the bite, and duties isolated to (we hope) Christmas 2021 changed our fishing availability.

While cattails and cypress trees browned, we dealt with our portions of eastbound winter storms. Our water temperatures, barometric pressures, and cloud cover changed for a few days at a time. Swings from what would be trout weather to what would be summer in other parts of the world, kept the active feeding in short periods.

The fish changed their behavior in this medium term too. Bass were found, during weather changes, next to structure that gathered warmth, like trees or sea walls. But during steady cold they were caught on jig flies in about ten feet of water. The bluegill left the remnants of Mr. Sturridge’s boathouse. (Maybe his ex-wife’s lawyer made that happen.) And the lilly pads on the shore under the pasture, perpendicular to the wind, took in these fish. They were caught with slowly presented subsurface patterns.

Sometimes joyful thoughts can be found without even fishing; like watching a powerboater hand-load their boat back on the trailer.

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