• Chris O'Byrne

The Kit Lake Solace, March 2022

It was a month of casual work on Kit Lake, my home water, in central Florida’s largemouth bass country.

I.T. departments blocked computer upgrades because of testing, which was done on computers. But work got done, just more slowly and with more creative words.

The fishing slowed too. Lingering cool temperatures and the distraction of spawning turned down the bass action. Late one morning, Mr. Gumble confirmed the difficulty when he showed up at the boat ramp. Swaying like the cattails, he made two casts with a paddle tail soft plastic lure. He garbled, “They’ve got lockjaw.” Then returned to his Bloody Marys. These difficulties notwithstanding, in the end, the work required to find fish and get them to strike our flies was more thoroughly distracting than those exciting days when fish jump in the boat.

Bass were found offshore in the few areas of moving water. Mrs. Smith ran her sprinklers constantly to wash away the pollen, and the runoff provided rare moving water that we could fish. To prompt the bass to action, hardware anglers used spinnerbaits, and we had some success on Schmidterbait flies.

Bluegill and other fish were more accessible but also not aggressive. Slow action rods like fiberglass, or low weight trout rods were inadequate for setting the hook on their tentative strikes. So, we used stiffer action rods and quicker sinking wet flies like weighted wooly buggers or smaller poppers, in sizes 6 or 8.

We presented those flies steadily. Just like we got ourselves through the month. Now we’re looking forward to quicker action in April.

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