E-MAIL:  info@fishtallahassee.com

Lake Jackson | Lake Talquin Fishing Report by Cliff Mundinger, Jr



After a superb March, April is right on track for another great month of catching on Lake Jackson.
Early in March, right on que with the full moon bass flooded the shallows to spawn. With all the new water covering hard bottom it was a proverbial bass bonanza in shallow water. I litterally watched as male bass circled an area making an attractive bed to entice the females to come and lay their eggs. This made fishing more like catching. Hundreds of 12"-16" bass were caught, and once the females moved up 4lb-6lb bass were not uncommon. At the time of this writing the largest I saw come to the scales was a lake Jackson behemoth that weighed in at a whopping 11.5 lbs! I caught it off a bed that had three other males with her. Each one of those males were between three and four pounds respectively.
And now, tips and tactics on how to catch bedding bass which will dominate the early part of April.
With water temeratures now in the high 60's to low 70's bedding bass are my number 1 target. Fortunatley this year with all the water bass are very shallow and easy to spot. The best way to find them is cruise the shallows on the trolling motor looking for circular "bright spots" in the sand. The brighter the spot the more active the bed. One of the best ways to catch bass off beds is from a distance. The further away you are the better chance you have of hooking up. Remember, when you can see the bass thay can see you too. I like to stand on my YETI cooler but don't recommend this for most. I have mine secured to my seat pole via tie downs. The higher up you can get the better. When I get within casting distance (30-40') I use my 7'6" medium action rod equiped with a Shimano 2500 spinning reel spooled with 30lb test Power Pro braided line to cast my favorite soft plastic lure to the bed. The best way is to cast past the bed and "hop" the bait back into it. If the bass doesn't strike immediately you'll need to "soak" the bait in the bed. Some times it takes multiple casts to the same bed to trigger a strike. If after several attempst and you find no one is home troll to the bed and make sure there is a bass even there. Sometimes the bass is there but just a little "green" or not ready to bite. Remember where that one is and go back later in the day.
As the sun gets higher you might just want to tie up near the bed and actually watch the fish while he or she bites. Besides the normal rod and reel a good pair of poarlized sunglasses is of the utmost importance when fishing beds. I use Blue mirror Costa DelMar for the most part. Doesn't matter which style as long as they are comfortable and I can stand them all day.
As far as baits go I use only a select few. Imitation craw fish, such as Zoom Speed Craw for smaller or finicky bass, Zoom Magnum lizard for larger bass and for "Big Mama" I exclusively throw my own Jig creation, The JIGDINGER. Success on this bait cannot be argued as both of my personal best have come on this bait. First a 12lber in 2012 on Lake Talquin and most recently an 11lb 8oz caught last month on Lake Jackson. Each fish was caught on a 3/8oz jigdinger tipped with a Zoom craw in Jackson Green.
Many times you'll come across a bed where one or more fish are present. This usually consitsts of one or more male bass and the female. When I find this I reach for my jigdinger every time. And almost every time the bigger or biggest bass on the bed will bite first. I believe the smaller ones are more intimidated and the bigger ones just don't care. They don't eat because they're hungry they bite to protect the nest so it's important to watch carefully. Pay attention to everything. Fish, line and any other movement on or near the bed. It seems like they just come out of nowhere some times....
As water warms and the majority of the spawn is complete, bass will go into super protective mode over the recently hatched eggs. These are called "fry guarders" and they're very aggressive, especially toward moving baits. Top water frogs, buzz baits, twitch worms, and swim baits worked quickly in spawning areas can fill the boat quickly. Most will be smaller male bass but are loads of fun to catch.
Remember, this is all contingent on the weather. Cold nights and cloudy days will postpone the spawn and it will linger later into the spring. Pay close attention to the water temp, shallow activity and how aggressive the fish are to determine what "mode" the bass are in.
Lake TAlquin is about to bust wide open. April is a really great month for shallow water bass fishing. Similar to lake Jackson, early April will be mainly comprised of bedding bass. Although unlike it's Leon County neighbor, Lake TAlquin is very dark in color. Only in the shallowest of areas are you actually able to see bass bedding. A few creeks on the lake are spring fed and you can see them bedding in there also.
One way to find these is with a search bait. In the backs of creeks or coves off the main lake I like to throw spinner baits or swimming worms. I Texas rig the worms so they come through the vegetation where I'll be fishing without getting hung up. This is usually lily pads or scattered patches of different grass. Once I get a bump, bite or actually catch one I know I'm in the right area. This is when I slow down and fish thouroughly with a Carolina rig lizard or craw.
All three phases of the spawn are happening in April on lake Talquin so be prepared. Like all lakes, weather and moon have a great impact on what the bass are doing. Baits that combat this are vibrating lipless crank baits, spinner baits and carolina rigs. Besides lily pads you will also need to fish rocks, shell beds and docks in shallow water to be totally effective.
One thing to always remember about lake Talquin. At ANY time you get a bite it could be a double digit bass. There are hundres of them out there and it has become one of the most productive big bass factories in the state of Florida.
Until next month, be safe, have fun a and ALWAYS wear a life jacket while boating.

2015 stated with a bang on Lake Jackson.  Lake is back to full pool.  Matte of fact there's an extra 500 aces of water in thee right now.  Hasn't stopped the bass from biting as catches keep coming in.  Pre spawn dominates the phase the bass are in as water temps hover in the mid to high 50's.  Techniques include hard and soft plastic jerk baits fished over and around hydrilla beds.  Another good way to catch them on days where the sun shines high and the temps are low is flipping.  Areas of matted grass are created by all the duck action.  Then wind will blow this loose grass until it comes together in large and small "clumps".  Heavy braided line and a stout rod is needed to pull these fish from the grass.  Also, duck season has ended and fishermen are free to roam the lake again like before.

Lake Talquin is high, muddy and cold.  Not a lot to report at this time. 

w that the holidays are over and the temperature has come up a little it's time to get back to business.
Let's start with bass fishing on Lake Talquin.
2013 was an exception, with water temps already in the high 60's. The norm is high 50's to low 60's depending on where you want to fish. Some guys like to fish for pre spawn bass and others are still fishing deeper water for those lazy winter bass. Remember, all fish do not spawn at the same time. The ones that do come up first tend to be the bigger ones though. If you're out for double digit bass you're gonna want to fish staging areas for big females. These are places where they can move up and down the edge of a channel, point or other structure quickly to do their business contingent on the weather. These places will consist of rocks, sand or gravel mixed in with other wooden or man made structure. These areas are also going to be on the side of the lake that warms up first. If this is a pattern you find helpful you can duplicate it around the lake as water temps rise. 55-60 degree water is what I'm lookiing for. 6-10' of water is also key. There should be a spawning edge or flat with a hard bottom very near by and some type of cover protrudiing from the bank. A couple of good bait choices are crank baits that will dig on the bottom as you crank them back to the boat. Another is a big jig tipped with a large trailer. As these bass wil be holding on cover it's important to make multiple casts to the same structure to intice a bite. Toward the end of the month if water temps move into the mid 60's we'll start looking for them closer to the bank; Oh wait a minute, lat's save that for March...
Crappie fishing on lake Talquin in February is second to none in the country. With an overwhelming population of Black Crappie that may reach in excess of three punds, (state record is Four out of lake TAlquin) and a size minimum of 10", Lake Talquin is one of the countries premier hidden jewels for these tasty guys. Locals refer to crappie as "specks", or "speckled perch". I just call them good fun and even better to eat. Catching them in February is pretty easy also. Couple different methods we employ to fill our limits is #1, trolling. Crappie should be in the main river channel throughout the month. Troll with 1/16th -1/12th oz jigs. Double rig curly tails to cover more water but watch out. Multiple 2lb specks on at once can wreak havok on equipment. Once you locate the depth of the fish adjust your lures to run just above the schools. Remeber, you can only keep 25 per person per day and if you exceed that I hope the game warden finds you! And trust me, they're heavy on the lake in February...
As we move over to Lake Jackson in NW Tallahassee, FL this is almost my favorite month to fish this legendary "Hawg" factory. Lake temperatures should range from 52 - 64 degrees throughout the month of February. With water levels just a tad below normal, and most vegetation has died back you can move around the lake pretty well. Look for pockets that get a lot of sun and are somewhat protected from the wind. Lot's of different things can break that wind such as docks, houses, trees or even cat tails. Cat tails will deliver two things that are key to early pre spawn fishing. One is they're usually around hard bottom and two is the amount of cover they give from the wind and make a very good place for big bass to hang out. On warm, sunny days I like to throw baits that are subtle in the gin clear lake Jackson water. Watermelon and or Pumpkin seed are good chices. On cloudy days you can't beat Junebug for soft plastics by my all time favorite this time of year is the hard jerk bait. As big bass lerk on the edge of these areas that are combined with the clear water, warming temps and a calm day, a 9" Rapala left laying on the surface for up to a minute can be deadly. Of course there are other favorites I use like a swimming worm or a spinner bait when the wind blows so I can work it faster. While some females are still feeding up for the spawn others are just patiently waiting for the right conditions to move up and do their yearly spawning thing. Again, the sides of the lake that are protected fromt he wind, combined with warmer waters from the sun are the places to concentrate on this time of year.

I know, I know.  Where the heck has the updates been on Lake Talquin.  This season has been very frustrating with the unseasonably different weather patterns.  Good thing is we're coming into the late summer and water temps are in the mid to high 70's.  For those of you that follow lake Taquin over the years you're probably familiar with water temperatures in the high 80's.  What this means is fish are scattered instead of being schooled up on the deeper ledges and main lake points.  So if you plan on fishing lake Talquin this month here's what to look for....
Bass can be found almost anywhere.  Even 3-4' of water in creeks.  Bait seem to be everywhere also and when you have bait you have bass.  Start looking early in the morning about mid-creek area in Soap Stone, Polk, Blount and Rocky Comfort creeks.  Schooling fish can be easy to spot when water is slick and calm.  Once you find them smaller baits that resemble shad are key, as baitfish this time of year are about 2" long.  As the sun gets brighter and the bass seem to disappear move to deeper points closer to the main lake.  This is where a good fishfinder comes into play.  Bass will set up on structure off the edges of points and ledges, sometimes in 10-15 fish schools waiting for the bait to cruise by.  Other bass will follow underneath large balls of baitfish waiting for just the right time to strike.  Small crankbaits and spinnerbaits will sometimes get these schools fired up and action is fast and furious.  When you find the bass near the bottom next to structure it's time for the jig or Carolina rig.

And finally Lake Jackson is back!!!  More on that to come.....

Things are finally starting to improve on area lakes and rivers around Tallahassee, FL. Lake Talquin is beginning to clear up nicely and with that, fishing is picking up. Bass have moved back towards the banks in search of a place to spawn with the warming temperatures. Lake temps are now in the 60's, even mid 60's in some creeks. The water is still very dirty so sight fishing is almost non existant for most. BUT, a 3/8oz Chartreuse and White spinnerbait worked slowly around shoreline vegetation and dock posts should get you bit. A Red rattle trap, or Chatterbait tipped with a swim bait does good to. There are some creeks doing better than others it's all about timing. I will say this, if you find darker colored fish they will have just moved up and that's a good thing. Stay fishing that area as more will be moving in. Black backs with White bellies is good. If the fish are lighter in color, and have a Yellow tint to their bellies it means they've been up there in the shallows for a few days. Those fish that have been shallow longer are more prone to hit a top water bait early in the morning. Two of my favorites are a Bang O lure and a Baby Torpedo. If you come across a fish or two on a bed, or if you're pitching baits next to cover like stumps or docks you need to tie on a Jigdinger tippes with your favorite craw.

Crappie fishing has also picked up very well with limits coming both by trolling and fishing shallow very early in the morning. Troll with double rigged curly tail grubs near the deeper parts of creeks for bigger females, and use minnows in the lily pads for them beautiful big males gaurding nests.

March 12, 2013
Not a lot better these days, and it actually got worst.  With 18+ inches of rain Lake TAlquin his muddy, muddy.  That makes for terrible fishing.  Bass and Crappie are suspended in channels and deep water acces areas close to where they were spawning.  Though a few bass have been caught from dock posts and structure in shallow water, and crankin' nearby points and ledges with brightly colored baits.  Things should be back to almost normal within the next week or so.  Forecast is for sunny skies and daytime temps in the 70's.  That will bring the fish back to the banks just in time for the Talquin Open in late March.
Crappie fishing also took a turn for the worst.  Water temps on Lake TAlquin dropped 10 degrees in some spots moving the fish back out into the creek and river channels.  Trolling definately was the better way to catch them since all the rain.  Light line and bright colored jigs in Chartreuse was the ticket.  Speeds between .8 and 1mph is also key. 

Feb 20, 2013
So much for the lake being on fire.  Cold front after cold front has confused the bass as they were all over the lake trying to bed.  From one end to the other you could find bass bedding in the creeks and shallow backwaters of the main lake.  We did manage to catch a few, but the wind and storms kept us off the lake this past week.  Things should be back to normal after Thursday, with warmer weather expected for the weekend.  The biggest difference will be the water clarity.  Fish hate dirty cold water and that's just what those recent storms brought with them.  There is still some clear water but that will probably change again as Saturdays' forecast looks like more wet stuff.  If you do come across some bedding fish be prepared with the good ole' JIGDINGER tipped with a Paca Craw.  If you're just fishing, a 10" plastic worm Texas rigged is working pretty well.  Darker colors are preferred.  That combination makes it easier for the bass to find and eat it.  Here's a tip.  Don't use to heavy of a weight when fishing this shallow.  Floating icky grass  will accumulate on your bait and that's not good.  For those of you that have fished Talquin before you know what I'm talking about...
Crappie fishing hasn't fared much better with all the wind.  Very hard to fish for them in those conditions.  With lots of crappie having already moved into the creeks they also were confused with the influx of cold, dirty water pouring into the lake from all the rain.  Trolling is still the best way to nab them, although good reports were coming in from night fishermen using minnows off lighted docks...

February 12, 2013

February fishing on Lake Talquin is en fuego! Up to now that is. We'll just have to wait and see what this cold front is gonna do but in the mean time bass and crappie fishing has been very good. With Lake TAlquin water temps in the low to mid 60's something happened I've never seen on Lake TAlquin before and that's all the fish that have moved up to bed. Again, look for that to change by the weekend but if you can manage to get out between the raindrops you're gonna catch something if you stay shallow. That's right, shallow water fishing in February. There's even been a topwater bite. Big popper's worked slowly in clear water areas in the back of creeks and pockets are just aggravating enough to a big mamma bass she just might explode on it. Also fish spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, swimbaits and big Texas rigged worms around structure and vegetation. Now, all of you that know me understand what a HUGE fan of sight fishing I am. This is like a dream this year. With clearer water than normal and bass from one end of the lake to the other in the shallows, well let's just say I like it! #1 go to bait for the big females sitting on the nest is nothing other than the JIGDINGER. Pair that with a Watermelonseed Paca Craw trailer and you might just put that trophy of a lifetime in the boat. Of course you gotta know what you're looking for. That's where I come in. If you want some stellar shallow water fishing then head to Lake TAlquin. If you've never been and want some more information go ahead and send me an e-mail. That's infor@fishtallahassee.com.

And for you crappie fishermen, you gotta love it to! Fish are spread out in certain creeks. Trolling is the most effective way to catch them. Double rig it with curly tail grubs in blk/chrtuse. Early mornings you might want to try minnows around lily pads but I'd wait until the next full moon for that. There are also some big females still in the main river channel. Right now that flock or White Pelicans following all the bait is in front of Paramore shores. Again, for more information simply send me a message to info@fishtallahassee.com.

January, 2013

At the time of this writing water temperature on Lake Talquin is way above normal.  If warmer weather continues look for fish to move into their February pattern sooner than normal. 

That would consist of more bass being found near the upper end of the lake near Williams Landing and creeks on the West side of the lake.  Bass will stage near spawning flats on points and drop offs close to the river channel. 

But if cold weather comes through and water temps drop into the low 50’s and high 40’s, river channel ledges will be the place to be.  Believe it or not current can actually be warmer than cold stagnant water.  Bass are very lethargic in cold water but will still eat when the opportunity arises.  That means you must slow down.  Carolina rigged worms and lizards are the number 1 choice for local Talquin anglers.  But those who spend more time out there and search for bigger fish will opt for a Jig and Pig, or large Texas rigged worm.  Crank baits work also but bass will not chase them as far in the cooler water.

On sunny days look for bass to be hiding out in thick vegetation close to the river.  Thick mats of grass or hyacinths make for a great place to hunker down and wait for an easy meal.  Flipping is the technique best suited for mining fish out of heavy cover.  Long heavy rod, braided line and heavy weights are all used when flipping or pitching in these situations.  Small soft plastic creature baits in Blue/Black or Junebug are my #1 bait for this.

So far this year crappie fisherman are doing pretty well.  Limits to 50 have been reported and lots of fish are coming from the Ochlockonee River below hgwy 90.  This should continue through January and into February.  Although not set in stone, crappie will follow the bait.  If the lower end of the lake gets colder than the river you’ll find them their.  Trolling is the preferred method with drifting live minnow a close second.  Windy days are hard to keep a boat straight and troll but you can almost always find a creek on lake Talquin to get out of the wind.  If you do have to troll the main lake on windy days, make sure to drift with the wind as fish will almost always face current when searching for prey.  

For those of you that have not been to Lake Talquin there are several county and State parks around the lake with day and overnight camping.  Also local convenience stores carry bait and a small tackle supply.  Once on the Lake The Whipporwill marina located on the Gadsen county side has bait, tackle, ice food and drink.  Most of this information along with license information can be found on my website www.fishtallahassee.com .

Until next month, be safe, have fun and ALWAYS wear a life jacket while boating! 

This October could be the year of the Striped Bass on Lake Talquin.  Many stripes over 20lbs have been caught this past year with 8-12lbers the common theme.  October marks the start of the fall fishing season and linesides will travel miles a day chasing big schools of jumbo shad.  Yes, jumbo shad.  I’ve seen gizzard shad up to a pound come out of the gullet of a filleted striper.  Cloudy days are best, with most action coming near the surface.  Watch for diving birds and schooling action on top.  Throw walking baits such as a Zara Spook or a twitch/jerk bait that makes a lot of commotion like a Pencil Popper.  Keep colors simple, White, Blue, with a mixture of Chrome.  For equipment use a beefier rig than you normal bass stuff.  7’6” M/H Deep South Rod, teamed with an Abu Garcia 5500 series reel spooled with 20lb test Trilene Big Game mono should do it.  Don’t use Flourocarbon with top water baits.  The line has no bouyancy and will keep the nose of your lure down making it difficult to achieve its’ function.  On sunny days when fish stay deep, switch to a jigging spoon or White 1oz hair jig with a white trailer for bouncing off the bottom.



And while most tree stands keep the seasonal fisherman occupied, now’s a perfect time to chase largemouth bass.  As water temps drop and most creeks become havens for feeding bass, schooling activity can bring 50 fish days.  Like striped bass, largemouth will also start to feed heavily for the winter ahead.  Primarily feeding on shad, bass can be found close behind the large schools of bait.  Top water baits to try include White Buzzbaits, Pop “R”, Torpedo and even a frog fished near vegetation.  Couple of my favorite fall lures include the Zoom Super Fluke, Rapala floating minnow (7”), and White spinnerbaits.

Each fall, Crappie fisherman look forward to October.  They know these tasty guys will also be found nearby schools of shad still in the main river.  Trolling is the preferred method of not only locating active fish but also catching them.  Double rigs trolled behind your watercraft about 1mph should do the trick.  Adjusting your speed and depth will also help you consistantly put fish in the boat throughout the day.  

Although Lake Jackson is still around 4’ low, you can launch a small boat at Crowder, Hgwy 27 or if you want to work at it Millers Landing.  Lots of big bass still being caught.  Top water will dominate on Jackson if you go.  Best way to catch a trophy is live shiners.  For those of you that might not be able or have access to a cast net, no worries!  Just bring your Sabiki rig, a couple pieces of bread and a little wet dog food to bait your area.  You saltwater fisherman already know what a Sabiki rig is.  Those of you that don’t, it consists of multiple very small hooks dressed with hair, places inches above each other.  To use it simply fins a sandy area by the boat ramp or beach, put little pieces of bread or make up very small dough balls for the hooks, and cast on small spinning equipment.  This bait retrieving method can be almost as fun as bringing in that trophy.  Well, almost!

JR Mundinger  talquinguide@yahoo.com

August 2012 fishing report. 

So far this season we’ve seen abnormally warm weather, extreme drought followed by flooding, winds out of the East on a regular basis and most of the fish are being caught from the river end of Lake Talquin.  I wonder why that is?  With water temps ranging from high 80’s to the mid 90’s in July, here’s my theory. 

As water temps have warmed so quickly the damn end of the lake is 2 -3 degrees warmer than the other.  With all the rain falling the past couple months it’s created not only current but cooler temps throughout the day.  History suggests early mornings and late afternoons are best for schooling bass but not this year.  Fishing almost gets better as the sun gets higher.  This pushes bait fish into tight little groups and hungry bass wait eagerly below for a chance to feed.  Not quite sure what triggers the bass to attack the big balls of bait, but when they do action becomes fast and furious. 

The river end of the lake is much shallower than the dam end so you have to rig appropriately.  When using crank baits you need to downsize your depth or make equipment adjustments like heavier line.  For the most part we use 12 – 14lb test flourocarbon, but when fishing the river end I like to use 15 – 20lb line.  I also like to slow my reel so I switch from my 6:1-1 Curado to the 5:1-1.  This won’t let me crank fast and get the bait as deep.  Ledges at this end may top out at 3’ or 4’ deep compared to the average ledge at the dam end of 10’ – 12’ deep. 

Firetiger for crank baits is the more dominant color just like Black, Junebug and Red shad provides more contrast when fishing soft plastics and jigs in the stained water of the river end.  I also like to change to a crank bait with a wide wobble.  One of my favorite crank baits is a Bomber 8A, but when fishing the river end I prefer the wider wobble of the Fat Free Shad or the 5XD. 

When fishing bottom worms, Carolina rigs or Jigs, I down size my weights too.  C-rig weight drops from 3/4oz to 1/2oz.  Texas rigs change from 3/8oz to 1/4oz and my jig size drops from 3/4oz football to 5/8 or 1/2oz respectively.  Another key for success is rod selection.  I use nothing but Deep South Fishing Rods for all my fishing situations.  With over 30 freshwater models available there’s a rod for each technique we’ve discussed.  I drop my C-rig from 7’4” to 7’2”, my jig rod down to 7’, and my crank bait rod from 7’4” to 7’.  I don’t need the distance to get as deep or make such long casts and the smaller rod is easier to handle on those hot August days.

 So when preparing for your August bass fishing trip to Lake Talquin next time stay below Goat Island back to Coes’ Landing.

Brim fishing has once again been stellar this year on Lake Talquin.  Main lake pockets, creeks and backwaters have tons of brim beds in them especially on the full moons.  Watch for the May fly hatch as there’s no time like that to fill a cooler up with hand sized brim in a hurry if you can find one.  Usual places to look are overhanging trees on main lake points.  Worms, crickets or small spinners will all work well.    

May 1, 2012   Here is the fishing report for the month.  Good luck to everyone and tight lines.  Don't forget to checkout the new line of Deep South Fishing Rods @ OUTDOOR PURSUITS.
As we move into the month of May during 2012, we find conditions similar to already being into June.  Water temps are already in the 80’s, the bass and shad are done spawning and have moved onto creek channel and main lake ledges.  This month let’s get just a little more technical with the definition of a ledge, and the equipment I think is vital for locating and eventually catching ledge fish. First, the definition of a ledge is: (1)  A narrow horizontal surface projecting from a wall, cliff or other surface.  (2) An underwater ridge.  Ledges can be almost any depth, and can be found all around the lake.  Most common ledges fished are found adjacent to creek channels or the main river channel.  Ledges can change depths quickly, or start with a slope ending with a drastic depth change.  First thing to do when locating ledges is a good topographical map of the lake.  These can be found in many area tackle shops or on-line.  Next you’ll need a depth finder/GPS combo.  This is very important especially with the split screen feature when searching for ledges and fish. The GPS makes life a whole lot easier when trying to go back to previously found places.  Todays advanced marine electronics are relatively inexpensive and are easy to operate.  Once new areas are located simply press a button to save the location for future reference.  During early summer months on Lake Talquin, some of the best ledges peak between 9’ and 12’.  Bait is key, but structure also plays a big role in which ledge to fish.  Find the bait and the fish should be close by, but structure will also hold “resident fish”.  The bigger bass will have the best place to live on the structure, and not to worry.  Normally when one bass is caught from the area, a new one will move to that place before too long.  Some of the most successful Lake Talquin Bass anglers have multiple spots that hold fish on specific pieces of structure.

 Now let’s talk a little about the way we fish Lake Talquin ledges.  The two most productive ways are with a Carolina rig or crank bait.  When fishing either method, you’ll need a good reel, with a high speed retrieve and can cast a long way.  Long casts are very important to reach all side of the ledge your fishing.  The high speed retrieve is needed to take up slack before setting the hook when fishing the bottom with a Carolina or Texas rigged bait.  It must also hold an adequate amount of big line, such as 17lb or 20lb test Flourocarbon.  Several companies such as Shimano, Diawa and Quantam all make reels with these specifications.  Next, is the rod.  This could just as easily be the most important.  Long, medium heavy to heavy action rods are a must.  I prefer a minimum of 7’2” length, and split that time with my 7’6” rods.  Although I do use an 8’ rod sometimes when throwing crankbaits.   Deep South Fishing Rods makes a half a dozen different models to choose from for this in both bait casting and spinning rods.  Visit www.deepsouthfishingrods.net for more rod information.  The type of line used plays a big part.  When fishing a Carolina rig or crank bait, the main line I prefer is Flourocarbon.  It’s more sensitive, has less stretch, and is less visible than mono but prone to nick and fray quicker.  Some fisherman like braid for their main line but I do not recommend it.  There is virtually no stretch and puts too much pressure on your flourocarbon or monofiliment leader when using a “c” rig causing it to break easily at the hook or swivel.  For terminal tackle, inexpensive is the way to go.  Fishing all that trash that Lake Talquin ledges hold I promise you you’re gonna go through some hooks and swivels.  I use less expensive during practice but ALWAYS change to the better hooks such as OWNER, when it counts.  One good point to remember is you’re using heavy equipment chasing big fish.  So a thicker wire big hook in a 4/0, 5/0 or 6/0 is VERY important.  Crank bait hooks come in many different sizes and styles, but your rods ability to play the fish will make more difference.  As far as baits, go big most of the time.  Lizards, worms or Senkos are all good choices when fishing a “c” rig.  For colors, try Junebug, Redbug or Green Pumpkin.  When throwing crankbaits, there are lot’s to choose from.  This time of year pick one that runs to 12’ deep, using 12lb test in both firetiger and shad patterns.  We could go on and on but we’ll save that for next months’ issue.  Don’t miss the deep water jig article for June!n but we’ll save
Crappie fisherman are glad to be done with April.  Now fish have finished spawning and have moved to deeper water.  Trolling is the best way to catch them.  From the mouth of the creeks to main lake edges near creek mouths in 20’ of water is a good place to find them.  Troll double rigs in these areas for best results.  It’s also a good time to learn your electronics.  Find the bait and the fish will not be far behind.

 For those of you that have never been to Lake Jackson, it’s loaded with big fish and at any time you can catch that trophy you’ve always wanted.  With water levels on Lake Jackson still very low, there’s limited access even for smaller boats.  For those of you with smaller boats and Kayaks, jerk baits and swim baits have been taking their fair share of big fish.  Reports of bass exceeding 10lbs have come in.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed we get another 6-10” of rain and we might be able to have our Thursday night tournaments again.So until next time, be safe, have fun and always wear a life jacket while boating!       

April 8, 2012
Lake Talquin is high and stained with water temps reaching into the low 80's in some creeks.  Lots of big bass were caught on the last full moon with bedding bass all over the lake.  Fish have been on bed now for almost 3 months, so fish are in all three stages of the spawn.  Early in the morning there is also a pretty good shad spawn happening right now and bass are exploding on these tasty little guys in lily pads in backs of creeks and main lake pockets.  One pattern I had this past week included floating matts of hyacinths that had shad all over them first thing in the morning.  Someone came through and sprayed all the creeks and by Friday, there was Brown vegetation everywhere.  Though some shad still stayed in the area, most left for "Greener" pastures, thus taking the bass with them.  A few creeks to look in is Little River, Rocky comfort and Blount Creek.  Pop "R", buzzbaits and Baby Torpedos were all very effective over the past week in taking both numbers of bass and big bass.  My biggest was 8lbs, but hung a couple more in the 10lb to 12lb range.  As the sun comes up spinnerbaits, rattle traps and shallow running crankbaits fished on the first drop outside the pads will get you some bites.  Few fish are on the main lake ledges, but with all the warm weatherf headed our way this week look for that to change very soon.  This big fish in the pick was taken on a Japanese made Pop "R" using a Deep South Rod 6'6" top water Elite Rod.

March 10, 2012 
With recent rains, Lake Talquin is back to normal and now stained to myddy depending on what part of the lake you go to.  Water temps are running in the low to mid 60's, and you know what that means!  Bass among other species have moved to the shallows.  We've been catching bass off the beds over the past month, but this last full moon has really pushed them up.  To catch these, try buzzbaits, swimbaits or Bang O Lures early in the am.  Once the sun comes up you can drag a short Carolina rigged lizard around lily pads and shallow stumps.  If you do come across a bedding bass you can see, it's time to tie on the Jigdinger tipped with a Pace Craw trailer. 
For crappie enthusiasts it's lily pads with minnows.  Low light conditions are best suited for catching them in the pads, so as the sun comes up and the bite slows, move to the first drop off and troll small jigs and spinners.  There are still some bigger females being caught in 8-10' of water and the best place to find those is points and turns in the creek channels.



While January brings New Years and College football bowl games, bass fishing on Lake Talquin slows down.  Most fish have moved deep into the main lake and the river channel.  Though some bass can still be found in deeper creeks you’ll want to focus on docks and ledges near deep water.  Rattle traps, crank baits and large spinner baits fished in these areas are a good way to locate and catch bass.  When fishing the rattle trap this time of year I like to use the “yoyo” method.  Lift your rod tip quickly and let your bait drop back down.  Be sure not to lose contact with you bait as most strikes occur when the bait is falling.  For crank baits big, deep divers with a large wobble to them works best.  No need to “rip” the bait across the bottom.  If there was ever a time to fish a crankbait slow it’s now.  Fish are much more lethargic as water temps drop into the 50’s and won’t chase a bait very far.  But they still eat and when they do they want something big!  Spinnerbaits can be very effective around docks that fall into deeper water.  Bass use these as ambush points so “slow rolling” a 5/8oz or 3/4oz white spinnerbait near the ends of docks can be deadly this time of year.  On warm sunny days bass will move into the upper column near structure especially on the upper end of the Lake near Coe’s Landing.  Banks on the North side get most of the sun throughout the day and attract more fish. 

January is also one of the best months to Crappie fish on Lake Talquin.  Big slabs up to 3lbs can be found this time of year suspended under huge balls of bait in the main river channel.  Hundred fish days are possible with many limits caught by trolling or drifting minnows.  You’ll find some fish already have roe in them, building up for the spawn in February.  Creek mouths, river channel bends, and main lake sand bars adjacent to the river channel is where the speckled perch tend to school up.  As you troll through fish keep an eye on your graph.  When you see bait with fish underneath, get ready for action!  Small spinners, Hal Fly’s or Bab Fly’s trolled on 6lb test line at about 1mph behind the boat, is a great way to not only catch fish, but also cover water.  Always troll with the current.  Wether it’s wind or water current, you’ll increase your chances of a more productive day by following this tip.

For those of you that have never been to Lake Jackson, it’s loaded with big fish and at any time you can catch that trophy you’ve always wanted.  As below average rainfall reaches 36”, water levels on Lake Jackson are dangerously low.  For those of you with smaller boats and Kayaks, jerk baits and swim baits work very well this time of year.

So until next time, be safe, have fun and always wear a life jacket while boating!       

Oct 22, 2011
November’s one of my favorite month’s to fish Lake Talquin.  Highs still in the 80’s, water temps in the 70’s and most all the bass in the lake are shallow by now.  Lily pads are the first place I look as shad, shiners and brim are all in the same place.  This makes for a bass fiesta, at times resembling a boiling pot of water with all the fishy activity.  My favorite baits are White 3/8oz Terminator spinner baits, Zoom Super Flukes in Shad, Pearl or Watermelon seed, and Yum Money Minnow swim baits fished on a 1/8oz #5 Stinger Dinger.  Not only can action be fast and furious but quality exists as well.  On a November trip several years back I boated three fish that each weighed over 8lbs, and others in the 2-3lb range throughout the day.  Each month you’ll notice I refer to the importance of “bait” in the areas you find fish.  This is probably one time of the year when this could not be more important.  With the recent emergence of scattered grass in certain creeks, I’m looking forward to some of the best fall fishing I’ve seen in years.  Last time I found grass like this the fishing was spectacular with big limits very common.  With time on the water and a keen eye, you could be one of those lucky fishermen to find the Holy Grail!

 For you crappie enthusiast’s, get your batteries charged ‘cause it’s time to troll.  Fish will feed heavily on shad fattening up for the upcoming short winter we have down here.  You’ll find some fish already have roe in them, building up for the spawn in February.  Creek mouths, river channel bends, and main lake sand bars adjacent to the river channel is where the speckled perch tend to school up.  As you troll through fish keep an eye on your graph.  When you see bait with fish underneath, get ready for action!  Small spinners, Hal Fly’s or Bab Fly’s trolled on 6lb test line at about 1mph behind the boat, is a great way to not only catch fish, but also cover water.  1 big hint:  Always troll with the current.  Wether it’s wind or water current, you’ll increase your chances of a more productive day by following this tip.

 For those of you that have never been to Lake Jackson, it’s loaded with big fish and at any time you can catch that trophy you’ve always wanted.  As below average rainfall reaches 18”, water levels on Lake Jackson as dangerously low and vegetation is very high.  For those of you with smaller boats and Kayaks, jerk baits and swim baits work very well this time of year.

September 15, 2011
Been almost a month since our last report.  Not a whole lot of change since then, but there is some. 
Biggest change on Lake Jackson is water levels have dropped almost to the point where launching a full size bass boat is dangerous at Sunset Landing.  Several fisherman have damaged their props while trying to load the boat back on the trailer.  The September Xtreme Bass tournament had to be moved to Lake Talquin due to low water levels.  If you do get out on Lake Jackson, bass fishing should be picking up as water temps also fall.  Some of the heavy hydrilla has fallen back in the Crowder area and made for some very good bass fishing.  Top water poppers, or soft plastic frogs thrown on a Stinger Dinger still work very well.
Lake Talquin's water levels are stable for now, and temps have dropped back into the high 70's.  Most bass are still hanging out on main lake ledges and creek channel points close to the main lake but look for that to change very soon.  As water temps continue to drop, shad will make their way into the creeks and the bass will follow.  You won't want to miss out on this, as action can be fast and furious when fish begin to school.  A couple good pointers to look for schooling activity.  One is watch for birds.  If you see birds diving in the distance, chances are some species of bass are chasing bait to the surface.   The other is simply watch the surface.  Calm seas make it much easier to spot schooling activity, but the more you do it the easier it gets.  Can't pin point an exact spot where they are right now, as the schools move constintly.  I can tell you a small chrome rattle trap or Little George will increase your chances to catch them. 

August 18, 2011
We've almost had some change.  not much but almost.  Water temps are still in the high 80's during low light hours and reaching into the 90's by mid day.  Lake Jackson has been producing some big fish this year with the majority being caught after dark with artificials or during the day with shiners.  Water levels are very low and the only place I feel safe putting in is Sunset Landing.  As I write this the water levels drop each day.  Two weeks ago I had a hard time loading my 21' Triton on the trailer.  Maybe a nice Tropical Storm can drop another 20" of rain before we lose it again.  Early mornings and throughout the day the one technique I stick with is the frog.  Even if I don't catch them the strikes it produces will give away their hideouts.  Once I find them I can slow down and fish that area until they bite.  Flipping a creature bait is my go to bait once Mr. Bass reveals his location.  You have to be quick.  Once they roll if you can get the bait right back in there they usually bite.  Don't get caught without heavy equipment either.  I use a stout 7'6" Deep South Flippin Stick.  A high speed Shimano reel and at least 50# test braided Power Pro.  For a hook I like an OWNER 3/0 or 4/0 wide gap+.  You could almost fish for Grouper with it.
Lake Talquin water levels have recently come back to about normal so look for a detailed report September 1st.  As of now, river is stained and most fish are coming from Williams Landing and up river. 
July 4th, 2011

Happy 4th everyone!  With July comes fireworks, heat, afternoon storms and some great bass fishing on Lake Talquin.  From one end of the lake to the other, Bass chase shad up and down the river channel waiting to feed.  Find the shad, and the bass aren’t far behind.  River channel and main lake ledges are key to all of this.  Early and late in the day bass will even be chasing bait in pockets off the main lake.  Top water action can be fast and furious and my favorite bait for this is a Pop R.  As the sun gets higher, bass get more active as shad “ball up” in the deeper water.  Now’s the time to break out the medium diving crank bait and Carolina rig.  A Norman Deep Little N or Bomber Fat Free Shad in natural colors is a great bait to activate a school of hungry bass.  Once you locate the fish and they slow down, it’s time to throw a big Zoom worm in Junebug or Red shad on a Carolina rig.  The best ledges have the deepest drops near by.  Lots and lots of Brim are being caught around the main lake in the deeper pockets.  Beetle spins on light tackle is a great way to introduce kids to the sport.  Not only is the equipment easy to use, but it’s relatively inexpensive and keeps the kids interest up but constantly doing something.  Please be extra careful out there over the holiday!

Happy 4th everyone!  July on Lake Jackson is almost like no other month.  With the recent afternoon showers, Jackson is fishing just fine.  Bass are now deep into their summer pattern and early mornings and late afternoons are definitely best during low light hours.  But the best way to catch a trophy Bass on Lake Jackson during July is fish after dark.  Big, noisy top water baits like a Chug Bug, Buzz Bait, poppin frog or Bang “O” lure will all entice bass into some of the loudest strikes you’ll ever hear.  When a 10-12lb bass busts the surface to eat one of these at night, it sounds like someone dropped a Volkswagon into the water from an airplane.  One tip, don’t set the hook until you feel the fish pull.  As hard as they strike, they sometimes miss it the first time, but if you give them a chance they’ll come back and get it.  During the day, flip a 1oz Texas rigged worm into the thicker stuff or swim a soft plastic frog or swimbait on a Stinger Dinger along the edges of deeper grass. Brim fishing has been very good with crickets and minnows fished in the deeper holes in the grass and around lily pads 
Lake Talquin is low, clear and fishing just awesome right now.  If your not fishing ledges during the day your missing the boat.  Carolina rigs and Jigs are the one two puch I use now to fill my limit.  On the end of my Carolina rig I'm using 10" and 11" worms.  Either a Gambler red/shad or Net bait Redbug.  My choice for jigs is a 1/2oz Jigdinger in Backwater Black tipped with Zoom Speed worm in Junebug or Redbug.  Find ledges right off the river channel that have lot's of bait around them.  Later in the day they'll bite a crank bait also in shad colors.  Reports are coming in of schooling bass near Coes Landing.
Brim fishing was off the chain during the full moon last week.  Not many people out on Talquin now brim fishing so if that's what your after you'll have most of the lake to yourself.  Main lake coves with sandy bottoms are just loaded.  I came across one bed that was 50' long and had hundreds of hand sized fish all over it.  With the water so clear brim beds are easy to spot.  Great time to try your luck with a fly rod.  Word of advise, practice at home first before going with others in a boat.
A couple weeks ago when I mentioned Lake Jackson was full of water I meant it was fishable.  The lake levels are lower than normal leaving a few boat ramps out of the water.  You can still launch a good sized boat at Sunset, Crowder and Millers landings.  Once on the water fishing has been hit or miss depending on the part of the lake you are on.  Early mornings and late afternoons are definately better fishing with topwater lures.  Soft plastic frogs and swimbaits fished on a #5 or #6 painted Stinger Dinger.  Zoom, Gambler and Strike King all make good soft plastic baits that will catch fish on Jackson.  During the day as temps climb into the 90's, flip a Texas rigged worm or brush hog with a 1oz weight into heavier cover.  Last week we got into them right before dark using an oldy but a goody in the boat lanes catching 15 bass in 20 minutes.  The lure...Remeber the Chug Bug?  Give it a try if you still have one in your tackle box.
Brim fishing during the last moon was just as good on Jackson.  Lots of limits were caught and one secret the locals use is find the holes in the middle of the lily pads.  6'-8' was the best depth for the bigger fish.  Crickets and wigglers both worked, which ever you prefer.  Here's a pic of David Hinton with a 9.4 lber and a 7.5 lber caught on back to back casts last week during a Thursday night tournament.  Yes, they won!!!  

June 6, 2011 

Hard to believe it’s June and we’ve already had 100 degree days.  If you can stand the heat, fishing has been pretty good on area lakes and rivers even with the lower water levels.  On Lake Talquin, bass are already into summer patterns holding on main lake ledges and points.  Medium diving crank baits in shad patterns are producing nice catches when there is current.  With lack of rainfall Talquin Electric is unable to generate as often and without current fish are more apt to take a slower, steady presentation like a Carolina or Texas rigged worm.  Good reports from brim fisherman are coming in with most fish taken on main lake points and deeper edges with crickets. 

Lake Jackson drops a couple inches a day, so even a short afternoon shower is welcome.  It’s now almost impossible to launch a big boat of any kind at Rhoden Cove.  That hasn’t stopped the big bass from biting, as David Hinton and Randy Trousdelle weighed in two nine pounders last Thursday night to take the big bass prize.  Fishing cuts near boat runs and flipping worms in deeper cover seems to be the theme with the above normal water temps now in the high 90’s by mid afternoon.  You might also want to try dead sticking a Zoom Super Fluke or fishing a weightless trick worm near clumps of lily pads.   Brim fisherman are also having luck fishing boat runs and open water in Church’s Cove.

May 31, 2011
Get out your rally caps, dancing shoes, rabbit’s foot and even say a little prayer, ‘cause if we don’t get some rain pretty soon Lake Jackson will be inaccessible to anything but john boats and kayaks.  Rhoden cove is almost certainly out of the question to launch a bass boat, but you’re still able to put in at Sunset, Crowder or Millers landing.  Once you’re out there bass fishing’s still excellent, with top water frogs or swimbaits thrown on a painted Stinger Dinger.  With water levels down , water clarity is up to 5’ in the Crowder area.  With the lack of cover in Crowder, bass have moved to other parts of the lake with heavy matted vegetation and lily pads for shade and more oxygen.  Lots of brim are being caught also, with crickets the number 1 bait followed by wigglers and then poppers on a fly rod during lower light hours.  Water temps have reached the low 90’s.             

Not only is Jackson low, but Lake Talquin is below normal too.  Low water levels have increased visibility by 2 –3 feet and bass are biting very well on main lake ledges and points.  Great big Carolina or Texas rigged worms work best during the day, while crank baits and rattle traps fire up schooling fish early and late during low light hours.  Up river (above Coe’s landing) bass can be found on channel turns and blow throughs.  Brim fisherman are also having good luck fishing small spinners near docks and cover.

Thursday night tournaments on Lake Jackson are back with a nice 8lber as big bass the first week.  Over 30 boats participated the first week with most catching fish. John Ross and Richard Predmore took top honors with just under 12 lbs and big bass with a nice 8.40.  A variety of baits from shallow running crank baits to 7” plastic worms were reported catching fish from one side of the lake to the other.  With water levels below normal, vegetation is thick and it actually makes the fish easier to find.  Look for points created by grass or lily pad edges in 4-7’ of water.  Weekly tournament results and information are posted on fishtallahassee.com.  Brim fisherman are finding limits easy to come by in the Crowder and Millers open water areas.  Work grass edges with wigglers or cast small spinners near cover to locate bigger brim.

   On Lake Talquin great catches of largemouth bass are coming from creek channel and main lake ledges on medium to deep diving crank baits.  Couple of my favorites are the 5/8oz Bomber fat free shad in Firetiger or the 1/2oz Deep Little N in Tennessee Shad.  Once they slow on the crank bait, you can mine the area with an 8” or 10” Gambler worm fished on the end of a Carolina rig or 1/2oz Backwater Black Jigdinger.  There’s still some fish in the creeks with top water action coming during the first hour.  Once that’s over it’s over!  Time to move out to the main lake.  Crappie fishing is some of the worst I’ve seen in 12 years!  Not sure where they all went but they certainly aren’t as abundant as they were.  Some catches are coming from in front of the docks just outside of Hammock creek while trolling 17-22’ of water.  Brim are still doing great and you can catch them all over the lake.  The new or full moons are best, with huge shellcracker being caught in 4-6’ of water on wigglers.   


Bass fishing on Lake Talquin has really taken a change for the worst over the past week with water temps rising into the high 70's, and fish in the latter stages of the spawn.  Although a few spawners are still left, the majority of bass are making their way back to deeper water and staging in 5-9' depths near deeper lily pads, creek channel ledges and points.  
Early mornings have bass hoppin' as shad are spawning in some creeks like Polk, Rocky Comfort, and Bear, while Little River and back water areas off the main river have lot's of shad in them too.  Small top water poppers and swim baits are taking their share of bass, and you might even want to try a 1/4oz White Buzzbait as shad are smaller.
Carolina rigged Lizards and worms, along with medium diving crankbaits will cover lots of water while probing points and ledges.               You'll find lot's of bass with big heads, and skinny bodies as these fish have recently come off the beds and are worn out from the spawn and gaurding nests. 
Crappie fisherman are finding nice catches while trolliing in Oklawaha and Freeman Creeks.  
Brim were tearing it up on last weeks full moon but some can still be found shallow.  Mike Outz reported while fishing with his daddy, they caught lots of hand size brim with one close to 2lbs.  Most were shellcracker and caught on wigglers. 


Lake Temps are heating up and so is the bass fishing on Lake Talquin. I’ve been fishing for over 40 years and last week, recorded my personal best with an 11lb 14oz monster I caught while sight fishing. Using a Jackson Green JIGDINGER tipped with a Gambler Craw, I finally caught her on the third pitch to the bed. With the lack of rainfall, backs of creeks are very clear and bedding fish can still be found there. Early mornings try a small spinner bait around the lily pads as bass are feeding heavily on spawning shad. Another way to try for bass is Carolina rigging creek channel points and ledges.
The full moon will move brim to the beds all over the lake. Crickets or wigglers fished on the end of a cane pole is a great way to catch them and also introduce kids to fishing.
Lake Jackson bass fishing has improved with lots of fish being caught on soft plastic jerk baits, swim baits and frogs. A weighted hook works great on these baits making them run true and a little deeper. I prefer a 1/16 or an 1/8oz STINGER DINGER by
HUMDINGER BAITS. Fish these around scattered vegetation near old spawning areas as lots of bass are guarding fry and this makes for some awesome strikes. Don’t forget the heavy action rod and the braided line.
Brim fishing is excellent now have with most catches coming from grass lines in front of Miller and Crowder landings.


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