April 4, 2009

Urban Fishing

I was on my way to the grocery store to pick up some things for our Saturday barbecue, when I got distracted. I saw a guy fishing on the side of the road on this pond next to an apartment complex. I see this guy all the time, with his bike leaning against a tree and his line in the water. He's fishing there almost every day I drive past on my way to work. I decided to try to fish the pond. One thing I learned about Florida, is you always have to have at least one rod in your truck no matter where you are.

I talked to the guy on the bike and he said there are some big bass in the lake and he catches them all the time. He claims to have a buddy who caught a 17 pounder there. Florida has some monster bass, but I highly doubt it was that big. Oh well I thought, I'm happy with a bass of any size. He was using a 7" Junebug worm, I decided to throw my favorite Bobby's Perfect Frog to see what the lake has to offer.

The first thing I noticed was the unusual cover this lake has in it. There were six or seven shopping carts in the lake, and the bass and panfish were using them as shade. This is truly urban fishing. Cars were constantly driving by just feet behind me. This really reminded me of growing up in Las Vegas fishing the urban ponds with Kevin, Kyle and Jason....catching those ghetto bass as planes landed across the street, and rap music blared and soccer balls were kicked behind us.

After a few minutes of not catching anything, I drove into the complex and tried my luck. I met another guy fishing, and he said to ignore the "No Fishing" signs, because he fished there all the time. He also told me there have been a few sightings of a 10 foot gator. Well this is Florida...so I just decided to be a little extra cautious.

I started throwing my Mizmo Diamond Darter Fluke and immediately hooked up to a nice two pound bass. The guy was amazed, as he had been fishing there all day without a bite. I showed him what I was using and gave him a few baits to try. I switched to the frog and had a few huge blowups, and then went back to the fluke. I was getting bit on almost every cast and they kept short striking the bait. I was getting frustrated and couldn't figure out why I kept missing the fish. They would just nip the bait and I thought they must just be small bass. I continued fishing and finally caught what had been biting.

It was a Mayan Cichlid! Straight out of the aquarium type fish. I have caught a few of these before but never on a fluke. They have such small mouths, its hard to hook them. Cichlids fight like a bluegill on steroids and are a lot of fun to catch. I am still a little hesitant to lip them like a bass as you can see by the pic. I don't know what kind of teeth those things have. I hear they are really good to eat, but I'll leave them for someone else to grill. Once again I found a few spare minutes to fish and found a few bass. Man...Florida is awesome.

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