I towed the boat westward toward Loftin Creek last Sunday to do some bass fishing.
I arrived at the creek to find the last quarter of the incoming tide remaining, a perfect scenario for a four hour fishing trip because if the bass aren’t biting on the incoming tide they usually will feed on the outgoing tide.
The previous day was spent baiting up gold shiners in the lake behind my house while tending to some ribs cooking low and slow in the smoker, two of my favorite pastimes. After throwing the castnet all day I was pleased to have 48 large shiners in my holding tank. The ribs were a much deserved treat after all that work.
My threesome of anglers showed up early, eager to wet a line and as we motored toward our first stop we all remarked that it was an exceptional morning, no wind yet and the creek offering its seasonally changing beauty as the maples lining its banks were bursting with their bright red seedpods ready to helicopter down and perpetuate the species. A small gaggle of large geese honked at us as they flew low overhead while we were anchoring up anticipating the action yet to come. Our first stop was at the “Horseshoe”. This is a spot one turn down from the A1A boatramp where an oxbow forms a deep hole and the banks are hollowed out by the virtue of oak tree roots giving the Bass a great hiding place from which to ambush baitfish as they swim past unaware. Cypress knees and scattered bullrushes also provide cover for foraging Bass. Our six inch shiners were barbed on 1/0 Kahle hooks, near the tail so that the shiner will swim toward the bank. I like the 1/0 Kahle hooks (a larger size hook) because the baits were big enough to swim with this size hook dragging behind. Also, this larger hook rarely is swallowed by the Bass and usually winds up in the fish’s lip, allowing for a healthier release. Arriving at this hot spot on the perfect tide produced nothing and left me playing catchup as there are days when no bites and no fish early are an indication of slow fishing all day.
We motored down the creek to the “Hog hole”, a deep creekmouth known to have produced at least one bonafied 13 pound Bass in recent years.The 10 year old angler in our boat produced three bass, up to five pounds within the two hours we spent there. His older counterparts attempted several hooksets but the timing was off and the Bass escaped unscathed.
As the tide turned and the wind blew we tried a last resort spot with Bullrushes and cypress knees. The action was almost nonstop with many lost fish and two more fat, four pounders boated.
Spring and fall seem to be the best seasons for Largemouth Bass in Lofton Creek, and in Florida in general. Fall likely due to the abundance of Mullet and Shrimp in the creeks, and spring because the females are bedding and the males are either fertilizing or guarding the bedding area, hard work requiring sustenance. Summer provides good fishing but the Bass seem to slow down a bit and the creek can be a very hot and buggy place for fisherman. Take advantage of this outstanding time of year and give fishing in Loftin Creek a try. In 30 fishing seasons I’ve never been anything but amazed by its natural beauty and abundant wildlife.
As a charter boat captain, I will happily help you prepare or take you myself. Gift certificates for this type of trip are wonderful presents, too!
Give me a call, “Captain Jim” Wormhoudt at (904) 753-0882.