The Largemouth Bass is pound for pound one of the hardest fighting freshwater fish on Earth. Largemouth Bass originated in the eastern United States. However, they have since been introduced throughout the world including the rest of the United States, Mexico, South America, Africa, and even Asia! In fact, the Japanese Bass population holds some of the largest specimens scientists and anglers have seen! Their climate is ideal for the Bass to thrive, and they prey upon fish that are much larger than the American Shad!
While these fish have healthy populations world wide, we were Stoked to Join Captain Joey Berg on Lake Okechobee for a day of Freshwater Fishing! Joey Berg is prefishing for the Rolland Martin Tournament Series. This is the first of three qualifiers that will lead up to a final tournament. Joey Berg has a reputation on the lake for not only being a respectable guide, but for being a tournament contender.
Conditions were about all we could ask for- bright & sunny, a slight breeze, Love Bugs everywhere, and a freshly spawn population of shad. From the moment we arrived at the dock, we could see hundreds of Catfish on the surface eating the Wasps and Lovebugs that would land on the surface. With this much surface activity in the canals, we could only imagine what kind of Fish could be moving around on the lake. Not only is it season for Lovebugs and shad, but the Alligators were clearly getting ready for their season as well! The canal was absolutely stacked with Gators.
Joey is the proud owner of a 2000 Ranger Comanche Powered by a Mercury Pro SX, outfitted with Garmin Electronics, a Minn Kota Trolling motor, and two Power Poles. His tackle consists of Fitzgerald Rods, Diawa Reels, Versa Braid, a handful of his favorite topwater lures, and of course the SA Premium Tackle Box! It goes without saying that he has all the tools one might need for a successful tournament day on Lake Okeechobee.
It was a short ride to Joey’s first Spot- We spent an hour or two trolling around the Kissimmee grass searching for schooling fish, surface activity, birds, or anything that could indicate hungry giants near us. It wasn’t long before we hooked up to our first big fish. She weighed about 4.4lb, and had some of the most beautiful patterns that we’ve seen on a bass in quite a while. For a first fish of the day, this was a respectable first catch, a great start to the day.
Nearly half an hour later, Joey set the hook on another Largie. This one weighing a few ounces heavier than our first also with a very clean pattern. We couldn’t help but notice that the water was very clear, but also very shallow. Joey explains that FWC and the Army Corps of Engineers work together to regulate the outward and downward flow of water from Lake Okeechobee to accommodate the upcoming rainy season. While many argue that excessive water discharge and excessive spraying leads to red tie and other algae blooms, Floridian Politicians assure their citizens that it’s the only way to regulate the freshwater table. While elected officials battle it out, we can’t help but admire the quality of the fish we’re landing.
Before too long, the slight breeze we had died down and we made a move into another area where Joey has hopes of landing giants. We worked this area for about fifteen minutes before our first bite. Joey set the hook on a 5 pounder. As expected, she was a clean, healthy looking fish. We were amped to have three solid fish on board in such a short amount of time. We were sure we could land another giant in this spot!
Only moments later, Joey landed another 5 pounder. It went without saying that Joey had found some really solid fishing grounds only days before the Rolland Martin Qualifier. As happy as we were to have been able to find the fish when the cameras were rolling, we couldn’t help but wonder if these giants would still be coming through over the weekend.
After a long day of bass fishing, it was time to head back to the docks. Before we released the handful of bass we kept for a photo op, we decided to go Live on Facebook! We’re very proud to present a weekly live stream so that SA May be your window to the great outdoors!
Joey and Noah Discussed Bass Fishing, the All New SA Tacklebox, the ecosystem of South Central Florida, and an exclusive look at Joey Berg’s Ranger Comanche along with his favorite rods and reels! Be sure to tune in every Wednesday for our weekly Live Stream!
Want to be on SATV Live?
Let us know! -> https://safishing.com/join-us-sa-tv-live/