Wednesday, November 19, 2008

North Tampa Bass Classic-John's Lake Results

We finished up 2008 with our 2-day Classic tournament on John's Lake this weekend for North Tampa Bass Club and the bite was not what we usually expect from John's Lake. Saturday started off slow for my co-angler and I as we started in the cut entering Clear Lake. There was absolutely no surface activity most of the day and bites would turn on and then off just as quick! My co-angler John McCallister got his limit of 5 fish for the day with 5.12lbs I believe and I managed 3 fish for 3.12lbs all in Clear Lake. We got most of the keepers on the dock line on the south side of Clear Lake with a bunch of small ones mixed in. I was using my Bitters sling baits in black and John was using black with blue flake (yamamoto I believe). We got a few keepers on a hydrilla line we found on the other side of Clear lake as well using 7.5 inch Culprits in Junebug. The wind was kicking pretty good most of the day making it a little difficult as my trolling motor is on it's last leg and has very little power! The water temp was between 68 and 72 the whole day and the cloud cover lingered for most of the day. Not bad conditions especially for what the forcast was for Sunday!
Sunday morning started off with the air-temp around 40 and the water temp around 68 but the wind seemed to hold off for the first hour giving us a chance to maybe pick a few off before that wind starts howling. We started on our hydrilla line and I managed to get two hits in the first half hour or so but missed both. I knew that would be huge as it was going to be the kind of day were five bites might be all I see! We wound up getting nothing at that spot so we moved to docks were we started getting some hits. By this time it was about 10:00am and with a noon weigh-in we needed keepers bad! I managed one quickly but that would be my only keeper for the rest of the day. John managed to pull 3 off the docks to finish the weekend in 3rd place. Nice tourny John! Steve Jarret won the tournament with 11+ lbs and will maybe leave a comment on where he was fishing:)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

John's Lake Report -Prefish 11/13

Got out on John's Lake for about 5 hours on Thursday to pre-fish for our 2-day Classic for North Tampa Bass Club to be held on Sat/Sun 15th-16th. I started out at 7:30am at the cut between the two main bodies of water with no bites and no surface action what so ever. This would be a recurring theme for most of the afternoon as I hit every corner of the lake including Black Lake, The Horse Shoe, Southwest corner, the cut leading to Clear Lake, and finally Clear Lake at about noon. In Clear Lake, I immediately got a small one on a rapala shad rap of a boat launch right at noon. Followed that 15 minutes later with another small one under a dock and then nailed a strange looking 4.8 pounder under a dock 5 minutes after that. I decided I found my starting point for the weekend and packed it in for the day. The 4.8 pounder was actually 23 inches long which would usually put it at about 6-7 pounds easy! Very skinny as you can see from the pic!

I will give Classic results tomorrow....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Castaways-2009 Small Boat Trail

Castaways Bass Fishing will host a tournament trail in 2009 for small boats (17 feet max and 40hp max). The tournaments Kick-off on January 24th at Lake Reedy and ends with an end-of-the-year Classic at Lake Marion on October 24th, 2009. It is a team trail and costs $50 per team and a $15 yearly membership fee. For more information and a full schedule of tournaments go to

or contact Johnny Lockaby at 813-833-5786

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lake Tarpon Reports

Thursday October 23rd

Went out on Lake Tarpon for about 3 and half hours and did pretty good. Got on the Lake about 12:30 and the wind was howling! I worked a lipless crank bait (that shall remain nameless) all around the north end catching 3 shorts. I moved to mid-lake area and and caught 3 keepers in about 25 minutes with 2 and a 3 pounder all on the same lipless crank. They were hitting it well as the waves were pushing the baitfish all over the place.

Saturday October 25th
Tournament-North Tampa Bass Club

With another windy day in store, I planned on throwing my lipless crankbait with reckless abandon and that 's exactly what I did! The only thing was the bite just wasn't there today. I stuck with it far to much as I kept catching small fish, thinking I was going to get that big bite if I keep cranking. I eventually stopped cranking and targeted docks. The fish were there but it was becoming evident that it just wasn't my day as I lost a fish that was in the 6-8 pound range. With less than an hour left in the tournament I got several more bites but could not land them, one being about a 2 and half pounder. I finished the tournament with an unbelievable 0 fish on my home lake but somehow held on for Angler of the Year. This was one of the toughest days overall I have fished on Tarpon!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Maiden Voyage on the Kayak

I bought a kayak a few weeks ago and I finally got to get her out today! My Dad has owned one for a few years now so we got together and launched at Crystal Beach for a few hours of paddlin and fishin! My main focus was just to get out there and feel it out as I have never been out on a kayak before but I was definately getting in a few casts! It was a little shaky at first but I quickly got the hang of it. We headed north out of Crystal Beach and after about a mile or so we decided to stop and throw some shrimpies out. We located a deeper cut along some docks and it was loaded with fish! My Dad got things started with a small trout, his first fish on his yak and I quickly landed my first fish, a small snapper. A few minutes later, my shrimp got railed and my drag was screaming! After a several minute fight, my fish still hadn't shown itself. After initially thinking it was a red, I was convinced it was a snook as it kept going on serious runs and dragging me around in circles! I finally got a good look at it and realized it was a nice Jack! Not bad for the first day on the Kayak! All-in-all, it was a beautiful day on the water and we managed about 9 fish between us in a few hours. Looking forward to many days with pops out on the kayaks!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Last Stop, Harris Chain!

Well it's taken me all year to do it but I have finally taken over the points lead for Angler of the Year for The North Tampa Bass Club. It has been kind of a struggle as I started the year cold as usual and missed a tournament in March putting me behind the eight ball. I needed a big tourny somewhere along the way and I got that at Rousseau with a 16.10 pound bag and a 7.01 big fish in May that would catapult me into the top three. A 7.01lber at Kissimmee gave me enough to pass the leader Kevin Hayton (who didn't fish because of boat problems) with one tourney to go! So here we go into the final tournament with approximately a 4 lb lead over second and a 6 and 7 pound lead over third and fourth respectively. I plan on coming out strong and holding my lead! Good luck to all my pursuers, lets get it on!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Big Zero at the Big "O"!

We had are 2 day end-of-the-year classic tournament for Xtreme Bass Series on Lake Okeechobee out of Roland Martin Marina in Clewiston this past weekend and the fishing was as tough as I have ever faced! My partner Kevin and I couldn't manage a single bite in 3 days of fishing! Thank you Roland Martin for putting a Tiki bar in your resort! The conditions were not particularly bad so I am not sure if we just couldn't find the fish or they just didn't want what we had to offer. We did fish a multitude of different baits in every color of the rainbow in every presentation we could think of in countless number of spots so it couldn't be us right? Had to be those moody Okee-bass! Actually only 75 teams out of 126 weighed in fish on day one. The rumor was that the high water (15 feet) had the fish really spread out and it took some work to find them. Some of the spots we fished included Coot Bay, East Wall, West Wall, Rita Island, Dynamite Holes, Uncle Joes Cut, Uncle Joes Trail, and all up and down the Rim Canal. The guys that did well all seemed to have had fished the north end of the lake. We heard that it took anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half to make the run from Clewiston and for us to make that run would probably be closer to 2 hours if even possible in the windy conditions and my 17 foot bass boat. The winners had somewhere around 35 pounds and won a new Ranger 198 VX with an 200 Evinrude for their efforts! All in all, we had a great time, got to meet lots of new people from different trails, and it was great to finally fish Okeechobee even though it got the best of us this time!

Over an hour wait at registration went by a little quicker with a few cold ones. Here's Kev trying to decide which one to start with!

Grass beds as far as the eye can see! Where do we start??

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lake Kissimmee Report 9/27

We had our September tournament today for North Tampa Bass Club on Lake Kissimmee with 15 pounds even taking the top spot and I took big bass honors with a 7.01 pounder!
Weather was perfect for most of the day with temps maxing out about 88 degrees with a nice northerly breeze early but turning to calm later in the afternoon. I debated before the launch on whether to lock-down to the Kissimmee River and look for moving water or head to the south side of Brahma Island and work some toads in the endless lily pad fields. I've never had much success locking down to the river and I love throwing frogs so Brahma it is!
My co-angler John McAllister and I headed out at 6:45am with a 20 minute bug filled ride through the darkness towards Brahma looking to hook into some biggins only to make a horrible discovery when we got there. My trolling motor wasn't working and I had no idea why! After an hour of checking every connection 5 times, I discovered we had a dead battery! We were faced with only one option, switching the cranking battery to the trolling motor and switching it back every time we needed to start the big motor and hope we had enough juice for both!
Now it's 8:00am and I haven't thrown a cast yet! I saw some surface activity and decided to give my trusty Rapala Shad Rap a try and about 3 casts in I nail something huge! My drag wouldn't stop screaming and I wouldn't stop screaming "NET! NET!". After about 10 seconds of my drag screaming I realized it's either a world record bass or the more likely, a giant mudfish. Close, I tail hooked a 3 foot gar. At least it got my mind off the battery problems and got me concentrating on fishing!
Ahh, I finally get to work some lily pads! It didn't take long before I was fighting another monster only this time I saw it slap my Junebug Culprit on the surface so I knew it was a bass! A 7.01 pounder in fact that would eventually win big bass honors! This was the only fish either of us mustered up at south Brahma so after about an hour we decided to make a move. We made another 20 minute run to just past Philadelphia Point to work a spot where some hydrilla mixes in with some Kissimmee grass. There seems to always be a large concentration of smaller fish with a few keepers mixed in and today was no different. John picked up 3 keepers mostly on texas-rigged trick worms and I managed one on the same which unfortunately would round-out my day at 2 fish for 7.14 lbs. We finished off the afternoon working the boathouses in the canals with no success. My 7.14 was good enough for a 4th place payout and I will post the rest of the places once they are posted to the NTBC website.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lake Tarpon Report 9/22

Got out on Lake Tarpon today for about an hour and half, mostly just to run the boat as it has been idle for a month but also to take a few casts and see how they're biten! Got out about 2:30pm and it was hot and muggy, probably 90 degrees with the wind out of the north at only about 6-7 mph and the water level seemed slightly higher than normal. Skies were overcast with some threatening clouds in the distance that eventually pushed me off the lake. In the small amount of time I was out there I was able to establish a dock pattern and get 3 non-keepers boated before giving in to the storm clouds. I was using 5" Bitters Slings in their rootbeer candy color. If you are not familiar wiith Bitter's Slings, they are put out by Bitter's Bait and Tackle in Longwood, Florida. They are what is commonly known as a senko, sinko or stickbait as some call it. I have fallen in love with them and they have been my go-to bait for the past several years. They are a little tougher than a Yamamoto Senko, which is the most widely known soft stick bait, but still have the action needed to make the Bass crazy! I order a years supply online as they are only stocked in a dozen or so bait and tackle shops around the state. The employees taking my order have always been very nice and helpfull and I recommend their baits over all other! Check out their website at:

Friday, September 12, 2008

Florida Sportsman Show coming to Tampa

The Florida Sportsman Magazine will host the Florida Sportsman Fishing and Boat Show in Tampa on September 27th and 28th, 2008 at the Florida Fairgrounds Expo Hall. Cost will be $8 for adults and kids get in free with an adult. The show will consist of seminars, fishing boats, demonstrations, kid clinics and countless merchandise for sale and display. Saturday hours are 10am-6pm and Sunday 10am-5pm. For a schedule of seminars, list of merchants, directions, ect. visit their website at

Upcoming shows:
Tampa Sept 27th-28th
Jacksonville Nov 8th-9th
Orlando Nov 15th-16th

Monday, September 8, 2008

Lake Toho Challenge

Angling Against Cancer will host it's 9th Annual Lake Toho Challenge team tournament on November 6th, 7th, and 8th at Lakefront Park in Kissimmee with the winners taking home $20,000 in cash! Entry Fee will be $525 per team on or before Nov 3rd and $550 after the 3rd. Part of each entry fee will benefit Florida Hospital's cancer research and treatment at their Celebration location. For more information go to

Saturday, August 30, 2008

We're Going to Okeechobee!!

The site for The Xtreme Fishing Series Classic Championship was finally announced yesterday and it will take place on Lake Okeechobee October 11 and 12th. It will be out of Roland Martin Marina in Clewiston I have mixed feelings about it being on The Big "O", I have never fished Okeechobee and was hoping for a lake or chain of lakes that I am familiar with but with that said, I am very excited to finally get out there to fish! The water level is about up to par at 14' above sea level, up from about 12' before Tropical Storm Fay. This opens up a lot of new area to fish that was either dried up or too shallow before the rains. The Army Corps of Engineers is looking to drain some of the water back out in anticipation of another storm as the max or danger level would be about 17'. Hopefully, they will keep it near 14'!
See article:
Last years Classic on The Kissimmee Chain saw 150 teams battle it out with the winners taking home a $40,000 Ranger and the top 25 overall finishers getting a check. My partner Kevin and I managed 66th place with just over 13 pounds for 2 days of fishing. Engine trouble restricted us to only a few areas near Camp Mack but we were able to find some fish and make a respectable finish! Hopefully this year we will bring home a check or even a new Ranger!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Tampa Boat Show

The Tampa Boat Show is at the Tampa Convention Center in downtown Tampa from September 5-7 2008. There will be over 700 new model boats to check out! I will be there checking out the new Rangers and Skeeters for sure! Cost is $9 for adults and kids get in free.

Show Hours:
Friday 10am-8pm
Saturday 10am-8pm
Sunday 10am-6pm

Check out their website for more details

Thursday, August 28, 2008

TNT Schedule and Entry Fees

The Florida TNT Series has released it's 2009 schedule and is as follows:


I'm still not sure about divisions and what kind of point system they will be using, I will post that info as I get it. Also, entry fees are $40 per tournament and the membership fee is $30. They waive the Membership fee if you fish their open tournament on Lake Kissimmee 10/18/2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Florida TNT Series to kick off in October

A new Bass Tournament Trail is set to get under way in Florida on October 18th, 2008 called the TNT Series Trail. TNT is a partner trail formed for Tracker product owners (including Nitro boat owners). The first tournament will be what is being called a "get to know you tournament" and will take place on Oct 18th on Lake Kissimmee out of Camp Mack. It is stated on their website that there will be 3 divisions with an end of the year classic and a no entry fee top-ten tournament after that. The lakes for the the divisions have not been named yet so keep an eye on their website for updates.

Thanks for the info Joe!
For questions contact Joe Pepper at (813) 326-7565

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay

Well, being that I was supposed to take my sister fishing Wednesday and my bosses nephew on Thursday, I hated to see Fay roll in and kill any plans to get out on the water. With that said the amount of rainfall we are going to get from this Storm will be crucial in getting some of our central Florida lakes back up to their normal water levels. The Winterhaven Chain has probably been hit the hardest in the past few years with the low rainfall. The canals used to navigate between lakes have all but dried up with the exception of a few larger canals. Being that this chain of lakes is one of my favorites to fish, I have been sad to see it continually passed up when we vote on lakes to fish in our bass club. Hopefully this storm will dump enough rain on Winterhaven to make all the lakes in this chain accessible again!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


My name is Brad Baranowski and I am a Tournament Bass Fisherman in Florida. I fish about 20 tournaments a year so I created this blog to write about my days on the water and everything else fishing! I currently fish with The Xtreme Bass Series and The North Tampa Bass Club. The Xtreme Series is a State wide partner tournament series with 16 divisions. My division is fished exclusively on Lake Tarpon in Palm Harbour, Fl. The NT Bass Club is a draw tournament format and we fish at various lakes around the State.