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.