Citrus County has been a fisherman's haven for an awfully long time. I was lucky to stumble upon it when I first came to the area back in the late '80s and landed near Inverness.
Needing work, I promptly landed a job at the now defunct Happy's Bait and Tackle. It would prove to be a real blessing in my life, because little did I know, I was now residing in bass fishing nirvana. I would not only find fish, but a new occupation as well.
Working at Happy's was a valuable source of information because I ran into so many different fishermen, including the Captains who guided professionally in the area. I also saw the results of those trips, snapping many Polaroids of 10-plus pound bass their customers caught. I was envious and wanted to put a trophy 10-pound bass on my wall! 

Get more from the Citrus County Chronicle

But it would take time.
I met a guy named John while working at Happy's who invited me out bass fishing. He had a little10-foot jon boat rigged with an 8-horse Mercury and a trolling motor, perfect gear for the beginning bass fisherman. John told me that he had a hot spot over near Croft Lake so we met early the next morning, gathered up a couple dozen shiners, and headed off on what was my first bass fishing trip in Florida. I was like a kid ready to walk into his first candy store.
We headed out on Lake Hernando the next morning and worked our way over to Croft Lake. I was amazed at all of the different vegetation that grew in and near the water. It was totally different than the lakes I grew up with in Michigan. 
We fished in a cove that was loaded with Lilly pads, keeping our corked baits right along the edge of the pad line. We were in four-to 5 feet of water and the first bait hadn't been in the water but for a minute or two and the cork disappeared under a huge wave created by the big bass that was chasing down the shiner. I helped John land the big bass, which weighed 8 pounds. I was amazed and I was hooked. I also would land an eight-pounder that day and it would be the first of many large bass I've caught over the years.
Little did I know that catching large bass would become an obsession for the remainder of my life. 
It would take a few years before I landed that coveted 10-pound bass, but when the time came I was ready.
I was working for the Tampa Tribune and had purchased a new 14-foot Lowes bass boat. I was on Floral City Lake and had been catching a number of smaller sized bass when I decided to move one last time before heading in. Well, it was the correct move to make because before I knew it I was lipping that 10-pound bass.
I had that bass mounted and as any fisherman knows, I'm now looking for an ever bigger one!

Prep Zone

Get updates and player profiles ahead of Friday's high school games, plus a recap Saturday with stories, photos, video Frequency: Seasonal Twice a week

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.