- How It Affects Fishing
Trophy bass fishing peaked in 1989 with 93 pounds per littoral acre,up from the 29 pounds per acre collected in 1986. Fish population and creel survey data collected following the 1987 drawdown indicate the sport fishery in Lake Tohopekaliga will be a great sport fishery in the future.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission heads up the project. They say that this project is necessary to keep the fishing quality high, and I am inclined to agree. After looking at the plans, and being on the lake every day, I can say that it does need to be managed. While I personally do not agree with several of the disposal plans for the muck being removed, and islands created around the lake.
I am also not happy with the amount of money allocated for replanting around the shore line of good vegetation. I believe that if they stick to the plan, and do not try to eradicate all of the hydrilla from the lake, Leave some of the grass islands that are not near the shores, this lake will come back stronger than ever. It will most likely take some time, as with any major surgery, there will need to be a time of healing for the lake when it is over.
Turning our focus back to the drawdown itself. The water levels will start to lower on November 1st, and will probably not reach a significant low level until January 2003. Boat access will be limited, and navigation very difficult for bass boats. Most boat ramp access to this lake will be unreachable, and any navigation at all will have to be from shallow water boats.
For our guide service we fish from a 20foot 2001 Eagle Flats boat. It has a 10 inch draft which will make navigation easier, and more comfortable. There are a lot of people from all over the US who come down with their own boats every year who will be very disappointed in that they may not be able to fish from them during the drawdown.
The best thing to do if you would like to fish this lake during the drawdown is to hire a guide service to takeyou out, most guides in the area will know more about navigating the water than anyone else.
As a professional guide, native Floridian, and a Fisherman I am looking forward to this drawdown. I expect someone during this time to actually break the State record for largemouth bass which currently is just over 17 pounds. If you want to fish this drawdown, and create your own legend of 14 pound bass riding your Zara Spook off into the sunrise, call us to make a reservation for a couple of days of fishing that will be spectacular. You can contact us at:
http://www.championbass.com, or call us toll free at 1-888-715-7661.
Information on fishing statistics after the drawdown of 1987 was gathered from the "2003 Lake Tohopekaliga Habitat Enhancement Project". More information can be received by going to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's website at http://www.floridaconservation.org.