WON Landing Page March 2022

Florida open-water bass fishing

The WON would like to welcome  Ashley Rae and thank her for allowing us to share her content here for our readers to enjoy. Please visit her website at SheLovesToFish.com.

After watching countless episodes of Major League Fishing, open water bass fishing was on my mind. Sure, I love winter and ice fishing, but open water bass just gets my heart pumping. Spring and summer are my favourite seasons here in Canada. My fishing partner, Eric, and I began talking about how incredible it would be to escape to the south and do some bass fishing and that’s how it all began, planning a trip to FLORIDA! It was a place on my bucket list. It would be an incredible experience to drive away from wintery Ottawa mid-February and into summer. We began planning and mapping out the details of this trip a month in advance, and would depart on February 23rd and be gone for two weeks. My brother, John, also came along on this adventure! The best part – bringing my Alumacraft, Ruby!Leaving from Ottawa, Canada, we drove through New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, to finally arrive in Florida after 26 hours. The climate change was remarkable. We left snow behind in Canada and drove through what felt like the seasons, until finally arriving to ‘summertime’! We alternated driving and sleeping to save time and make it to Lake Wales in just over a day. Our destination was Camp Mack, a sixty-acre fishing resort on Kissimmee Lake, what a lovely place!
We stayed at the Liars Motel at Camp Mack for the duration of the trip. (Check out the boat-sized parking spaces!) Upon arriving at Camp Mack, we were immediately impressed with the lodging at the Motel. We didn’t require much as the goal of the trip was to eat, sleep and FISH as much as possible, but the rooms were very cozy, cottage-like and very clean! The housekeeping staff were wonderful and the resort is an anglers paradise.
Arriving during a passing cold front made bass fishing a little tricky to figure out for the first few days. The ‘trouble’ with Florida fishing … ?

With endless healthy structure as far as the eye could see, it was hard to know where to begin. We were successful in catching fish each day, but it was keying-in on specifics: locations, vegetation, water temperatures and the presence of baitfish that consistently put fish in the boat for us. The main thing was slowing down our presentations as the bass were staging to spawn. When everything looks so good, it’s easy to want to cover a lot of water quickly. I had hoped for a topwater bite, but it just wasn’t happening.

Our main targeted species of this trip was largemouth bass.


Ashley Rae


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    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.