This past April was the first time my grandpa and I fished Lake Panasoffkee, located in Sumter County, Florida. We spent the day before the tournament pre-fishing on the unfamiliar body of water. The entire lake is covered with thick beds of eel grass, along with other types of submerged vegetation.
Our practice day was a slow grind. It was a cold windy day, not ideal for fishing. We caught only a handful of small fish and had really nothing to go on around midafternoon on practice day. We finally discovered a line of submerged eel grass and hydrilla, where we caught multiple decent fish late that afternoon. It keyed us in on a potential pattern and gave my grandpa and I hope for the following day.
The next morning, my grandpa and I decided to begin our day on a secondary point, an area not far from the submerged grass line where we caught fish a day earlier. We fished the shoreline cover around the point without a bite. Then, I positioned the boat in a way that the two of us could cast out away from the point into deeper water.
I quickly caught a three pounder on a speed worm. On my next cast, I got another bite and caught another solid keeper. About 5 minutes later, I picked up a 12-inch worm and made a super long cast directly out the back of the boat toward deep water. The bait fell to the bottom and as I was picking up the slack, I felt the line get heavy. I tightened up on the fish and set the hook hard. I knew immediately I had a much better fish hooked. I carefully battled the bass toward the boat. As it neared the boat, the fish jumped out of the water to shake its large head. My grandpa readied the net and scooped the large fish as soon as he could. The bass weighed close to six pounds and was a huge confidence builder.
It had been a very solid start to our day. we had three good fish in the live well and it wasn’t even 7:30am. I caught two more small keeper bass within the next ten minutes or so. My grandpa and I fished the point for another half hour before moving on to fish the submerged line of grass nearby. Little did we know, that first thirty-minute flurry would by far be the most excitement we would have all day long.
The rest of the day was very tough. We fished offshore and shoreline grass, boat docks, and canals. The two of us only caught a few more small fish that didn’t do us much good. We never got another big bite and were never able to make a considerable upgrade.
After a very frustrating and slow latter part of the day, my grandpa and I were forced to call it a day with what we’d caught first thing that morning. We weighed in a total of 13.78 pounds of bass, which was good enough for a 3rd place finish. It wasn’t quite what we were hoping for, especially after the quick start we’d had, but we’ll always take a top 3 finish.
My grandpa and I caught fish on two main baits at Lake Panasoffkee. A ZOOM Magnum Speed Worm and ZOOM Ol’ Monster in june bug color caught the majority of our fish. We Texas rigged each worm with a small 3/16-1/4-ounce sinker on a 4/0 VMC EWG hook. Both baits came throw the grass and other vegetation really well and provided a subtle presentation for highly pressured fish.
ZOOM Magnum Speed Worm: https://amzn.to/3guST1t
ZOOM Ol’ Monster: https://amzn.to/2P8Sd6y
VMC EWG Hook: https://amzn.to/32AL4z5
What Didn’t Work
We probably should’ve spent some time trying to find a little something else on tournament day. What we were doing wasn’t working at all. We might have been able to find a few fish somewhere else if we’d have tried another area or two.
Back to You
Thank you so much for reading about our latest bass tournament! There will be many more tournament recaps coming soon, so stay tuned!