Florida Bass Fishing 2024 – Day 5 – February 25, 2025 – Back to Lake Yale

February 25, 2024. We met Captain Jim Pruitt at Marsh Park to fish Lake Yale again. The moon was hanging around, and I shot this with my cell phone. It looks a lot better on my cell phone.

The day started out very promising, because by 7:36 I’d nabbed my first bass (to the left). And at 8:20 we got a double.

You might note the sort of snarly look on my face in the photo on the right. I’m a bit competitive and my fish was much smaller than Mark’s. Game on!

It took until 12:49 for me to get my next fish, which was this beauty. But six minutes later Mark caught a slightly larger bass.

It was 2:40 before we got another fish. Or, rather, Mark caught another fish. This fish had several leaches on it, as shown on the right photo.

One thing interesting about Lake Yale is that the wind came and went. And when it blew a little, it caused a ripple in the water next to the weeds we were fishing. It was mesmerizing.

We went through quite a few shiners and attracted a tern (to the left) and ospreys. You’ll see in both cases, above, neither bird flew off with a fish. It sometimes took numerous attempts before the minnow was far enough away from the boat for the bird to feel comfortable coming in for an attempt, and it often took several attempts before they got the minnow in beak (in the case of the tern) or in foot (in the case of the osprey).

This time, the osprey plucked the minnow from the water.

So, again, when fishing was slow, there something of interest to photograph.

In the little channel that all boats go through to get from the Lake Yale to the boat launch, this bird appeared like a periscope from out of the water. It’s a male anhinga in its breeding colors. I’d never seen an anhinga this close, and certainly had never seen the bright blue around its eyes. I took these two photos click, click, and in a flash, the bird disappeared in the water–not by diving head first, but by lowering itself like a periscope back into the water.

This moorhen was also in the little channel and didn’t seem too worried about us. Every other shot I’ve taken of a moorhen has been at the max of my zoom lens. This was the best opportunity I’ve had to see one of these birds up close.

We ended our day at the Deland Stockyard, a steakhouse we’d passed numerous times while going to and from Hontoon. This restaurant offers a $45 porterhouse that was so good, Mark didn’t take a sip of his beer until his steak was entirely gone. I was impressed that a steakhouse could also make an amazing vegetarian pizza. This was our priciest dinner, but Mark said, worth every bite. (And yes, I made him pay because he’d caught more fish than me AND caught fish bigger than mine. Grrr.

The other benefit of the Steakhouse is that it is just minutes away from Hontoon Resort. Once “home,” we enjoyed yet another beautiful sunset.

As Mark was eating, I noticed this man come in and sit nearby. What struck me was that he had his guitar with him, which he carried in gently, like a child, laid upon his lap while he drank a beer. I’m not sure what he had in front of him. I couldn’t tell if he was lonely or preparing for a gig. But in that moment I felt so grateful that I had Mark in my life and we were able to enjoy this time together…even if he did out fish me.

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