Afternoon delight in Florida

While a few anglers reported early action on Day 1 of the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Southeastern Regional on Lake Okeechobee, it seemed like the greater portion of quality catches came from later flights.

Mark Pierce of Cadiz, Ky., who leads the tournament with 23 pounds 12 ounces, actually reported good catches throughout the day, with an uptick in the latter half. 

Weighing in a couple spots before Pierce, non-boater Mike Caul had the event’s heaviest bass, a 9-8 that he found later in the day. 

Notably, third-place boater Bryan Gunter caught an 8-7 when he returned midday to a spot he had fished in the morning. It is possible that he simply did not intersect with that fish on his first visit, but Florida bass do like their afternoon warmth — especially during the spawn — so this could very well have been a classic example of a new arrival.

The Wednesday night rains left the area slightly cooler, but overnight lows didn’t make any appreciable dip, so the fish aren’t likely to have any dramatic response. 

Today’s forecasted high of 73 is a little less than yesterday, which reached into the upper 70s. Good thing is we’ll be on a warming trend through Friday’s conclusion and that’s the right direction for these sensitive Florida bass.

It will be interesting to see if the afternoon bite plays a significant role today.