News Releases

Get your sunshines, FWC tells Lake Osborne anglers

News Release

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Media contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reminds anglers of the opportunity to tap into an untapped Lake Osborne fishery resource.

The supply of sunshine bass, a hybrid striped bass, is high, but demand is low.  The FWC is encouraging anglers to get their sunshines.

FWC freshwater fisheries biologists just completed a four-month survey to learn the success rate of Lake Osborne anglers.  The results indicate the sunshine bass fishery has the potential for much greater pressure from anglers.  During the survey period, biologists found that anglers are only putting in 690 hours of effort to catch sunshine bass.  The peak effort occurred 10 years ago, when anglers spent approximately 1,450 hours on Lake Osborne catching sunshine bass.  Biologists believe the record-cold winter weather kept anglers out of the water.

The survey found that the success rate for sunshines is much higher than that of other game species on Lake Osborne.  Anglers are catching sunshine bass at a rate of approximately four per hour, weighing about 2-3 pounds each.  They are catching largemouth bass at just under one per hour, and black crappie at a rate of 1.37 per hour.

To achieve optimum success, FWC biologists say anglers should fish in or around schools of bait fish in the open water, and use live bait (shiners or shad). Anglers can also target sunshines in deep holes, using baitfish-imitating lures.

The FWC annually stocks the Lake Osborne chain of lakes with sunshine bass.  As a sport fish, specific bag and size limit regulations apply, and you can register a qualifying catch as part of the FWC's "Big Catch" program.

FWC Facts:
A jellyfish is 95 percent water.

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