Get your sunshines, FWC tells Lake Osborne anglers
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.