(2.4) LARGEMOUTH BASS - Rodman Reservoir: Is it REAL FLORIDA Bass Fishing?

Rodman Reservoir a.k.a. Lake Ocklawaha
Is it REAL FLORIDA Bass Fishing?


An Information, Opinion, & Photos Report
Compiled by Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca

Created:  08 July 2015

Last Revised:  08 October 2020



NOTE -- IF NEEDED: Right-click-on individual photos then "Open image in new tab" to ENLARGE them!



Ocklawaha River, Florida largemouth bass




INTRODUCTION

Real Florida could possibly be described of as being those treasured pieces of this state's real estate that still appear to us modern-day Floridians much as these same lands and/or waters did hundreds of years ago when originally seen by the first European explorers and settlers.

The free-flowing, natural, By-God middle reach of the Ocklawaha River
 

Florida's cities, suburbs, and agricultural lands plus its theme parks, developed beaches, and other tourist attractions along with the state's man-made canals, impoundments, water control structures, borrow and/or phosphate pits, and various additional improvements would not be considered Real Florida natural environments.

 

Given a choice, I normally prefer to fish for bass in a Real Florida body of water. Real Florida freshwaters would include this state's remaining stretches of free-flowing rivers and creeks plus our naturally-occurring still-water lakes and ponds. The less that the water and its surroundings have been altered by man, the more I like being there. The By-God wilderness aesthetic of an angling location appeals to me, always has, and always will.


Ocklawaha River, Florida largemouth bass



RODMAN RESERVOIR
ARTIFICIAL & MAN-MADE, NOT BY OUR CREATOR

Some Florida bass anglers and bass fishing business promoters obviously prefer man-made lakes, possibly dreaming that these manipulated freshwaters are some kind of money-making aquatic Fantasy-Magical-Super-Wonder-World tourist attractions containing state or world record-sized largemouth bass (heavier than 20 to 22 pounds) that are growing fat on something artificially enriched and improved like growth-hormone or steroid-injected wild river shiners maybe (or stocked rainbow trout like they use in southern California). Dam the Real Florida because man-created lakes are much more easily MANAGED for the benefit and convenience of organized largemouth bass fishing interests.

Rodman Reservoir stump-field during draw-down

It is quite OK with me that some master largemouth bass anglers and para-commercialized individuals or groups seemingly worship the fishing opportunities provided by Florida's legendary man-made waters.

 

JUST AS LONG AS the historically free and swift-flowing 56-mile long Ocklawaha River-Silver River system (including its Silver Springs headwater) -- once capable of supporting naturally reproducing populations of native STRIPED BASS weighing up to 30 pounds, in addition to trophy-sized largemouth bass -- doesn't remain blockaded as a sacrificial offering to those that practice the RODMAN religion.


Retaining Lake Ocklawaha (a.k.a. Rodman Pool or Rodman Reservoir) ignores the importance to this state of restoring to free-flowing a rare, lengthy riverine ecosystem with cool waters and strong currents sought-after by various Florida-native species of anadromous, catadromous, and other lotic migratory fishes of the St. Johns River basin.




STREAM-BRED FLORIDA LARGEMOUTH BASS ARE NATIVE TO
THE FREE-FLOWING OCKLAWAHA RIVER FOR 1000 YEARS!

GET BACK TO THE REAL-FLORIDA!

THE OCKLAWAHA RIVER IS SPECIAL -- SET IT FREE!

FROM ITS SUPREME SOURCE TO THE SEA!

ALL SPRING-FED SWIFT-FLOWING 56 CROOKED MILES OF MAINSTREAM!

FROM ITS SILVER SPRINGS HEADWATER TO THE ST. JOHNS RIVER ESTUARY!



Ocklawaha River, Florida largemouth bass


It is an extremely unique, wild, and one-of-its-kind example of the Real Florida. The 5-mile long Silver River plus the 18-mile long un-dammed middle section of the Ocklawaha River comprises a spring-fed, cool-watered, tree-shaded, 17,000 year-old and remarkably unspoiled stream system. Because of its swift flow -- about 1 mile-per-hour current velocity -- the Ocklawaha has been described of as being a Piedmont-type stream (having the swift-flowing characteristics of rivers that are situated between the fall lines of the Blue Ridge Mountains falling to the Piedmont then falling to the Coastal Plain of the southeastern U.S.).

Ocklawaha River, Florida largemouth bass


OCKLAWAHA RIVER BASS FISHING IS SPECIAL!


The remnant free and nearly natural section of the Ocklawaha River 
-- which comprises most all of the state designated "Ocklawaha River Aquatic Preserve" -- contains its original strain of Florida largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides floridanus) plus other fishes that have adapted over the centuries to its swift-flowing lotic ecosystem, which is rarely found anywhere else in peninsular Florida. This is Real-Florida bass fishing for stream-bred, riverine-adapted largemouth bass NATIVE to this canopied, cool-water, spring-fed river for perhaps thousands of years.


The aesthetic quality of this Ocklawaha angling experience may be comparable to having the unique opportunity to fish for wild, non-stocked rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in one of their surviving unspoiled, cold-water, Pacific-slope streams -- where rainbow trout have been NATIVE for thousands of years -- in Oregon, Washington (state), or Alaska some 3000 miles or more away from north-central Florida.

Or maybe being able to enjoy the rare pleasure of doing a fishing trip for wild, non-stocked smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) on one of their precious few remaining boulder-strewn, cool-water, free-flowing, spring-fed rivers -- where smallmouth bass have been NATIVE for a thousand years or so -- in the Ozark, Boston, or Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas, Missouri, or Oklahoma at least 1000 miles from Florida’s Ocklawaha River.


YES, OCKLAWAHA RIVER BASS FISHING IS THAT SPECIAL!



Ocklawaha River, Florida largemouth bass





CONCLUSION
RECORD-SIZED FLORIDA LARGEMOUTH BASS FROM A MAN-MADE WATER?


Besides, any Florida or World Record largemouth bass taken from a NOT-Real Florida freshwater probably should deserve an asterisk (*) next to it whenever officially booked -- just like the name and home run number of every slugger in the record book with more than Babe Ruth's (in a 154-game season) 60. We may owe that much to Fritz Friebel and George Perry. They were NATURALS. 

 

 

Read this historic account of striped fishing in Marion County's

Ocklawaha River-Silver River system before Rodman Dam was built

 http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=kYUfAAAAIBAJ&sjid=qswEAAAAIBAJ&pg=1651,3848661&dq=striped-bass+oklawaha-river&hl=en

  
 
"All-Time Top-25 Biggest / Heaviest Largemouth Bass Ever Caught (or Reportedly Caught) In Florida"

https://sites.google.com/site/ocklawahaman/all-time-top-25-biggest-fl-largemouth-bass

  

 

Read about Frederick Fritz Friebel and his Florida Record largemouth bass at

http://www.bassmaster.com/node/101735

http://fishinghistory.blogspot.com/2010_01_01_archive.html

   

 

Read about George Perry and his World Record largemouth bass at

http://www.bassmaster.com/news/george-perrys-world-record-bass

http://www.bassmaster.com/news/george-perrys-world-record-bass?page=2



The Biggest / Heaviest / Longest Largemouth Bass
Ever Reportedly Caught From the Ocklawaha River, Florida
 
Photo from an Ocala Star-Banner newspaper article of an
Ocklawaha River largemouth bass (and its shadow) taken on January 2, 1975.
 
Please note that a Ford "5th generation" pickup truck tailgate measures 21 inches high
and a 10-pound Florida largemouth bass usually is 25 to 26 inches in total length.



My only two mounted trophy bass, a largemouth and a striper, were caught on lures from my canoe while fishing By-God natural sections of Real Florida waters.


Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca's Bass Fishing Began in Florida Some 55 Years Ago (1965)!

Ocklawahaman in 1966 with a Florida largemouth bass caught on a plastic worm from a man-made still-water pond.

But Ocklawahaman prefers to catch bass from free-flowing natural streams where they have been NATIVE for 1000 years!


Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca is an accomplished stream angler who has caught nine different varieties of bass plus three different species of cold-water trout along with many other fishes from the flowing freshwaters of several Southern states. Although he has fished many of the still-water canals, lakes, and ponds plus salty tidewaters that almost all other Florida fishermen are accustomed-to and greatly prefer; river bass angling in current is undeniably Paul's preferred pursuit. Paddling a canoe (or bank-walking and wading when advantageous), Ocklawahaman skillfully uses buzzbait and spinnerbait lures almost exclusively while bass fishing moving freshwater. Motorized watercraft for run and gun fishing or other aquatic tomfoolery and plastic worms or live shiners for bait are not part of his personal angling ethic. Ocklawahaman practices a style of bass fishing on natural segments of streams that is ideally an aesthetically pleasing and un-crowded solemn quest for some of Nature's most game fishes; the great majority of bass caught to be released unharmed for future benefit. North-central Florida's swift-flowing Ocklawaha River is the home water of Ocklawahaman; it is where Paul Nosca first learned freshwater stream angling techniques and where he continues to employ them as often as possible -- from his man-powered canoe.


"There are lake fishermen, and there are river fishermen, and seldom do the twain agree!"
 - Original author's name is unknown.


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