Last week I reported on Mat-Su lakes’ thin-ice conditions and discussed ice fishing safety. With a layer of snow now insulating / retarding further ice development, I read reports on Tuesday from 3 businesses that guide Mat-Su ice fishing trips — all commenting on still thin-ice conditions. For anglers itching to go fishing it is a slow time waiting for safer Mat-su ice conditions. Fortunately my wife and I took the opportunity to visit my friend and fellow fishing guide Jason Perrego in Lake Worth, Florida.

Perfectly comfortable in a light shirt / shorts and standing on the bow deck of Jason’s guide boat, as the electric motor pulled us along a narrow freshwater canal, my most memorable cast landed in a bathtub-sized patch of lily pads. Near the shallow canal’s shore, I cranked the weedless artificial frog along the weed edge and something large erupted beneath the lure. Rather than instinctively reacting, this time, I crept cranking until I felt the weight of the beast pulling at the other end, and then hammered the hook home with an Alaska salmon-angler’s hookset.

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