Pack your flip flops and sunscreen – the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit is visiting Leesburg, Florida for stop #2! This year, our pro anglers will be taking their talents to the incredible Harris Chain of Lakes, which is regarded as one of the most consistent and competitive fishing grounds in Florida. Before the second contest kicks off on March 13th, we’re reeling in some key details as we look ahead to what the lakes have in store for the pros.
As the name suggests, the Harris Chain of Lakes is a vast web of many of Central Florida’s best fishing lakes. This includes Lake Harris, Lake Apopka, Lake Griffin, Lake Eustis, Lake Dora, Lake Carlton, Horseshoe Lake, Little Lake Harris, Lake Denham, and Lake Beauclair. All those names just roll off the tongue, right? During the contest, all pros have their pick of which lakes they’d like to try their luck on.
Unlike other popular fishing spots in Florida for competitive angling, the Harris Chain of Lakes generally has dirtier water and more canals that branch off from the lakes. These canals, however, can prove detrimental to the pros’ chances. This is because many of said canals are no-wake zones, which prolongs travel times up and down the canals.
With the second stop taking place from March 13th to 16th, we anticipate that postspawn patterns will dictate much of the pros’ strategies. Rather than congregating around grass flats to prey on prespawn and spawning fish, all 158 anglers will likely spread out across the 10 lakes to find the most fruitful bites.
Local angling pro Tim Frederick weighed in on the importance of reeling in a quick bag before too much of the morning has passed. Tim said, “I think the first couple hours of the morning are going to be crucial. You’ll get a few more bites during the day, but if you’re at noon and you’ve only got two fish, you might be in trouble.” We’ll see if the pros approach the Harris Chain of Lakes with a similar sense of urgency.
The Harris Chain of Lakes boasts a wide variety of patterns that require different baits and techniques – especially compared to other common Florida fishing grounds. As such, we expect the pros to hit the water utilizing many different strategies right from the gun on day one. For example, offshore bass will likely respond to crankbaits and Carolina rigs, whereas topwaters and swim jigs could entice a few bites closer to shore.
After wrapping up the first stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Sam Rayburn Reservoir, our Blazer pros are positioned to further their standings in Florida. Spencer Shuffield (4th) and Evan Barnes (5th) both started their 2022 campaigns strong with top-5 finishes, and fellow Blazer pro Tyler Woolcott finished 31st. With a total field of pros numbering in at 158, it looks like the 2022 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit could be the most exciting one yet for our family of anglers!