Fishing in the McPass Camp, a Small Piece of Heaven on Earth?

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We all have memories that will never go away. And it never fades. Some moments are so precious that remembering them brings great joy and brightens our lives.

As I drive east on Highway 60 from Tampa to Polk County to Little Lake Wales several memories flash through my mind as dawn begins to sweep across the dark Florida skies. I was assigned to fulfill a promise my brother made to his nephew years ago – a promise he never kept.

When my niece Tanner was a little girl staring into the dark in the backseat my sister started teaching her how to throw a fishing rod and training her to be a good fisherman almost every day. When the time came he told him: I will take you fishing for sea bass that you will never forget.

Likewise my brother John taught me all things bass fishing and how to become an expert at landing the great Florida legend – a lesson I have carried and learned with him by my side for over 35 years on rivers and lakes. About Central Florida.

Now on Tanner’s 12th birthday I had the opportunity to fulfill my sister’s promise when Tanner was only four years old. I decided that when the time came I would stick with it.

One of Florida’s best fishing spots is Camp Mack. historical one

We headed to the historic Camp Mack a rural fishing camp known on geological maps in 1836 as Tysons Camp. There is a small outlet on the banks of the Kissimmee River where the steamers stop for a short break. Nearly a century later this majestic oak-lined suburb was purchased in the early 20th century by two Coca-Cola executives Leon Grady Bruce and his partner known as Mr. Mack set up a private retreat for company employees from Tampa.
This year in 1940 Leon Denton’s wife and two sons bought Camp Mac and made it a popular fishing spot. Its popularity spread mainly by word of mouth. Over the years the camp has seen famous people such as boxer Jack Dempsey, football coach, Ray Graves, Charlie Peel, preacher, Billy Graham, journalist, Bob Woodruff, and many others.
My sister took me fishing there in 1972 when the fishing reputation was second to none. This was the first and only time I went fishing on the Kissimmee River until this beautiful excursion with my nephew.
Camp Mack Today

Camp Mack Today

Camp Mack has grown over the years to become the Guy Harvey Lodge Marina and RV Resort with some road construction on site. It still caters to fishermen for adventurers and family gatherings. Today however there are first class amenities carved into the wilderness that include cottage cabins and RV sites. There is a club supply store and a pool, sports bar and bicycle rental. Not your grandfather’s Camp Mac as they say but a hidden gem that is still rustic and retains its rustic charm.
The campground offers access to more than 40 miles of the famous Kissimmee lake chain including Lake Hachineha and Lake Cypress and 21,000 acres of world-class bass fishing. I decided there was no better place to take my nephew for his first Big Bass experience and we were both filled with excitement as we rushed to our destination.

Why Hire a Guide?

Camp Mack Director Jane Waters Murphy arranged to meet TMC Guide Services fishing guide Scott Taylor at a gas station on Hwy 60 just outside the camp.
Taylor is a famous hunter. Its 22-foot optical boat is equipped with the latest artificial bait and live bait technology. Unless conditions are ideal you can almost fish it with live bait.
Fishing Florida’s Kissimmee Chain Of Lakes

Fishing Florida’s Kissimmee Chain Of Lakes

Luckily this morning the fishermen called it Blue Bird Day. The temperature is moderate, the wind is calm. After a brief introduction at the gas station Scott directed us to follow him to the boat trail at McCamp. At this point the sun began to rise above the horizon and our adventure began. It was clear from the start that he was the captain. Taylor is a friendly kid. He quickly sensed the importance of the matter and joined Tanner in an interesting conversation about bass fishing and if he was lucky he caught his first big fish.
We took off from the Camp Mack boat

We took off from the Camp Mack boat trail and joined the captain. in a few minutes. I chose Taylor. He lowered his anchor and placed live bait on two poles tethered to the back of the boat. With patience and thoroughness he explained to Tanner what to do if the buoy attached to the rope started to move or sink. When instructions were given the line started to twitch and Scott shouted: Go fishing!

Tanner’s Catch

I handed the rod to Tanner and he waited until he felt the rope tighten then pulled the rod up until he could teach and then bent the end of the rod forward so that the fish hook was firmly attached. Fish jaw. when his boss fights. His hard work allows him to travel in adversity and youthful vigor. Taylor cried.
Bass broke the surface with a bold jump in an attempt to lower the hook but Tanner kept pressing and quickly brought the fish to the boat where I gently put the net under it and pulled it out. She really was a beautiful model and Tanner was shaking with trepidation. The 45 pound sea bass the biggest fish can’t put into words what I heard at the time.
Tanner’s gonna catch 5 more basses before we get back to camp. After taking the picture he asked if he thought grandpa would be proud of him. Of course. I said sadly because my brother wasn’t there to see this.
I believe God has a river in heaven where I can fish again with my brother

I believe God has a river in heaven where I can fish again with my brother. I also wanted to tell him what happened to his grandson on that trip and how proud he was.

If there were no rivers we can say that we would feel heaven on earth for at least one day.
I believe God has a river in heaven where I can fish again with my brother

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