Bass have been biting in large numbers, if not sizes. The North Shore and Bird Island, straddling the mouth of Fisheating Bay, have been good areas for casting, and guided parties fishing with wild shiners have been picking up a few bass into the 8-pound range.
Good bass action, “anywhere there’s Kissimmee grass,” Cross Island, Pelican Bay and the north tip of Ritta Island included.
White spinnerbaits or white swim jigs produce fast action around outside edges at first light, with soft plastic fished, slowly, inside the grass lines after the sun gets higher.
Bass also have been chasing bluegill that have moved into bulrush patches along Observation Shoal and around Bird Island, where dragging a lightly weighted, black-and-blue creature bait through the reeds gets the bass. Look for swarms of chizzywinks for the best patches, and use crickets for the bluegills.
The past week has been a great artificial bite. The bass have moved around a little. Not so much inside the grass lines. I had my best luck staying off the grass line about 15 yards then casting a black blue 3/8 oz swim jig with a Gambler Black blue Little EZ Swimmer as a trailer. Cast that just inside the buggy whips and let it fall to the bottom. Slow retrieve it back . The fish seem to follow it out and hit about half way to the boat. The Observation Shoal area as well as from Cochran’s Pass to Whidden’s Pass areas produced very well. The panfish bite is still very good around Uncle Joe’s Cut and West wall areas. Crickets and Red Worms are the bait of choice.
The last week has proved that Lake Okeechobee fishing is alive and well. Several bass tournaments over the past weekend where multiple 5 fish limits each day that weighed in at over 20 pounds. With the lake fishing as well as it is right now there are multiple areas that have produced great numbers of fish. The Observation Shoal area produced very well flipping and pitching the outside grass and Buggy Whips. 15-20 fish in the 1-4 pound range are not uncommon pitching 1/2 oz tungsten weights , 4/0 Owner Rigging Hooks and a Gambler Why Not in Junebug , Backatya or Green Pumpkin color. At the Cochrans Pass area the same technique works well. Early Mornings around Grassy and further toward Kramer Island in the outside grasses a 3/8 White Swim Jig with a White Lightning EZ Swimmer work well fished over the tops of the Kissimmee Grass and Pepper Grass Patches. That bite lasts about 1-1.5 hours then come right back through the same area with the pitching or flipping technique. The Bluegill bite is in full swing swing. Offshore away from the grasses around Ritta and Kramer Islands there are areas of visible beds where the bluegill are spawning. Use crickets and Red worms under a cork in about 2ft of water. Also around the mouth of Uncle Joes cut and Mayaka Cut great numbers of blugill are being taken. Be safe with the low water conditions. As your running around be aware of your surroundings and water depth. Tight lines.
Fishing on Lake Okeechobee is heating up. For the past two weekends we have had Bass Busters Tournaments as well as The RMMC Series. Each event has been won with bags of 26+ pounds and multiple bags over 20 pounds. With the water levels receding this time of year the fish are on the move from the back grass areas to open water or outside cover such at Buggy Whips or outside patches of Pepper Grass. The Observation Shoal and Indian Prairie area pitching Black Blue 3/4 to 1oz jigs with a Black Blue Trailer pitched into the reeds. Stay a short distance off the reeds so when your bait clears the reed line you still have room to slow swim the jig back to the boat. Early mornings around the pepper grass patches in the Pelican Bay area should produce numbers of fish in the 1-3 pound range on white swim jigs and Gambler White EZ Swimmer as a trailer. The Bluegill bite is in full swing as well. In the rim canal with Red Worms or crickets fishing about 3-4 Ft deep around lily pads or from the mouth of Uncle Joe’s cut toward Observation Shoal. The water is a little churned up so looking for beds is a little challenging right now. Good Luck and Tight Lines
Captain Tom Mann reports that the Lake level is 12.74 and falling. Most all fish are moving to the outside of Lake Okeechobee with the water falling and the water temps rising. Numbers have been good this week with a few good fish. South outside long point is a good area for fishing. Pepper grass early white swimjig. Shad spawn is about to happen and that means the early bite will be good. Shoal has been good this week for small fish on the outside. North shore remains good but is getting the most pressure. Live bait is still best for the big fish.
Pelican Bay has produced numbers of fish in the 1-3 pound range. Mostly male fish that are either guarding a bed or fry. We are in the period of pre and post spawn as well as spawning so moving baits such as Big EZ or Swim Jigs have worked well. Color seems to be white or shad colors along with Copperfield. Inside Buzzards Roost the holes and pockets around lily pads have fish hanging around them more in the afternoon when the sun gets up. Dead stick a Watermelon Red Zoom Super Fluke or a Gambler Fat Ace in Watermelon Red or Junebug. The Crappie fish are still biting around the Hog Pen and along the Rim Canal south toward Bear Beach Channel. Use Minnows around the cattails in 2-3′ of water . In the rim canal fish in 4-6’range. Good luck and stay safe.
Last week has been full of fun and excitement. The Uncle Joe’s area of the lake has produced good numbers of bass ranging 1-3 pounds. Gambler Fat Ace in Black/Blue Flake or Junebug or a Gambler Burner Worm in those same colors seem to be the bait of choice. For the flippers and pitchers a Gambler Why Not in Black /Blue / Blue Tip has worked as well. Other areas to look at have been from Cochrans Pass and Blue Hole toward Clewiston. Early in the morning look for eel grass or pepper grass and use a 3/8 swim jig in white or black/blue color with a easy swimmer trailer. This time of year you can never count out a big fish to be roaming around looking for shad or shiners early in the mornings. The Speck bite or Crappie bite has been great as well. Minnows or Chartruse/Whits Jigs around cattail clumps have been the way to catch limits of slabs. East Wall and toward the outside of Ritta Island seem to be the better bets right now. The rim canal has also produced good numbers of crappie when the wind is blowing. Its protected for the most part and you can still catch fish using minnows in 4-6′ of water around lily pads. Hope this helps and Tight Lines.
Wanting a Trophy Bass? Now is the time of the year. Fishing has been excellent especially with Live Bait (wild shiners). Last few weeks have been producing quality bass and many qualifying for Florida’s Trophy Catch program like Lori from Texas with her personal best of 9.10lbs.