Lake Okeechobee fishing report for May/June, 2021 submitted by Capt. Angie Douthit
Fishing Lake Okeechobee in May/June is absolutely one of my favorite times throughout the year to fish the big O. Here are my reasons: The weather is not too hot, too windy, too rainy and can be a good time to focus on fishing the Kissimmee River as well as the lake And it’s a time that there are a multitude of species to fish for and it’s all fun. The bass can be found in the shallows as they feed on the bluegill and shell crackers (red ears) that are on/near their spawning beds, which means throwing frogs; swim jigs; swim baits; cut-tails; paddle-tails; rattle traps on the grass-edges/pockets/coves; and my fav, Top water action ! Big worms, jigs and deep diving crank baits work very well if you’re fishing in the River. Along the Rivers edges, you’ll find spawning pan fish as well as fingerling catfish which can be the size that’s best eating/tasting. When I take fingerling catfish trips, I typically use the ultra-light rigging technique/tackle that I would normally use for if I were fishing for pan fish such as a 7 ft. medium-action spinning rod/reel (Lews makes a great combo and its priced very reasonable), typically a 6-8 lb monofilament line, a bobber stop located above and below the small bobber which is set to the water depth that I’ll be fishing then a small split shot weight and typically a #2 hook for pan fish. For bait I normally use red-wigglers or red worms….yes, there is a difference…always try to buy the red wigglers and at times I’ll also use live crickets especially when the weather gets a little warmer or in areas that may have more pressure on the fish. If you’re bass fishing, typically the color-pattern to stick with is your basics such as: junebug; redbug; watermelon red; white; black; crawdad and shad patterns for crank baits; gold or silver/blue for rattle traps and double-willow leave spinner baits, typically one silver and one gold blade but will vary depending on water clarity conditions but what’s most important is “what you have confidence in using/throwing”. Areas to try have been on the West-side on/around Observation Shoal; Monkey Box and Dupree Bar. On the North shore is Dyess Ditch; around Worm Cove and Horse Island then some areas around Indian Prairie. From the North-end (Okeechobee area) some areas around Grassy; spots in/around Kings Bar (both sides); 1st-3rd points and some spotty areas in/around Tin House. On the East side, around Hendry Creek and some spotty areas on down towards the J&S area but finding cleaner/clearer water will be the key fishing those areas
Lake Okeechobee fishing report for April, 2021 submitted by Capt. Angie Douthit
Another crappie spawn season is done and in the books, to catch the next beginning spawn time for the 2021-2022 book your trip soon…the “season typically runs Nov-March.
I’d like to comment on my experience throughout the course of this past guide season as a working guide especially during the “very busy” Crappie season….referring to heavy boat traffic. First, the amount of Crappie “Speck” anglers on the lake this past season was like none other than I have ever experienced in the 22+ years I have been fishing this lake. Ok, I understand that Florida is wide open due to COVID. I have Nothing against anyone or anybody fishing But when people come in on a boat that they know are guides and are making their living guiding people on the water why would anybody encroach and fish very closely to a working boat? Ah, let’s see….because we know where the fish are…..ya think? Only through hard work, time on the water, the cost of boat gas and oil and Knowledge over the years! I am so fed up with disrespectful and rude people both on the water and at the boat ramps…like it’s all about them. MAYBE next season will be a Much Nicer and Less Disrespectful experience !!!
Back to the report…. April is typically the start of the bream season in which they will move into the shallows to spawn and will continue throughout the late springtime months on into the summer months. The tackle that is best suited for catching bream can be a 6-6 ½-7 ft rod/reel ultra-light spinning gear with 4-6 lb. mono fishing line typically rigged with a small bobber, small split shot weight pegged just above a #2 pan fish hook tipped with either a live small cricket or a red worm or red wiggler. Areas that bream like to bed in are typically around vegetation with a sandy, somewhat hard, shelly-type bottom area of the lake, typically the water depth can range from 1 ½ ft – 3 ½ ft or a little deeper, depending on the lake conditions/area you are fishing. The month of April/May can be a fun time to fish for bass especially if you like to throw top water lures such as spooks, devil horse and etc. When targeting bream you’ll also be around bass that will be feeding on the bream on/around the beds. When fishing for bass in this type setting you’ll also want to keep on hand a frog rod, flipping/pitching stick, worm rod and a swim jig. Colors for plastics typically are June bug; Black and Blue; Shad/Bluegill pattern (for shallow cranks); white and Red bug. If its fingerling river catfish you want to catch, the beginning of May typically marks a great time to start catching them. I take guided trips targeting fingerling catfish in the river. It provides lots of fun and typically we’ll also catch bluegill and shell crackers (red ears) along with them…all on spinning gear and light tackle.
Lake Okeechobee fishing report for March 2021 submitted by Capt. Angie Douthit
Bass and Crappie fishing has remained somewhat steady, last month we encountered cold, windy days which slowed the bite especially for the bass but all in all for the month of February it was a good one and kept me very busy putting smiles on customers faces as they reeled in their biggest bass and/or amount of crappie they took home for some great-tasting meals. The month of March typically is a time that the bream start moving into the shallows for the spawn but depends on the weather (such as cold-fronts) therefore, water temperatures. The bass spawn will remain active throughout the Spring months, typically March and April can produce some fun, fast action days of fishing due to more consistent weather/water temperatures and cold-fronts behind us but don’t rule out the Crappie bite being over until late March, perhaps into early/mid April such as two-years ago, when they were still spawning the end of April. If fishing Lake Okeechobee has always been on your bucket list, now is a good time to book your bream, crappie and bass trip of a lifetime. Areas to look at when bass fishing can be on the West-side on the Shoal area around Whidden’s Pass; 2nd-3rd pole; some spots in the Monkey Box; Dyess Ditch and point of Horse Island; some spots around Indian Prairie and back inside at Tin House. Also the pass around Buckhead Ridge always holds bass but gets a lot pressure and could make for a tough bite. Some areas to look at when Crappie fishing has been the Kissimmee River; Government Cut; some areas on Kings Bar; 2nd point; some spots around Indian Prairie and Dupree Bar and a few areas on the Shoal. Lures for bass are: senkos; top water (devils horse/spook) worked methodically and slow; frog/swim bait in/around thicker vegetation areas where pre-spawn bream are moving into the shallow areas; flipping/pitching isolated vegetation areas such as reeds clumps, and etc. Lure colors for bass are: June bug; Red bug; Black/Blue; White and shad/crawdad patterns for shallow cranks. For the Crappie bite, depending on your preference, live-small minnows have been a staple especially when the bite gets a little tough. Along with minnows, small hair jigs/tubes has been working well if you want to cover water and jig. To book your fun-filled and productive day fishing Okeechobee call 863-228-7263 or check out my website where you’ll find up-to-date customers and their catches; fishing report (present/past); what’s included when booking a trip; hotel accommodations; fishing license and etc. Have a group of people? I can accommodate “group trips” and “multiple days” which can include fishing for bass, crappie and bream
Lake Okeechobee fishing report for February, 2021 submitted by Capt. Angie Douthit
The crappie and bass bite for the past few months has been really good and pretty much consistent but slows a bit when the cold fronts hit, give it a day or two and the bite is back on again especially for the bass since they are more affected than the specks. Since mid Jan. no water releases we were told would be released from the lake, holding the water level around the 15.5 ft mark. While out on the water you’ll see areas that the eel grass and hydrilla have begun to grow back, giving that “fishy area feel/look”. The more consistent bass bite has been with live-bait especially when the weather is all-over the board. The artificial lure bite is fun producing some top-water, frog and worm bites but is not consistent, one day you catch them and the next it can be a slow day, just no consistency right now but that all will change soon when the bream start to move into the shallows for the spawn. Areas on the lake that have been producing crappie bites is the Kissimmee River; Nub n Slough; around Taylor Creek; some areas on Kings Bar; Horse Island; Monkey Box/Dupree Bar and some areas around Observation Shoal. Both minnows and lures for Crappie have been producing limits and quality size for sure. The bass bite has been in the same areas pretty much as for the Crappie. With the cold fronts that we are getting from time to time, fishing in areas closer to deep water when bass fishing like the River and Canals has been a definite plus for sure. Bass lure colors to try can be: June bug; Redbug; Black; White; Crawdad and Bluegill patterns for shallow cranks and flipping lures. Whether you’re looking to book a trip to learn the lake, fishing techniques or just enjoy the beautiful scenery while catching some great quality Crappie and Bass, now is the time to book your fun-filled day fishing on Lake Okeechobee. I can accommodate groups with multi-boat trips as well as back-to-back fishing days.
Lake Okeechobee fishing report for Jan., 2021 submitted by Capt. Angie Douthit
The bass and crappie bite is on and people are booking their fun filled day on the water by wetting lines, catching fish, having fun and enjoying the wonderful south Florida weather. A typical bass outing with my clients includes using some live-bait (wild shiners) and finishing up their time on the water throwing some artificial lures, some customers fish one or the other for the day but it all depends on how they want to spend their time. I customize each trip to my customers request so they will walk away having experienced a fun, educated and productive day on the water. Both the bass and crappie spawn time will continue throughout the winter months and on into the spring time of year so book your trip soon in order to get your preferred day(s) to fish. The bream bite starts to pick up and I get bookings starting in early April and goes all summer long. Places to try for bass fishing can be on the West side on/around Observation Shoal area; Whiddens Pass and some areas in the Monkey box. Some areas around Dyess ditch; Worm cove and Horse/Dupree bar. On the North shore, some spotty areas around Indian Prairie and some hot spots in/around Tin house. Buckhead ridge and the end of Kings Bar have been producing as well as some spotty areas throughout Kings Bar and Grassy. On the east side try around Nub n Slough; some areas around Hendry creek and some spotty areas in/around J&S area. Lures that have been producing bites for bass can be: worms; swim baits, swim jigs, spinner baits (on windy days), shallow cranks on the outside edges of the grass and flipping/pitching creature-style lures. A good color pattern to try can be June bug; Redbug; Shad; Bluegill and some white. A lot depends on water clarity, sunny/cloudier days. For crappie fishing, it depends on your style of fishing, you can choose to drift/slow troll out in open water targeting the ones that are schooling/feeding up before heading into the shallows to spawn or you can anchor up with and fish with live minnows on/around grass edges and pockets or you can get into the thick of it and jig them off the beds. All three ways of catching crappie (specks) is fun, again, it’s all in what the customer prefers to do…I specialize in jigging with artificial lures in the shallows. I take first-timers quite often, so if you want to learn, it’s a quick 5 minute lesson and it’s Fun. The best part is being to take your catch home and provides a wonderful meal(s). Areas to try for crappie can be very near the locations for bass that I mentioned above. Please use caution when boating on the lake, be Kind and Courteous to those of us making a Living at taking people fishing for day. There is plenty of space out on the lake and No Reason to fish near working boats.
Lake Okeechobee fishing report for Dec., 2020 by Capt. Angie Douthit, Okeechobee, Fl
Lake Okeechobee has been fishing really well for both bass and crappie. The crappie bite was slow to get going in early-mid November due to warm water conditions but the bite has kicked into high gear, so now is the time to book your fun-filled day catching some great eating fish. The bass have begun spawning and will continue to get stronger as will the crappie from December moving forward. I’ve been booking both artificial lure and live bait trips for bass and both have been producing bites, live-bait being the most dependable during crazier weather timeframes, but most important is what the customer wants to learn from the trip. Some lures that have been producing are: swim baits, top water, worms, rattle traps and spinner baits for some schooling bass activity on the outside grass edge and the flipping/pitching technique that has become a staple her on the big O. I provide all rod/reels and artificial lures used for your day on the water. For the crappie trips, I specialize in the shallow water jigging technique, targeting them on the beds using BnM ultra-light jig poles tipped with a round jig head tipped with Mid South tubes. Small live minnows is great to use for more open-water areas and grass-edges with the boat anchored. Both techniques are fun and produce bites, all depends again on what the customer prefers. Areas around the lake that have been fishing good…starting on the West side can be the Monkey box area and around to the Whidden’s Pass area and parts of the Observation Shoal area; around Horse Island and some parts of Indian Prairie; mid-back part of Tin House and on up to 2nd and 3rd points leading to Buckhead Ridge area. The end of King’s Bar and a few other areas within King’s Bar are producing bites and on the east side try around Nub-N-Slough and Hendry Creek. Artificial lure colors for bass are: June bug, Red bug, Black/Blue, Crawdad and White.
Lake Okeechobee fishing report for November, 2020 submitted by Capt. Angie Douthit
Lake Okeechobee has been fishing good lately for both bass and crappie but fighting the wind lately has been tough. As the month of November continues and with the upcoming moon phase(s) the fishing will continue to get better as the water temperature is starting to cool down. I’m looking forward to the upcoming months as the bass and crappie spawn kick into gear with cooling water temps and hopefully steadier weather. November is the time to book your upcoming bass and crappie trips by calling me at 863-228-7263. You can check out my newly revised website at for all the information you need to book your trip, see up-to-date pictures of customers and their catches; guide rates, up-to-date fishing report, hotel accommodations, obtain a fishing license and etc. If it’s crappie you’re after, November typically marks the beginning of the steady bite up in the shallows catching them on/around the beds as well. This style of crappie fishing can be fun and provide lots of quick action and is easy to learn to jig for crappie. Okeechobee is known for big crappie as well as big bass, whether it’s Crappie or Bass or both November is a good time to experience the lake. If you’re not an experienced Angler or want to bring your kids, don’t worry, I will tailor your trip to your needs so that everyone catches fish and has a good time making memories that the whole family will enjoy. Areas to try for bass fishing have been on the West side around the Observation Shoal area….this big area has fish scattered up/down the entire grass edge and some areas the bass are back in chasing small fry and bream. For the most part you can tie on a swim bait or frog and cover water enticing that reaction strike or you can slow down and fish with worms and hit the pockets, holes and isolated clumps. Don’t forget to have a top water lure tied on such as a devils horse or zara spook, these work great on the outer edges of the grass and just cover water. Other areas can be around Dyess Ditch in behind the hard-line; Horse Island; Indian Prairie and some areas around Dupree bar both back in, in the middle and on calm days, outer edge. You’ll find that different areas of the lake will have different colored water such as tan icky or stained water…fish can be found in both. The pass/Buckhead ridge area is producing bites especially on windy days when you can fish the area you want to fish due to heavy winds. Some areas on Kings bar are producing bites and is normally a good place to start when looking/searching for the first wave of crappie moving into the shallows. On the east side, the water release has been producing some bass due to some running water, mainly catching in numbers. Bass lures to have tied on can be: worms; rattle trap; frog; swim bait; creature-style lures for flipping/pitching; top water and spinner baits. The usual color scheme of junebug; black/blue; redbug and watermelon/red will work.
To book your next fun-filled, productive day fishing on the big O, call me at 863-228-7263 or check out my newly designed website My Sponsors are: Mercury Marine; G-Loomis; Lews; Mega Strike; Bullet Weights; Gill; Maui Jim; Gene Larew; Pradco Brands; BnM Poles; Mid-South tackle; Real Magic and TTI-Blakemore products.
October, 2020 fishing report for Lake Okeechobee by Capt. Angie
Bass fishing in the month of October can be a fun time whether you choose to use live-bait or throw some lures and cover water using lures ranging from hard top baits to the flipping/pitching technique AND time to book your Crappie trip using artificial lures. You can expect some variations in weather pattern such as cooler days; high temperature days; some wind and rain as we push towards the Winter timeframe months but typically the Fall months produce some big bass and fun times on the water as they feed up in the shallows and some offshore areas in preparation for the first spawn of the season. If it’s the excitement of top water lures you love, this is the time to throw them along the edges of the grass; open hole areas surrounding by vegetation and isolated grassy areas. A devils horse is my favorite, modified and using monofilament line…the type of blades whether pointed or round for the time of year makes a difference as well as the choice of line and knot you tie. For the flipping/pitching technique a creature-style lure or mid-size jig works well depending on the Anglers skill level, water temperature, current weather conditions and vegetation. My favorite plastic style lure for flipping/pitching is the Gene Larew hawg craw. A good jig that works well is the Medlock jig with either a june bug; black/blue or crawdad colored skirt is a good choice. Big worms as well as senkos always works here on the big O, I typically use senkos in thicker, grassier areas so the worm doesn’t hang up as much and use the big worms in more sparser , less grassy areas…sometimes adding a rattle whether inserted into the worm or as your weight can add extra bites. This is also a good time to fish more open-water areas to catch schooling bass which produces some fun and fast excitement and when you find schoolies it normally doesn’t matter what’s in your hand they will typically bite it because they are in a feeding mode. Deeper water areas of the lake such as the canals and River can be just as good fishing as the lake especially on windier days. A mid-deep crank bait can be very productive as well as big worms worked up ledges and drop-offs as well top water lures worked slowly especially along rock rip-rap and where deeper water comes up quickly to shallower water areas. The crank bait color choice can be shad; crawdad; bluegill and chartreuse depending on water clarity and time of year. Rattle traps and Spinner baits can cover a lot of water and on windier days you definitely need to have one or the other tied on. I use a gold colored trap or silver w/blue trap depending on water clarity/time of year and a chartreuse/white or all white colored spinner bait skirt with either a double willow-leaf blade or single, again depending on water clarity and time of year. I hope this information helps you to have a better, more fun time on the water. To book a trip with me as your Professional guide on Lake Okeechobee call or text me at 863-228-7263. I can accommodate multi-day trips as well as groups. For more information go to www.southfloridabassfishing.com. My Sponsors include: Mercury Marine; G-Loomis rods; Lews; Bullet Weights; Real Magic; Gene Larew; Pradco; Mega Strike; Mid-South Tackle; BnM Poles; Gill marine wear and Maui Jim sunglasses.
September, 2020 fishing report for Lake Okeechobee by Capt. Angie
Bass fishing in the month of September and October can be a fun time whether you choose to use live-bait or throw some lures and cover water using lures ranging from hard top baits to the flipping/pitching technique AND time to book your Crappie trip using artificial lures. During those months you can expect some variations in weather pattern such as cooler days; high temperature days; some wind and rain as we push towards the Winter timeframe months but typically the Fall months produce some big bass and fun times on the water as they feed up in the shallows and some offshore areas in preparation for the first spawn of the season. If it’s the excitement of top water lures you love, this is the time to throw them along the edges of the grass; open hole areas surrounding by vegetation and isolated grassy areas. A devils horse is my favorite, modified and using monofilament line…the type of blades whether pointed or round for the time of year makes a difference as well as the choice of line and knot you tie. For the flipping/pitching technique a creature-style lure or mid-size jig works well depending on the Anglers skill level, water temperature, current weather conditions and vegetation. My favorite plastic style lure for flipping/pitching is the Gene Larew hawg craw. A good jig that works well is the Medlock jig with either a june bug; black/blue or crawdad colored skirt is a good choice. Big worms as well as senkos always works here on the big O, I typically use senkos in thicker, grassier areas so the worm doesn’t hang up as much and use the big worms in more sparser , less grassy areas…sometimes adding a rattle whether inserted into the worm or as your weight can add extra bites. This is also a good time to fish more open-water areas to catch schooling bass which produces some fun and fast excitement and when you find schoolies it normally doesn’t matter what’s in your hand they will typically bite it because they are in a feeding mode. Deeper water areas of the lake such as the canals and River can be just as good fishing as the lake especially on windier days. A mid-deep crank bait can be very productive as well as big worms worked up ledges and drop-offs as well top water lures worked slowly especially along rock rip-rap and where deeper water comes up quickly to shallower water areas. The crank bait color choice can be shad; crawdad; bluegill and chartreuse depending on water clarity and time of year. Rattle traps and Spinner baits can cover a lot of water and on windier days you definitely need to have one or the other tied on. I use a gold colored trap or silver w/blue trap depending on water clarity/time of year and a chartreuse/white or all white colored spinner bait skirt with either a double willow-leaf blade or single, again depending on water clarity and time of year. I hope this information helps you to have a better, more fun time on the water.
To book your next fun-filled, productive day fishing on Lake Okeechobee call 863-228-7263 or log onto my newly revised website at www.southfloridabassfishing.com I can accommodate multiple day trips as well as group trips. My Sponsors include: G-Loomis rods; Lews; Gill; Maui-Jim; Mercury Marine; Real Magic; Pradco Brands; Mega Strike; BnM Poles; Bullet weights; Mid-South Tackle and Gene Larew.
Lake Okeechobee fishing report for August, 2020, submitted by Capt. Angie Douthit
The current Lake Okeechobee lake level has been hovering around the 13.30 ft water level mark despite almost daily afternoon rain showers and the passing of tropical storm Isaias. Navigating safely has improved somewhat but I advise extreme caution while fishing out on the big O, run the lake and take no short cuts, or it could be costly, damaging your motor and lower unit. Your better bass bite will be at first light and the latter part of the late afternoon until dark. Lures for bass fishing to use are swim baits worked through vegetation; frogs; swim jigs and slow moving big worms. On the outside edge you may want to keep your top water lures handy such as a devils horse and a zara spook. Some bass schooling has been active in both the am timeframe and late afternoon but sporadic and only lasting a short while on the grass edges and out in open water in which a spinner bait and rattle trap works great. Try throwing a big worm for the bigger bite. Artificial lure colors are June bug; Black and Blue; Crawdad; Red Shad, White and Bream color. If you’re bream fishing, live red wrigglers and crickets work best rigged with 6 lb test line on ultra light spinning gear. Depending on my Customers and their comfort level, I will also tip it with a light split shot weight and small bobber or no weight and a bobber with a bobber stop, one at the top of the bobber and one below for your depth. Areas to try on the North-end launching from Scott Driver ramp are: parts of Kings Bar; 2nd -4th point; parts of Indian Prairie and Bird Island and the Monkey Box. Some parts of the Shoal as you head south towards Clewiston. On the East Side, some areas around J & S and Hendry Creek. If you want to fish the East Side just be cautious of the shallower areas when coming off plane, then idle in to your fishing area. On the South-End areas around Kreamer and Rita Island have been good as well as Uncle Joe’s cut around the grass edges as you work your way towards the Shoal and Monkey Box.
Lake Okeechobee fishing report for June/July 2020
Early June is bringing much needed rain to the lake which gives a reprieve from the early morning heat/humidity. Most of the fishing of late has been taking place in the Kissimmee River and Canals only due to low water levels out in the lake. Despite the much needed rain which will help raise the water, the water will be released back out of the lake which makes boating/fishing safety very hazardous unless you are very familiar with confidently navigating the big O. The bass fishing bite has been sporadic, biting in spurts with the early morning hours seeing some action then experiencing a lull mid-afternoon then picking up again late afternoon to early eve hours. The water temperature has been in the high 80’s which makes for some good top water action at first daylight for a few hours at most, as the morning progresses you may some schooling activity, although very brief can offer some good, fast and fun action, typically anything in your hand at the time will produce some bites, occasionally landing some really nice-size bass. As the late morning/early afternoon time approaches, you may want to slow your presentation down and throw something that can be worked real slow like senkos or big worms and jigs on the bottom. Since the water temperature is hot, the bass will be a little slow to react but usually when they bite they hold onto the bait and swim off with it. Lately I’ve been getting a lot of bites throwing a Rapala DT series ranging in depth from 3-16 ft, bouncing it off rocks, rip-rap and ledges. A good color-choice can be bluegill, shad and crawdad. Some of my customers have been opting to fish with live-bait for bass to help increase the bite, some days its more productive than just artificial lures and some days not, it all depends on the customers and their capabilities as to how they can fish and their comfort /confidence level. Some areas on the lake to try have been Kings Bar; 3rd & 4th point; Indian Praire; the flats out from Dyess Ditch area and the Shoal and some areas on the east side on out a ways from the grass edge around J & S area. The bream bite has been the most consistent lately fishing with live red wriggler worms and crickets on ultra-light spinning tackle normally spooled with 6-8 lb test. A good area to try is along the River and canal edges. If you like to catch fingerling catfish now is a good time to fish for the as they are in the shallows feeding on the bream eggs. You can fish for them the same way you fish for bream, live red worms works best. Remember to always use caution when boating on the lake due to low water levels. If you want to book a trip to fish the lake, I would suggest in waiting until late Summer/early fall when the water levels are up and bass are feeding more consistently, good months to consider are October; November into early Dec.
To book your fun-filled and productive day on the water call or text me at 863-228-7263 or check out my new website www.southfloridabassfishing.com where you’ll find all the information you need to book your trip. Capt. Angie’s sponsors are: G-Loomis rods; Lews; Gill; Maui-Jim; Mercury Marine; Real Magic; Pradco Brands; Mega Strike; BnM Poles; Bullet weights; Mid-South Tackle and Gene Larew.
Lake Okeechobee fishing report for April/May 2020
Submitted by Capt. Angie Douthit
Water level on Lake Okeechobee has been around 11.50 ft which can be very dangerous for boater safety. I try to stress every year that when the Corp. of Engineers lower the lake level (12.50 and below) use extreme caution. If you’re not sure what parts of the lake have a hard-rock bottom just come off plane a ways out from the grass edge then idle into the area you are wanting to fish. It can be time consuming but it’s worth it if you want to keep your lower engine unit intact. This time of year is the best time to catch shell crackers (red ears); they can be found in the shallows in a sandy, shell rock bottom, usually with some type of vegetation nearby. The bedding season for them typically is mid March – mid June and they prefer small red worms or crickets used on small spinning tackle with 6 lb line. I have found shell crackers on beds mixed in with bluegills that are on the beds as well. This isn’t uncommon as they both prefer a sandy, shelly bottom preferably with some type of vegetation and they both can be caught with either live red worms or live crickets. Typically, you can catch bluegill in the shallows year round but the main spawning time for bluegill is now and their season will last through the summer months. Bass fishing has remained pretty decent with the majority of the bass in the post-spawn mode which means, feeding time big time! This means schooling bass chasing shad along the grass edges which can be produce lots of action with rattle traps; shallow crank baits; spinner baits and top water. You’ll also find bass feeding on bream up in the shallows which is great action for plastic frogs; swim baits and chatter baits. This is also the best time to throw some top water lures worked in/around grass pockets/edges such as a devils horse worked methodically/slowly, spooks and pop’rs are also a good choice. Don’t forget the deeper water areas like the canals; rim-ditch and the river; bass like to hang out in deeper water in the hotter summer months. This is a great time to throw jigs and big worms and work the ledges and drop-offs. Plastic colors that work really well this time of year is June bug; Red shad/Tequila Sunrise; Green-Pumpkin; white; Black/Blue and Crawdad shades. Areas to fish for bream and bass are Kissimmee River; parts of Kings Bar; Buckhead Ridge on down to Tin House; some parts of the Indian Prairie and Horse Island; Observation Shoal on down to the Blue hole (close to Uncle Joe’s cut); some areas on the East side like Hendry Creek and some places down to J & S. If you’re heading over to the East side remember that Hendry Creek area has a rock bottom that extends a long way out and J & S is nothing but rock…so please use extreme caution.
Lake Okeechobee fishing report for March/April, 2020
Submitted by Capt. Angie Douthit
The water level has been slowly coming down as it normally does for this time of year preparing for the upcoming rainy season and to expose some parts of the lake in preparation for a vegetation burn off. April is typically a time to start looking for bream beds and catching the last of the late big bass spawners but for the most part it will be post-spawn bass fishing action which is always a fun and exciting time to fish Lake Okeechobee. If you like the excitement of that top water bite, April is a great time to dust off your favorite lure and start targeting the edges of the grass, pockets, cuts and along rock ledges. You might see some bass schooling activity feeding on shad which makes for great rattle trap; spinner bait and shallow crank bait activity and there’s always the up-shallow bite for the bass that are feeding on the bream that have moved up to spawn which offers some fun swim bait/swim jig and frog action. April and May have always been one of my favorite times to fish Okeechobee because of the multitude of ways of catching bass and marks a good time to catch the early bream spawners which is a lot of fun for the kids and we’re not into the hot summertime temperatures yet; no cold snaps to deal with and it’s not the rainy/thunderstorm time of year yet. If you’d like to book a trip fishing for bass and bream or both, I have 14 dates in April still available. I supply all light spinning tackle used for bream fishing and all rods/reels for bass fishing whether you use bait casters or spinning gear and all my tackle is top of the line and my 21 foot Stratos boat will hold three customers. Lures to use when searching/fishing for bass can be swim jigs; swim baits; spinner baits; rattle traps; top water lures; frogs; worms and creature-style lures for flipping/pitching and shallow-running cranks for lake fishing and mid/deep cranks for river and canals. A good color choice pattern can be the crawdad; shad and bream shades. Areas on the lake to start looking for bream can be the North shore; Dupree Bar; some parts of the Shoal; Tin house; parts of Kings bar; Hendry Creek and areas around rock like Indian Prairie Canal; Clewiston Channel and edges of the dynamite holes on the south-end and the Kissimmee River.
To book your next fun-filled and productive day fishing call me at 863-228-7263 or log onto my website at . I can accommodate group trips and multiple day trips. My sponsors include: Mercury Marine; G-Loomis; Lews; Bullet Weights; Gill; Maui Jim; Real Magic; Navionics; BnM Poles; Mid-South and Pradco Brands.