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.