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.