Bass and crappie fishing since early-mid December has been on the upswing mainly due to the cooler air temps coming from the North, cooling down the water temperature for the bass/crappie spawn which will continue with each coming month, focusing on/around both the new/full moon phases, lasting through the late Springtime. In fact, April of last year (early/mid) offered some of the biggest crappie of the season.
For those of you who do not know, new fishing regulations for the State of Florida have been in effect since July 2016 so please know these rules if you are going to keep bass and crappie to eat. Random boat checking at the ramps for fishing licenses and keeping within the size/quantity amount have been ongoing. It is not worth the fine so please adhere to the FWC regulations by honoring these limits!!
I’m often asked by customers, “When is the best time to fish the big O for big bass”? It isn’t just a simple answer but bass fishing here on Lake Okeechobee during the winter months can be a key time to increase your chances of landing that big bass, but at the same time, Mother-Nature can bring cold weather to south Florida, shutting down the bite until they become acclimated and the cold-front has passed. So the best answer is two-fold, keep checking the weather leading up to your planned time of fishing and try and gear it towards the full/new moon phases. This will be your best odds for landing that big bass of your dreams!
As for the crappie bite, the colder temperatures will not affect them nearly as much as with the bass, in fact, the bite can be more aggressive. The entire North-shore of Lake Okeechobee is great fishing, starting from Turners Cove area all the way up to Buckhead Ridge, which is an expansive area to fish. Please allow each boater, especially those of us making a living some space and be respectful of others while out on the water. This will give us all the opportunity to enjoy a fun-filled day on the water.
Areas to try launching on the South-End can be: parts of Kreamer/Rita Islands; Tree-house area; East-wall and parts of Observation Shoal. Launching/fishing from the North-End: Horney pond/Dyess ditch parts of Kings Bar; around Henry Creek and parts of J&S. Color patterns for soft plastics for bass can be watermelon-red, redbug, junebug, black/blue and green-pumpkin/gold flake. White/Chartreuse skirt gold double-willow leaf spinner bait, hard top water lures worked slowly will produce such as a devils horse and zara spook, the flipping/pitching bite has been producing using creature-style lures and swim jigs/swim baits/chatter baits.
While in Okeechobee, be sure to stop by the Okeechobee Fishing Headquarters store, they have the largest selection of lures on hand they also have live-bait (shiners/minnows) available; clothing, rods/reels and boating accessories. To book your fun-filled, productive day crappie or bass fishing on beautiful Lake Okeechobee call Capt. Angie at 863-228- 7263 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or log onto www.southfloridabassfishing.com which contains information ranging from the latest customer pics, hotel accommodations to obtaining a fishing license. Angie’s Sponsors are: Power-Pole; G-Loomis rods; Lews; Gene Larew; Bullet weights; Real Magic; Navionics; Rapala and Gill marine wear.