April’s best bets – the bass spawn has just about ended. The bass are still spawning out towards deeper water due to shallow waters warming up and the bass will be moving out to deeper water where the water temps are cooler. It’s time to go to artificial baits. On my most recent trips, the most successful artificial baits used are the Zoom Magnum Vibe in watermelon seed, green pumpkin and June bug colors; Texas rigged or Carolina rigged. Also, Senkos are working so use the same colors. Look for Kissimmee Grass, avoid algae areas. Look for any type of current flow from wind or current around vegetation, these are good areas for success.
The State of Florida did a lot of work on Westlake Toho controlling the hydrilla on different parts of the lake as usual this time of year. They also replaced all eight fish attractors with PVC trees. They are not marked with a buoy yet. So far, they have been in the water for a week and I am already catching crappie off of them. If you go on older maps that show fish attractors, the new ones are at the same locations. Overall the crappie bite has been really good. They are moving back out to open water and a lot of them have been caught at the flood control gates in the canals on both ends of Lake cypress. Also, the Alligator Chain has been really good for open water crappie fishing. Check the edges of the holes and look for suspending fish. The bait of choice is a Ron’s Zip Jig tipped with a minnow.
The shell cracker bite also has been good. They are making beds in the shallow water. The best way to catch them is with live red worms under a float.