Lake Okeechobee Fishing Report and Forecast: August 2013

Dan Winger from Michigan all smiles! Nice Catch Dan. Photo credit: Capt. Mike Shellen.

Dan Winger from Michigan all smiles! Nice Catch Dan. Photo credit: Capt. Mike Shellen.

Lake Okeechobee is experiencing a very wet summer; the Big O is presently well over 15 feet and rising. Water flowing into the lake creates feeding opportunities for bass and catching opportunities for anglers. The Kissimmee River is the chief feeder for the big lake; in addition, local canals such as Harney Pond and Indian Prairie allow great amounts of water into the lake. It is necessary, as an angler, to be able to read the water. During large rain events, many times the water running into the lake is what we term red water: a term used to describe poorly oxygenated water. Finding clean oxygen rich water is key to catching large numbers of bass. Flowing water situations offer many different opportunities for anglers, current flow carries bait fish with it sweeping bait into eddies and pockets where bass will eagerly feed on them. Once schooling bass are located, a lipless crank bait such as a rattle trap can provide fast action. Use a chrome model with a blue or black back as a starting point. At times, it is possible to find a bait that the bass cannot leave alone, of course this is best case scenario, but it does happen frequently. As long as the fish are on top chasing and eating bait they are easy to follow and continue catching. Once they go down and can’t be seen, a Carolina rigged soft plastic may provide you bites until the bass come to the top once again. It remains to be seen how high the water will get during this rainy summer season, but 16 feet looks entirely possible. A high water level opens up entirely new fishing areas have not been open for many years. Fishing in the marsh areas will become more prevalent as the bass move back into the weedy highly oxygenated areas, rich with feeding opportunities.

Capt. Mike Shellen
Captain Michael Shellen is a full time resident of Okeechobee Florida and has been fishing Lake Okeechobee since 1979. Michael is President of the Lake Okeechobee Guide Association and is licensed by the United States Coast Guard.

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