Broward Freshwater Fishing – January 2020

Haley Parrish with her very first largemouth bass.
Haley Parrish with her very first largemouth bass.

This is a time of year that anglers need to be diversified and creative. With water temperatures anywhere from 58 to 65 degrees you’ll need to slow way down and maybe even go to a finesse pattern. This is when you go down in line size and throw small baits. Another technique that is great during the cooler months is flipping. This is a technique where most rods are extra heavy, 7 to 8 foot and spooled with heavy braid. Flip heavy baits into grass mats, cattails, hydrilla and any other cover that makes up a canopy for fish to be under. If you’re lucky enough to get one of those beautiful days this time of year, where you have light winds and temps above 70 degrees, then anything goes. Tournament fishermen don’t have the option of picking their days.

Regardless of the weather we are expected to fish the conditions. If you would like to become a better fisherman, fish the bad weather days as well as the beautiful ones. Get out there and put your time in. On to this month’s hot spots.

#1 – Lake Okeechobee: Bass are moving up to spawn and this will be going on for several months. Start on the outside and work your way into the grass while covering as much water as possible. Cast search baits, swim baits, swimming frogs and swim jigs. Flipping is a great way to catch a giant this time of year. Topwater plugs will catch big fish. Try walking the dog with spook type baits. You can work it non stop or you can work then pause, then work it. Let the fish tell you how they want it. Pitching worms and senkos into the grass is another way to catch big bass, as well as numbers this time of year.

#2 – Holiday Park: With the water levels finally starting to go down, the fish will soon be in the canals. Some of the best fishing right now is in the flats where you can find some Everglades toads sitting on beds. The most productive baits are swim baits, swimming frogs, swim jigs, worms, flukes and senkos. You will need to display an orange flag at least 10 feet above the deck to enter the flats. I recommend you not go too far in if you have not ventured out there before. It is easy to get lost. The canals are filled with smaller bass right now, making for some steady action.

For those of you who do not have a boat, Holiday Park offers boat rentals for your convenience.

#3 – Sawgrass Recreational Park: The bite at Sawgrass is going off right now.
Baits to use are stick baits, jerk baits, worms, swim baits and bottom jigs. Senkos in junebug, watermelon red, and black are my colors of choice. Some ways to rig are Texas or Wacky style. Flukes will also put a bend in your rod.

#4 – Mile Marker 35: worms, senkos & flukes are working well. Flipping creature baits into the pads and trees can get you a monster fish.

The urban canals are loaded with fish and receive very little pressure. Most hold both largemouth and peacock bass and some even have freshwater snook and tarpon. I like to throw hard baits. Try jerk baits or crank baits that run different depths and resemble bream, shiners or other baitfish. One of the best tips to follow is match the hatch. Look at what baitfish are swimming in the area and find a bait that resembles it. Live shiners will always get you on the fish.

Till next time tight lines and bent rods,

Capt. Neal Stark
(954) 822-1481
Fishing with America’s Finest, Inc.
“Changing Lives One Cast at a Time.”
501(C)(3) Non-Profit Organization, FEIN #45-5494005
American Everglades Guide, Inc.