Cast & Blast
Now that the weather has settled down and we hope the cold fronts are gone for this spring, let’s focus on the primary big bass bait on Lake “O”.
The Wild Lake Shiner, some are big enough just to take home and throw them in hot oil and Lord knows a dozen of them can be more expensive that a good evening’s meal. But for all my years on Lake Okeechobee, 47-of ’em, nothing will produce more quality lunkers than wild shiners. Sure they cost a lot of money, and most of you have tried them now and then, only to go back to Speck fishing after using up $100 in shiners. That’s an expensive lesson, however, to really learn the many nuances and presentations of these hog hunters it would be well worth using one of the many great bass guides in the northwest part of Lake Okeechobee. In the long run you’ll buy less bait, catch more fish, all awhile being mentored on how to fish your live bait and on his boat and gas.
Believe me, or ask any guide that you run across, the lake changes every day and the fish and bite move with these changes. 10-lbers are all over the lake now through the summer. Don’t give up on your dream of a trophy bass, just ask for a day or two of help. It will save you lots of money and aggravation in the long run. Remember you are fishing for fun and a good dinner, right? You could probably out fish most of us on your summer lakes up north, but don’t leave the Big “O” without putting some time in with the local knowledge. After all, the lake is our back yard playground and you should try live baiting large lake shiners with someone who has played this game on their playground for years.
Don’t worry about whether you should anchor, use corks, free-line, flip, drift, or punt, and forget about the vegetation and wind direction, for that will come in Live Bait 201 and 301. Remember when it stops to be fun – go home, or to “Lunkers” and have a cold brew or two, then go back out tomorrow and try the same things in different areas with mixed presentations. As they say, it’s called fishing, not catching.
Be Safe, Tight Lines & May God Bless.