Freshwater Scene

By:  Capt Roan zumFelde

Merry Christmas to all and hope your fishing trips are wonderful and fish are plentiful.  The winter winds are starting to blow and the coolness is in the air.  This is not always a bad thing, it sure makes being in the outdoors more enjoyable and sometimes really stacks the fish up were they can get to a little warmer water.  The bass can really fire up just before a front comes through. The only problem is if you are fishing the day after the front passes then it gets a little difficult.  My only suggestion is to slow down, when you think you are moving you lure slow enough then try moving it a little slower.

Lake Okeechobee fishing should be excellent this month.  Bass fishing on the lake will be in full swing and the main lake water levels should be starting to drop down and make the bass more concentrated.  This should make the Rim Canal and any traditionally deeper water corridors much better.  North End of the lake should really start to get good especially if the winds start to blow out of the North. Fishing for bluegills will be on the decline but Crappie should really start taking over for all you pan fisherman.  Small Jigs and even flies work well on them.  I like to throw small bead head Wooley Buggers for them.  The bead causes a more up and down erratic action.

The Staff at Trafford Marine is not only excited about it being the Holidays this month but thinks it is one of the best months to catch crappie on the lake.  He says small jigs will catch them but Missouri minnows work the best.  He believes the fishing is really getting better all the time on the lake and from what his anglers are telling him and me I do believe it is true.  Bass fishing on the lake this month should be excellent as well. From top to bottom you should find plenty of bass action.  If an early front brings the temps down I might suggest fishing slow sinking creature baits, or jig and pig combo in heavy cover.  Something that falls relatively slow like a Senko type worm should also work well.

The Everglades Canals should really big good for all species this month.  It looks like the water levels are going to get better for both bass and cichlids.  The lack of rain in November, is going to really help out and bring the fish into accessible areas of the canals where we can get a lure to them.  Senko type worms this month should literally wreck them.  Large or small Senko’s will not matter just be sure to bring plenty with you in multiple colors. Not only do the bass eat them in the canals but the oscars, mayans, and bowfins love them.  Please be extra careful when handling bowfins if they clamp down on you it is hard to get them to let go.  If the water stays warm and the fronts stay to the north the fly fishing in the canals will be good on top but if the waters get cool you will need to fish weighted flies like the fly of the month the Jiggly Wiggly to fire up the fish.

Come visit Mike and me at Mike’s Bait house and Indian Pass Outfitters on Danford Street, next to Bayview Park in Naples and we can talk fishing.  We carry a full line of tackle including:  fly fishing needs and both saltwater and freshwater gear, food, drink, and bait.  Thanks, and good fishing. Roan z

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