The Harris Chain is hot – both the weather and the bass bite. Areas with any current from the breezes or running and moving water from our afternoon rains have been the key. The best times are low light conditions in the early morning before the sun gets up or later evening. The best bite has been when the sun is just starting to come up or the sky just starts to turn gray. Get out on the water by 5 am. Top water baits like the trusted Devils Horse, Pop-R or the plastic frogs have been producing explosive strikes from above average size bass. If you have not experienced a bass engulfing a top-water bait in heavy cover or just off the edge off the vegetation, it’s about as exciting as it gets. Patience is a must, sometimes the fish will explode on your bait knocking it in the air without ever getting the hook. If you are fishing the frog, soft or hard you must drop your rod and allow the line to come tight before you set the hook. Later in the day as the sun gets high, switch to flipping the heavy grass and mats with black- blue creature baits or June- bug colored 7- or 8-inch plastic worms. The larger deeper docks located all around the chain have been producing keeper bites later in the day as well. Target docks with the largest shaded areas.
The panfish and crappie bite has been a little slow, but you can still catch them near the shoreline vegetation and scattered lily-pad fields near Dead River, around the mouth of Haines Creek at both ends and around the northwest corner of Lake Eustis. Try red worms, crickets or grass shrimp for the panfish or jig tipped with a minnow for crappie. The deeper holes in big Lake Harris have been producing the best bites for crappie. Watch out for the afternoon thunderstorms and stay safe!