Happy New Year to our loyal readers! Start the year off right and go out and catch some fish. The bass are finally schooling due to the recent cooler weather and are chasing shad and fatting up for the spawn during the January and February full and new moon phases. The bass bite in the Harris Chain of Lakes has been a little slow due to the recent cold fronts moving in and out, but that should be changing soon with the recent warming trend and moon phases during January. Try chatter baits, bright orange or chrome/blue Rattle Traps, June bug or black with blue tail trick worms, Senko’s or speed worms worked slowly along the deeper Kissimmee grass close to deeper water or ledges. The bigger fish will be staging close to mouth of canals, creeks, or the Dead River in the surrounding cover. Areas with several different types of cover such as Kissimmee grass, reeds, cattails, eel grass, hydrilla, and lily pads in the same area will hold the bigger and better sized fish. Slow trolling a large live wild shiner under a cork or balloon will always pay off. Lake Harris, Lake Eustis and theirs canals as well as Lake Dora and the Apopka Canal will be the best places to look and hunt for the first wave of bedding bass.
Lakeside Bait and Tackle in Tavares near the Buzzard Beach boat ramp is selling a ton of minnows and says that the crappie is really starting to show up both in numbers and size on Lake Dora, in Lake Eustis and Lake Griffin. Anglers are catching them on mylar jigs, Road Runners, and minnow rigs. Look for them to move up in the shallows on the next new and full moon phases in later January and February. If you are going to fish for crappie, be sure to get registered and enter your crappie in the 14th Annual Shad & Crappie Derby. Lake Side Bait & Tackle and Nobles Marine are both sign-up locations, it only takes one fish to win! Take a kid fishing with you and start the New Year off right, good luck.