Harris Chain Fishing Forecast – October 2023

As the days continue to grow shorter and daytime temperatures cool off, the bass throughout the Harris chain begin their fall transition. The first cold fronts are soon to be here and with that come the north winds. Largemouth bass will be heading toward their pre-spawning and staging areas over the next few months during moon phases. The places to look for are near the mouths of the canals and rivers, grass lines close to deep water and near shallow flats with deeper points or edges of Kissimmee grass. Look for schooling bass chasing shad and match your baits to size. Smaller soft-plastic swim baits or flukes, shallow running crank baits or lipless plugs will become the staple for multiple bites. Top water plugs like a Zara Spook Jr. will work best early and later in the day. The younger and more aggressive buck bass will be in shallow during the Full and New moons prepping areas for big females to spawn. Creek mouths like the Dead River, Haines Creek, and Apopka and Dora canals are places to check. Try the 9th Street Canal system and areas in Big and Little Lake Harris with off-shore hydrilla close to spawning flats. Once you get a bite slow down and fish the area thoroughly.

The crappie bite will also be getting better as the temps cool. The bigger females will follow the males to shallow water by the end of the month. Shallow flats with grass and lily pads and wood as well as docks all throughout the chain will be areas to check. Try different depths for your baits until you start getting bites. Try jigs in different colors tipped with a minnow or a live minnow under a cork until you see what they want best. The 15th Annual Shad and Crappie Derby starts in November. You can register at Owen’s Fishing & Marine in Eustis, Lakeside Bait and Tackle in Tavares or Nobles Marine in Leesburg. FREE to enter. Crappie are a great fish for youth anglers to catch so take a kid fishing and make a memory that lasts forever!