The Bass spawn has just about ended. The bass are still spawn- ing out towards deeper, cool- er water. It’s time to go to artificial baits. On my most recent trips, the most successful artificial baits used are the Zoom flukes in pearl color. Look for bass feed- ing on shad at sun rise. Zoom Magnum Vibe in watermelon seed, green pumpkin and June bug colors; Texas rigged, or Carolina rigged are good along the hydrilla edges. Also, Sinkos are working use same colors. Look for Kissimmee Grass, avoid algae areas. Any type of flow from wind or current around vegetation are good areas for success.
The State of Florida replaced all eight fish attractors on Toho with PVC trees. So far, they have been in the water for a year and I am catching crappie off of them. If you go on older maps that show fish attractors, the new ones are at the same locations. I can’t wait to see how the panfish respond as the water levels start to drop this summer. Overall the crappie bite has been really good. They are moving back out to open water and a lot of them have been caught at the flood control gates in the canals on both ends of Lake cypress. Also, the Alligator Chain has been really good for open water crappie fishing. Check the edges of the holes and look for suspending fish. The bait of choice is a jig tipped with a minnow.
The shell cracker bite has also been good. Bluegills, red-ear sunfish, and shellcrackers are the panfish go-to in April. They are making beds in the shallow water – look for shell bottom or sandy areas in 3-4 feet depths. The best way to catch them is with live red worms under a float. Make sure to add a split shot to one without bobber and send it to the bottom.