Winter is here, the fronts are coming through every 6 or 7 days. If you are after big bass, you are here at the right time! With December having some really cold days, the water temps have dipped into the low 50s – that is all it takes to get the spawn triggered. I went scouting in the airboat for bass beds on the Kissimmee chain and most of them are in a foot of water, all male fish. The females should not be far away. Most times you can find the staging areas of the female bass, usually within 40 yards. Look for some type of structure like Kissimmee grass, reeds, bull rushes, or other cover. Find their spot and you can really be successful at catching big bass.
These are the places I look for all winter. Once you find them it is like fishing in a barrel. Artificial baits should be fished slow. I prefer a plastic lizard type bait in watermelon seed color. The state has sprayed a lot of the open water hydrilla. This helped push most big fish out of open water and into shallower cover.
The crappie bite is really good on the alligator chain of lakes. The fish are still in open water group- ing up ready to start making their way in to compete for spawning area. I expect them to move in to the grass by January. Fish from the edge of the grass lines on out to open water until you find them. Jigs tipped with a minnow is a sure thing. On a recent trip we caught most of the fish on the drop offs. Drifting a minnow under a cork is a great way to fill the cooler.
Happy New Year! Enjoy the winter Capt. Randy DuMars