January means trophy sized bass on the Kissimmee Chain! The fronts are coming through every few days. We have had a few cold snaps in December to push water temps into the low 50s. That’s all it takes to get the spawn triggered. Look for areas of clean water and sandy bottom and you will find buck males prepping beds with large female bass waiting nearby. Females will be within 40 yards of the beds staging in deeper water or near structure. This week when scouting for bass on the Kissimmee Chain, most of them were found in a foot of water, all males with the females not far away.
To have the best success catching that trophy sized big bass, fish around structure like Kissimmee grass, reeds, or bull rushes. These are the areas I have most success with – once you find them it is like fishing in a barrel. Baits of choice for artificial are the plastic lizard type baits, watermelon seed color, work it really slow. Lizards eat the eggs and will get eaten. Live wild shiners are best bait always for big bass if you can get them. Handle big bass with care and release quickly, they are all females with eggs. Tip – keep them out of water only as long as you can hold your breath.
The Crappie bite is excellent on East Lake Toho. Don’t forget to sign up for the Shad and Crappie Derby. The fish are concentrated in open water grouping up. The best way to catch crappie is slow trolling with jigs in the deepest water you can find. Always tip jigs with live minnows. Drifting minnows under a cork works great too – vary the depth until you find what the specks like. Find slight drop-offs on your bottom machine, there should be fish to target on the scope too. As the water keeps dropping use caution at the boat ramps. Become a Sea Tow Central Florida Lakes member and get peace of mind while fishing and boating. Happy New Year, Captain Randy.