Lake Okeechobee Fishing Report and Forecast: Oct. 2013

Kathy Kosloff from South Carolina caught this big bass on a shiner. PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Mike Shellen.
Kathy Kosloff from South Carolina caught this big bass on a shiner. PHOTO CREDIT: Capt. Mike Shellen.

In spite of all of the tainted water flowing into Lake Okeechobee through the Kissimmee River, the fishery has remained very stable. At a level of 15.5 feet as of this writing, the water is what we consider high, not only on the outside edges of the grass lines but in the marsh as well. The deeper water (7 feet) along the Kissimmee grass lines is holding huge numbers of bass. The early morning bite has been on for the past several months. A silver bladed double willow leaf spinner bait with a white skirt has been garnering bites daily. When it’s really good, 20 to 40 bass will fall prey to the spinner bait in the first few hours. When it’ not so good, 10 to 15 will be the morning’s catch. The bite is over by 9 a.m. and a switch in tactics is necessary to keep catching.

With 6 to 7 feet of water around the Kissimmee grass edges, it is useful to employ a heavier weight that will get down into the lower parts of the cover. A Senko or a worm will work, although many anglers have been finding great success using a swim jig with a trailer worked through the grass is the hot ticket, with blue gill or shad imitating colors being the better choice for catching.

The shiner bite has been very good all summer long, there are many areas where the hydrilla and other grasses are matted up and offer ambush points for hungry bass. There isn’t any other bait that catches more or bigger bass than a live wild golden shiner.

We are fast approaching the fall run of big bass, the large females will move into the shallow edges of the grass lines to feed heavily before they move toward their spawning areas. It is a great time to catch the trophy bass of your lifetime. Not only will large bass be caught but large numbers of bass will fall prey to a live well shiner suspended under a small cork. According to my fishing blog, more big bass are caught during this time than any other time of year. This year is going to offer many opportunities for the bass angler, not only will bass be on the outside edges, but the 4 to 5 feet of water in the marsh areas will also be holding fish. The lake will be fishing large this year, trails and paths that go well back into the marsh are opening up everywhere.

Catching opportunities abound.