Lake Okeechobee: March 2021

By Capt. Nate Shellen Contributing Writer

John Drab, his son, and his girlfriend landed these beauties and many more on live wild shiners.

Some say March is the “BEST” month of the year to fish Okeechobee, personally, I think any month you can get here is the best month to fish here. March can some years be a questionable month. If the weather is cold and windy, lending itself to cool water temperatures and rough lake conditions, bass fishing can become very tough. However, “if” the weather is warm and stable, it lends itself to warmer water temperatures and smoother conditions, which in turn can lead to some of the best bass catching conditions of the winter season. The fishing can be terrific for a solid week and then a cold front blows through South Florida and the water temperatures in the lake fall 10 or more degrees overnight, leading to a downturn in fish production, only to fully recover, after a few warm days warm the water up once again.

As I write this, bass fishing, particularly shiner fishing, has been quite good for the past five to six days. Local guides are reporting catching 35 to 45 bass per trip. Big bass are in the mix, 7 to 10 pound bass are falling prey to wild shiners daily. The full moon period will be around the first of the month with the full moon being on the 9th of March leading to another wave of pre-spawn bass that will move into the grass lines to feed prior to spawning. At this juncture in the season, we have a percentage of bass that have spawned already and are feeding up after exhausting most of their energy.  Then too, there are bass that are in a pre-spawn mode that are just waiting for what bass consider perfect conditions to spawn. When the perfect conditions are present, the bass bite is something that will provide a lifetime of memories. It’s about timing, with a little luck mixed in.

Judging simply from the number of speck anglers on the lake, it must be a banner season! It has been several years since so many specks have been caught in and around the grass lines of the lake. Jig anglers are having the best of it reporting catches every time they venture onto the lake. Minnow anglers are finding their creels full of fat healthy 10-inch-plus specks as well. The Kissimmee River and local canals are giving up limits daily, and even more nightly.

Capt. Nate Shellen

Shellen Guide Service

Okeechobee Bass Fishing Guides/Charters

(863) 357-0892 ••