Lake Okeechobee, North End, Fishing Report and Forecast: July 2017

by Capt. Nathan M. Shellen, Contributing Writer

Early morning bass fishing has been as good as it gets, and it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down any time soon | Photo courtesy of Capt. Nathan M. Shellen

It’s summer time, and we have very hungry bass all over the lake! Early morning bass fishing has been as good as it gets, and it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down any time soon. The lake water level has come up about one-foot. With all the rain water, things slowed for a couple days, but it quickly picked up again. Our typical early morning spinner bait and top water bites are in full swing. This makes for some exciting blowups first thing in the morning. When fishing the outside Kissimmee grass edges, and reed edges, with a half-ounce War Eagle mouse-colored spinner bait, you are sure to catch fish. Fishing top water? Try a shad-colored Zara Spook or a shad-colored Chug Bug. These baits are great for imitating shad when they are schooled up in the grass first thing in the morning. There is also a good flipping and pitching bite when you move to the inside of some of these areas right now. Make sure you stay in at least two feet of water or more with a slightly stained water color. If you are pitching the reeds, try a half-ounce jig in a dark color. With the half-ounce weight, it will sink/fall slower and you can work through the reeds much better. The shiner action has been fantastic for the first few hours and slows down as the morning heats up. Catches on half day trips can range from 20 to 40 bass by 10 a.m., with fish up to the eight-pound class. The tip of Grassy Island, north end of Kings Bar, Buckhead Ridge, Third Point, Harney Pond, and as far south as Cochran’s are all good places to start for your bass fishing day.

If you are looking to fish for bluegills and shellcrackers, look around the mouth of the Kissimmee River. You can also try the front of Buckhead Ridge on the grass edges or flats. Heading north of Buckhead, many fish are being caught around the spoil islands out of Harney Pond as well and around the outside edges of the grass and reeds. When fishing for bluegill or shellcracker, look for their beds on the bottom.  The beds look like white sandy holes on the bottom. The bluegills have moved in to spawn and will continue to move in as the summer moves forward. If you are fishing for bluegill, try using crickets, grass shrimp or red worms along their beds for the best results.

Until the next report good luck, tight lines, and Bucket Lips. I hope to see everyone on the water!

Special Thanks to the D.O.A Lures and ManOWar staff, and Costa Del Mar sunglasses for always being available and providing some high-quality lures and equipment.


FORECAST BY: Capt. Nathan M. Shellen
(772) 501-6886