Lake Okeechobee North End Fishing Report: Jan. 2016

Luke Timmer with a couple of 5 lbers
Luke Timmer with a couple of 5 lbers

The Big-O is in its fall pattern right now, but winter is right around the corner. Water temperatures have been in the high 70s and low 80s which are great temperatures for catching just about everything on this lake. Bass fishing has been very good with live shiners, but very tough with artificials. Catches in the 40 to 60 fish a day range are common on shiners right now. On artificial baits the numbers drop down to 5 to 15 fish a day with short spurts of better fishing when there is a weather change. Most of the better catches have been on something subtle, such as dead sticking a fluke or a big worm with no weight. When conditions get tough like they are, slow down and even down size your lures, every little bite helps. There have been some windy days as of late and that has helped to some extent. The wind can help to position bass on points and gaps between reed patches, it creates current and fish like a little current, so pay attention on days where you have a breeze. Eagle Bay and Grassy Island are good bets to find spawning fish in the coming months. Spawners are showing up in these areas already and there are more to come. Kings Bar, Buckhead Ridge, and Tin House Cove are producing good fish on the outside edges of the grass lines.

Speck fishing is going strong. Fishermen that are drifting are catching good numbers about a mile out in front of Taylor Creek lock on minnows. Set your minnows at a depth of 8 to 6 feet without a float for best results. Jig fisherman are starting to catch Specks around Indian Prairie and Horse Island, white jigs with some pink mixed in work well, it’s a good imitation of a grass shrimp and Specks love grass shrimp. I like to take some grass shrimp and minnows with me even if I’m jig fishing. It’s always a good idea to have a back-up plan if the jigs aren’t working.

Remember to stop by Garrard’s Bait and Tackle for all your fishing needs, they have a full line of bass and crappie gear to choose from, and they have the best live bait on the lake, from shiners to grass shrimp they have it.