Lake Okeechobee North End Fishing Report: March 2016

Lake Okeechobee Speck
Mike Edwards with Big ‘O’ speck.

All I can say at the moment is SPECKS, SPECKS and more SPECKS. If you didn’t hear me the Specks are tearing it up. Specks, also known as Speckled Perch or Black Crappie, are biting from J & S Fish Camp on the east side of Lake Okeechobee all the way around to Horse Island on the west side. With record rainfall for this time of the year, the water level is on the rise and the Specks are on the move inside. Anywhere you can find running water like places like Nubbin Slough you will have great success. But don’t stop there, the jig fishing has been great as well, and the best part is that they are hitting just about any kind of jig you put in front of them. The local favorite is the Andy Jig and they come in a wide range of colors. Reports of Speck bag-limits, which is 25 per person with a 10 inch size limit, in Tin House Cove, Worm Cove, Buckhead Ridge, Kings Bar and Grassy Island are an everyday occurrence. As far as the best colors for jigs, they range from white, pink, lime green and even black. So tie on a jig you like and give it a try, if it doesn’t produce, try another one, you’ll hit the right color before long. As far as the drift fishermen go, it’s the same for them, good catches in the open water about two miles out in front of the Kissimmee River has been the best. Night fishing for Specks has had its ups and downs but you can still catch a nice mess if you hit it right. Minnows and Grass shrimp are you best bait at night and for drifting.

Bass fishing has held its own even though we have had some rough weather. High winds, rain and cold temperatures have made fishing difficult at times. Top water action has picked up when the temperature warms up and the Senko bite has improved as well. But when the temperature cools so too does the bite. Shiner fishing has been a more consistent producer during the colder temperatures, but even that has taken a hit at times. Slow days have been catches of 15 to 20 bass, with good days in the 40s with bigger fish in the 6lb to 8lb range. With the water rising, work your way back inside of the bull reed line. This does two things, first the fish are moving in with the higher water so what you are doing is following them in. The second is, if the wind picks up you can find areas that aren’t getting beat up by high winds and the water will most likely be cleaner and calmer which will increase your chances for a good day on the lake.

Remember to stop by Garrard’s Bait and Tackle for all your fishing needs. Live or artificial bait they have it, plus they have the best shiners on the lake, stop by and say hi.