Lake Okeechobee North End Report: May 2016

Bob Choron, 7.125 and 9 lb. bass
Bob Choron, 7.125 and 9 lb. bass

With springtime in full swing we are in store for some great fishing on Lake Okeechobee. Bass fishing continues to be at its best and will get even better as we move closer to summertime. Bass action around Eagle Bay and Grassy Island continues to be good. Shiner fishing has produced good catches upwards to 30-40 fish per morning with some fish into the 8 lb. range. The east side of the lake around J & S Fish Camp has started to pick up when the wind is right, which is anything out of the east to northeast. Fish the outside edges early and work your way in as the sun rises. Top water and spinner baits are producing well early and as the day brightens up switch to something you can pitch into the reeds. There are still a few spawning fish around so keep your eyes open for beds in the shallows.

If the lake part of J & S is not working, move inside to the Rim Canal and try some deeper water, it can save the day. Bass in the canal have been on the banks and on the deeper rocks and ledges so it gives you plenty of options. Top water plugs such as Pop Rs work along the bank while Carolina Rigs and Texas rigged 10 inch worms are effective in the deeper water. When fishing in the canal a good depth recorder that can show you what the bottom looks like can be a big help, so know how to use whatever machines you have on your boat.

On the west side of the lake Tin House Cove and Indian Prairie have good bass action in the early mornings on shiners along the outside grass lines. As summer approaches get used to the early start. Moving down to Lakeport reports have been good. Water conditions change quickly near Lakeport so always look for clean water. Drifting the north shore of Fisheating Bay seems to be the thing down there right now and the good thing about that is you cover a lot of water in a short amount of time and it produces great action. Rig a wild shiner without a float and just a weedless 2/0 OWT hook and let the wind do the work. Remember to keep your rod tip high, almost straight up and down when you are drifting. The reason for this is when you get a bite, all you need to do is drop your rod tip to the fish and set the hook. It’s a very easy way to catch a bunch.

Crappie action is still strong but has started to taper off. Fish are being caught on Grassy Island, Eagle Bay and Third Point. Minnows and grass shrimp are working well and the jig bite remains solid in the reeds. Look for a mixture of cattails and Hydrilla and it shouldn’t take long to get your limit. Reports of shell crackers are starting to come in inside of Tin House Cove and more will be showing up around the next moon so be ready.

Be sure and stop by Garrard’s Bait and Tackle on you way to the lake, they have everything you need for a great day on the water.