As we move into cooler weather, the bass fishing will only heat up on Lake Okeechobee! The summer rains have brought the lake levels up to almost 15 feet. The higher water levels will let the fish get into the newly grown eelgrass and into the marsh areas. You can still find fish gorging themselves on shad in the early morning on the outside grass lines. Bigger fish are starting to show up more and more over the last month in tournament anglers bags. Techniques being used are topwater baits in the early morning as well as swim jigs, spinnerbaits, and white flukes. When the sun begins to rise, we switch over to a slower presentation such as flipping creature baits, Netbait Flex Worm, or craw style bait.
The hot spots around the lake currently are many. The outside edges of grassy island are producing bass on Senkos and chatter baits. Tin House Cove is holding fish both inside the grass line and on the outside edges and a topwater bait worked slowly around the cover edges will draw strikes early. Horse Island is holding fish in and around the trails that cut through the Kissimmee Grass making it a productive area to fish when the wind is too strong to fish the outside edge. The Harney Pond area is holding loads of bass in the thick cover areas, eelgrass and peppergrass abound in this area. Look for spots where several kinds of native cover merge often, it will create a bass hot spot. During this time of year, a black 10-inch worm or a black/blue Senko worked slowly through the cover will get you all the bites you can stand, patience and determination are key.
Anglers using live wild shiners are finding good numbers of bass. Anglers unfamiliar with shiner fishing are sometimes convinced that using live bait other than live wild golden shiners is effective. It is true that pit shiners or domestic shiners will catch fish, but nowhere near as successfully as wild shiners. If you are going to spend your time and money shiner fishing, make sure that your shiners are wild shiners. They have an innate sense of fear when around bass, which trigger reactionary strikes from fish like nothing you have seen before, whereas domestic or pit shiners do not possess that fear factor and are not nearly as hearty or lively. Live wild shiners can be purchased from numerous places around the north end of the lake for $18 to $22 per dozen. October and November can be some of the best days of the year to fish since the traffic is down and the fish are on FIRE! Book your trip NOW!