Lake Okeechobee Report: December 2017

by Capt. Mark Shepard, Contributing Writer

The Florida-wide cold front that rolled through in late October, kicked-started the process that we have been looking for all year. Fishing has turned back on! | Photo courtesy of Capt. Mark Shepard

You may be wondering when Lake Okeechobee bass fishing turns back on again and the answer is NOW. Your December Lake Okeechobee Forecast will provide you with details about how Lake Okeechobee is fishing and what it will be like in the upcoming month. Capt. Mark Shepard has daily and up-to-date information on the condition of the Big O.

Two main factors come into play in this forecast: temperature changes and water levels. Capt. Mark couldn’t be more excited for the season that has just begun. New adventures and waters are opening up for exploration and discovery.

Water levels are extremely high and will take some time before they return back to normal. Levels are at 19.10 feet above sea level. Do not let this discourage you about finding fish. High water levels aren’t a bad thing when it comes to Lake Okeechobee. Levels in this range are allowing the largemouth bass to push back into areas they haven’t seen before. They are pushing deep in the grass where you will have to search them out but are locatable.

Schooling bass are starting to roam into the shallow waters. Captain Mark has been seeing big numbers on his fishing trips. This is a small indication that the process of spawning has begun. The males are beginning to pave the way for females to roam in. We all wait for this moment on Lake Okeechobee. Changes in temperatures also have helped this movement begin.

Florida recently experienced a cold front that rolled over the whole state. You would expect this to shut fisheries down but it surely did not. It kicked-started the process that we have been looking for all year. It dropped the water temperatures and cooled things off. The largemouth bass have been looking for this as a signal to start moving off the main lake. Waves of fish are continuing to move in which is making for exciting times for our visitors and travelers or fisherman alike.

The upcoming weeks should not experience any other drastic changes in temperatures. This will allow for a variety of techniques to still be highly productive. As the fish move back in the grass, hollow body or moving frogs can be very effective. You can also throw a Bass Assassin “Die-Dapper” swim bait as well to entice the same style of bite. Cover water with this bait to locate the fish and then slow down the presentation with the hollow body frog. Also, if conditions or the bite gets tough, flip into the thicker grass structures.

Outside edges will also produce fish with bright spinner baits and rattle traps. When the temperature changes for a longer period of time, the pattern and techniques will as well but those will be present in our next forecast.  Crappies are also beginning to make their way in as the temperature changes which is always a signal that things are about to begin for largemouth bass fishing.

Don’t miss out on an excellent season. The new waters will make for exciting fishing adventures that we haven’t seen in many years. Capt. Mark Shepard is looking forward to fishing with you on his boat where you can catch the largemouth bass of your dreams on Lake Okeechobee today with Bass Online!

FORECAST BY:  Capt. Mark Shepard
Lake Okeechobee Fishing Guide
Telephone: (888) 321-0202