Lake Okeechobee South End Report: Dec. 2016

December is here and that means it is time to get ready for the Christmas holidays, but here on Lake Okeechobee we will be getting ready for spawning bass to be on the move toward the shallow water spawning areas. Now that the water has finally cooled off and the water level is below fifteen feet above sea level, everything is getting right for another great season here on Lake Okeechobee.

We are beginning to see a good number of fish moving in off the main lake to areas that we typically fish though the winter months. Areas like East Wall, Rita Island, Long Point, Grassy, and Pelican Bay are all starting to get real active and will be good fishing though the spring. The artificial bite has been improving almost daily with good numbers being caught on worms and swim jigs. Pitching jigs and craw type baits to reed heads and thicker mats have been producing the bigger fish. The live bait bite with wild shiners has been great and will continue to produce big numbers and big bass throughout the season. We are typically using 5 to 6 dozen shiners on a six-hour charter and usually still have time for an hour or two of casting some artificial lures.

I like to start my day by throwing some topwater swimbaits like a Gambler EZ Swimmer in the hay field areas that are closest to the open water but still have clean water qualities. I will then keep moving back into the thicker grass areas as long as I am still catching bass. If you get back too far off the main lake sometimes the water quality will start to deteriorate due to low oxygen levels created by decaying vegetation. Your nose will let you know when you’ve gone too far. If you try to stay in good clean water as close to the open water part of the lake you can’t go wrong.

As far as lures, what I have been using lately is Gambler EZ Swimmers in junebug and ice breaker colors, Gambler Ace and Super Studs in junebug and watermelon-red, and a 10” Charlie’s Worm in black or junebug color. The bite on artificial lures has been all over the place so don’t be afraid to try any of your favorite lures. I like to start the day out fishing lighter colored lures but as the sun gets up higher in the sky I move to darker colored lures with junebug being my favorite color here on Okeechobee.

With Christmas just around the corner a fishing trip for your favorite fisherman is a great gift. Now is the time to book a trip as dates are filling up fast along with motel rooms. It’s going to be a great season here on Lake Okeechobee and you won’t want to miss out on it. Don’t forget to check out Roland Martin’s Marina for all you fishing needs including boat rentals, hotel rooms, camping, and all your fishing tackle needs. I will have gift certificates available for that hard to shop for fisher-person in your life. I just want to wish everyone a very Merry and Blessed Christmas and I hope to see everyone on the water soon.