Lake Okeechobee South End Report: Feb. 2017

Are you ready to get out of the cold snowy north and catch some bass? Well then Lake Okeechobee is the place to be to get out of the cold and catch some giant bass and enjoy some warm sun. The bass are on the move toward spawning areas and we have been catching some really nice big bass here on the big lake. It will only get better as we move into February and March. It has been a really good season so far here on Okeechobee and it seems to be getting better almost daily. We have had a couple of cold fronts that slowed fishing down for a day or two but then we are right back to catching them good.
The water level is around fourteen feet above sea level and in my opinion that is just about right for this time of the year. I have been fishing from up around Cochran’s Pass to Pelican Bay with the wind being the deciding factor as to where I go. The main concentration of bass still seem to be on that outside grass line close to open water. When the wind really blows, moving back in until you find clean water will help you locate the fish. The bass on the outsides are fresh bass moving in off the main lake headed toward traditional spawning areas so be ready for this bite to start happening. The bite on wild shiners has been crazy on most days and five dozen shiners usually only last for three to four hours and then it is off to catch some on artificial lures. The bite on artificial lures has picked up some as more and more bass move in to spawning areas throughout most of the lake. The Gambler Ace stick bait has been my choice for soft plastic lures and a lipless crankbait has been my choice for hard baits. We should start getting a good bite pitching craw type baits into reed heads soon and that is one of my favorite ways to catch big bass. The Gambler Why Not is my choice of baits to fish this way. For all my northern friends be sure and come armed to catch and get these Lake Okeechobee bass out of the heavy grass. I prefer a heavy action rod and braided line at least in that fifty pound test range. I have been testing some TFO rods in the Pacemaker line and they are definitely the stick to get the job done here on Okeechobee.  
The crappie bite has been pretty good from the reports I have been getting and areas north of Uncle Joe’s cut, around Bird Island, and the rim canal have been the areas that have been producing here on the south end of the lake. Jigging and minnows are both working.

Now is the time to be on Lake Okeechobee catching bass, we do catch bass year round but now through May is the best chance to catch that once in a lifetime fish. Couple of tips for out of state boaters new to Okeechobee. We have a lot of boat trails in the grass and I would like to stress they are boat trails not fishing trails. Fishing in these trails is a good way to get run over and we don’t want to see anyone get hurt here. The other thing is courtesy among fishermen; treat everyone like you would want to be treated and I think we all will get along just fine out there on the water. Until next report good luck, tight lines, and I hope to see everyone on the water soon.