Lake Okeechobee South End Report: May 2016


As May sneaks up on us here in South Florida the summer heat is back but there is still plenty of good fishing to be had on Lake Okeechobee. The water level is finally down below fifteen feet above sea level and going down daily as farmers pull water out of the lake to irrigate. It should continue to drop and hopefully the rainy season won’t dump too much water on the lake as we need a little break from the winter’s high water and windy conditions. The fishing has really been improving as we head into summer here on the lake.

My clients have been enjoying some really nice bass fishing the past month or so and I think it should remain that way for quite a while. The artificial lure bite has finally started to be consistent and the wild shiner bite is solid as ever. I have been catching really good numbers and a few quality sizes mixed in from day to day. For artificial lures, the Gambler Burner Worm and the Ace have been my go to baits the past month, fishing both Texas rigged in Junebug color. Some areas with consistent action, though dependent on the wind, have been the East Wall, Ritta Island, Grassy Island, and the North Shore area. On windy days spinnerbaits and chatterbaits have been the trick. As we head into May I like to throw a swim jig a lot and the Heavy Cover Southern Swim Jig made by Gambler is my choice. Try the color white to start out the day and as the sun gets up switch to black/ blue. I like to use a small swimbait as a trailer on the jig. I am still trying to target outside grass lines in most areas if the wind and dirty water will let me. I have been fishing a little more stained water this year than in the past simply because I have not had much choice. Try to find areas of mixing water where there is less staining. The same is true when fishing with wild shiners. With shiners you can fish dirtier water and still catch a lot of bass.

The bluegill bite has been pretty good here on the south end of the lake in the Rim Canal and other traditional areas. Fishing crickets under a float and Beetlespins will be your best choices toputamessof these tasty fish in the boat. With the water level where it is right now you shouldn’t have any problems running anywhere you want on the lake, but still be careful and watch for floating hyacinth patches and other boats. Be sure and use plenty of sunscreen and drink lots of water as summer is here in South Florida and the sun is hot. There are still plenty of good fishing days left to go out and catch some big Okeechobee bass. Until next month good luck, tight lines and I hope to see everyone on the water.