February means it time for Mardi Gras, but it is also a time to celebrate – and catch – some big bass here in The Bass Fishing Capital of The World!
Here on the Winter Haven South Chain of Lakes, it is just about the best time of the year to go fishing. We have bass that are moving back and forth for spawning stages, there are bass out in some of the “deeper” grass and hydrilla lines, there are bass shallow, it is incredible. So what do we do to find and catch these fish.
There is a basic arsenal of baits that you want to have on-deck when fishing the South Chain. You will do very well with the following:
- A topwater bait such as a Rebel Jumpin’ Minnow or Pop ‘R
- A weightless fluke in a “natural” color pattern
- A swimjig in watermelon red or smoke & gold
- Always have a senko on deck for followers that may swirl and turn back
- A “lighter” flipping jig or craw for running the cypress trees, lily pads, and outer grass lines.
Our lakes here in the “Chain of Lakes City” give us such a wide array of options for fishing. We can fish clean open water from spring fed lakes, to tempered “dark” waters pitching and flipping.
As we move over to Lake Hatchineha and the Kissimmee Chain we are looking at the same type of bass patterns, primarily. Lake Kissimmee is a whole different creature from the Winter Haven Chain and we have to approach it is with that in mind.
Lake Kissimmee has so many vast spawning flats and winter “haunts” for these big green beauties to roam that it can be overwhelming. You may have to “run and gun” a little, but the good news is once you find a productive area, you should be set for a while. With that I mean that if you find good, clean, healthy hydrilla, Kissimmee grass, eel grass, or pads, that is holding bait or bluegills, with clean traditional Florida “black water”, you should find good bass. I’ll never limit your choices, but for me I can jump into anyone’s boat and roll-out with 3 rods on the deck and these baits: a Gambler EZ Swimmer, a Spro Frog, and a Vertical Lures Tube-X creature bait for pitching.
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Capt. Scotty Taylor