By: Capt Roan zumFelde
Hopefully the Winds of March have subsided and the weather and the fishing is really in full swing. Water in the Everglades canals was still a little high in the beginning of March and although the fishing was very good, the bass bite was a little slower than normal. April will usually clear that up. Bass fishing in all the Glades canals should be at its peak this month. Peacocks will be out of hibernation and the bass and other species should be ravenous since most of the water will be out of the marshes and in the canals. Lake fishing should be good on both Trafford and Okeechobee, but if you really want some great fishing venture up to Highlands County and explore the lakes around Lake Placid and Sebring. I usually like to do this in a two day adventure, fishing multiple lakes in the two days. Most of the waters are in close proximity so you can pick and choose what type of lake or river or creek.
Lake Okeechobee I would expect roughly the same conditions on the lake to apply from last month. Water levels will be the biggest factor in the lake this month if we have had rain and the water stays up then the fish will be spread into high cover areas. If the water bottoms out and the lake becomes difficult to navigate then the Rim Ditch will be holding some great numbers and this is when you can really target them on fly. The lake closest to lake O in Highlands County is Istokpoga. What a great shallow water lake to fish. Ramps on both the north end and south end make it easily accessible and the fishing can be spectacular on both fly and conventional bass tackle. If fishing this lake with a fly you will need an eight-weight rod, big fish and big cover to get them out of.
Trafford Fishing will be still going strong for the month of April. Will probably see more bass hunters on the lake than pan fisherman, but I would expect there to be some early bluegill bedding to go on this month and that might be fun on small 3 and 4 weight rods. Bass on poppers should be good especially around the pads and bull rush on the south east side of the lake. The Trafford counterpart in Highlands County would be Lake Josephine. This is a three section lake with both clear and stained water. The lake has cover similar to Trafford with pads and cattails and bulrush, but it also has docks which can be very productive.
For the Everglades Canals this is usually the peak month for these bodies of water and the month where you can target all the species before summer heat and rain hurt the fish activity. Peacock bass and all the cichlids will be on high alert for anything they can wrap their gums around. Largemouth bass should be more accessible due to lower water levels and you should see a better overall average size. Any top water fly like the Grave Digger or Trail Hopper should wreck them. If going up to Highlands check out Arbuckle Creek or Kissimmee River for water similar to the canals. There are a good number of places to bank fish or wade fish in highlands. Two of my favorite lakes for this is Lake June and Lake Placid along with a huge number of smaller waters to check out. Good luck and if you need more info come see me at the shop.
Come visit Mike and me at Mike’s Bait House and Indian Pass Outfitters on Danford Street, next to Bayview Park in Naples and we can talk fishing. We carry a full line of tackle including: fly fishing needs and both saltwater and freshwater gear, food, drink, and bait. Thanks and good fishing, Roan z.
If you want to contact Capt. Roan z for a freshwater fishing trip or ask any fishing questions he can be contacted at the Shop 239-775-2248 or cell number 239-269-4426. Check the Web Site www.indianpassoutfitters.com and www.mikesbaithouse.com