South West Florida Freshwater Scene for January 2018

Jake Gilles (to the left) & Wyatt Hodson (to the right), with tilapia caught on their property when cold front came through.

By Captain Roan zumFelde:

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Hope everyone had a great holiday this year and are ready for a new and exciting season in SW Florida. Happy to start another year writing the Freshwater Scene for Coastal Angler and hope to help answer all your questions about our area and our freshwater systems. Please feel free to call and ask questions or come by the shop on Danford and talk fishing with Mike and I. I will be happy to help you out any way I can.

Lake Okeechobee should be on top of its game this month. If we stay out of any hard freezes and not too many cold fronts, the bass should be feeding heavy, especially before the full and new moons when the early bedding fish will try to make a start into the breeding season. With the warmer temps we have been experiencing, more and more bass are trying to bed earlier this past year. Cold front fishing can be difficult, but not impossible. Slow down, stick to the heaviest cover, and bounce the jig or creature bait on their head about 50 times. Sooner or later they will hit it.

Ski Oleski, out at Trafford Marine says: “Crappie Fishing Rules: Either fish the cover along the edges with minnows or your best opportunity is to drift with the wind across the lake and mark your position. Anytime you catch a fish, there are going to be more in that area.”

The Everglades Canals: The canals in the Everglades should be getting better every day this month. The only thing that might shut the fish down will be a hard cold front and a high pressure system. The lower water levels should get the bass exactly where we can catch them. Bass should rule the canals this month due to lower water temperatures. The cichlids will most likely be hugging the bottom trying to stay warm and alive. This is good for the crew that only wants to catch bass and bluegills. I know it is a long difficult drive, but you might try the Miami Canal out off Snake Road, to the east of the Seminole Reservation. This canal has high banks and is an excellent choice for the windier than normal month. This is one of my favorite canals due to its remoteness and can be extremely productive on fly and artificial.

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, 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 and