FISHING REPORT OVERVIEW
In the first half of the week, a Gulf system brought overcast skies and rains to the area and flooding to those closer to the coast. It also brought some cooler temperatures and a chance for the lakes to release some of their latent heat. With skies clearing and the winds returning to the southeast, the bass should quickly return to their typical summer pattern. With Friday’s AM:Major occurring around sunrise, this should be a great weekend for getting out early on the lakes before the afternoon thunderstorms arrive.
The low pressure system that has been drenching the Gulf Coast and pumping large amounts of moisture into our area has finally started to lift north. For those of us in the south central part of the state we’ll see a shift in winds from the SW to the SE and East. High pressure will begin to build on Friday and stay with us for most of the coming week. Expect to see morning lows in the mid 70’s and day time highs in the upper 80’s. In the morning expect to see fog in the low lying areas and on the water. Winds will be light out of the east in the morning, shift to the southeast at 10-15mph during the day and then back to the east after sundown. The chances of afternoon thundershowers will be about 60% through-out the weekend. Sunrise on Friday occurs at 6:52am and sets at 8:03pm. The moon will rise at 3:23pm and set at 12:26am. The moon will be 69% reflective on Friday and gaining as we approach the full moon next Thursday. The AM:Major on Friday will occur at 7:17am while the PM:Major will occur at 7:41pm so the morning bite and the evening bites should be good ones this weekend.
Lake Okeechobee: 14.72ft ASL ↑ 0.10-ft, Last Year 12.28-ft
Lake Istokpoga: 38.36-ft ASL ↑ 0.11-ft
Istokpoga Canal S68: Head 38.40-ft, Tail 31.71-ft, Flow 324 cfs
Arbuckle Creek @ DeSoto: 3.90-ft ↓ 0.2-ft, Flow 610 cfs,
Fisheating Creek @ US 27: 5.08-ft ↑ 0.45-ft, Flow 434 cfs,
Fisheating Creek @ Lakeport: 14.89 ASL ↑ 0.06-ft Flow 470 cfs,
Peace River @ Zolfo Springs: 10.92-ft ↑ 2.30-ft, Flow 1,270 cfs
Kissimmee River @ S-65E: Head 21.17-ft, Tail 14.50-ft, Flow 1,307 cfs
Moore Haven Locks S-77: Head 14.71-ft, Tail 11.30-ft, Flow 437 cfs, 7-Day Avg 745 cfs
Ortona Locks S-78: Head 11.30-ft, Tail 2.96-ft, Flow 744 cfs, 7-Day Avg 974 cfs
W.P Franklin Lock S-79: Head 3.04-ft, Tail 1.48-ft, Flow 2879 cfs, 7-Day Avg 3,171 cfs
Lake Okeechobee Locks
St Lucie Lock S-80: Head NR, Tail NR, Flow NR , 7-Day Avg NR
Port Mayaca Lock S-308: Head 14.69-ft, Tail 14.45-ft, Flow 95 cfs, 7-Day Avg 587 cfs
Lake Okeechobee South End
Slim’s Fish Camp, Belle Glade; 561-996-3844: The bridge closures to Torrey Island have drastically reduced the ability of anglers to get to the lake. The bridge is closed Monday thru Friday from 8:am to 12:noon and then from 1:pm to 5:pm. Workers are replacing the bridge’s fenders and the project is expected to be completed by August 31st. Those able to get out on the lake are finding good water conditions and quality fishing. Speck fishermen are also reporting some since sized specks are being taken on jigs.
Roland Martin Marine Center, Clewiston; 863-983-2128: Over the weekend a stiff breeze kept many boaters in the protected grasses and the bite was a bit slow. After that the rains came and very few were venturing out. This weekend is the 3rd Qualifier Tournament of the 2016 Roland Martin Marine Center Series which is expected to bring a large field of boaters. Expect to see pre-fishing to begin on Wednesday and last until Friday. Weigh-ins will be at Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Resort on Saturday at 3:00pm.
The Bait Shop at Harney Pond, Lakeport; 863-946-0170: The Harney Pond area has been getting some pretty good rains as of late but the water conditions have remained good. Fisheating Creek is flowing but not discharging large amounts of silt so the bay is fishing well. Bass have being biting along the North Shore but have mostly been in the 2-4lb range with a few 5-lbs plus in the mix. Shiner fishermen are reporting good numbers of fish. With the weather pattern returning to a more seasonal pattern, that is winds out of the east and southeast, expect the bait to shift and the bass to follow. Bluegill activity has dropped off, probably due to the recent influx of rain and runoff but things should improve with the changing winds. Some specks are being reported off the Spool Islands and they have some nice size to them. Guys aren’t limiting out but catches of 20-30 have been common. Jigging appears to be the preferred method with jigs in brown & sliver being the hot color as of late. As water conditions change, the jig colors will probably change as well. Always have a nice selection of colors available with you so you can find the color that suits their mood.
Lake Okeechobee North End
Garrard’s Bait & Tackle, Okeechobee; 863-763-3416: Water conditions remain steady over the last weeks and so has the bite. The summer pattern remains with the early morning bite on topwater and spinner baits. Then onto the outside edges with swim jigs and then onto flipping and pitching as the day heats up. The usual spots remain active such as the 3rd Point, Kings Bar, and the passes. Artificial baits such as Bass Assassins, Big Bite, and Reaction Innovation Sweet Beavers in any dark color are producing strikes. Shiner fishing also remains solid with plenty of fish in the 2-4 lb range being caught with a few 8-lbrs in the mix. As for panfish, Bluegills remains the primary panfish with some Specks and a few Shellcrackers being taken. This Saturday is the 5th and final tournament of the year before the year ending classic. Come out to C. Scott Driver Park and catch the teams at the scales.
No Bad Daze Bait & Tackle, Okeechobee; 863-484-8126: Fishing along the north end of the lake and in the Rim Canal remain steady. Plenty of smaller bass to be found. Bluegills have tapered off a bit though are still available.
J&S Fish Camp, Okeechobee; 772-597-4455: Winds from the southwest kept anglers off the outside edges of the grass beds and brought murky water into the bay. With winds shifting back to the east- southeast, the waters should clear and the bass should return to the outside edges for the early morning bite.
Admiral’s Cove. Laker Placid; 863-465-0982: Overcast skies and intermittent rains have cooled off the lakes which has perked up the fishing. Over the past weekend fishing bass fishing has been real good with bass returning to the shallows and chasing baitfish. The morning bite remains the best though with the sun being hidden by clouds, the morning bite has been expended into the late morning. With clearing skies predicted for this weekend, the bite should return to the summer pattern.
Performance Marine, Lake Placid, 863-465-2814: Fishing on the deep water lakes like Lake June and Lake Placid has picked up over the past weekend. Fish have returned to the brush piles during the day and have been attracted to flowing streams in the shallows. On the smaller lakes, the winds have shifted the floating vegetation like duckweed and water lettuce and with it the bait fish and the trailing bass. As the winds shift this weekend, search for patches of floating vegetation that is holding bait and you’ll find good opportunities for bass.
Lorida Bait & Tackle, Lorida; 863-655-2323: Lake Istokpoga responded well to the recent rains and cloudy skies. Just a little drop in temperature greatly improves the bite. Prior to the rains settling in, this past weekend the Xtreme Bass Series held their tournament and the team of Mike Keyso & Brett Cannon brought a 5-fish limit of 20.81 lbs to the scales to earn first place. They just edged out the team of Joe Medlock and Will Bennion by 2.4 oz with their weight of 20.76-lbs. The tournament produced two FWC Trophy Catch fish with Joe Medlock & Will Bennion boating a 8.96-lb bass and Greg Jones and Kyle Wieczorck boating a 8.12 lbs bass. The spillway remains active though the flow is somewhat reduced. Keep an eye out on Arbuckle Creek as the rains from central Florida begin to find their way into the lake.
GS Outdoors, Sebring; 863-410-2100: GS Outdoors now have their tanks on-line so live minnows and shiners are now available for those anglers in the Sebring – Avon Park area. The recent overcast skies brought a great opportunity to get out on the water without the sun beating you up and the fish in a feeding mode. This weekend should see a return to more summer-like fishing.
Mickey’s Bait & Tackle, Moore Haven, 863-946-3100: The spillway at Moore Haven has been releasing water in pulses so some day you may find little water flow while the next day the water could be flowing nicely. This makes fishing a challenge for different species prefer different water flows. Some nice size bass are being caught when the water flow is somewhat limited. Gars have also returned to the area which are generally a pain in the butt. Further down river, work the pockets of shoreline vegetation for bas lying underneath. Past the Ortona Locks, work the culverts and streams for the rain runoff will be attracting all kinds of fish.
Peace River: Be careful of rapidly rising water. A nice spike in water flows is going on so be careful in the fast moving waters. Bass and snook will be laying in the current eddies and waiting for the river to provide their next meal.
After a short change in weather patterns which produced some interesting fishing conditions, this weekend should see a return of summertime fishing patterns. On Lake Okeechobee there are two big tournaments taking place on Saturday so expect to see plenty of boats on the water. If you’re a recreational fishermen, it might be better to visit a less traveled venue than the north shore of the Big O.