Welcome to the January Issue

Welcome to the Okeechobee edition of Coastal Angler Magazine. We hope you closed out 2015 with a wonderful set of Holidays and a Happy New Year. May 2016 bring peace, health and happiness to you and your family.

For those fishing in our area we anticipate a great start to the New Year. Late season warm spells pushed back the typical November – December start to the spawning season in Lake Okeechobee so we expect to see the first few months of the year with increased activity on the bass spawning beds. Since Highland County’s lakes generally lag behind Lake Okeechobee by a month or two, this should mean both regions will be hot areas to fish. Black Crappie fishing will also be entering its peak period so all things point to a fantastic start to the New Year.

Hunting in our area will be a mixed bag since we’re on the border of Zones ‘B’ and ‘C’. For General Gun Season, if you’re in Zone ‘B’, that is north of State Road 60, antlered deer remains open through February 21, 2016. For those hunting in Zone ‘C’, south of State Road 60, antlered deer closes on January 24, 2016. Remember the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission established Deer Management Units (DMU) in 2015 so be sure to check their website, MyFWC.com, for details on the area you plan to hunt. The Fall Turkey season closes in Zone ‘B’ on January 31st and on January 3rd for Zone ‘C’. Gray Squirrel and Quail remains open for all Zones through March 6, 2016.

With the best-in-the-nation weather, outdoor activities are a must do. In addition to fishing, boating and hunting there is great camping, canoeing, hiking and bird watching in our area. So take advantage of our fantastic weather and explore our great outdoors.

For those into Arts & Crafts and food festivals, these next two months are your time. Within a 1-2 hour drive, you’ll find an extensive list of events to attend and participate in. You can start by attending the Top of the Lake Art Festival in Okeechobee, the DeSoto County Fair, the South Florida Fair in West Palm Beach, or the Sebring US Sport Aviation Expo. See the ‘Community Events’ pages for a list of things to do and see.

Finally, January is a great month just to sit outside, fire up the grill, and watch the sun set. For us locals, it’s been a long hot extended summer and the anticipation of cool January nights is finally here, so kick back, relax, and enjoy.