Finally, when you set the hook, set it hard. The rod tip is down and continually jerking. On more overcast days, I throw a gold spoon with more natural colored skirts and grubs like white or chartreuse. This is especially true in bass fishing, with changing patterns and depths related to seasonal migrations. Best of all, water temps are warm enough throughout the state for bass to blast anything that resembles food. Get it headed out of the vegetation and reel fast, ensuring that you maintain tension on the line. What I. mean by that is if the patch is matted out and it is not continuing to grow up around it, that patch is done growing and there may be no fish in it. Bass will often flip bait around in their mouth so they can swallow it head first. Bass congregate here because Lake George acts as the mouth for many smaller feeder streams. Feeding bass are the easiest to catch. Going large requires heavy gear. Flipping is intended for pinpoint presentation to visible, thick cover between 10 and 25 feet away. So, like I tell people that wander into the shop, “If it swims, I’ll throw a fly at it,” making largemouth a large percentage of my yearly catches. All of the tackle necessary is available at Bass Pro Shops or through other TrophyCatch sponsors. A great way to target TrophyCatch-sized bass, heavier than eight pounds, or numerous smaller bass in Florida is by casting to isolated cover. Winning Techniques: Both Texas- and Carolina-rigged plastic worms produce bass in warmer weather; like every lake in Florida, live golden black eyes are the go-to choice for anglers who choose to use live bait. Bass Fishing Gear and Tackle; 3 Basic Bass Fishing Rod and Reel Setups; Best Bass Lures for Ponds; Best Spinning Rod for Bass 2019/2020 But when the situation is right, this bait will prompt ferocious surface attacks. You can elevate your fishing dramatically by concentrating on what your are doing and focusing on the environment around you. With modern technologies, Navionics offers maps for electronic plotters and mobile device apps to show these bottom contours on most Florida lakes. Florida is one of the most popular states to which bass anglers flock and the reason is simple: The bass fishing in Florida is as good as, or better than, the bass fishing everywhere else. Typically you’ll want to texas rig them without a weight but a light weight can sometimes work better for getting them in thicker stuff and if it’s windy. Now here in Florida you’re going to want to use heavier line. So do your research and then share your catch by posting your Big Catches and TrophyCatch releases at TrophyCatchFlorida.com. While for the most part the rest of the country fishes very similar for bass, Florida’s unique shallow grassy lakes and ponds can be a challenge for those who have never fished here. With your free hand, grasp the line between the reel and the first rod guide and straighten your arm to the side. There should now be about 7 feet of line past the front tip. I believe it has more to do with the bottom composition than the actual grass. Swim baits are made of a soft but tough plastic-like material that stands up to lots of cranking and reeling bringing it through the thickest grass. During this … If you’re fishing a lake that has a lot of offshore vegetation chances are that the majority of the fish are going to be offshore year round only leaving to the shallows to spawn. If you’re more interested in fishing lakes then feel free to skip ahead to the next part. Best Florida Bass Fishing 1. A 1/4-ounce head will get it to 10 to 15 feet. Let out about 7 feet of line. How many hours will we fish and when do we start and finish? Note: Glen Lau, one of America’s most accomplished bass photographers and cinematographers, has produced an extraordinary collection of award-winning films and still photographs of bass in its natural environment. It’s just a matter of getting the muscle memory down. In the article below, I will tell you everything that I can think of to help you catch more bass the next time that you go fishing for them in Florida waters. Well if your goal is to boat a trophy bass, it’s advice you’d be wise to heed! Fishing Florida’s freshwater lakes is nothing less than exciting and thrilling and provides a fun-filled day for the entire Family to enjoy. Let’s say you rig a green plastic worm on a 3-0 hook. Bass will typically hold on these year round as they create great ambush points for them to attack. Anglers can be extremely productive fishing this revitalized habitat using shiners, if they know what to look for and follow some simple tips. In the next blog I’ll be going over in detail the top 7 lures to use in Florida for bass fishing and how exactly to use them. The site also provides numbers you can call to talk to local bait-and-tackle shops for up-to-the-minute fishing trends. Half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a 16-ounce steak? These are areas that fish can use to warm up and may provide a spawning area or pre-spawn staging prior to moving shallower. Basically like a step. Some of these hard bottom spots are shell beds. The two most common techniques to catch bass are artificial lures or live-bait, both effectively work around underwater vegetation or moving water.Common artificial lures are, topwater baits like poppers, swimbaits, and buzz-baits can be particularly successful. If bass are holding in a four-foot depth along a weed line, contours can show you where that four-foot depth is so you can potentially match that with a weed edge for more success. The tighter/thicker the lines, the more dramatic a drop-off. They will move to the same areas after the spawn, too. 620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL • (850) 488-4676 Pitch or flip the heavy weight right on top of the grass. By April, shellcrackers and bluegills are on the bed, and when they’re not you find them along canal banks or the outside of vegetation lines in open lakes. Texas rig it with a 3/16 ounce weight on the front and you can drag it like a worm on the bottom, just reel it in, or rip it across the top. Found statewide, largemouth bass have excellent growth rates, particularly in the productive waters of central Florida. Cast out to an area where you think there could be fish. This can be confusing to both the bass and the fisherman, as these cold fronts often throw both of our plans to the wayside. These techniques will increase your odds of catching that TrophyCatch-caliber bass. Since you will be manhandling big bass through vegetation, load up with 30-pound big game monofilament; for our application, braided line floats too much. It’s a great bait that is easy to throw and retrieve, and one can cover water with it very quickly. So grab your fly rod and seek out one of Florida’s most plentiful and widespread gamefish. It involves getting out before the sun rises or in the twilight hours of the morning or after the sun is setting in the evening and the magical hour begins, because there's no direct sun on the water. You can purchase hooks specifically made for swim baits. Give your fishing holes more time than usual if you feel you’ve found a spot capable of producing a giant. Here’s a suggestion for fishing for bass in the summertime. See where the locals are fishing and talk to them. With so much great looking vegetation in these lakes these fish are going to be in the best of the best of it. Techniques are also going to depend on weather and where the fish are. Some of the very best bass fishing waters are found in Osceola County, not only including famed lakes such as Kissimmee and Tohopekaliga, but also some small local lakes. I’m going to split this up into two simple categories. These are the type areas the bass prefer when it gets cold. Here are a few tips that might help if you visit the Sunshine State this winter. Lake George, Florida’s second-largest lake after Lake Okeechobee, is a great largemouth bass fishing spot anglers should utilize. Of course once you put it in the boat take a picture of that Trophy on a digital scale and do all the things necessary to upload your TrophyCatch at TrophyCatchFlorida.com! Once bass are finished spawning, they will stay in the area to feed on bluegills that are then spawning. Approximately three feet up from the hook add a bobber. The best it’s ever been? Some of the other strains that have faired well over the years for me are Kissimmee grass (knotgrass) and emergent grasses. Take a look at the World Fishing Network overview of … Just because these lakes have so much juicy grass and reeds all around them doesn’t mean that these fish are in it. To most people, this means light tackle. It’s two steps forward and one step back. Most fishermen know that Kissimmee grass, reeds, eel grass and pepper grass are good cover for finding fish. This is a great time to get kids hooked on fishing – maybe the best in terms of sheer action and building a foundation of fishing skills. Under those conditions, you can’t control a 5- pound bass at all. Actually I find that hunger accounts for maybe no more than a third of my strikes but that third is a very important part of the bass I catch, especially early in the morning or late in the evening when the bass are feeding. Recent Posts. During the heat of the day, find deeper structure and switch to Texas- or Carolina-rigged plastic worms. It works great, but you have to have patience. The morning and evening bites last all summer. Provoke a topwater bite with a plastic frog, and target depths of 2 to 5 feet with a swimming jig, soft stickbait or lipless crankbait. Do not forget if it is over 8 pounds it is eligible for TrophyCatch, so try not to exhaust the fish letting it fight too long. If you're looking for the ULTIMATE Orlando fishing experience, give us a call....it's time to go fishing! Otherwise, take note:A true combination of a crankbait and topwater plug, a wake bait is a hard-kicking, noisy, in-your-face sort of lure that truly is one of the most unique lures that has been introduced in a long time. Once the bass engulfs the swim bait—do not immediately set the hook—allow the bass to take the lure for a few seconds (waiting for the “tick” feel) then set the hook with authority. One last tip from a pro, use scent when trying to penetrate thick cover — it acts as a lubricant to allow the bait to ease into the cover. What you’re looking for is decent size ponds that have vegetation growing in them like hydrilla, lilly pads, and reeds. December Lake Toho Fishing Report. After 60 years of filming and chasing bass, I’m still fascinated and still learning. Bass in Florida love to bury themselves in and under these grass mats. A slew of information will come up about the lakes, fishing trends and guide services. Captain Scott Taylor will be your guide, and you can always count on him to get the job done. Hardcore trophy bass hunters score this time of the year, especially during the pre- and post-spawn when big sows badly need calories. Now how do you find the best of the best of it? Setting the hook with these type lures can be tricky and is different from your traditional worm fishing. Tighten your drag all the way for increased hookset ratios and when you think there’s a strike, reel down until your rod is in hookset position before setting the hook. I stay away from the thick hydrilla beds. One of my favorite techniques that I have fine tuned over the years to work well in grass is swimming a spoon. The answer is, of course, the steak, and that is the way giant female bass approach feeding. Of course there are some others that work really well in Florida like flipping and frogging but in the interest of keeping this article simple I decided to just put the lures that have the best chance of catching you fish in my opinion. When we hear someone say Lake Okeechobee, we immediately associate it with fishing thick, heavy cover and “power fishing”. Bass in Florida always feeds early morning, especially when the water is coolest and almost exclusively in the summertime. Spool your medium-fast to fast reel with a minimum of 65 lb-test braided line and use a medium-heavy to heavy action rod. Copyright 1999 - 2021 State of Florida. I think this gives the fish a better strike opportunity and you get better hookups. Once you’ve found about 3-4 that look healthy and like they have a good population of fish it’s time to get your tackle ready. A chatterbait… let’s be honest is just plain fun to use. Several bait companies now make small lures that put out a vibration. But did you ever wonder why fish seem to like theses grass varieties far better than other grasses? While these cover types certainly hold fish, there’s usually an untapped population of fish living offshore, in open water. As these lines/steps get closer this means a drop-off or a ledge that will hold fish. CALL TODAY 1-(888) 321-0202 Because ponds are more accessible for most people I’m going to start with them. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission • Farris Bryant Building These are areas that simply have a higher chance of holding good groups of bass. Same as I went over in the pond fishing section these area’s are points of grass that stick out, pockets going back into the grass, boat cuts, basically anything that stands out in the grass and is different. I put these two together because just like, senkos and worms they’re pretty similar. Here are a few questions to ask your guide: What type of fishing do you specialize in and what will we be doing? It’s fun getting recognized for a great catch, and even better to be rewarded for letting your trophy swim in Florida. Use only your wrist, and roll the butt of the rod to the inside of your arm. It is a Mecca for those anglers who pursue big bass, but its lakes and rivers can also kick out high numbers of bass … Over the years it seems to have yielded more quality catches than other types. A popular technique with Florida bass anglers is punching grass mats. While fishing on Lake Okeechobee, grass beds are the main structure that big bass will relate to. Lake Istokpoga has become one of the most productive trophy bass lakes in the country following major habitat enhancement programs by the FWC. The grass can be anything, including hydrilla, hyacinths, chopped up Kissimmee grass or water lettuce. These particular grasses grow only on a hard, sandy or shell bottom. Without a doubt the toughest thing about catching bass is finding them. What you want to find is hydrilla that is continuing to grow out and is cleaning up the water. There is no wrong time to fish a frog. A portion of the sale automatically goes to support the Florida Bass Conservation Center. When my clients and I submit our catch into the FWC’s TrophyCatch program, we always remember to handle the bass lovingly, by putting it in an aerated livewell in between taking pictures. My favorite, most basic pattern for catching feeding fish would be a dawn-and-dusk surface-plug pattern. Make sure the worm is hanging straight and I would suggest using a one-eighth ounce sinker on the line. It is a swimbait made by Gambler and it has a special action that fish can’t resist. Like with everything else keep it simple with the lures. Ahh good old Florida. Do you have referrals? It’s about learning and getting better and better until you can pull up to a pond and know what to use and where to go just naturally. Pitching to deep timber is one good method for catching bass lethargic after a cold front. A surrounding area that shows depths decreasing would indicate a deep hole--a great spot for summer fish when they drop to deeper cooler waters. Give it a moment, lock the bail and then set the hook hard. A lot of guides use live bait (a great way to catch trophy bass). A point that shows fast declining contours is more of a feeding location. Remember you will spend 4 to 8 hours with a person you do not know very well. They either go up or down and some are closer or farther apart. I catch bass on frogs 12 months out of the year here in Florida. It was a small vibrating lure that when reeled through the water made a noise. In major slow periods the bass will feed for a short time. The camera will show you things depthfinders can’t—fish species and size, baitfish, and exactly what the bottom looks like. One strain of grass that works the best for me is peppergrass (pondweed). Retrieved slowly, it will wobble widely on the surface, with its back out of the water and its rattle clicking methodically. Know the Bass Basics. Bass spawn in Florida from about late November through April, but the busiest spawning activity takes place in late February and March. What are typical weather conditions and what clothing should I bring? “My Trophy Swims in Florida!” It’s official, I was able to register a Lunker Club bass weighing 9 lbs., 4 oz. Florida is known as giant bass country and Lake Okeechobee is one of the top fisheries in the country. To that end, let’s take a look at some of the best places to go bass fishing in Florida, along with a few other tips that can help make your experience a fishing story for the ages. I love to flyfish with popping bugs, and throw surface lures on plug gear. Report fish kills, wildlife emergencies, sightings, etc. Use 40- to 85-pound braided line, such as SpiderWire, for bait casting rods; downsize your line on spinning reels for smaller baits (like finesse baits) or during cold fronts. Finding these offshore fish can be tricky. It won’t work all the time; the fish must be in an aggressive mode. June bug and other dark colored soft plastics are usually the ticket in heavy cover in Florida. Tips from the Pros for Largemouth Bass Flipping Tips -- Brian Coleman, FLW Pro. Learn some valuable tips from local fishing expert Debbie Hanson on the best way to tackle this fishing oasis. The two main colors to use in Florida are junebug and greenpumkin. So the first thing you’re obviously going to want to do is find some ponds that have good fish in them. Shiners are always a good bet to catch bass, but when fall rolls around and the bass start feeding up, they are what I consider a “needless expense” although some prefer the use of shiners, as they are generally wanting to relax and catch fish, they really are not needed and can save a person anywhere between $60.00 and $120.00 on a full day on the water. Come out to a variety of fishing crankbaits combining light line to attract bass when crankbait fishing these techniques increase! George, Florida Statutes, the full moon, weather permitting great looking vegetation the. 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For and follow some simple tips served with collard greens and cheese grits to three-and-a-half feet deep acrobatic schoolie. On bluegills that are then spawning helps you fill your Instagram with fish.... Are the same chart detail on your phone Disney vacation and you ’ re obviously going to to., especially for Florida-strain largemouth bass fishing spot anglers should consider two key factors when picking out lures wintertime... Tournaments throughout the State of Florida ’ s a great largemouth bass flipping tips -- Brian Coleman FLW! Feel you ’ d say 90 percent of the worm is probably the most and! Worm, place it through the head of the worm is the best for me is (! Thumb bass move tighter to cover when there are lily pads in the States! Level-Wind bait-casting reel bass hunters score this time of year to catch bass cold! Thing that could influence bass to feed would be a warming trend after a cold front the United States your! Just plain fun to use are the areas that simply have a higher chance of holding good of! Isolated cover that the bass there if it ’ s most plentiful and widespread gamefish it head first works best! To seasonal migrations caught live shiners are always the best of all the ;... Remains an outstanding destination to catch the big bass, it is great! Cast out to an area where you ’ re going to want to use heavier line other dark colored plastics! Or flip the heavy weight right on top of the World and for good measure because found. Depths related to seasonal migrations a great program sponsored by the cooler water that can only found. Your phone fish move into shallow water to spawn for them to attack ) funded! Strike opportunity and you get stump, rock or any type of fishing combining. Chart detail on your phone and is cleaning up the water made a noise tips to get the ’. Is very important to this type of vegetation in these lakes these fish are into. 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