Well with the election finally over we can get back to normal life again or as normal as it is going to be for the next four years. The fishing on Lake Okeechobee has been like the election up and down from day to day. The lake water level is at 14.88 feet above sea level which is a good height to be able to get into almost anywhere you want to go in the lake. The vegetation is growing great in most areas of the lake; we are seeing eel grass, pepper grass and some hydrilla and it all looks healthy. The wind has the main part of the lake a little muddy but as you move back into the grass the water cleans up real quick.
The bass fishing out of the Clewiston end of the lake has been good on some days and a little slow on other days. But some of the areas that have been producing some bass are the West Wall, East Wall, Ritta Island, and the Long Point area. Even though the fishing has been a little slow on some days you can still pick up a few bass by working these areas. When you do catch a bass you want to work the area good as most of the time you will pick up a couple more from the same general location. Some things to look for are clean water and the presence of bait fish. I believe that the bigger and concentration of the bass are still offshore and haven’t moved into the grass yet. The bass that we have been catching seem to be the resident bass from the area and have a darker or yellow colored belly unlike the ones that are moving in off the lake with pure white bellies. There is still some big shad offshore and the bass are most likely chasing them around but as this water continues to cool off these bass and bait will move into the grass and make the bass much easier to catch.
The bass that we have been catching here on the lake have been on Swimming Senkos, top water frogs, and worms with a swimming tail. The swimming Senko and Lake Fork Hyper Worm that I have been using are darker colors like junebug or black-blue and I have been fishing them weightless on twenty pound test Gamma Edge fluorocarbon line. I have been swimming them through the grass and when I get to a hole in the grass just stop the worm and let it fall. This is when you will get the most hits; the bass don’t seem to be aggressive enough to come after the bait to get it. Some other baits that have been working are a Snag-Proof Frog; I like their Bobby’s Perfect Frog in black. The key to fishing the Snag-Proof frog is to fish it real slow and sometimes even let it sit in an open hole in the grass and the legs will move just a little and cause the bass to want to strike. With the grass being so thick and heavy you will want to fish a heavy rod and heavy line. I use a Deep South Frog rod that is a 7’2” long and has a heavy action, match this with fifty pound test PowerPro line and you have a winning combination. Speaking of Deep South Rods my new signature series Shakey Head Rod has been received very well within the fishing industry even though we are not using them on Okeechobee at the present time. This rod was built with my help to fish a shakey head jig on a bait casting rod not a spinning rod, it is 7’2” long and has a fast tip that lets you feel everything on the bottom yet it still has some back bone to get the fish in the boat. I have caught bass from two to ten pounds on this rod and believe it is the ultimate shakey head rod.
The brim bite is still going strong here on Lake Okeechobee with most reporting that they can catch a limit almost every time they go out. The fishing down at Sawgrass Recreational Park and the Everglades has been slow with the water levels being so high, but I have had some reports that bass are being caught at the Holy Lands and with the new ramp there it is easy to put in and fish this area. As most know I’m a full time guide and tournament angler but I also can be booked for appearances and seminars and I have recently launched a new bass fishing social web site at www.mybassclass.com.
Sign up and become a member and then start talking with others about what else but bass fishing.