I want to start out this month by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years. I would also like to thank everyone who has read my articles and reports for the last year and hope that 2009 brings great things for everyone. The fishing on the Big “O” has finally started to really pick up and we are starting to see bass show up in a lot of areas from Bay Bottom to the Monkey Box. We even had a few bass on the beds this past full moon and I’m really looking forward to our next full moon, it should really bring in some more of the bass off the main part of the lake. With the cold front after cold front and wind blowing almost every day this past month has been a bit trying here on Okeechobee for everyone from tournament anglers to guides but with every day things just look better and better.

Most of the areas that I have been fishing with clients this past month have been back in the grass and a bit hard to fish. As thick as the vegetation is even when you do get a bass on it is often very hard to get them to the boat. I usually try to take the boat to the bass and then land them. I have been using mostly moving baits that I can fish on top of the water and vegetation like Gambler Flappin Shad, Swimming Senkos, and Frogs. You will miss a lot of bass fishing this type of lure as most of my clients have trouble not pulling the lure away from the bass when they see them come up and eat the lure, most try to set the hook when they see the bass eat the lure and that is too quick. With this type lure you can cover a lot of water and fish in some real thick vegetation and that seem to be where the fish are now. I have been fishing all of these lures on a Deep South Frog Rod that is 7’2” heavy action rod that is designed to handle big bass in heavy cover. I match this rod up with an Abu Garcia Revo STX reel spooled with PowerPro braided line in either thirty or fifty pound test. I have been using two types of frogs, a Snag-Proof Bobby’s Perfect Frog and a Gambler Cane Toad. I let the bass tell me if the want a frog moving fast like the Cane Toad or moving slow like the Snag-Proof frog that floats and can be fished slow.

I have been looking for water that is stained to clear in color; the black or tea stained water doesn’t seem to matter just as long as the water is not muddy. Most of the main part of the lake around the Clewiston end of Okeechobee is muddy and the wind that we have been getting out of the north and east almost every day is going to keep it that way. Try fishing areas like Bay Bottom, Ritta Island, the West and East Wall, and the Monkey Box area looking for clean water and noting which way and how hard the wind is blowing. I try to keep a log of the conditions and how the fishing was ever day that I go out fishing. This is something that you can look at from year to year and try to match the time of year and the conditions. This is a great tool to help find and catch fish.

The bluegills are still biting fairly well here on the lake and we are now starting to catch a few crappies also. I have been doing a few bluegill and crappie guide trips and have had a good time catching these fish as well as bass. If anyone is still looking for the perfect Christmas gift I have gift certificates for guide trips and I still have a few of the Deep South “Mark King” Shakey Head rods for sale. Until next month good luck and hope to see you on the lake. Mark_King www.markkingfishing.com www.mybassclass.com