The water keeps dropping here on Lake Okeechobee and the fishing continues to be good in most areas. A lot of the areas that I was fishing last month are now to shallow to get a boat into and with the level at 12.47 feet above sea level and dropping pretty fast. As the water level drops the fish will be moving in the grass toward the main lake but only as far as they have to go since the open water part of the lake is still really muddy. In a lot of areas there is an eel grass line between the heavy grass that the bass have been in and the open water that is so dirty, this is where the bass will move to next as the water gets shallower. Some really nice bass are being caught on both wild shiners and artificial lures; bass from two to eight pounds are being caught.
I have been fishing at Turner’s Cove, the East Wall, the Monkey Box, and in Bay Bottom and all of these areas have great potential on any given day. But you may have to try different areas as the fishing seems to change daily. The eel grass outside Turner’s Cove and in the Monkey Box has a lot of potential this next month and I think that this is where you will catch a lot of bass. The eel grass will be a little tough to fish for most but on days when the wind is blowing you can get upwind on an eel grass patch and than let the boat drift through it. You can drag wild shiners under a cork over this grass or pitch an artificial lure in the holes in the grass as you drift by them. For now what seem to be working best to catch bass is artificial lures in the heavy cover, like Gambler Flappin Shad, Reaction Innovation Skinny Dippers, and top water frogs.
The pattern for now seems to be to get in the heavy cover throw something on top of the grass and keep the boat moving. You will be wore out after a day fish artificial lures in my boat for sure, you will make hundreds of casts but this is what it takes to catch these bass that are roaming around and on beds in this cover. I have been throwing a Gambler Flappin Shad and Reaction Innovation Skinny Dipper on heavy PowerPro braided line and a heavy action rod. The new line of Deep South Rods (www.deepsouthfishingrods.com
) has heavy action rods in any length that you might be looking for from 6’6” to the 7’11” model that I use. For all your fishing rod needs you need to check out the all new Deep South Rods, they are light in weight, sensitive, and tough enough for me to use on guide trips. They also have the new line of Inshore Rods that will be a big hit for the flats and inshore anglers targeting snook, redfish, trout, and other inshore species. The colors of the baits that I am throwing does not seem to matter much it is the action of the lure that gets the reaction bite. I do try to stick with darker colors on cloudy days and lighter colors on sunny days. As we start to fish the eel grass beds you will want to pitch something like a Lake Fork Hyper Freak or a craw type lure into the open holes in the grass. I really like the action of the Lake Fork Hyper Freak as it falls it does not just go straight down it darts off to the side and has great action.
The fishing at the everglades has been awesome even though most of the bass you catch are small, but who wouldn’t like catching over fifty bass a day. Don’t get me wrong there are some nice bass in the everglades but there are a whole lot more smaller bass. The crappie fishing has been slow all winter here on Lake Okeechobee and most are only catching just a few a day. But the bluegill fishing still remains great and will only get better as we start in to summer here on the Big “O”.
I do guide for bass and bluegill on Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades and will be offering flats and inshore fishing for trout, snook, redfish, and tarpon through the summer. I will also be the new South Florida Rep for Deep South Rods especial the new inshore rods. If interested in this new line of rods please contact me at 863-983-9950 or at firstname.lastname@example.org . Until next month take a day to get out fishing and be sure and take someone with you and introduce them to fishing and they will be hooked for life.
Captain Mark King is a full time guide and tournament angler guiding out of the world famous Roland Martin’s Marina and Resort in Clewiston Florida. Mark is an IGFA Certified Captain, active member of the Florida Guide Association and the Florida Outdoor Writers Association. Captain Mark is sponsored by Ranger Boats, Evinrude Outboards, Deep South Rods, Power-Pole, Lake Fork Trophy Lures, Minn Kota trolling motors, Gambler Lures, AFTCO clothing, Van Staal pliers, Smartshield Sun Protection Products, Northlake Marine, RMR Industries and Frigid Rigid coolers.
Mark can be contacted to book a guide trip, seminars, personal appearances, test rides in his Evinrude powered Ranger or to fish a tournament with him at 863-983-9950 or at www.markkingfishing.com
and be sure and check out www.mybassclass.com