Central Florida Bass Fishing Conditions

We have been fishing several lakes in the Kissimmee to Lake Wales area with mixed results. Weather has been both friend and foe as we’ve ventured out in pursuit of those “little green fish.” Although we are in our shirt sleeves enjoying the warmth, it is winter in Sunny Florida, and the bass act accordingly.

A guide trip to the South Winter Haven Chain of Lakes produced several nice bass for two folks from Nebraska. They averaged over one per hour, each using artificial baits. Zoom trick worms, bass bones and a creature bait were the plastics used to tempt the bass to bite. We used a mix of colors, due to changing conditions, starting with watermelon/red, then red bug/red, motor oil and Okeechobee craw. The weather was warm and sunny, but we had a pretty strong wind most of the day, which made the bite harder to detect. The clients did very well for the conditions and being out of tune after not being able to fish for several months due to cold weather in their home state..

The North and South Winter Haven chain of lakes has been slow  to warm up, and as a result the bass are lethargic. The water will start to warm and then a cold front takes it back to 60 to 61 degrees. Sunny days will add a couple of degrees, but the wind will not let the water warm, so once again the cool night removes whatever temperature increase was gained. This has worked very well for the Crappie anglers, but the bass fisherman are frustrated. As soon as the water temperature climbs 5 or 6 degrees, the bass will hit the beds to spawn. Some of the lakes with stained or dirty water have a higher temperature, so try them first for pre- spawn/spawning bass.

Fish slow and work the area very good. The bass are not moving far to hit a bait, but when hooked, put up a nice battle. Be safe, wear a life jacket and maintain a proper lookout while underway.

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