LAKE OKEECHOBEE LARGEMOUTH BASS FISHING!
Lake Okeechobee is one of the nation’s best bass fisheries, and people come from all over the country to fish this wonderful lake and enjoy Florida's warm weather. Here at Long Cast Guide Service I take pride in making sure that your fishing vacation is the best possible. So please feel free to reach me any time to discuss your fishing trip. I look forward to speaking with you soon!
This is your day! We usually meet a half hour before sunrise at Roland Martin’s Marina, load your gear and shiners into the boat (if we are taking bait), and begin fishing at daybreak.
If you are looking to take the family or a buddy out for a relaxing day of shiner fishing, that is what we will do! If you are a hardcore angler looking to learn a new technique or just catch a bunch of Florida bass, that’s our program for the day. I will do everything in my power to tailor each trip to fit your needs and exceed your expectations!
Lake Okeechobee is the second largest natural lake located entirely in the US, edged out only by Lake Michigan. The lake covers 730 square miles and is centrally located in South Florida, half way between Fort Myers and West Palm Beach.
Most of the cover in the lake is in 5 feet of water or less, so reading vegetation, as opposed to structure, is the key. Since Lake Okeechobee is shaped like a dishpan, most of the fishing is done on flats, as opposed to breaks.
The cover in the lake consists of submergant hydrilla, eelgrass and peppergrass as well as emergent lily pads, Kissimmee grass, needle grass, water hyacinth and bulrush. Lake Okeechobee marks the beginning of the Florida everglades, and like the everglades, there are miles of cover that all look good, but only certain areas hold fish.
Wild golden shiners are the great equalizer on Lake Okeechobee. Shiners are a perfect choice for beginners or experienced fishermen as well, particularly those interested in a trophy! Shiner fishing requires fishing prime spots until you can catch a few fish and turn on an entire school. This can really get exciting!
Unless I have experienced shiner fishermen, I will coach my clients on when to set the hook with a shiner. Timing the hook set takes a little practice, but is usually mastered after a few tries.
Shiner fishing is mostly done from an upwind double anchored position, although at times we will drift through scattered vegetation when the fish are spread out. We use float rigs, sinker rigs (like a beefed up drop shot rig) and at times free line shiners.
Shiner fishing has a lot of tradition on Lake Okeechobee, and it still is one of the best ways to fish our great lake.
Lake Okeechobee offers some of the best heavy cover fishing in the country. To combat this, we normally use stout tackle and heavy line. Contrary to popular opinion, ‘slowing down’ is the trick when the weather is nice and ‘speeding up’ works when blessed with a cold front. Florida strain bass are a little different than most bass around the country.
The last couple of years, the frog fishing has been awfully hard to beat on Okeechobee, and it has become a main lure in the arsenal. Watching a big wake come up to your bait followed by an awesome explosion is about as good as it gets in bass fishing! If fact, I won the Stren tournament on Lake Okeechobee in February, 2009 by fishing a frog for three straight days. Talk about adrenalin!
Plastics we use often are the old reliable 10” worm, flukes, senkos and wacky worms. Top waters, Rat-L-Traps shallow crankbaits and swim jigs are good hard baits around sparse cover.
During cold fronts, which unfortunately grace us from time to time, the arsenal changes a bit. Rattle baits, jerkbaits, chatterbaits and a flipping critter get the job done on most days when normal people prefer to stay indoors.
Lake Okeechobee is known as one of the finest lakes in the country. The opportunity exists for a trophy on any given cast. There are not many places you can expect nice weather and great fishing during the mid winter across the entire country. Come down to Lake Okeechobee some time - you will enjoy your stay!
Capt. Kevin Long