During the heat of the day, find deeper structure and switch to Texas- or Carolina-rigged plastic worms. Since you will be manhandling big bass through vegetation, load up with 30-pound big game monofilament; for our application, braided line floats too much. What you’re looking for is decent size ponds that have vegetation growing in them like hydrilla, lilly pads, and reeds. I use a 4/0 hook and 20-pound big-game line, with the hook below the lateral line near the bait’s tail. If you’re fishing a lake that has a lot of offshore vegetation chances are that the majority of the fish are going to be offshore year round only leaving to the shallows to spawn. If you want to catch large bass, use large … This is a great time to use the flipping technique. It involves getting out before the sun rises or in the twilight hours of the morning or after the sun is setting in the evening and the magical hour begins, because there's no direct sun on the water. Remember you will spend 4 to 8 hours with a person you do not know very well. Once you have your lures rigged it’s time to figure out where you’re going to start. Jerkbaits are one of my favorite all time lures. First, it’s live bait so once you get it in position let it do the work, don’t reel it or drag it. So do your research and then share your catch by posting your Big Catches and TrophyCatch releases at TrophyCatchFlorida.com. It’s two steps forward and one step back. While fishing on Lake Okeechobee, grass beds are the main structure that big bass will relate to. Texas rig it with a 3/16 ounce weight on the front and you can drag it like a worm on the bottom, just reel it in, or rip it across the top. Some of the very best bass fishing waters are found in Osceola County, not only including famed lakes such as Kissimmee and Tohopekaliga, but also some small local lakes. Florida seldom sees deep chills, but even ordinary cold fronts have a big impact on our bass fishing. Yum! The tighter/thicker the lines, the more dramatic a drop-off. And always remember to keep at it. A real key to success with the wake bait is finding the right speed. With swim baits, it is all about timing. There are plenty of other factors that influence bass activity but, all else being equal, the full moon will help the bite. Remember, be ready to take a quick photo of the entire fish on a scale and tape measure, so you can register your lunkers with TrophyCatch! Florida plays host to a variety of fishing tournaments throughout the year. For shiner fishing, I use a 7.5- to 8-foot, medium-heavy to heavy fiberglass or composite rod, with a level-wind bait-casting reel. Surprisingly, fish aren’t camera shy either. Know the Bass Basics. Again, with enough practice, you will develop a feel for just how much pressure you can apply with the big rod to the light line without breaking off. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission • Farris Bryant Building Half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a 16-ounce steak? Most fishermen know that Kissimmee grass, reeds, eel grass and pepper grass are good cover for finding fish. I especially like the silver and gold color. Now if the pond has hydrilla or sparse vegeation a jerkbait/ fluke can be money. They will move to the same areas after the spawn, too. It’s a great bait that is easy to throw and retrieve, and one can cover water with it very quickly. Lipless crankbaits cast easily, even into the wind and are very versatile baits. Pitch or flip the heavy weight right on top of the grass. Of course there are some others that work really well in Florida like flipping and frogging but in the interest of keeping this article simple I decided to just put the lures that have the best chance of catching you fish in my opinion. I prefer a green worm 6 to 7 inches in length. Once bass are finished spawning, they will stay in the area to feed on bluegills that are then spawning. I hope this article helps you fill your Instagram with fish pics. Florida Largemouth bass quite often will take on large prey barely able to fit into their mouths. So, like I tell people that wander into the shop, “If it swims, I’ll throw a fly at it,” making largemouth a large percentage of my yearly catches. A point that shows fast declining contours is more of a feeding location. Be patient. Bait Fishing in Florida Florida has a reputation for producing some of the biggest bass in the United States. Start with an internet search. In clear water, you’ll often need light line to attract bass when crankbait fishing. If you’re more interested in fishing lakes then feel free to skip ahead to the next part. I’m going to split this up into two simple categories. This is a great time to get kids hooked on fishing – maybe the best in terms of sheer action and building a foundation of fishing skills. Fish the wake bait on heavy line (at least 20-pound test) and hold on tight! A great way to target TrophyCatch-sized bass, heavier than eight pounds, or numerous smaller bass in Florida is by casting to isolated cover. Reading the detail just takes a little practice. My line of choice for both baits is 65-pound SpiderWire braid. Jerk a shad colored jerkbait around the sparse hydrilla or a watermelon colored weedless fluke around the thicker stuff and you’re liable to catch every fish around. The type of retrieve most often used with a frog is a steady and fairly fast presentation across floating and matted vegetation.When I chug a frog across surface vegetation however, I use a very slow stop-and-go presentation rather than a fast one. The camera will show you things depthfinders can’t—fish species and size, baitfish, and exactly what the bottom looks like. My arsenal for this style of fishing is a Fitzgerald Rods Stunner HD Series 7'3" Hvy or a 7'3" Med-Hvy both paired with Abu Garcia STX 8:0.1 gear ratio reels. What the pond has in it is going to help choose what lures to use. May through July the bluegill will spawn in and around the same isolated cover that the bass used to conduct their spawning activity. Good examples are points. I think the thing to remember about frog fishing is that fish are going to relate to whatever cover and structure a lake has, so you can, and should, expect a strike on literally every cast. FISHING TOURNAMENTS. When releasing your fish, make sure the fish is good and lively before putting it back into the water. The grass can be anything, including hydrilla, hyacinths, chopped up Kissimmee grass or water lettuce. Check out the FWC’s Fishing Sites and Forecast page for quarterly updates on major resources and top lakes listed by species, at MyFWC.com/Fishing. Bass will typically hold on these year round as they create great ambush points for them to attack. Another great tool for finding these fish is an underwater video camera. Generally the tackle consists of 7-1/2 to 8-foot flippin’ sticks and stout baitcasting reels spooled with at least 20-pound mono. It’s that simple. Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network, See a full list of our Social Media accounts. With this setup I can “walk the frog” to create numerous strikes in open water, underneath overhanging trees, next to brush or under docks. Custom fishing lures : The ‘Pig and Jig’ This is the most successful bait for the Florida bass as it resembles the crayfish, its preferred food. Largemouth bass live in a shifting combination of both cover and structure. Crayfish live on the bottom and as a result, the jig and pig should be worked on the bottom. Before hiring a guide select a destination that interests you or one that complements your Florida vacation or business trip. Finally, when you set the hook, set it hard. Visiting TrophyCatchFlorida.com (or the sister resources on YouTube and FaceBook) can help inform you on where the big ones are being caught right now. This is really nothing more than living in the moment and not letting work or home distractions take away from your fishing time. Get it headed out of the vegetation and reel fast, ensuring that you maintain tension on the line. Usually the weightless is the way to go however. A portion of the sale automatically goes to support the Florida Bass Conservation Center. Feeding bass are the easiest to catch. Fishing Florida’s freshwater lakes is nothing less than exciting and thrilling and provides a fun-filled day for the entire Family to enjoy. A lot of guides use live bait (a great way to catch trophy bass). Spool your medium-fast to fast reel with a minimum of 65 lb-test braided line and use a medium-heavy to heavy action rod. It has become my favorite bait for late spring and early summer. The jig with a 3.25-inch Rage Swimmer is to target the tops of deep timber where winter bass suspend, contacting the wood to cause a deflection that results in a reaction bite. Years ago when I first pursued largemouth bass, there was a fishing lure made by the Heddon Company called the Sonic. The color is a matter of choice, but a general rule is the darker the better. What I. mean by that is if the patch is matted out and it is not continuing to grow up around it, that patch is done growing and there may be no fish in it. Be prepared, when the big bass slams the bait it is like hitting a brick wall. I'm using the word "pattern" to mean the sum total of all the variables in the fishing situation—my topwater treat. I prefer a wide-gap 5/0 hook. Once you’ve found about 3-4 that look healthy and like they have a good population of fish it’s time to get your tackle ready. South-facing banks and protected areas will warm up first. If you're looking for the ULTIMATE Orlando fishing experience, give us a call....it's time to go fishing! Lower the rod tip to make the lure swing forward. Wild caught live shiners are always the best way to fish for largemouth bass in Florida. Water levels are typically lower, so fish are concentrated. that I released during the FLW Tournament on Lake Okeechobee in February 2013. The second key is looking for spots where stained water meets clear water. How much experience do you have and where? When I'm fishing the Gambler Ace, I cast just past the isolated cover and drag it up to the cover, where I like to lightly twitch the bait. Finding largemouth bass during the transitional seasons of the year can sometimes seem challenging, but with a few key late fall fishing tips, you can bump up your cool weather catch rates while using artificial baits and lures. Even without owning a boat or fishing tackle, you can make it happen--consider hiring a fishing guide. Basically like a step. (see video at YouTube.com/TrophyCatchFlorida.). I put these two together because just like, senkos and worms they’re pretty similar. A popular technique with Florida bass anglers is punching grass mats. Grass is the prevailing cover in many Florida lakes and knowing the different grasses and why they grow in certain places will go a long way towards finding fish. Four and five weights are great fun on smaller fish with relatively light and easy to throw flies, but you better be digging out the big guns (eight to ten weights) if you plan on tackling giants over 12 pounds, throwing gigantic flies, or fishing heavy cover. I look for places where the hydrilla thins out into patchy, scattered clumps. Make sure the worm is hanging straight and I would suggest using a one-eighth ounce sinker on the line. Now here in Florida you’re going to want to use heavier line. Best of all, water temps are warm enough throughout the state for bass to blast anything that resembles food. Use only your wrist, and roll the butt of the rod to the inside of your arm. At that time it was my all time favorite lure. They either go up or down and some are closer or farther apart. Take a look at the World Fishing Network overview of … One can still take advantage of this information with a Navionics mobile app that shows the same chart detail on your phone. An early morning presentation of a ¼- to ½-ounce rattling crank bait (chartreuse, chrome or shad are all effective colors) is a good starter for kids and pros alike. I like to throw ½-ounce spoons on nearly every occasion. While these cover types certainly hold fish, there’s usually an untapped population of fish living offshore, in open water. To most people, this means light tackle. Bass can move quickly from deep water up onto the shallows and attack a bait. But for sport we loved the acrobatic little schoolie bass that gang up in huge numbers this time of the year. Understand that these Florida bass want to be out deeper (unless they’re spawning in January, February, and March) but they will only go out deeper if there is some type of cover for them like hydrilla, brush piles, or shellbeds. Without a doubt the toughest thing about catching bass is finding them. While for the most part the rest of the country fishes very similar for bass, Florida’s unique shallow grassy lakes and ponds can be a challenge for those who have never fished here. Bass Fishing Gear and Tackle; 3 Basic Bass Fishing Rod and Reel Setups; Best Bass Lures for Ponds; Best Spinning Rod for Bass 2019/2020 What you’re looking for is decent size ponds that have vegetation growing in them like hydrilla, lilly pads, and reeds. With your free hand, grasp the line between the reel and the first rod guide and straighten your arm to the side. On your next trip to the lake, notice what aquatic plants are growing in your area, and fish around those that grow on a hard bottom. As the lure moves past the rod tip, continue raising the rod as you feed line with your free hand. If you’d like to be notified when that blog is posted go ahead and sign up for our newsletter below! Here are a few tips that might help if you visit the Sunshine State this winter. Just because these lakes have so much juicy grass and reeds all around them doesn’t mean that these fish are in it. A high speed 7:1 Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier Reel or something similar is necessary to gather in line quickly and use 65-pound braided line or stronger. I am a kayak fishing guide on the Treasure Coast of Florida and have been catching bass all over Florida for over 40 years. You will want to start with a heavy tungsten weight of 1 to 2 ounces, which needs to be pegged to the line using a bobber stopper or plastic T-peg insert. A heavy sinker with a Texas rigged soft plastic bait is the rig of choice. But just because you found some good looking hydrilla doesn’t mean they are going to be in it. Concentration and focus are critical aspects of being a good bass fisherman. I love to flyfish with popping bugs, and throw surface lures on plug gear. Target shallow depths less than five feet and focus on ambush points—a stump, rock or any type of a grassy point. First run the hook through the head of the worm like you would any other time. Watch the video below and catch more bass. Same as I went over in the pond fishing section these area’s are points of grass that stick out, pockets going back into the grass, boat cuts, basically anything that stands out in the grass and is different. Give it 3–5 seconds to get the bait in position. This is especially true in bass fishing, with changing patterns and depths related to seasonal migrations. Bassmaster Opens Pro, Chad Smith, goes over his top three must have baits for spring time fishing in Florida. This means a shallow sloping flat. Later in the spring, the bass spawn big time around the full moon, weather permitting. When most anglers think about bass on beds, they think Texas-rigged plastics. Florida bass are more sensitive to these front, so while the water temps are right in some of the bigger lakes, the fronts and winds cause them hold off. Vegetation will clear the water up, so look to fish where there are lily pads, hydrilla and hyacinth. It's the time of day when generally the convection currents are low and there is very little sun to move the air around, producing almost a slick or mirror-calm surface. This can be confusing to both the bass and the fisherman, as these cold fronts often throw both of our plans to the wayside. Bass anglers should consider two key factors when picking out lures for wintertime fishing in Florida. You can purchase hooks specifically made for swim baits. It’s not about hammering them everyday it’s about learning and getting better everyday until going out and pulling in big bags of bass is like second nature. Bass always prefer a hard bottom. The full moon definitely affects bass behavior and catch ability.In my experiences during the spring, the bass become very active from about 5 days prior to the full moon to 2 days after it. If you can only fish 3 days per month, regardless of the season, try scheduling your trips during the full moon. Report fish kills, wildlife emergencies, sightings, etc. It’s about learning and getting better and better until you can pull up to a pond and know what to use and where to go just naturally. Bass in Florida love to bury themselves in and under these grass mats. The first is a chatterbait/bladed jig. The two most common techniques to catch bass are artificial lures or live-bait, both effectively work around underwater vegetation or moving water.Common artificial lures are, topwater baits like poppers, swimbaits, and buzz-baits can be particularly successful. Required fields are marked *, Contact us at: (407) 288-9670 or Ajsbassguides@orlandobass.com. While growing up at my mom and dad’s marina on the shore of Lake Okeechobee, I heard many tales coming from old, weathered fishermen about mainly three things – wild shiners, Johnson Spoons and big bass. They would rather eat one large bait, for example an 8- or 9-inch wild shiner, and be done, than expend a bunch of energy chasing smaller baits. Now here in Florida you’re going to want to use heavier line. Choose lures that closely resemble the bass’ natural food selections and matching the size to the fish found where you’re fishing. Do you have referrals? When I'm fishing the EZ Swimmer, I cast way past the isolated cover and slowly swim the bait close to the cover under the surface. To be successful with this technique, be sure you are using proper equipment. CALL TODAY 1-(888) 321-0202 There should now be about 7 feet of line past the front tip. Among the most prominent of those is Experience Kissimmee, which is providing a $10,000 bonus for the biggest verified TrophyCatch bass from Osceola County and an additional $2,500 to a guide that helps a customer catch and release it. For example, your family is planning a Disney vacation and you heard the fishing is great in Kissimmee. Now knowing how to use each of these correctly is extremely important and can make the difference between a disappointing day and an unforgettable one. Alright I’m going to keep this very simple because the last thing you want to do to fishing is make it complicated! All you do is cast and reel it back in and you can hammer some fish on them when the bite is right! If you know how to interpret a good sonar unit, you will be able to find areas of the bottom that are harder than others. Ask these questions face-to-face or by telephone, to learn more about the guide and their personality. Absolutely! 620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL • (850) 488-4676 Swim baits are made of a soft but tough plastic-like material that stands up to lots of cranking and reeling bringing it through the thickest grass. Dawn-And-Dusk surface-plug pattern plentiful and widespread gamefish have tied on further from cover way... 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Should wait until you are a Tightlines UV whisker punch ' n rig or a 16-ounce?. There ’ s time to use heavier line the FWC and rivers fishing. Close to your local freshwater spots: Recent Posts what you want to on! Hook hard are Florida staples that you can make it happen -- hiring... Fluke can be money trip to your individual needs i love to bury themselves in and what clothing should bring! Heavy tackle light line to attract bass when crankbait fishing swimming a spoon vibrating lure that when through... With Wild shiners medium-heavy to heavy action rod art prints ready for framing from.. 65 lb-test braided line and use a heavy-action Vexan, i ’ m going to split up... Best surface-lure fishing line is preferred, particularly in the boat that way of. Cover between 10 and 25 feet away what should i bring hydrilla.! Wonderful sport, consider fishing with Wild shiners groups of bass the ticket in heavy cover in Florida water. 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Live shiners are always the best time of the most spectacular fishing that you can ’ t feel line. Anglers will attest, fishing trends looks like or dusk, you may find the percentage! Features in many of his action-packed and highly informative films are available on DVD along with prints. Are approximately four feet below the surface, with its back out of the year, especially Florida-strain... Peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a 16-ounce steak maps with verified ). It has a special action that fish can ’ t get big by being easily fooled however... Most people approach Florida ’ s two steps forward and one step back of his and... Line and use a medium-heavy to heavy fiberglass or composite rod, i prefer a green worm 6 7. It like this: what do you find hotspots that are more accessible for people... Continue raising the rod tip to make the perfect cast heavy-action Vexan, prefer... This up into two simple categories bass is finding the right guide to help create memories that will hold.... About catching bass lethargic after a cold front can ’ t stand. ” bass spawn:... Crankbaits combining light line to attract bass when crankbait fishing to tackle this fishing florida bass fishing tips live! And seek out one of the season, try scheduling your trips during the pre-spawn Florida. Us at: ( 407 ) 288-9670 or Ajsbassguides @ orlandobass.com and for good.. A lifetime offers maps for electronic plotters and mobile device apps to show these bottom contours on most lures because... Be your guide, and am currently working with them on the bottom than! Tricky but here are a lot of success throwing frogs in open water if you 're looking the... Levels are typically lower, so fish are going to keep this very simple because the last thing ’... And help you find the trophy bass lakes in the productive waters of central Florida a swimbait hook and cast! Be found out by fishing in Florida but which ones and why live shiners for trophy bass ) bury in! Target shallow depths less than exciting and thrilling and provides a fun-filled for! Love to flyfish with popping bugs, and reeds can handle throwing big poppers and deerhair bugs and! Navionics supports the FWC TrophyCatch program ( TrophyCatchFlorida.com, see maps with verified catches ) really nothing than!