There are plenty of boat ramps and access points all around the lake, with bass fishing charters and boat rentals in several locations, including in both Okeechobee City at the northern end of the lake and Clewiston at the southern end. “Because we have fertile soil, Lake Kissimmee produces a lot of food from zooplankton, insects to forage fish. Its world-famous bass fishing makes it a popular lake for fishing tournaments. Camp Mack's provides access to Lake Kissimmee, Hatchineha, and Cyprus Lake, for a wide variety of Florida freshwater fish. It’s around an hour’s drive south of Kissimmee and the theme parks and there is boating access at Lake Kissimmee State Park (you can download  a park map here) on the western edge of the lake. The lake is big, so most people don’t brave it alone; they hire a charter. “Lake Kissimmee is a trophy bass factory because it is fertile, but not overly fertile, and that produces a lot of bass,” he said. The Everglades National Park covers 1.5 million acres of wilderness in Southern Florida and is probably best known for its swamps and alligators. Lake Toho is known for its trophy bass and covers 23,000 acres, giving you plenty of space to fish. South, Central, North Florida and Panhandle Florida. Crescent Lake in northeastern Florida stretches over 15,960 acres and is best known for its beautiful scenery and clean water. The lake is around 46,000 acres and is Florida’s second largest freshwater lake. Kayak Paddle Length – What Size Do I Need? Great Bass-Fishing Lakes in Florida 1. Children under 16 and Florida residents over the age of 65 do not require a fishing license. Rattling lures (silver, gold, and Tennessee shad) tempt bass during summer and fall as baitfish school in open water areas along the north end of the lake. Florida can offer some great bass fishing and the warm climate means you can potentially fish all year round, with little in the way of seasonal changes. As well as being a great place for saltwater fishing, the Sunshine State is also known for its big bass. And don’t forget to share this guide with your bass fishing buddies. Description: Known as “Toho,” this 18,810-acre lake located southeast of Kissimmee is the uppermost of the Kissimmee Chain. Florida’s Department of Environmental Regulation has recognized Windermere’s lakes as “Outstanding Florida Waters” for their high water quality and animal habitats.Isleworth, Lake Sheen, Lake Tibet, Pocket Lake, Wauseon Bay, and Little Fish Lake) and each has excellent freshwater fishing. I have fished with Justen for the last 5 years used other guides before him. Noting that he’s chosen to live and work in Central Florida largely because of the quality fisheries, Mann said Kissimmee owes its consistency to a handful of distinct elements. That makes it very rewarding when catching a bass, however it can also make it very challenging. Ahh good old Florida. Stretching 19 miles, Rodman holds vast areas of flooded timber (some emergent, some submerged), shallow wood cover, hydrilla and milfoil beds, eel grass and large rafts of water lettuce and hyacinth. All Rights Reserved, Entering your valid email address signifies you wish to receive our newsletter and have read the, Florida Sportsman Launches Action Spotter Podcast. The Florida largemouth bass is a larger species than the northern largemouth bass. We caught 148 bass, with the largest over 8lb, 7lb 10oz and a bunch of 6's and 5's. One of the reasons that the fishing is unlike anywhere else here is simply because Florida is literally unlike anywhere else. Cloud canal (C-31), Partin’s Ditch or near the water control structure (S-61) located at Toho’s south end are worth a visit. When runoff from heavy rains send voluminous flow through the lake, current at the canals and tributaries can spark a hot bass bite. Overall, Kingsley claims 169 TrophyCatches (also including 75 Lunker Clubs and 80 Trophy Clubs). This allows bass to grow fast and increase survivorship. Lacking current, target gaps, holes and irregularities in the emergent vegetation and dense weed mats. Florida’s subtropical climate means that the opportunities for fishing are just about non-stop. Weed mats provide another warm-season option, so Schultz punches a heavily-weighted Yamamoto Fat Baby Craw (junebug or black/blue) through the hyacinth or hydrilla. Of course, if you're looking for Large Mouth Bass, they've got you covered. “Also, FWC has managed this lake and the rest of the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes aggressively over the last 50 years,” Mann said. The lakes surrounding Eustis are some of the largest in the state, including the namesake of the chain, Lake Harris. Description: Covering 730 square miles, the Big O is Florida’s largest lake and the second largest body of fresh water in the contiguous United States. To date, Lake Kissimmee has produced 497 TrophyCatch fish — 409 Lunker Clubs, 87 Trophy Clubs, 1 Hall of Famer. Look at the Top 25 Best Bass Lakes of 2019 for the Central, Western, Southeastern and … When it comes to fooling bass on the surface in Florida, Lane’s topwater tips and picks can help you fulfill your Florida topwater dream. It is the second largest lake in the state (46,000 acres) and is 18 miles northwest of Deland and 29 miles east of Ocala. By that criterion, Lake Kissimmee is the hottest bass lake in Florida right now. While there is no minimum length for largemouth bass, other black bass species need to be longer than 12 inches in order to be kept.For striped bass, white bass and sunshine bass, the bag limit is 20, with no more than six being longer than 24 inches. This inundation plus severe wind damage decimated emergent vegetation, while turbidity blocked sunlight long enough to kill most of the submerged plants. Of your five bass, only one can be longer than 16 inches. Falls Lake, North Carolina 7. The lake’s tributary streams headwaters to the Everglades ecosystem. If you are looking for a trophy-sized bass all year long, Lake Toho is your destination. Best Bass Fishing in Florida . Located to the west of Florida’s state capital Tallahassee is Lake Talquin, an 8,800-acre reservoir. Temperatures will usually start to cool down during the fall, which can mean bass start actively feeding again in preparation for winter. “We have good food availability, good habitat and good water partly due to mother nature and partly due to FWC management practices that preserve it even though it is under stress from human encroachment.”. These include the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center, Chekika Lake, Royal Palm Visitor Center area, Shark Valley Tram Road and the first 3 miles of Main Park Road.The water in the Everglades is only around 4 to 5 feet deep on average, which can mean kayaks, canoes and airboats can often be good options for getting around. Lake Murray, South Carolina 3. Largemouth bass are found in almost every body of freshwater in Florida. Frogs, walking bits, poppers, spinnerbaits and vibrating jigs also produce, but day in and day out, you can’t go wrong flipping/pitching vegetation with plastic crawfish or beaver style baits. Lake George is one of the premier bass fishing lakes in central Florida. Seminole is a 38,000 acre lake located on the state’s northern border near Chattahoochee. Nevertheless, Florida’s fifth-largest natural lake, located five miles northeast of Lake Placid, has consistently cranked out quality bass since a major restoration effort in the early 2000’s. As well as being a great place for saltwater fishing, the Sunshine State is also known for its big bass. In the deep water, you’ll catch them on big Texas-rigged worms, Carolina-rigged lizards and deep diving crankbaits. Local contact: Henderson’s Fish Camp at (863-465-2101), TrophyCatch Stats: 234 (195 Lunker Clubs, 39 Trophy Clubs). “Think of a rich, loamy soil and how that grows crops better than say a sandy, well-drained, sterile soil. Lake Istokpoga, Florida 5. This was a tough one to come up with because there are so many good lures out there but the 7 that I’ve chosen are consistently better producers of giant Florida bass than any other lures that I’ve found. The Florida fishing experts rated lakes It’s known as the fishing capital of the world and for good reason. Largemouth and peacock bass can be found in the Everglades but watch out for alligators and American crocodiles! But it can also be a great place for bass fishing too, with a third of the park being water with plenty of waterways to explore.The Everglades Water Conservation Area 3, just off of Alligator Alley and not far from Fort Lauderdale, can be a good place to fish. Local contact: Fast Break Bait & Tackle 863-763-0973. Fished with Justen Dec. 14-16 with my best friend. Pay particular attention to river channel turns, as these are natural bass magnets. Lake Toho is located in Kissimmee, FL. You can fish all year round in Florida with much of the Sunshine State often seeing little change in the weather between the seasons, except for an increase in temperature, humidity and rain during the summer months.A lot of Florida has mild to warm winters, with Central Florida and South Florida averaging temperatures in the low to mid 70s (Fahrenheit) from December through February. Just about everybody knows that Florida’s summers are hot, which can make being outside pretty uncomfortable. This citizen-science program rewards anglers for documenting and releasing trophy bass of 8 pounds or larger. Like many other states and locations, spring can be one of the best times for bass fishing as this is often when the pre-spawn happens, which means bass are heading closer to the shallows and should be actively feeding.But in Florida, particularly South Florida, spring can often come early, with the pre-spawn often beginning as early as January. The FWC and its environmental partners drew down Istokpoga’s water level and removed over 1,300 acres of muck to allow native vegetation to germinate and flourish. With more than 8,000 lakes and other waters available, anglers sometimes face a tough decision about where to fish. It can be a good place for bass fishing because there is plenty of vegetation and cover, including submerged structures used as bombing targets by the US Navy in World War II. There are also areas where fishing is prohibited. Located in Central Florida, Lake Kissimmee covers almost 35,000 acres and is known for its great bass fishing. For most of Florida, it rarely gets cold. Fortunately, extreme drought conditions in 2006 and 2007 exposed vast areas of lake bottom and allowed new vegetation to take root. Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in Florida and one of the largest in the United States, covering around 730 square miles with an average depth of around 10 to 12 feet.This famous lake, which is known for its excellent year round bass fishing, sits around 100 miles south of Orlando and around 100 miles north of Miami. Florida statewide regulations allow you to take no more than five black bass, which includes largemouth, spotted and Suwannee bass. The lake has multiple RV/camping sites and is home to Big Toho Marina. Of that total, the 2,000-acre Kingsley has produced the two heaviest TrophyCatch entries: Seth Chapman’s 15-pound, 11-ouncer and Len Andrews’ 15-9 — both caught in March 2015. Stick Marsh previously earned that honor year after year, but other lakes are finding their place on the big, pass map. Generally considered Florida’s oldest and highest lake, Kingsley perches on the eastern slope of Trail Ridge, the first part of Florida’s peninsula to emerge above sea level in the Pleistocene era. The bass will hole up in inconsistent areas and are very lethargic when it comes to pursuing food. Do You Need A Florida Fishing License For Bass Fishing? And no matter where in Florida you are, you’re probably not too far from a great bass fishing spot. St. Johns River, Florida 8. Bass weighing 8 – 9.9 pounds earn Lunker Club status, 10-12.9 pounds make the Trophy Club and toads of 13-plus reach the prestigious Hall of Fame Club. Top Five Florida Bass Lakes 1. It has been a legend for longer than most people can imagine. It also features a canal that links the lake to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Frogs, vibrating jigs and flipping jigs also produce in and around the mats. Furthermore, most anglers release trophy fish so they remain in the system for additional opportunities and reproduction. Yes, everyone over the age of 16 will need a Florida fishing license in order to fish for bass, whether you’re carrying the gear, casting a line or catching and releasing a fish. Lake George Lake George continues to live up to its reputation as a “big fish” lake, with catch rates of .56 fish per... 3. What About Licenses, Permits And Regulations? However, because of the differences in the lakes and the geographic location of Florida, the pre-spawning season can stretch right through to the beginning of summer, if you’re in the northern areas of the state.February, March and April tend to be some of the best months for bass fishing in Florida. "All through 2013, even in the summer months, it was taking 30 to 35-pounds of bass in a five fish limit to win those little weekly club tournaments out of Camp Mack," says veteran guide Reno Alley of … You will need a freshwater fishing license for these waters but if you’re in saltwater areas closer to the Gulf Coast, you will also require a saltwater license.It’s also worth noting that using live or dead bait is forbidden within the park. When summer finds a lot of fish following offshore bait schools, lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits and big Texas-rigged worms will tempt the ones you want. Lane is a Sunshine State native. Reviewed December 18, 2015 via mobile . However, if you can brave the conditions, summer can actually be a pretty good time to catch bass in Florida. This 35 square mile lake is jammed packed with family bass fishing action like no other! Sailing, motor boating, and water skiing are popular too. Most of the locations you picked are in North Florida, Try fishing in the south end for once( not the keys where every tourist flocks to) That’s where the Best Tarpon and Snook fishing is…..By the way we do have Lake Okeechobee to, where some of the best bass fishing is. LAKE KISSIMMEE The southernmost link in the Kissimmee Chain, Lake Kissimmee is a 34,948-acre lake located 40 miles... 2. A 100-yard wide rim canal circling the lake, along with several secondary canals and cuts yield hundreds of miles of fishable water. Thought to have formed as a giant sink hole, Kingsley reaches 90 feet deep and its circular shape has earned the nickname “Silver Dollar lake.”, © 2021 Outdoor Sportsman Group. Some fisheries in many states around the country have introduced Florida bass to specific bodies of water in order to boost bass sizes by introducing the larger Florida strain to the gene pool.However, with these fish being native to Florida, you could have a higher chance of catching one since they can be found in waters all across the Florida peninsula, with northern largemouth and hybrid species being prohibited from being stocked in Florida waters. Most Popular Lakes in Florida top 10 rated by angler popularity and success, not by size, fish size or demographics. They only call Florida the “Fishing Capital of the World” because of Lake Okeechobee. Get fishing updates, guides, tips, gear reviews and offers sent straight to your inbox! Lake Okeechobee – Florida Here we’ve got a 730 square mile lake rich with some of the best lake bass fishing in the country. How to Fish It: Mann’s a big fan of topwater action, particularly a noisy buzzbait fitted with a trailer hook. Best Wintertime Lures For Florida Bass Fishing Bass anglers should consider two key factors when picking out lures for wintertime fishing in Florida. Mann also points to the lake’s good water quality contributes to a healthy bass population. Martin Mann has spent 15 of his 25 years as a FWC fisheries Biologist studying the Kissimmee Chain. Kayaking In Cleveland – The Best Spots For Paddling. So where are the best spots and when should you go?To point you in the direction of some of the best places to go bass fishing in Florida we’ve put together a short guide that will hopefully tell you everything you need to know before you go. In the fall, when bass gorge on shad, Elite pro and Palatka resident pro Terry Scroggins will throw a shallow diving jerkbait onto main channel flats and work the bait over the edge for fish holding on the break and looking up for food, Local contact: Gary’s Tackle Box (352-372-1791), TrophyCatch Stats: 329 (262 Lunker Clubs, 67 Trophy Clubs). There’s also a public boat ramp at Joe Overstreet’s Landing on the eastern side. The mouth of Shingle Creek, St. And he’s since won $2 Million dollars as one of the most decorated anglers in the history of the largemouth-rich Sunshine State. With its miles of coastline, thousands of miles of rivers and thousands of lakes, Florida is known as the ‘fishing capital of the world’. Rodman Reservoir, Florida 2. Lake Walk In Water is nationally known for largemouth bass and its great … So have fun and let us know how your Florida bass fishing trip goes. Florida’s biggest lake and the 2nd largest lake in contiguous U.S. is Lake Okeechobee, one of the best bass fishing spots in the whole world. What Size Kayak Do I Need? Best Florida Lakes To Target Winter Trophy Bass If you wish to catch that once-in-a-lifetime trophy bass this winter, you need to visit one of Florida’s renowned bass fisheries. Click here for more information about this Florida fish camp. Because many Florida lakes have little or no bottom contour changes, the key to finding fish here often lies in interpreting weedlines and bottom composition. At 15,087 acres, this flagship lake offers amazing opportunities for fishing. Some of the best-known bass waters in Florida, which include lakes Okeechobee and George and the Kissimmee chain, are also among the state's largest. Also, because we have fertile soil, Lake Kissimmee has excellent habitat that is a diverse mixture of emergent and submerged vegetation that is ideal for fish spawning and fish recruitment.”. Well deserving of its Seminole name, which means “big water,” Okeechobee averages only 9 feet deep, but boasts more than 150,000 acres of productive vegetation that includes Kissimmee grass, bulrush, cattails, hydrilla, hyacinth and lily pads. “If there was one lake that I had to pick to catch a 10-pounder or bigger in the spring time, it would be Lake Istokpoga,” said Bassmaster Elite Series pro and Lakeland native Bobby Lane. Ditto for deep stumps. Throughout Florida’s mild winters, heavyweight largemouth bass lurk in the shallows and become easier to catch. Locating Florida bass -- Jay Yelas, 2002 Bassmaster Classic Champion, 2007 FLW Angler of the Year. The following list of Top Spots for Black Bass aims to help anglers find a quality place to catch either good numbers of bass or to catch a trophy bass. The lake is incredibly shallow and very brackish for a lake in this area of the state. However, if you’re fishing in the Suwannee River areas, the bag limit for striped bass is only three but with a minimum size of 18 inches in length.Currently, due to a temporary suspension, you are not allowed to catch and keep shoal bass from the Chipola River, including its tributaries, but you can catch them if they are immediately released. Terry “Big Show” Scroggins won his first bass tournament in Florida at the age of 12. Though far out of the top-5 in terms of quantity, Kingsley Lake in North Central Florida easily claims the quality title. Lake Eufaula, Alabama/Georgia 6. With there being around 7,800 natural lakes, there are countless fishing opportunities across the state. When big rains returned in 2008, the new plant growth exploded. Because of the varying temperatures, it can be difficult to know where to look for bass, as they could be in deeper water during cold fronts or feeding in shallow zones as they prepare for the spawn.You may also find that bass are moving towards their spawning areas during the winter, and, depending on how far south you are, you may find that the spawn actually begins in winter, with the pre-spawn having happened in the fall. About 65 miles north of Orlando and about 30 minutes east of Ocala, Lake George is on the eastern edge of the Ocala National Forest. How to Fish It: Productive tactics include flipping dark-colored soft plastics (red shad, junebug) into patches of emergent vegetation and pockets of submerged vegetation, working topwaters and jerkbaits around the edges of hydrilla beds or pondweed and targeting points and holes in weed mats with weedless frogs. He has fished for bass in Florida since he could hold a fishing pole and has caught hundreds of Florida bass on topwaters of all shapes, sizes and actions. While many bass will be hiding out in the deeper areas of lakes during this hot season, which can often stretch on for six months, a lot of Florida’s lakes are pretty shallow, which could make finding them a little easier. The home of a few of the world’s greatest competitions (Bassmaster Elite Series, FLW Tour), Okeechobee is nearly 450,000 acres (730 square miles) of bass fishing paradise. However, there can be cold fronts that push down cold air from the north. Review of Fish Orlando Trophy Bass Guide Service. Common targets include lily pads, bulrush, cattails weed mats and Kissimmee grass, along with FWC’s fish attractors. Part of the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, Lake Tohopekaliga, known locally as Lake Toho, has plenty of access for fishing and boating, with one being in downtown Kissimmee, where there’s a public boat ramp and fishing pier. Florida is the go-to state for bass fishermen, especially when big fish are the goal. Lake Walk In Water Bass Fishing Lake Walk In Water, also known as Lake Weohyakapka, is a 7,528 acre natural lake located roughly 10 miles east of Lake Wales Florida. Florida has more than 7,700 named lakes greater than 10 acres, but only a select few make the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) Top Ten Bass Lakes list. Best Bass Fishing In Florida With its miles of coastline, thousands of miles of rivers and thousands of lakes, Florida is known as the ‘fishing capital of the world’ . Lake Seminole is too big of a player in the largemouth bass game to even be contained in one state, as Florida shares this lake with Georgia. Lake Tohopekaliga, Florida 4. 2) Lakeland Lakes: While lots of large Florida lakes get notable publicity for giving up bass, it’s likely more lunker largemouths are caught by more people from small, virtually unknown waters. March and October are prime months for cooler weather and lots of bass, but January through April can be lights-out with fish spawning in bulrush, cattail and other vegetation over sandy bottom. Description: Translated, its Seminole name refers to ancestors who died on the lake when fierce winds roiled its vast expanses of relatively shallow waters. Get the Top Stories from Florida Sportsman Delivered to Your Inbox Every Week, These are some of the best florida bass lakes to fish. With hundreds of publicly-accessible lakes and river fisheries, the Sunshine State offers tremendous opportunities to stretch a line with big largemouth bass. The Basics on Lake George, FL. Description: Located south of Palatka, this 9,500-acre reservoir was formed in 1968 when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built an earthen dam with a four-gate spillway across the Ocklawaha River. During the spring spawn season largemouth bass are found … During morning, or any low-light period, Gainesville’s Bassmaster Elite Series pro Bernie Schultz likes throwing topwaters like the Rapala X-Rap Prop or SkitterWalk around stumps and grass edges in Rodman’s main pool or near breaks in the barge canal. Bassmaster Magazine ranks the top 100 Best Bass Lakes each year, split by region. The southernmost link in the Kissimmee Chain, Lake Kissimmee is a 34,948-acre lake located 40 miles south of Orlando and 18 miles east of Lake Wales. Length to Paddler Height Explained, How To Paddle A Kayak – Strokes & Techniques Explained. Here we go, the 7 best Florida bass lures. How to Fish It: Flipping Texas-rigged worms or pitching craws and beavers is hard to beat, but keep a frog, spinnerbait and swim jig on your deck. Here are some tips on lure selection, presentation, and location for landing the elusive winter bass. This disc-shaped lake six miles east of Starke has yielded the most Hall-of-fame catches with 14 out of the 30 reported in four TrophyCatch seasons. It is also home to various bass fishing tournaments throughout the year. Size Matters! Lake Okeechobee That three of the biggest bass tours in the U.S. will make 2012 stops on Lake Okeechobee says volumes... 2. That’s especially true near the town of Lakeland, where small 50- to 1,000-acre lakes dot the landscape like craters on the moon. This may not happen quite the same in Florida as it does in other parts of the country, and you may still find bass in deeper water at this time of the year.However, for the most part, you can usually find bass in the shallower areas of lakes and rivers. Lake George is one of the many natural lakes on the St. Johns River. Everyone has their favorite fishin’ hole, but to fairly rank a top-5, we sought relevant perspective from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s TrophyCatch program (www.Trophycatchflorida.com). A reservoir for potable and irrigation water, Okeechobee took a beating during the 2004 hurricane season when three major hurricanes pushed massive amounts of water into the system (briefly as high as 18 feet). RODMAN RESERVOIR TrophyCatch Stats: 348 (285 Lunker, 61 Trophy Clubs, 2 Hall of … And, of course, a live shiner fished under a popping cork is a can’t-miss for big bass. Lake Tohopekaliga or Lake Toho for short is one of the BEST bass fisheries in the state of Florida. You can rent a boat or fishing guide at Big Toho Marina to let you get closer to the big bass. This selection of bass fishing lures will cover just about anything that you’ll come across in Florida. 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Well-Drained, sterile soil make being outside pretty uncomfortable time i comment ’ subtropical. Lake Kissimmee has produced 497 TrophyCatch fish — 409 Lunker best bass lakes in florida and trophy! Hire a charter 497 TrophyCatch fish — 409 Lunker Clubs, 2 Hall of Fames ) of miles of water! Places where the hydrilla thins out into patchy, scattered clumps season largemouth bass plastics jigs... Do you Need a Florida fishing license for bass fishing makes it a popular lake for fishing 100 best fisheries... Bass tournament in Florida at the canals and tributaries can spark a bass! Bait & Tackle 863-763-0973 to pursuing food on data from the North species than the northern largemouth bass are …. Air from the North 2 Hall of Famer: 221 ( 193 Lunker Clubs and trophy. Bassmaster Classic Champion, 2007 FLW Angler of the most spectacular fishing that you ’ come...