Lake Okeechobee is the largest lake in Florida and is also the second largest body of fresh water in the continental United States. Okeechobee is a Seminole Indian name and is derived from the Seminole word “Oki” which means water. Lake Okeechobee is a shallow lake that averages only 9 feet. The lake is part of the Florida Everglade region, which is a vast region of fantastic freshwater fishing for multiple species of fish. The lake supports commercial and sport fishing and is known worldwide as an excellent lake for fishing.
Lake Okeechobee is nationally recognized for its largemouth bass and black crappie fishing. If you are looking to fish for cats, this lake is also the place to go. Largemouth bass anglers should try spinning spoons and baits on grass flats, and plastic worms and flipping jigs on heavier cover. Use Golden shiners as live bait for bass. The best areas will be around the rim canals.
When fishing for black crappie, or as the locals call them specs. Fish in deeper water near the edges of the channel shoreline. Also fish the stilts under the Highway 78 bridge. Only fish the Kissimmee River when the river is flowing steadily. Use jigs or live shiny fish near vegetation stands. The best time to fish is early in the morning or at the end of the day. Standard jigging techniques work well, but to locate schools, suspend minnows at various depths to locate schools. You will have to move frequently to locate schools of crappies. Once you find the schools of fish until they no longer bite, go ahead and fin another school.
The best areas for bream is the edge of the canals around Lake Okeechobee that lead to the Kissimmee River. Use Beetle twists and crickets as bait.
We will list 12 areas in or around the lake that are known to have largemouths. Sea bass, black crappie or specs, and other pan fish and catfish. You can also visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website and click on Interactive Maps for more detailed information.
Area # 1 South Henry Creek Flats Florida Lake Okeechobee Fishing Report The plains that extend from the boat lock on Henry Creek south to Chancey Bay are heavily vegetated and bass. Bulrush, grass, and hydrilla grow on a sandbar surrounded by sand, approximately 3/4 mile southwest of the levee. The sandbar narrows to a small reef, where bass like to spawn. Fish the outer edges of vegetation for live worms, surface plugs, and plastic worms. Mix weed-free spoons behind the weed line. During the summer, cast vibrant plugs and shallow crankbaits over the reef to educate the bass. .
Area # 2 Nubbin Slough Seabass are caught year-round in Nubblin Slough. At the mouth of the swamp look for the small islands and rock piles that are surrounded by maidencane. Throw a spinnerbait, Jerkin ‘Sam, or Rat-L-Trap around these structures during the fall. In spring, place the boat inside vegetation along the boat’s path that has a sand / shell bottom. Throw a plastic worm, lunker lure, or spinnerbait. During the summer, catch plastic worms in the reeds and pencil rods.
Area # 3 behind Eagle Bay Island Lake Okeechobee Fishing Reports This area behind Eagle Bay Island near Government Cut offers great action for all species of panfish. The tannic-tinged water makes it difficult to see the bluegill beds, so drift until the fish meet.
Area # 4 Eagle Bay Eagle Bay is a prime largemouth area from January through April, when the lake is at its finest. It is good all year round because the water is about two feet deeper than the surrounding area. Summer seabass are kept here due to the depth and vast growth of the hydrilla. Try plastic worms and lizards in spring, and switch to surface plugs, buzzbaits, and spoons in summer. Bass move to the outer edge in the fall, and surface lures, vibrating plugs, and spinnerbaits are effective.
Area # 5 Throw in plastic worms and spinnerbaits for the spring largemouths that hold the pepper grass in this shallow area. Throw away surface plugs at the beginning and end of the day during the summer.
Area # 6 north of North Lake Shoal (Kings Bar) The rocky area north of North Lake Shoal (Kings Bar) offers excellent bluegill fishing in the reeds and cattails. Panfish settle in rocky patches scattered within vegetation and are easily trapped by worms and crickets. Head east about a mile and drift out into the open water for winter crappie.
Area # 7 North Lake Shoal (Kings Bar) North Lake Shoal (Kings Bar) is a large overgrown island with a variety of vegetation, including water lilies, hydrilla, eel, maidencane, and bulrush. Seabass are caught year-round in spinnerbaits and plastic worms. This is a great area to flip. The trophy bass often lurks in the maidencane that grows within scattered reeds.
Area # 8 Tin House Cove for Lake OkeechobeeLake Okeechobee Fishing Report Plastic worms and lizards catch spawning spring bass in Tin House Cove. In summer, the large mouth moves to deeper waters. Peppergrass sustains sea bass year-round, and largemouth shoals also chase string shad on the outer edge of the undergrowth. Throw vibrating plugs, spinnerbaits, and surface lures for these active fish.
Area # 9 from Indian Prairie Canal north to the southern tip of Tin House Co. to Lake Okeechobee The wide area at the rear of the emergent vegetation, from the Indian Prairie Canal north to the southern end of Tin House Cove, produces numerous bass. During the spawning season, if the water is high, a secondary area behind the cattails in the grassy plains offers good fishing down to the dike.
Area # 10 Indian Prairie Channel south to Horse Island Lake Okeechobee Fishing Report Fishing Report A mixture of grass and reeds stretches from the Indian Prairie Canal south to Horse Island. For sea bass it is recommended to fish for live shiners in areas of dense vegetation. Mix the surface plugs and weed-free spoons into the sparser cover. The bottom is about a meter deep and is made up of scattered flat rocks and sand. Behind this area, toss top water spoons and lures for spring bass into the maidencane and reed mix. A boat trail behind it can be worked in windy conditions. Horse Island and Worm Cove are also good places to fish for plastic worms.
Area # 11 from Dyess Ditch to the southern point of Horse Island to Lake Okeechobee This sandy area from Dyess Ditch to the southern point of Horse Island is one of the best spring bass spots on the lake. This area, known as the North Shore, has a grass plain more than 1/2 mile wide. The trophy bass is held along the outer edge of the grass on the west side of the bay. Live baits, plastic worms, surface lures, vibrating plugs and spoons produce year round. The scattered patches of hydrilla mixed with maidencane, reeds and pads are used for spawning of largemouth bass between December and March. This protected area is particularly good when the lake is rough. In summer, seabass stay close to open water and move into shallow water as the water cools.
Area # 12 Dyess Ditch to Harney Pond Canal to Lake OkeechobeeThe sandy bottom from Dyess Ditch to the Harney Pond channel between the two beacon lights has largemouths throughout the year. Fisheating Creek’s stained water is filtered by dense vegetation, resulting in relatively clear water. Spring bass will spawn where there are holes in the hydrilla. Spinnerbaits, surface plugs and weed-free spoons carry the sea bass around the beds of hydrilla and peppergrass.
Well, I hope the 12 areas identified in this Florida Lake Okeechobee Fishing Report will help you plan your next Florida freshwater fishing trip. Let’s go fishing!