Fishing Report from For Shore Fishing.
June 21, 2018
By Michael Wilson / Ledger correspondent
Largemouth Bass — With searing temperatures and unrelenting humidity, the early morning and late evening bass bite is the best bet for Polk County area anglers.
Strike Zone, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Around Polk County
1. Around Lakeland, at Saddle Creek bass have been hit and miss in deeper water on Rattletraps and various color crankbaits. Most fish are in the two to four pound range. The bluegill and shellcracker bite around the area has been pretty good. Lakes Bonny and Parker have been best. The catfish bite is pretty good around the area with the rising water from all the runoff, reports Phillips Bait and Tackle (863-666-2248).
2. At Auburndale, “I haven’t heard much from the Auburndale are this week,” reports Ron Schelfo at Ron’s Tackle Box (863-956-4990). Bass fishing is picking up around Lake Alfred. Topwater lures and frogs are best both early and late in the day. A six pounder was caught on Lake Haines Wednesday morning, but most are in the three to four pound range. Lakes Alfred, Haines, Rochelle, and Swoop pretty good for bluegill and shellcracker, Schelfo said.
3. At Winter Haven, the bass bite has really picked up on the south chain. Buzz baits and topwaters are getting a good bite. Lakes Howard and Shipp have been especially good. Lake Summit, because its spring fed, is also a great summer time lake for big bass. All the canals on the south chain have been good for bluegill and shellcracker, reports Ron Schelfo at Ron’s Tackle Box (863-956-4990).
4. At Lake Hamilton, all three lakes have been good for bass this week. They’re getting them early, up to about 9 a.m. Plastic worms and swim baits from the middle of the grass lines to the outside edges and around peppergrass are producing. Bluegill are biting pretty good in the big lake, reports Mickey Ingram at Hoppy’s Marine (863-439-7616).
5. At Lake Marion near Haines City, the heat seems to have picked up the panfish bite. However, one day it’s shellcracker, the day it’s bluegill or a mix. Some of the shellcracker have had roe. “One of my anglers said a jig or a jig with a grass shrimp fished with a constantly moving, up and down, presentation seems to entice more strikes,” reports Eileen O’ Leary at Bannon’s Fish Camp (863-422-1223).
6. At Lake Pierce, bass fishing is pretty decent for schoolie size fish on crank baits early before the water heats up. There’s still some bluegill being caught around Catfish Creek, reports Jennings Resort (863-439-3811).
7. At Lake Hatchineha, there’s been a pretty good panfish bite, but the bluegill have been better than the shellcracker. The bass bite has picked up with the rising water level. The water has risen a foot in the last month. Trick worms and Senkos with a slow presentation have been best. Look for brush piles in the center of the lake. Speedworms fished on the outside edges with peppergrass and hydrilla are also good. The mouths of the canals with good running water are holding a lot of schoolie bass early and late in the day, reports Leo Cosce at Camp Lester (863-696-1123).
8 At Lake Toho, the live shiner anglers are getting 15-20 bass a trip first thing in the morning. There’s still some panfish being caught, but most anglers are off the water by 9 a.m. and back out again in the evening, reports Mark Detweiler at Big Toho Marina (407-846-2124).
9. At Lake Kissimmee, bass have been good early in the morning while casting topwaters and frogs. Later in the day, casting crankbaits and plastic worms to the brush piles is best. Bluegill are biting good in the lily pads around Brahma Island and Jack’s Slough. Jigging the brush piles is still producing some specks, reports Chuck Metheney at Bridgemaster Fishing Products (863-676-1009).
10. At Lake Walk-in-the-Water, casting small profile hollow body frogs early in the morning has been best for the bass. Later on, Senkos and Zoom Trick Worms in black and blue, as well as Junebug color have been good. A few bass also biting on Strike King Red Eye Shads in Sexy Shad color. Bluegill are biting crickets and red worms in the lily pads, reports Chuck Metheney at Bridgemaster Fishing Products (863-676-1009).
11. At Crooked Lake at Babson Park, two eight pound bass were caught on Monday by one of the regulars using live shiners up in the canals. On Tuesday, another angler caught a seven pounder from the grass patches on an eight inch plastic worm in Strawberry color. There’s still some schoolie size bass coming from the south U.S. 27 side. Not much on panfish this week, reports Cindy Ritchison at Bob’s Landing (863-638-1912).
12. At Frostproof, bass have been pretty good on Lake Reedy early in the morning in shallow grass on live shiners. As the day progresses, switch to deeper water and fish the submerged brush piles. Bitters plastic worms in ToHo color and Zoom Speedworms in Watermelon Red and Watermelon Glitter are producing well. The same goes for Lake Clinch. Bluegill are biting crickets on both lakes in moving water around the creeks. Shellcracker are biting red worms on the shell beds in both lakes in water four to six feet deep, reports Jim Childress of Big Bass Bait & Tackle (352-207-7520).
13. In the phosphate pits near Mulberry and Bartow, bass fishing has been good with up to 25 fish a day. Watermelon seed has been a hot color and fishing hydrilla edges with a light weighed worm has been producing some nice fish. Topwaters in bone color are also producing. Good reports of bluegill and shellcracker are still coming in. Crickets and red worms are still your best bet. The catfish have been doing real good on chicken livers, night crawlers, and cut bait, reports David Andress of Mulberry Bait Company (863-943-4009).
“May your lines be tight and your shake off’s and break off’s memorable.”