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Fishing Report from For Shore Fishing

July 6, 2018

By Michael Wilson / Ledger correspondent

Bluegill — The summer time bluegill bite is in full swing. Good reports of bluegill are coming in from just about every lake this week and some lakes are also reporting good shellcracker.

Strike Zone, 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

Around Polk County

1. Around Lakeland, at Saddle Creek the bluegill are biting good on red worms and crickets. The bass bite is best on big crankbaits and ribbon tail worms in the deeper parts of the lakes off the island points and brush piles. Lots of bluegill are being caught at Lake Bonny on crickets and red worms. Lake Hollingsworth has a good bluegill bite on crickets in the reeds. The shellcracker bite is best at Lake Agnes on red worms, reports Evan Wieber at Phillips Bait and Tackle (863-666-2248).

2. At Auburndale, Lake Ariana is producing a lot of schoolie bass while drifting the middle of the lake with crankbaits. “The Bomber Fat A in chartreuse color, baby bass pattern is especially good,” reports Ron Schelfo at Ron’s Tackle Box (863-956-4990). The bluegill and shellcracker bite is good in all the Lake Alfred area lakes. Lakes Alfred, Echo, Haines, Rochelle, and Swoop are all good and have piers for those without a boat, Schelfo said.

 3. At Winter Haven, Lakes Howard and Shipp have a good bite for smaller size schoolie bass on lipless crankbaits and spinner baits. Rattletraps and Booyahs are good along the shorelines. The mouths around all the canals are still producing bluegill and shellcracker, reports Ron Schelfo at Ron’s Tackle Box (863-956-4990).

4. At Lake Hamilton, bass fishing has been awesome on the both the big and little lake. Frog baits fished in the lily pads at daybreak and dusk are producing bass five to seven pounds. Later in morning and before dusk, plastic worms and flukes are getting the bite in deeper water along the outside grass lines. The panfish bite has kind of slowed down, reports Matt Ingram at Hoppy’s Marine (863-439-7616).

5. At Lake Marion near Haines City, near Haines City, the bream are biting really good on grass shrimp. Many anglers are getting 30-40 fish a day. Usually it’s a mixed bag, but one day the bluegill will bite better, then it’s the shellcracker, reports Eileen O’ Leary at Bannon’s Fish Camp (863-422-1223).

6. At Lake Pierce, bass up to five pounds are being caught down around Catfish Creek. A good mix of bluegill and shellcracker are still being caught on crickets and red worms, reports Jennings Resort (863-439-3811).

7. At Lake Hatchineha, bass being caught on frog baits over the peppergrass early in the mornings. Flipping jigs, creature baits, and Senkos in the reeds will produce later in the day. Some bluegill are coming in from the lily pads and some specks are being caught deep on jigs tipped with minnow, reports Chuck Metheney at Bridgemaster Fishing Products (863-676-1009).

8 At Lake Toho, bluegill anglers are getting some nice fish off the shell beds around the islands. The northeast and southeast corners of Makinson Island are best. The bass bite is best on topwaters very early in the morning and in the evening after the storms, reports Mark Detweiler at Big Toho Marina (407-846-2124).

9. At Lake Kissimmee, bluegill are still biting good on crickets and red worms in the lily pads around Brahma Island. A few specks are being caught deep while jigging the brush piles and trolling. Bass have been good early on popping frogs and topwaters such as a Devil’s Horse. Later in the day, flipping creature baits, big worms, and jigs in the lily pads is best, reports Chuck Metheney at Bridgemaster Fishing Products (863-676-1009).

10. At Lake Walk-in-the-Water, bluegill are biting crickets and red worms in the lily pads in the southwest corner of the lake. Bass are biting good in the grass and reeds early in the morning on Zoom Horny Toads and Bitters Naked Swimmer plastics, reports Chuck Metheney at Bridgemaster Fishing Products (863-676-1009).

11. At Crooked Lake at Babson Park, a few nice size bluegill have come off the beds off Wirt’s Point. Three bass between six to eight pounds were caught along the north shore this week on 10 inch worms in watermelon red color. Smaller size bass are coming from the south U.S. 27 side during the early morning and late afternoon, reports Cindy Ritchison at Bob’s Landing (863-638-1912).

12. At Frostproof, “Zoom Magnum Lizards in watermelon seed color are a good bait for bass up shallow on Lake Clinch this week,” reports Jim Childress of Big Bass Bait & Tackle (352-207-7520). On Lake Reedy, the live shiner bite is good for bass just off the edges of the grass. The bluegill bite on crickets is good at both lakes near grass with deeper water, Childress said.

13. In the phosphate pits near Mulberry and Bartow, “The bluegill bite is still on fire right now and crickets seem to be the best bait for the bigger fish. Red worms are catching more shellcracker,” reports David Andress of Mulberry Bait Company (863-943-4009). Bass anglers in the pits, are getting fish five to six pounds on Zoom Ol’ Monster Worms in junebug and black grape colors, Andress said.

“May your lines be tight and your shake off’s and break off’s memorable.”

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