Fishing Report from For Shore Fishing.
By Michael Wilson / Ledger correspondent
Speckled Perch—With sustained cold weather and even cooler weather expected, specks will be the best option for Central Florida area anglers.
Strike Zone, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Around Polk County
1. Around Lakeland, at Tenoroc, bass anglers had the best success this past week on lakes Hydrilla, 3, 5, and A. Most of the bass reported were in the 12-16 inch range with one large bass 23-24 inches. Jerk baits and plastic worms were the most productive. Speck fishing was best on lakes Horseshoe, F, and Legs. The best lakes for panfish were Lakes Cemetery, Picnic, Pine, and 5. The best lakes for catfish were Derby, B, and Legs, reports FWC biologist Keaton Fish.
2. At Auburndale, speck fishing has been fair and bass fishing has been slow. “I’m not getting a lot of reports, as not many are out fishing,” reports Ron Schelfo at Ron’s Tackle Box (863-956-4990). There’s plenty of specks being caught in the Lake Alfred area. Lakes Alfred, Haines, and Rochelle have been best, reports Schelfo.
3. At Winter Haven, specks have been the hot bite this week. The canals and areas around the canal mouths have been best. The public dock at Lake Howard has been good too. “After this cold front eases, the bass will be moving onto the beds. Anglers should plan to be on the water next week. Both species should be really active,” reports Ron Schelfo at Ron’s Tackle Box (863-956-4990).
4. At Lake Hamilton, speck fishing has really picked up on Middle Lake Hamilton and Little Lake Hamilton. A couple of good limits were caught this past week. Most anglers were drifting with minnows in open water and along the edges of the grass. “There’s not much to speak of on the bass, reports Mickey Ingram at Hoppy’s Marine (863-439-7616).
5. At Lake Marion near Haines City, “We hosted the West Coast Couples Bass Club on Saturday. It was windy and cold, but a total of 54 bass were caught. Specks are being caught while drifting with minnows for those wishing to brave the weather,” reports Eileen O’ Leary at Bannon’s Fish Camp (863-422-1223).
6. At Lake Pierce, anglers have been doing really good on the specks while fishing the outside edges of the lily pads. Most of the fish are taking minnows, but jigs are producing as well. “The morning bite has been best, but we’ve had a few anglers catching them at night too. As far as the bass, they’re catching a few here and there,” reports Jennings Resort (863-439-3811).
7. At Lake Hatchineha, live shiner fishing is producing bass on the bulrush lines. The speck bite has been okay, but should improve over the weekend after the really cold weather eases. “Drifting minnows will be your best bet, reports Leo Cosce at Camp Lester (863-696-1123).
8. At Lake Toho, specks have been good between Paradise Island and Makinson Island while drifting minnows under a float. Anglers are getting 15-20 fish per outing. Bluegills have been good from the bank on red worms. Bass fishing has been decent while fishing plastic worms on the outside grass clumps, reports Mark Detweiler at Big Toho Marina (407-846-2124).
9. At Lake Kissimmee, speck fishing is good and the fish are in all the usual spots. Drifting minnows around Marker #9 and fishing jigs in the grass and lily pads around Lemon Point has been best. Bass fishing has been good with speed worms and swim baits along the grass lines, reports Chuck Metheney at Bridgemaster Fishing Products (863-676-1009).
10. At Lake Walk-in-the-Water, specks have been good in six to eight feet of water while drifting or trolling with minnows. “I haven’t heard much on the bass fishing,” reports Chuck Metheney at Bridgemaster Fishing Products (863-676-1009).
11. At Crooked Lake at Babson Park, speck fishing at night with minnows has been best and the fish are still pretty deep. Bass fishing has been good as well. “This morning we had an eight pound, 10 ounce fish caught on a live shiner in about 12 feet of water on the edge of the weeds. Over on the U.S. 27 side, lots of male bass between one and three pounds are being caught. Up to 25-50 fish per outing,” reports Cindy Ritchison at Bob’s Landing (863-638-1912).
12. At Frostproof, speck fishing at Lake Arbuckle has been good while drifting or trolling with minnows, jigs, and jigs tipped with minnows. Specks have been really good at Lake Reedy while drifting with red minnows. The bass bite has been good on Lake Reedy with live shiners. Plastic worms, swim baits, and spinner baits are best for artificial anglers. Lake Livingston was also good for bass on live shiners, reports Jim Childress of Big Bass Bait & Tackle (352-207-7520).
13. In the phosphate pits near Mulberry and Bartow, a good amount of specks are being caught in the 10-14 inch range. Minnows and chartreuse/white Hal-Fly jigs tipped with minnows while drifting in open water is best. There’s also some bluegill and shellcracker on red worms. The bass bite was good this past week. “I got a report of an eight pound, 15 ounce bass caught on a hydrilla line in one of the pits,” 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.”