Fishing Report from For Shore Fishing.
By Michael Wilson / Ledger correspondent
Largemouth Bass—The bass bite has been steady around Polk County. There’s not many big fish being reported, but schooling bass in the 3-4lb range remain a steady bite. Live bait in the mornings producing best with anglers switching to artificials as the day progresses.
Strike Zone, 1-4, 6-9, 12-13
- (1) Around Lakeland, at Tenoroc the best bass bite was on lakes 3, B, C, and Legs. Most of the bass reported were 12 ti 18-inches. This week there was one large bass between 23-24 inches. Anglers are having the most success fishing with crank baits in deep water. For the specks, Lake B and Picnic Lake provided the best catch. The best panfish bite was in lakes Derby, 5, B, Legs, and Picnic, reports FWC biologist Keaton Fish.
- (2) At Auburndale, lakes Ariana and Haines are real good for shellcracker and bluegills right now. Red worms will be your best bet. Also some schooling bass, though most are 3-4 pounds. Lipless crank baits such as the Booya in royal shad color and Bass Assassin split tails have seen the best bite. Lake Rochelle has seen a real good bite on big shellcracker and bluegill with some anglers getting limits. There’s a lot of schooling bass at Lake Alfred, reports Ron Schelfo at Ron’s Tackle Box (863-956-4990).
- (3) At Winter Haven, on the South Chain, lakes Shipp and Howard are real good for panfish. The mouth of the canals are seeing nice panfish action. Some catfish as well near running water when the rains come in. A few nice bass 4-5 pounds, but no real big fish coming in, reports Schelfo.
- (4) At Lake Hamilton, small bass in the mornings along the outside edges. Flipping the reeds with Senkos, Medlock jigs and creature baits should produce fish. The shellcracker bite has been decent in the morning on worms and the bluegill bite about the same on worms and crickets along the grass lines and around the lily pads.
- (5) At Lake Marion near Haines City, the bluegill are biting on grass shrimp but getting more finicky. One angler came in with 20; another had at least 40. Anglers are having to search for the fish, reports Eileen O’ Leary at Bannon’s Camp (863-422-1223).
- (6) At Lake Pierce, bass have been good, but the fish are small. The best bite has been around the fish attractors on plastic worms. Some specks at night with most anglers boating 15-20 fish. The shellcracker are caught early with 8-10 fish per morning. The specks are caught on minnows and the shellcracker on live worms, reports Mike McKee of Jennings Resort (863-439-3811).
- (7) At Lake Hatchineha, bass are still very good, with heavy stringers coming from the outside edges. The grass lines are producing a lot of bluegill on crickets and worms. Grassy Island and the “school bus” area have been good for the panfish. Look to areas where they are feeding on the blind mosquitos. A few bass coming out of Lake Cypress early in the morning. At Hatchineha, the fish are running on the small side. Most of the bluegill are coming from the shell bars in open water. The area around Marker 11 and the mouth of the Cypress Canal are good for bluegill and catfish, reports Leo Cosce at Camp Lester (863-696-1123).
- (8) At Lake Toho, bass are good from first light until about 9:30 a.m. Live shiners are best and if you run out of live bait, switch to plastic worms or Senkos. Most anglers averaging 7-12 fish, 3 ½ to 4 pounds. Evening and night bass anglers are seeing a good bite on scattered hydrilla on plastic worms early in the evening and then buzz baits and stick baits such as a Devil’s Horse later into the evening. Bluegill and panfish have been decent on red worms. It’s been real hot, but you can catch 5-6 fish on a box of red worms. It’s been real slow on the specks, reports Mark Detweiler at Big Toho Marina (407-846-2124).
- (9) At Lake Kissimmee, the best bass bite is while frog fishing in the mornings and with little topwaters. Also flipping the outside grass. Shell bars and brush piles while using big 10-inch worms or Strike King crank baits in natural shad and bluegill color are producing bass as well, reports Chuck Metheny at Bridgemaster Fishing Products (863-676-1009).
- (10) At Lake Walk-in- the-Water, your best bite will be bluegill around the lily pads on live bait. It’s been kind of slow, reports Chuck Metheny at Bridgemaster Fishing Products (863-676-1009).
- (11) At Crooked Lake at Babson Park, the bass have been kind of slow this past week, with a 3-pounder the biggest coming in. Late afternoon has seen a better bite than the mornings. Specks are good at night in deep water (25-30 feet). There are no limits, but 12-25 fish per boat are coming in. Bluegill have been good on red worms and crickets during late afternoon on structure such as docks and brush piles. But there’s no real numbers on them, reports Cindy Ritchison at Bob’s Landing (863-638-1912).
- (12) At Frostproof, the water level of Lake Reedy is back to what it was before the drought. The grass lines have been real good for bass on a white spinner bait with gold blades, and a frog will produce around the brush piles as well. The fish are stacking up pretty good on those brush piles if you know where they are. Most of the fish have been small. Right now most of the lake has grass lines with 3-4 feet of water, but one section has grass lines with water about 7 feet deep. Anglers are hammering the fish while flipping around that deep grass line, reports Gregg Watts of Eagle Lake.
- (13) In the phosphate pits near Mulberry and Bartow, right now it’s real slow because of the hot weather. The bass anglers are doing good, but no monsters this past week. Areas with water running in are the best spots to look for. Senkos with no weight will be your best presentation, reports Dale Bailey at DB’s Bait and Tackle in Bartow (863-533-0624).