1. Around Lakeland, at Tenoroc, bass anglers had the best success this past week on lakes Butterfly, 3, 5, C, Picnic, and Tern. Most of the bass reported were in the 12-16 inch range. Plastic worms, jerk baits and live shiners were the best baits. Speck fishing was best on Lakes Horseshoe, 2, F, and Legs. The best lakes for panfish were Lakes Cemetery, Fish Hook, and 5. Lakes Derby and Half-moon were best for catfish, reports FWC biologist Keaton Fish.
2 At Auburndale, the speck fishing is still strong on Lake Juliana and shellcracker bite has picked up. Lots of nice bass in the six to seven pound range coming in shallow on lipless crank baits and shiners. “Bass fishing in the Lake Alfred area has picked up tremendously. A nine pound plus bass and two seven pound bass were caught this week on Booyah lipless crank baits,” reports Ron Schelfo at Ron’s Tackle Box (863-956-4990). Lake Rochelle has an excellent shellcracker bite and the specks are good. Some shellcracker also being caught from the dock at Lake Alfred, reports Schelfo.
3 At Winter Haven, bass fishing has been good on the south chain. Lakes Summit and Winterset have the best bite. A few big fish caught, but most in the three to four pound range. Live shiners and Bass Assassin Rail Worms in blueberry color in four to five feet of water are getting the bite. Lake Shipp has a good bite on shellcrackers and bluegills, reports Ron Schelfo at Ron’s Tackle Box (863-956-4990).
4 At Lake Hamilton, speck fishing is still pretty good just outside the grass lines. “They’re getting good stringers of fish on both Lake Hamilton and Middle Lake Hamilton. Bass fishing has been best on Little Lake Hamilton. Good numbers of fish up to six and half pounds coming in from shallower water, reports Mickey Ingram at Hoppy’s Marine (863-439-7616).
5 At Lake Marion near Haines City, “Fishing has been pretty lousy since a week ago Tuesday. The specks seem to be knocking the pads, but they’re not biting anything. A tilapia bow fisherman, reported seeing bass fanning beds, but no big females on them yet,” reports Eileen O’ Leary at Bannon's Fish Camp (863-422-1223).
6 At Lake Pierce, speck fishing while drifting in open water has been good. Jigs and minnows are both producing. A few bass are being caught on plastics. The bass have not moved onto the beds just yet,” reports Jennings Resort (863-439-3811).
7 At Lake Hatchineha, speck fishing is really good in shallow water around the bull rushes and lily pads. “The past week has seen the best speck fishing we’ve had all season,” reports Leo Cosce at Camp Lester (863-696-1123). Warmer water has picked up the bass bite. “They should start spawning between this new moon and the upcoming full moon,” reports Cosce.
8 At Lake Toho, good numbers of specks are still being caught, but there’s no real size to the fish. “Live shiner fishing for bass is getting hotter and hotter. The artificial bite is pretty good too. There’s no real big fish. The biggest I heard caught was four and half pounds. The bass are on the grass edges, preparing to move onto the beds,” reports Mark Detweiler at Big Toho Marina (407-846-2124).
9 At Lake Kissimmee, “The specks are spawning. Everyone is getting their limits on both jigs and minnows. Mats of lily pads around Rabbit Island, Bird Island, Philadelphia Point, and North Cove, are the best areas,” reports Leo Cosce at Camp Lester (863-696-1123). Bass are up shallow in the lily pads and arrow head vegetation. Speed worms, Senkos, and swim baits, are getting the bite and topwater prop baits are good early in the morning, reports Chuck Metheney at Bridgemaster Fishing Products (863-676-1009).
10 At Lake Walk-in-the-Water, speck fishing has been good. Most fish have been caught while drifting with minnows, but a few coming in on jigs such as Beetle Spins. A few bass being caught on swim baits and speed worms in the lily pads and grass, reports Chuck Metheney at Bridgemaster Fishing Products (863-676-1009).
11 At Crooked Lake at Babson Park, speck fishing has been really good at night in open water and the daytime bite is good in the vegetation. Minnows and jigs tipped with minnows are producing good numbers and good size fish. Bass anglers are doing really good trolling or drifting with live shiners. Soft plastic swim baits and creature baits are also good too. The bass are moving up shallow into the grass, reports Jim Childress of Big Bass Bait & Tackle (352-207-7520).
12 At Frostproof, speck fishing on Lake Clinch has been good in shallow water in the lily pads. Big fish up to 16 inches are being caught on minnows, but some on jigs too. The bass bite on live shiners, swim baits, and creature baits has been really good up shallow. Good numbers of fish up to six pounds are being caught. At Lake Reedy, speck fishing with minnows is good and fish are being caught from the docks as well. Bass fishing is good up shallow in the grass on shiners and swim baits, reports Jim Childress of Big Bass Bait & Tackle (352-207-7520).
13 In the phosphate pits near Mulberry and Bartow, there’s still good limits of specks in the 10-14 inch range coming in. Large minnows fished in open water, about 20 feet deep has seen the best bite. The bluegill bite has turned on. Anglers are getting 15-20 fish a day on crickets and wigglers fished in the lily pads and grass. The bass bite is good on shiners and trick worms. The fish are staging and just off the beds, reports David Andress of Mulberry Bait Company (863-943-4009).
Compiled By Michael Wilson/Ledger Correspondent