Despite cooler weather and winds, the shellcracker bite has really turned on for Central Florida area anglers.

1. Around Lakeland, lots of bluegill on crickets and red worms at Saddlecreek Park this week. An 8-pound bass was caught on a live shiner. There’s also lots of tilapia on crickets or snatch hooks. Out at Tenoroc, speck fishing is good and some big bluegill are being caught. Lake Parker has a good bass bite on ribbon-tail worms and live shiners. Specks are slowing down, but a few nice fish still at Lake Hollingsworth, reports Evan Wieber at Phillips Bait and Tackle (863-666-2248).

 

2. At Auburndale, the weather has slowed things, but fishing is still strong. A few bass being caught on Lake Juliana, but a lot of bowfin mudfish. Lakes Alfred, Haines and Rochelle have a good bass bite on dark soft plastics such as a Bass Assassin Rail Worm. The specks are still biting pretty good. Shellcrackers coming on strong especially in Lake Rochelle with crickets and red worms, reports Ron Schelfo at Ron’s Tackle Box (863-956-4990).

 

3. At Winter Haven, lots of bass coming in on the south chain on a variety of baits such as frogs, topwaters and spinnerbaits. Lakes Howard, Shipp and Canon are best. There’s good shellcracker at Lake Howard, including the public pier and also at Lake Shipp. There’s also been a good catfish bite along the shoreline at the park on Lake Shipp, reports Schelfo.

 

4. At Lake Hamilton, bass fishing is okay, but the weather has slowed things. “There’s been a few speck anglers out on Little Lake Hamilton, but that bite has been slow too. Some shellcracker are being caught, and that bite should be turning on any day now,” reports Mickey Ingram at Hoppy’s Marine (863-439-7616).

 

5. At Lake Marion near Haines City, bass fishing was good during the weekend. Several tourney boats had stringers more than 19 pounds. Cold weather moved the shellcracker out of the lily pads but improved the speck bite. “A few bluegill are starting to nibble and hopefully the shellcracker will turn on this weekend,” reports Eileen O’ Leary at Bannon's Fish Camp (863-422-1223).

 

6. At Lake Pierce, the shellcracker bite has been pretty good in the lily pads. The recent wind and cool weather has slowed the bass bite, but some decent fish are being caught shallow, reports Jennings Resort (863-439-3811).

 

7. At Lake Hatchineha, specks are being caught in the grass on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting on the outside grass lines. Catfish are spawning on the outside grass edges and into the Kissimmee River and the Cypress Canal. Look to hard bottom for bedding shellcracker on the upcoming full moon, reports Lake Hatchineha Resort & RV Park (863-242-0174).

 

8. At Lake Toho, the artificial bite for bass is picking up. Anglers getting 10-15 bass a trip on Senkos and 10 inch worms fished in the grass beds. Live-shiner fishing for bass is still good. Most fish are in the five to six pound range. Bluegill and shellcracker are starting to bite good on crickets and red worms, reports Mark Detweiler at Big Toho Marina (407-846-2124).

 

9. At Lake Kissimmee, bedding bass are hitting black and blue jigs in the lily pads around Bird Island. Bass are also starting to show up in the kicker trails. A Booyah One Knocker in Flashy Momma color will get the bite there. Specks are biting in the lily pads at Philadelphia Point. Shellcracker are being caught on little red wigglers on the north side of Brahma Island, reports Charlie Wynperle at Bridgemaster Fishing Products (863-676-1009).

 

10. At Lake Walk-in-the-Water, “Fish a white and chartreuse spinnerbait in the outside reeds toward the south end of the lake for bass up to 9 pounds,” reports Wynperle. Shellcracker are biting on either side of the creek on red worms.

 

11. At Crooked Lake at Babson Park, bass fishing has been best with plastic worms in Junebug color on the south side along U.S. 27 and in the canals on the northeast side. “Not many panfish anglers have been out because of the weather,” reports Cindy Ritchison at Bob's Landing (863-638-1912).

 

12. At Frostproof, there’s a good bass bite along the outer edges of the grass in about 8 feet water at Lake Clinch. Carolina rigged 10-inch worms in red shad color have been a good. Lake Clinch also has good shellcracker in 20 feet of water or deeper. Shellcracker also pretty good on Lake Reedy. Specks decent on Lake Reedy while trolling or drifting minnows in 10-18 feet, reports Jim Childress of Big Bass Bait & Tackle (352-207-7520).

 

13. In the phosphate pits near Mulberry and Bartow, “When it’s not too windy, there’s a good shellcracker and bluegill bite on crickets. Some diehard speck anglers are still getting some on minnows,” reports David Andress of Mulberry Bait Company (863-943-4009). Bass anglers are picking off fish on the beds with a variety of small baits. They're also catching schoolie bass with lipless crankbaits.