Lake Okeechobee locally referred to as The Lake or The Big O, is the largest freshwater lake in the state of Florida. It is the seventh largest freshwater lake in United States  and the second largest freshwater lake contained entirely within the lower 48 states. Okeechobee covers 730 square miles (1,890 km˛), approximately half the size of the state of Rhode Island, and is exceptionally shallow for a lake of its size, with an average depth of only 9 feet (3 m). The most common fish in this lake are largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill. Pickerel have been less commonly caught.
Plenty of largemouth bass are still available in Lake Okeechobee. The bass are eating spinner baits and flukes in the areas of Ritta Island and the East Wall. … Speckled perch continue to bite well during the day and at night. Look for the specks in the cuts in the Rim Canal, around Tree Island and in the Dynamite Holes. … Best baits for the specks have been live minnows and jigs.
The recent cold spell shut the bass fishing down but the speckled perch continue to bite. Work the Kissimmee grass lines and the mouth of the River with jigs and live minnows for the best action from the speckled perch.
Bass fishing has been excellent since the water warmed, but with a strong cold front headed this way, fishing should get a lot tougher, with flipping the best way to catch lethargic bass. Speckled perch were biting at the mouth of the Kissimmee River.
High water and warmer water temperatures than normal, largemouth bass are scattered along the outer grass edges and along the inside marsh areas. Best baits have been swim baits, senkos, plastic worms, spinner baits and top water lures.
The lake will be crowded Friday and Saturday with anglers competing in the EverStart Series Southeast Division bass tournament out of Okeechobee. If you can find clean water around reeds with no one fishing it, use a soft-plastic swimbait or jerkbait.
The best time to get out on the lake is early in the day. Water temperatures climb quickly and the bass are feeding better when the water is cooler. Also, the unpredictable nature of the afternoon thunderstorms make it dangerous to be on the water as lightning chances increase with the rising temperatures. Shellcracker fishing has been good around King's Bar along the shoals.
This is the year of the big bass on Lake Okeechobee, where big bass are being caught on a daily basis. There aren’t a lot of 10-12 pounders, but 4-8 pound fish are all over the place as was evident in the Bassmaster Elite Series event held on the big lake this past weekend.
Captain Michael Shellen of Shellen Guide Service out of Buckhead Ridge on Lake Okeechobee reported warm water and a 13-foot lake level is producing big largemouth bass. Pitching flukes and 10-inch worms into heavy cover and working spinner baits over that cover is getting the big fish strikes. Shell cracker fishing is picking up with the fish being found along the outside edges of the cover and along the edges of boat trails. Best baits for the shell crackers have been grass shrimp, red worms and crickets.
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