Bass fishing has been good for anglers in the Polk County area

Fish of the week

Largemouth Bass – Bass fishing is good for anglers in the Polk County area. No true trophy sized fish have been reported this week, but the biting is constant.

Strike zone1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

Around Polk County

1 Around Lakeland, in Tenoroc, bass fishing was best on Tern, Waterlou, 2, 4, 5, and A lakes. Butterfly, Horseshoe, Legacy, 3, B, and C lakes also had high catch rates. Last week, 18 large bass over 19 inches were reported. Four basses were over 22 inches tall, with the largest measuring 23 to 24 inches. The best speck bite was at Lake Cemetery and 4. The panfish bite was best at Cemetery, Picnic, Pine, 5, and B lakes. Catfish were best at Pine and B lakes, reports FWC biologist Paolo Pecora. At Saddle Creek, the bass bite is felt early around the islands on surface waters and spinnerbaits. A few bass bite deep on crafty worms worked on the rock piles. A good number of bluegills and tilapias sting the shores of red worms and wigglers. Decent sized catfish bite chicken liver in the park. Around town, Lake Parker produces a good number of bass on chatterbaits and Rat-L-Traps in hydrilla. Trophy-sized bass can be obtained by flipping Senkos and creature bait into the cattails. Lake Gibson produces schoolie bass around the docks on lipless lures and spinnerbaits. Lake Bonny is producing while returning to Kissimmee grass, Kyle Stafford of Phillips Bait and Tackle (863-666-2248) reports.

2 In Auburndale, Lake Ariana produces bass on Rat-L-Traps around peppery. Juliana produces bass on plastic worms in shallow grass and pads, reports Stafford. Lake Ariana produces bass up to 5 pounds on lipless lures and live minnows, reports Ron Schelfo at Ron’s Tackle Box (863-956-4990). Around Lake Alfred, Haines, Rochelle and Alfred lakes produce good numbers of bluegills on crickets and red worms. All three lakes also produce a lot of schoolie bass on lures and minnows, reports Ron Schelfo at Ron’s Tackle Box (863-956-4990).

Polk County Freshwater Fishing Map

3 At the Winter Shelter, Lake Shipp has good bass bite along the deeper edges of the eel on the chatterbaits and ½ oz. Rat-L-Traps. The grass off Lake Eloise produces bass on large plastic worms and deep sinking baits about 12-14 feet deep. Sunfish anglers work the deep pads for bluegill at Lake Lulu, reports Capt. Jackson Williams of Action Bass Guide Service (863-326-3232). Running water around the mouths of the canals keeps catfish anglers busy, Schelfo reports.

4 At Lake Hamilton, bass bite is best in the early morning and late afternoon along outdoor grass lines. The offshore structure also produces some fish. Plastic worms and swimbaits produce the best results. If you can locate shell beds, Rat-L-Traps will also produce bass. The bluegill bite is slow, only a few bluegills have been caught, reports Matt Ingram Hoppy’s Marine (863-439-7616).

5 At Lake Marion near Haines City, the few hydrilla scattered around the lake produce the best number of bass. Moving water around the mouth of Marion Creek is producing a few bass as well as bluegill, Ingram reports.

6 At Pierce Lake, a good mix of bluegills and clams, with some close limits, are caught in the pads off Trout Point. A few bass bite early along grass lines on a variety of artificial baits, reports Jennings Resort (863-439-3811).

7 At Lake Hatchineha, the water level of the lake has finally risen. Bass sails early on the outer reed tips. Launch a popping black frog for the best action. Then later throw a Senko further into the grass for a strike. Bluegills are caught in the pads at marker 10 and in the shell bar off Candler Point, reports Charlie Wynperle of Bridgemaster Fishing Products (863-676-1009).

8 At Lake Toho, Shingle Creek still has a fair amount of running water and is producing a good number of bass at this time. Crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps produce bars in front of Lake Toho RV Resort. Pad fields near power lines can produce big bass on Zoom Flukes. Bluegill sting around Lanier Point, reports Grady Johnson (407-205-6719).

9 At Lake Kissimmee, the bass “explode” the shad in the grass, in the morning at the southern end of Grassy Island. Throw a white swim jig for the best action. Later today, break out the flipping stick and work a Gambler Flappy Daddy craw worm in black and blue. Bluegill and a mix of shellcracker are caught in pads at Lemon Point and Gobbler Ridge, Wynperle reports.

10 Lakeside Walk-in-the-Water, bass bite off on brush piles. Launch a junebug-colored Zoom Ol’ Monster worm for the best action. Bluegills are caught in the channels on crickets, reports Wynperle.

11 Crooked Lake at Babson Park, crappie fishermen offering shells in front of Wirt’s Point. There is no real size or limits, maybe ten fish per trip. Bass fishermen are seeing a good number of school children along both shores this week. Senkos, swimbaits, frogs, the whole tackle box produces, but there are no big fish. A few points bite during the day while drifting jigs in deeper water around 25 feet. Bow tilapia fishermen always get good-sized fish at night, reports Cindy Ritchison at Bob’s Landing (863-638-1912). Bass up to 6 pounds bite live minnows at the southern end. Bluegill sunfish sting red worms on the bottom around Wirt’s Point, reports Jim Childress of Big Bass Bait & Tackle (352-207-7520).

12 frost proof, Lake Clinch had a good bite of bass all week around the brush piles on deep dive lures and Carolina rigged worms. Surface waters and white spinnerbaits produce early on the edges of the grass. A few dots bite into it in the morning dragging minnows into deeper water. Bluegills sting red worms on the bottom. Lake Reedy produces bass in the pads at the start of the surface waters and spinnerbaits along the edges of the pads. Some bluegills sting red worms on the bottom. A few points bite by drifting minnows 7-8 feet deep. Lake Arbuckle produces bluegill on the crickets and red worms around the edges of the pads. Bass here is good on big plastic worms on the edges of the pads, reports Childress.

13 In the phosphates near Mulberry, surface bite is slow and bass stay in cooler water. Half-ounce lipless crankbaits like a Booyah One Knocker or a chrome Rat-L-Trap with a black back occur around rocky points and sandbars. Red-colored Junebug worms also produce in water from 4 feet deep to about 12 feet along hydrilla lines, reports Danny Hamm of Bull Bay Tackle Company. (863-937-3292).

Compiled by: Michael Wilson / Ledger Correspondent

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