Speck fishing resumes as cooler weather slows bass bite
1 Around Lakeland, bass fishing was best at Tenoroc on Derby, Hydrilla, Legs, Lost Lake West, A and C. Last week 24 large bass over 19 inches were reported, four of which were nearly 23 inches tall . Horseshoe, Hydrilla, Legs and 5 lakes had the best speck bite. Panfish action was better in Derby and 5 lakes. Catfish bite was better in Derby and Legs lakes, reports FWC biologist Paolo Pecora. At Saddle Creek the bass bite is decent, a 5 pound was caught on a minnow this week. Good numbers of bluegill and a few spots bite along the banks. Some tilapia are also caught on red worms. Around town, Gibson, Hollingsworth and Parker lakes all produce a good number of spots on minnows. Hollingsworth and Parker also produce bass while flipping creature bait into cattails, reports Kyle Stafford at Phillips Bait and Tackle (863-666-2248).
Fish of the week
Spotted perch: Cooler weather slowed the bass bite but resumed speck fishing on most of the area’s lakes this week.
Hit zone, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Around Polk County
2 In Auburndale, Lakes Juliana and Mattie have a good point bite on minnows, Stafford reports. Lake Ariana is great for spotting, mainly at night when it drifts or is anchored with minnows. Haines and Rochelle lakes produce good size spot boundaries. Rochelle produces 5- to 6-pound basses, mostly on minnows, reports Ron Schelfo of Ron’s Tackle Box (863-956-4990).
3 In Winter Haven, Hartridge Lake produces quite a few spots on minnows, Stafford reports. Howard Lake is good for night spots on minnows. The mouths of the canals produce spots and small bass, Schelfo reports.
4 At Lake Hamilton, bass fishing has improved mainly on the large lake. The “slow dewormer” of the outer rows of grass, early or mid-morning, produces the best action. The speck sting is intensifying at all three lakes as minnows drifting along the edges of the Kissimmee, eel and peppery grass, reports Micky Ingram of Hoppy’s Marine (863-439-7616).
5 At Lake Marion near Haines City, green hydrilla spots left after spraying produce bass. A few spots sting at night under the lights. A bluegill is biting around Bannon Island, Ingram reports.
6 At Pierce Lake, scattered patches are captured, mostly in the morning, while minnows drift in deeper water about 7 to 8 feet deep. The bass bite has been slow with the fronts passing, reports Jennings Resort (863-439-3811).
7 At Lake Hatchineha, some spots are captured on minnows along the outer grass lines at Candler Point. The basses are scattered around the reed patches. Throw a sunfish-colored swim jig at first, then switch to a black and blue Senko, reports Charlie Wynperle at Bridgemaster Fishing Products (863-676-1009.
8 At Lake Toho, no report is available this week. I am sad to inform our readers that Captain Brent Kirkendall, who recently provided reports for the lake, was tragically killed in a motor vehicle crash the day before Thanksgiving I-4.
9 At Lake Kissimmee, spots bite early on outer grass lines. The bite lasts only about an hour, then moves inside the grass lines. There are no drifting boats yet at Marker 9, but an angler at Camp Mack caught a limit overnight in the river. Bass fishing has been slow with the passage of cold fronts this week. Throw a worm at an isolated blanket or flip the mats for best results, Wynperle reports.
10 At Lake Walk-in-the-Water, bars are “rare”, it is best to cover the water at first light with a vivid leopard colored frog. Then later cast a wacky rigged Senko. Speck fishing resumes at night while drifting minnows under the lights, Wynperle reports.
11 At Crooked Lake in Babson Park, the bass bite was pretty slow, but a 6 pounder was caught over the weekend. Near the limit of good sized points, up to 14-16 inches, break off from Wirt’s Point. Drifting and anchoring with minnows produces both day and night, but the day’s bite begins to produce the night’s bite, Rick Ritchison reports at Bob’s Landing (863-638-1912). Little Crooked Lake produces spots while drifting minnows in 6 to 8 feet of water from the boat launch.
12 At Frostproof, Livingston Lake produces good-sized patch boundaries on minnows. Lake Arbuckle still has lots of jig and minnow spots. Clinch Lake has a good speck bite on deepwater minnows. The bass bite worms and Carolina minnows along the west side. Reedy Lake is good for spots in 8 to 10 feet of water during minnow drift. The bass bite the minnows along the edges of the grass, Childress reports.
13 In the phosphate pits near Mulberry, the bars have left the banks and take center stage in 8 to 12 feet of water. The Senkos and the red-colored junebug or junebug vibe tailworms always produce the best action. The speck bite is right. Decent numbers have been captured, but no limits, reports Danny Hamm of Stones Bait & Tackle (863-940-4898).