1 Around Lakeland, at Tenoroc, bass fishing was best this past week on lakes Cemetery, Derby, Half-Moon, Horseshoe, 2, 3, 5, A, B, Legs, Lost Lake East, Shop and Tern. Lakes Coronet, 4 and C also had high catch rates. This past week 44 large bass over 19 inches were reported. Five of the largest bass measured close to 24 inches. Speck fishing was best at lakes 3, 4, Legs and Picnic. The best lakes for panfish were Derby, Fishhook, 5, B, Legs, Picnic and Pine. The catfish bite was best at lakes Cemetery, Derby, Legs, Picnic and Pine, reports FWC biologist Paolo Pecora. At Saddle Creek, good size bluegill are biting crickets and red worms along the banks. Lake Crago has a good bass bite offshore in deeper water on deep diving crankbaits and plastic worms, reports Phillips Bait and Tackle (863-666-2248).?
2 At Auburndale, Lake Juliana has been good for bluegill and shellcracker along the edges of the grass. A few small bass are biting there, but nothing big though. Ariana is producing good numbers of schooling bass on silver and blue back Rat-L-Traps. Around Lake Alfred, Lake Swoope is producing bluegill from the dock. Lake Alfred is also producing good size bluegill from the public pier. Both lakes are good for 3 to 4-pound bass. Lakes Haines and Rochelle are decent for bluegill and shellcracker, reports Ron Schelfo at Ron’s Tackle Box?(863-956-4990).
3 At Winter Haven, the canals around the south chain are producing shellcracker and bluegill. The canal between lakes Cannon and Hartridge has been producing bass and panfish along the whole canal. Lake Shipp is producing small bass, bluegill and catfish from shore, reports Schelfo. Water levels on the south chain are a foot lower than normal. The water temps are getting warm and most of the bass are offshore. Deeper shorelines are also producing a few. Carolina rigged worms, crankbaits and swimbaits have been more productive. Shad or chartreuse crankbaits and junebug or watermelon plastics are the best colors. Shell beds, brush piles and ledges should all produce. Bluegill are up shallow spawning around the pads and reeds. The shellcracker are done spawning and have moved back offshore, report Capt. Monte Goodman of Central Florida Bucketmouths (863-661-7226.)
Fish of the Week?
Bluegill: Good numbers of bluegill have been caught in most spots around the area this week. Good size fish and a few limits have been reported.?
Strike Zone: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12,?
4 At Lake Hamilton, the bluegill bite is on and nice stringers of fish are coming in. High temperatures have moved the bass out to deeper water, reports Mickey Ingram at Hoppy’s Marine (863-439-7616).
5 At Lake Marion near Haines City, bass are biting around the creek and in areas with moving water. Deeper water is also producing bass. Good numbers of bluegill are biting around the pads, reports Ingram.
6 At Lake Pierce, bass are biting early along the grass lines. Anglers are catching 20 to 25 bluegill a trip in the pads down by the old hotel. A few shellcracker are biting, but not many, reports Jennings Resort (863-439-3811).
7 At Lake Hatchineha, a few specks are biting at night on minnows in the canals. Some bluegill remain in the pads on the west side of the lake. Bass anglers should target Gator Cove early in the morning. Speed worms and chatterbaits should produce around scattered hydrilla, reports Charlie Wynperle at Bridgemaster Fishing Products?(863-676-1009).
8 At Lake Toho, the bass bite is good as all the recent rain has the water flowing. Shingle Creek has been producing good numbers of schooling fish. The best baits have been a Carolina rigged worm fished in the current. The topwater bite is good at first light and a Heddon Zara Spook is a good bait. Bluegill and shellcracker are biting on the east side of Paradise Island on red worms. Decent numbers of specks are holding on offshore structure. The south end of the lake by South Port is producing the best numbers. Jigs and minnows trolled over weed edges or brush piles around the 8-foot ledge have been best, reports Capt. Brent Kirkendall of Horizon Fishing (727-505-4340).
9 At Lake Kissimmee, bluegill and a few shellcracker are being caught shallow on red worms at the south end of the lake around Jack’s Slough and the Lone Palm area. Bass are cruising the shallows early. Throw a white color 3/8 oz. buzz bait along the numerous kicker trails. Later on, try flipping a black and blue color Senko with a ? oz. weight rigged with a black and blue skirt, reports Wynperle.
10 At Lake Walk-in-the-Water, big bluegill are still biting in the pads on crickets and red worms. Bass are being caught both early and late, up shallow on topwater frogs and baits such as a Berkley Choppo, reports Wynperle.
11 At Crooked Lake at Babson Park, one angler had three bass in the 6 to 9-pound range and 25 schoolies during one trip this week. Other anglers are also catching good numbers. The north end by the college, Lily Pad Bay and around the canals are producing the best bite. Topwaters are producing early and plenty of schoolies are biting on the U.S. 27 side. The bluegill bite has slowed, but better numbers of shellcracker are biting. The cove off of Wirt’s Point has been best for the panfish, reports Cindy Ritchison?at Bob’s Landing?(863-638-1912).?
12 At Frostproof, Lake Reedy is producing bass early on topwaters around the grass. Shiners are producing around the grass through the day. The bluegill bite is good there on red worms in six feet of water and specks are biting around 8 foot while drifting minnows. Lake Clinch is producing bass on shiners during the late afternoon. A mix of bluegill and shellcracker are biting there on red worms on the bottom in about 10 feet of water, reports Jim Childress of Big Bass Bait & Tackle (352-207-7520).
13 In the phosphate pits near Mulberry, bass are biting pretty good on white color ? oz. Strike King Red Eye Shad crankbaits on the hydrilla and cattail points. There’s a shad spawn going on right now, so that’s what the bass on keying on. The crankbaits are producing better numbers, but the larger fish are preferring junebug colored Senkos, rigged weightless and slowly fished around the same points. Steady numbers of panfish are still being caught, with the best numbers coming in around the new and full moon phases.?
Compiled By: Michael Wilson/Ledger Correspondent