There are a number of good reasons to live in Florida, but if you are an enthusiastic angler the list gets longer. There isn’t another State in the Union that offers the abundance and diversity of World Class angling the Sunshine State has to offer.
Here’s a look at 36 spots, and times, when your odds of success are high.
Largemouths – Lake Okeechobee
The spawn is in full swing on this 780-square-mile lake and that puts a lot of big bass into areas where they’re much easier to find. Savvy anglers move inside the outer weed line and concentrate their efforts at depths of 5 feet or less.
Key areas of the lake are the islands south of Okee-Tantie, Fisheating Bay, Moonshine Bay, Turners Cove, the West Wall and Coot Bay. Areas on the west and northwest shores are normally more productive since they are shielded from strong cold front winds that can stir up waters.
Bedding bass can be sight fished with compact weedless soft plastics. Subtle topwater plugs are very effective in open pockets, while weedless soft plastics can be deadly in peppergrass or lotus pad beds.
The maze of tidal creeks at the mouth of the Suwannee River holds good numbers of seatrout. Focus on the deeper holes with jigs and sinking plugs.Some of the biggest bass of the year spawn on the Orange Creek flats in Rodman Reservoir. Flipping shallow matted cover takes many that aren’t actually on their beds.
Largemouths – Lake Kissimmee
This month normally sees the first spawn of the year on Kissimmee, but just what depth and cover the fish use depends on current weather.
Early in the month start your search on the inside edge of the maidencane line. Top areas to check are where lotus pads abut the inside edge of a maindencane point. Weedless soft plastics are a top choice in June bug, black and blue or watermelon red.
As the month progresses the bass move shoreward to spawn. One of their favorite bedding covers is arrowhead in 2 to 3 feet of water.
Monster amberjacks are gathered on the “Hump” 12 miles off of Islamorada. Fifty to 80-pound tackle, combined with a 1- to 5-pound bonito as bait is the ticket.
Largemouths are spawning around the mouths of the springs along the west shore of Lake George. Probe the inside edge of the eelgrass with soft plastics or subtle topwater plugs.
Striped Bass – Lake Talquin
Not many anglers get the opportunity to catch a 15- to 20-pound fish on their bass gear. But they can this month, if they target striped bass on Lake Talquin.
Stripers roam the length of the lake but most are within two miles of the dam this month. Top lures are chrome countdown crankbaits and 4- to 5-inch swimming tail grubs on a 1/4- to 1/2-ounce jighead.
The rock face of the dam is an excellent place to start, especially during water releases. This area also has numerous submerged points extending from the shoreline to a 15-foot drop-off, all of which attract linesides.
The largemouth spawn is in full force this month on Lake Tohopekaliga. Start your search on the inside edge of the main lake hydrilla beds in 3 to 4 feet of water.
Trophy class bonefish are active on the flats in south Biscayne Bay. They are in schools on the deeper edge of the turtle grass flats, eating shrimp.
Largemouths – Orange Lake
During the last couple of years this Gainesville area lake has regained its reputation as a top trophy bass water. Fish of up to 14 pounds have been taken recently and April is a great month to score.
Look for bass to be finishing up their spawn and moving back to offshore cover. Top targets are any large offshore hydrilla beds spanning 3- to 8-foot depths. Most bass are on the shallow edge.
Countdown crankbaits, hard plastic jerkbaits, or spinnerbaits take many fish from the hydrilla edges.
When the sun hits its midday peak, begin flipping any patches of surfaced hydrilla. Any one of them can hold a 10-pound-plus bass.
Snook are leaving the rivers and migrating back to the waters of Port Charlotte Harbor. Look for them on points and man-made structure near river mouths.
Outsized cobia are cruising the bars off the beaches at Destin. Sight fish from the breakers to 25-foot depths and feed them live baitfish.
Seatrout – St. Augustine
If you have your sights set on a 5-pound “gator” trout, there are few places better than the Intracoastal Waterway near the St. Augustine Inlet in May. Mullet and pogies flooding through the inlet draw in big trout from the ocean.
The top areas are within 3 miles of the inlet, including the Salt Run. Within this area look for Spartina grass banks with a quick drop off to deeper water. The upper end of the rising tide early in the day is the proper time.
Have three rods ready. One should have an aggressive topwater plug like a Zara Spook. The second should have a hard plastic jerkbait like a Bomber Long A. Finally, rig a 4- or 5-inch swimming grub on a jighead.
Largemouths in Lake Talquin have finished their spawn and are stacked up on the main-lake points leading from the creek arms to the main channel.
“Fun-sized” tarpon of 5 to 30 pounds are leaving the Sebastian River for the Indian River. Concentrate around the river junction to find them.
King Mackerel – Sebastian Inlet
Kings migrate northward along the Atlantic coast during the summer, running close to the beaches. In June, you can expect to find them along
the shore just outside Sebastian Inlet, where even small boats can access he fishing.
Look for kings in 30 to 45 feet of water, which is close to the inlet. Find clear water with a temperature of at least 76 degrees. That’s the place to troll for the mackerel.
The top baits are live mullet in the 5- to 7-inch range, or pogies of 4 to 6 inches. You need a wire leader for this action.
The trolling speed should be slow enough to let the baits swim instead of being dragged. Find the right speed, and kings up to 30 pounds can be caught in June.
Trophy class permit cruise the ocean side flats in the Middle Keys this month. The last half of the rising tide is best.
Big seatrout are eating topwater baits along mangrove shorelines during the early morning in the Fort Pierce area. Mangroves in on sharp drops on the eastern side are top areas to try.
Pages: 1 2