2013 Challenge Cup Lake Istokpoga Zone Information

2013 Challenge Cup Lake Istokpoga Zone Information
2013 Challenge Cup Lake Istokpoga Zone Information

Permitted use provided by: MajorLeagueFishing.com

Lake Istokpoga is a 28,000-acre freshwater lake. The oblong-shaped lake is five miles wide by 10 miles long.

Despite its area, it is very shallow, with an average depth of only four feet. Maximum depth is 10 feet. Most of the shoreline is undeveloped and there are two islands, Big and Bumble Bee, in the lake's interior.

Depending on the weather, which is likely to be the determining factor for fishing success, local anglers have ranked the zones (best to worst) 5, 6, 3, 2, 4, 1. The weather, particularly the wind speed and direction, will change that ranking for any particular day. Of the six zones, all include very favorable bass habitat in which anglers have come up with quality fish. Over the last few years, hot spots on the lake have moved around a lot, depending upon the season and the state of the lake's vegetation.


The lake is very shallow, and when there's wind, it can get rough and hard to fish, very fast. It's not unusual when the winds are high to have the motor skeg touch the sandy bottom while riding up and down the high waves, especially on the west side of the lake, south of Henderson's Point.


The other obstacle is hydrilla, which can block water intakes and cause a motor to overheat. The state keeps a hydrilla control plan, so the actual location of hydrilla varies significantly from year to year and from one season to another.

Because Lake Istokpoga is at the base of the Lake Wales Ridge, hydrostatic pressure is created from lakes higher up on the ridge. As a result, there are a lot of seeps and freshwater springs in and around the lake, which create local areas of cooler or warmer water. These are invisible to the angler, but the consequence is that fish may be stacked up in one location, while 20 to 30 feet away there are few, if any, bass, although both spots may be a part of the same habitat and appear identical to anglers.

Zone 5 is difficult to fish when the wind is out of the northeast. The west shoreline of Zone 5 offers great fishing.

The majority of tournaments on Lake Istokpoga are won and the largest fish are taken by anglers who flip into bulrush habitat, or who fish through breaks in the hydrilla. Zone 5 is known as the "West Wall" and when the weather is good, fishermen patrol along the edge of the bulrushes, flipping them to catch big bass. When the lake is rough, this is a difficult technique, but anglers have learned they can go into the lagoons behind the bulrushes, fish in one to two feet of water and find big fish.



Zone 1: 7.3 miles primary shoreline, 0.9 miles island shoreline, 5,498 acres



Zone 2: 4.2 miles primary shoreline, 2.5 miles island shoreline, 2,822 acres



Zone 3: 3.3 miles primary shoreline, 3.9 miles island shoreline, 3,061 acres




Zone 4: 6.6 miles primary shoreline, 2.5 miles island shoreline, 4,211 acres



Zone 5: 3.7 miles primary shoreline, 3.1 miles island shoreline, 3,784 acres



Zone 6: 8.4 miles primary shoreline, 0.9 miles island shoreline, 5,836 acres


Jack Link's Major League Fishing Show Page

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

13 Fishing Inception SZ

13 Fishing Inception SZ

Florida angling pro Jessie Mizell knows that the saltwater found in Sunshine State coastal fisheries can wreak havoc on even the best fishing gear. But with 13 Fishing's new feature laden Inception SZ saltwater baitcasting reel, tackling inshore and light tackle saltwater game fish just got a whole lot easier!

MLF Pro Tips: Go-To Baits for the Spawn

MLF Pro Tips: Go-To Baits for the Spawn

Major League Fishing pros talk about the first lure they choose when targeting spawning bass.

MLF Pro Tips: How to Fish a New Lake

MLF Pro Tips: How to Fish a New Lake

Major League Fishing pros Alton Jones, Jeff Sprague, Anthony Gagliardi and James Watson share their thoughts on how to approach fishing a new lake for bass.

New Spinning Reel for Finesse Fishermen

New Spinning Reel for Finesse Fishermen

As Pure Fishing's Andrew Upshaw explains, reel making giant Abu Garcia has done it again at ICAST 2019 with a new spinning reel geared towards finesse fishermen.

Trending Articles

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the biggest pike come from Europe. Records

Top 10 Biggest Pike World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - August 19, 2015

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the...

 A 7 pound giant taken on a jig during the pre-spawn transistion in the Midwest.

Although the art Bass

4 Tips When Jig Fishing For Bass

Chris Schneider - August 25, 2015

A 7 pound giant taken on a jig during the pre-spawn transistion in the Midwest. Although...

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range Ammo

10 Best Long-Range Cartridges Ever Made

David Hart - January 14, 2015

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some great bass pond fishing. Bass

Bass Pond Fishing: Catch Lunkers at Small Lakes Near You

Dan Anderson

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some...

See More Trending Articles

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.