Fish of the Week
Largemouth Bass — Summertime patterns have set in, but anglers are still getting good numbers of bass, along with a few trophy size in the mix.
Strike Zone, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Around Polk County
1 Around Lakeland, at Saddle Creek, bass are biting around the park on ribbontail and trick worms on the deeper rock piles. Shiners are also producing along the tree lines. Bluegill and shellcracker are biting along the banks on crickets and red worms. Around town, Lake Parker is producing good numbers bass on spinnerbaits and Rat-L-Traps in the hydrilla, but the big bass are biting creature baits in the cattails. Bluegill and shellcracker are biting in the pads on worms and crickets. Lake Bonny is producing bass early on frog baits along the banks and in the canals. Flipping Senkos in the Kissimmee grass is also producing some good size bass there. Lake Hollingsworth still has a good speck bite on minnows in the deep holes, reports Kyle Stafford at Phillips Bait and Tackle (863-666-2248).
2 At Auburndale, Lake Ariana is producing bass along the edges of the grass around 6 to 8 feet deep on plastic worms and Rat-L-Traps. Lake Juliana is good for bass using Carolina rigged worms on the deeper brush piles, reports Stafford. Around Lake Alfred, lakes Haines and Rochelle are good for bass, shellcracker and bluegill. Red worms, crickets and Shelton’s Jigs are all good for the panfish. Lake Alfred is producing a good variety of bass as far as size, with a few fish pushing 7 pounds, reports Ron Schelfo at Ron’s Tackle Box (863-956-4990).
3 At Winter Haven, offshore hydrilla and eel grass at Lake Lulu is producing a good bass bite on 10-inch worms and 1/2oz. Rat-L-Traps. Lake May has a good bass bite at first light on Spro Popping Frogs. The mouths of the canals around the south chain are also producing bass on popping frogs. The live shiner bite is slowing with the hot weather, reports Capt. Jackson Williams of Action Bass Guide Service (863-326-3232). Lake Summit and Winterset continue to have a good bass bite again this week. Good numbers of catfish are biting at Lake Blue, reports Schelfo.
4 At Lake Hamilton, the bass bite is good on the middle and little lake while slowly working worms along the outside edges. Red shad or black grape with green glitter have been the best colors. Bluegill are biting at both lakes on grass shrimp and red worms on the shell bars, along with the pads and in the scattered grass, reports Mickey Ingram at Hoppy’s Marine (863-439-7616).
5 At Lake Marion near Haines City, “if you know where the hydrilla is, you’ll catch bass.” Some bass are also biting around the running water that’s starting to flow more at the creek. Bluegill are biting crickets around the pads on the east side, the north end and around Bannon Island, reports Ingram.
6 At Lake Pierce, the bass bite is good on the outside edges of the grass. One angler had three good size fish on Tuesday morning. Both plastic worms and crankbaits are producing early. Bluegill and a few shellcracker are biting in the pads scattered around the lake, reports Jennings Resort (863-439-3811).
7 At Lake Hatchineha, the water level on the lake is extremely low and navigation is nearly impossible, reports Charlie Wynperle at Bridgemaster Fishing Products (863-676-1009).
8 At Lake Toho, offshore hydrilla at the south end of the lake is still producing a good bass bite on chatterbaits and Zara Spooks. The shell bar off Lanier Point is also producing good numbers of bass. “Flipping the outside Kissimmee grass lines is not producing many strikes, but the bites you get will be big.” Bluegill are biting in the Kissimmee grass around Browns point, reports Grady Johnson (407-205-6719).
9 At Lake Kissimmee, bluegill and shellcracker are biting in the pads at Lemon Point and at the mouth of the river. Bass are biting black color Zoom Horny Toads in the pads at Ox Island at first light. “Bass are starting to load up on the outside grass lines. Put a skirt on a black and blue color Senko, rigged with a ½ oz. weight and hold on,” reports Wynperle.
10 At Lake Walk-in-the-Water, anglers are catching shellcracker and bluegill on red worms in the canals leading into Indian Lake Estates. Bass are active early and late along the shorelines and topwaters are producing a few fish. During the middle of the day, throw a Zoom Ol Monster worm in junebug color on the brush piles for good action, reports Wynperle.
11 At Crooked Lake at Babson Park, the bass bite is decent and the largest fish was 6 pounds this week. The bigger bass are biting deep diving crankbaits at the north end in water around 15 to 20 feet deep. Topwaters are producing smaller bass on the outer weed edges at first light. The shellcracker bite is decent along the shore across from Wirt’s point and in the canals. The area around Wirt’s Point and to the north is producing decent numbers of bluegill on crickets. The tilapia bow anglers are still getting good numbers at night, reports Cindy Ritchison at Bob’s Landing (863-638-1912).
12 At Frostproof, Lake Clinch is good for bass on Zoom Horny Toad frogs in the grass and topwaters along the edges of the grass at first light. As the sun gets higher, squarebill crankbaits along the edges of the grass will produce. Drifting shiners along the west bank is also producing. Bass are also biting there on Carolina rigged worms on the deep brush piles around 25 to 30 feet deep. Bluegill, with a few shellcracker in the mix, are biting red worms and crickets in about 8 foot of water. Bass are biting at Lake Reedy, much the same as Clinch. Reedy is also producing bluegill in about 6 feet of water on redworms and crickets. Lake Arbuckle is producing both bluegill and bass in the pads, but anglers should note the water level is very low, reports Jim Childress of Big Bass Bait & Tackle (352-207-7520).
13 In the phosphate pits near Mulberry, classic topwaters such as a Smithwick Devils Horse in chrome and black back color are getting the bass bite for the first couple of hours of light along the banks with hydrilla. More recent releases, such as a River2Sea Whopper Plopper, are also getting the bite. As the sun gets higher, move out to the rocky bars and island points in 10 to 12 feet of water and switch to deep diving crankbaits such as a Bomber 7A in firetiger color. Big plastic worms in watermelon or junebug red color will also produce, reports Danny Hamm of Bull Bay Tackle Company. (863-937-3292).
Compiled By: Michael Wilson / Ledger Correspondent