Fish of the Week
Largemouth Bass — The bass bite is good for Polk County area anglers. Good numbers and trophy size fish have been caught this week.
Strike Zone, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Around Polk County
1 Around Lakeland, at Tenoroc, bass fishing was best on lakes Long, Tern, Waterlou, 2, 3, 5 and F. Lakes Butterfly, Cemetery Fish Hook, Horseshoe, Hydrilla, Lost Lake East and B also had high catch rates. This past week there were 56 large bass over 19 inches reported. A total of 17 bass measured over 22 inches and four of the largest fish measured close to 25 inches. Anglers had the best results for specks on Lake 4. Lakes Derby, Long, Picnic and 5 had the best panfish bite. The catfish bite was best at Lake Derby, reports FWC biologist Paolo Pecora. At Saddle Creek, bass are biting good around the park on Texas rigged speed worms up around the trees. Rocks piles in 10 feet of water are also producing. Bluegill and tilapia are biting on red worms and crickets along the banks. Around town, Lake Parker is producing bluegill and shellcracker in the pads on crickets and grass shrimp. The bass bite is good there while flipping Texas rigged craws and creature baits in the cattails. Some specks are still biting minnows in deep water at Lake Hollingsworth, reports Kyle Stafford at Phillips Bait and Tackle (863-666-2248).
2 At Auburndale, Lake Juliana is producing bass on the deep brush piles on Carolina rigged ribbontail worms. Bass are biting at Lake Ariana around offshore grass on Rat-L-Traps and chatterbaits, reports Stafford. Both lakes Ariana and Juliana are producing schooling bass up to about 5 pounds on lipless crankbaits and shiners. Ariana is also producing some bluegill, reports Ron Schelfo at Ron’s Tackle Box (863-956-4990). Around Lake Alfred, Lake Swoope has a good bass bite. Lakes Alfred, Haines and Rochelle are producing plenty of schoolie size bass up to 5 pounds. Topwater frogs, flukes and shiners are all producing. All three lakes are also producing big bluegill and Rochelle has a good shellcracker bite, reports Schelfo.
3 At Winter Haven, Lake Lulu has been good for bass around offshore grass on Rat-L-Traps, chatterbaits and big worms. Lake Shipp is producing bass on the outside eel grass edges on the same baits, along with speed worms. Shiners are producing good size bass at Lake Winterset, reports Capt. Jackson Williams of Action Bass Guide Service (863-326-3232).
4 At Lake Hamilton, the bass bite is good on all three lakes, but the middle and little lake are producing better numbers. Plastic worms and swimbaits on the shell bars and the outer edges of grass are getting the bite. The little lake is producing the best numbers of bluegill, reports Mickey Ingram at Hoppy’s Marine (863-439-7616).
5 At Lake Marion near Haines City, you have to know where the hydrilla is, if you what to catch bass. The mouth of Marion Creek and the little bit of current inside the creek are producing some schoolie bass. The bluegill bite is good in the pads, but you have to keep moving, reports Ingram.
6 At Lake Pierce, bass fishing has picked up, mostly on plastic worms. Black color with a blue tail has been especially productive. Several regular anglers are catching up to eight fish an outing. There’s a good bluegill bite down by Catfish Creek in the pads on crickets. There’s not much on the shellcracker bite though, reports Jennings Resort (863-439-3811).
7 At Lake Hatchineha, water levels on the lake are still very low, but a few panfish anglers are catching decent numbers of bluegill in the pad fields around Marker 10. A few bass are being caught on frog baits around the outside pads, reports Charlie Wynperle at Bridgemaster Fishing Products (863-676-1009).
8 At Lake Toho, offshore grass and vegetation at the south end of the lake is producing a good bass bite on Zara Spooks. Two 30-pound bags were caught by tournament anglers using Spooks around hydrilla last weekend. A chatterbait in thinner, sparse vegetation will also produce a good bass bite. The outside Kissimmee grass lines are also producing bass with the recent low water levels. Bluegill action is also pretty good in the Kissimmee grass, reports Grady Johnson (407-205-6719).
9 At Lake Kissimmee, the mouth of the river and the “Polluted Waters” area are still producing limits of bluegill and shellcracker. For bass, start out casting a black color Zoom Horny Toad around the pads early in the morning. Then later on, move to the outside grass lines and try flipping a black and blue color Senko, rigged with a skirt, reports Wynperle.
10 At Lake Walk-in-the-Water, fish the marked brush piles with a Zoom Ol’ Monster Worm in junebug color for bass up to 8 pounds. The pads and grass in shallow water, around 1 to 2 feet deep, can be productive for bluegill, reports Wynperle.
11 At Crooked Lake at Babson Park, some big bass were caught, including a 13.8 pounder and a couple pushing 8 pounds this past week. Topwater poppers are producing both early and late in the day. White color plastics are also producing a good bite in the afternoons and evenings. Bow anglers are getting good size tilapia from the grass beds scattered around the lake, reports Rick Ritchison at Bob’s Landing (863-638-1912). Limits of schoolie size bass are biting shiners along the U.S. 27 side. Bluegill are biting red worms on the bottom in 8 feet of water around Wirt’s Point. A few specks are also still biting minnows at 15 to 20 foot around the point, reports Jim Childress of Big Bass Bait & Tackle (352-207-7520).
12 At Frostproof, Lake Clinch has a good bass bite on chatterbaits and shiners along the edges of the grass. Topwater frogs are also producing in the grass at first light. Bluegill and shellcracker are bedding in 8 to 9 feet of water and red worms on the bottom are getting the bite. Lake Reedy is producing bass on shiners and squarebilll crankbaits along the grass edges. Bluegill are biting there at six foot on crickets and red worms. Lake Arbuckle is producing bass on 10-inch worms in the pads. Bluegill are biting there on crickets around the Cypress trees at the south shore and in the pads scattered around the lake, reports Childress.
13 In the phosphate pits near Mulberry, bass are biting topwaters early around hydrilla along the banks. Junebug or watermelon red color plastic worms are also producing early in the morning. Later in the day, crankbaits and 10-inch worms, worked very slowly, are producing around the points, islands and rocky bars, reports Danny Hamm of Bull Bay Tackle Company. (863-937-3292).
Compiled By: Michael Wilson/Ledger Correspondent