The best live bait is a golden shiner, fished under a float or free-lined. While a number of bass subspecies abound, the most interesting newcomer is the peacock bass. Redbreast sunfish, also known as river bream and redbellies, are the flowing water cousins of bluegill. 27 south of Sebring lays a virtual honey hole for freshwater … Moreover, fisheries conservation laws require some fish to be released based on bag (creel) limits or size restrictions. Cut line, gently pull shank to reverse hook and remove with pliers. Several hot locations are picking up this time of year. Crayfish-imitating crankbaits worked through deep-water bends will attract these hard fighting fish, as will plastic worms, plastic lizards or crayfish. Read more. The design of the plastic lip determines how deep the lure dives, and anglers can adjust their choice of baits based on water depth. Fishing line is cable-like material which is the physical link between you and the fish. Jun 7, 2019 - Explore Keep Florida Fishing's board "Freshwater Fishing", followed by 222 people on Pinterest. Plastic imitations of those baits work well. You can't go on your own but two-hour excursions aboard pontoon boats with a guide are available - and it's all catch and release. I like a peg style oval float, Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp Kahle 3/0 hook, and Florida wild shiners 6-12 inches long. A variety of panfish, or bream as they are popularly known, is available throughout Florida. Do not use stainless steel hooks. Cane poles, fly rods and spin gear can reach across most areas of the canal - just watch out for alligators and water moccasins. Feel free to drop us a comment or share any useful tips that you’ve picked up along the way! Crappie also readily strike artificials; 1/16 oz. License-free saltwater fishing weekend is June 6 and 7, and license-free freshwater fishing weekend is June 13 and 14. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. Redbellies are more common in rivers than bluegill, and often can be found in backwater areas with less flow. Today’s hooks do not rust out. The plastic worm is the most dependable artificial bait for largemouth bass. Stripers do not tolerate water temperatures over 75℉ for long; during Florida summers, striped bass become less active and must find cool water springs or canopied streams to survive. Stripers may weigh up to 60 pounds; use heavy tackle with 3- to 4-oz. Make sure to check us out on social media for even more daily updates! There are hundreds of freshwater fish species found in Florida. Worms come in a variety of colors and scents, and bass may favor certain types depending on light conditions; be sure to have both light and dark colors available, as well as several sizes of tapered worm weights from 1/8 to ounce. Here's a review of lakes, rivers and canals in addition to Lake Okeechobee that are worthy of a visit for freshwater fishing in Florida: Paralleling the Tamiami Trail (US 41) starting just west of Miami to Naples, this canal has been the scene of hand-to-fin combat for three generations. They also pounce on frogs, crickets, worms, grasshoppers and pretty much any fish smaller than itself. Just west of Tallahassee, this stump-strewn lake is the perfect environs for healthy bass. Tipping these jigs with a live minnow makes them even more effective. Small jigs in white or brown are often productive. Any of the above baits fished near a lantern or floodlight can produce nice stringers. Small crayfish or grass shrimp on #4 hooks fished in deep river bends or at the edge of sand bars are effective baits. Many catfish become active just before dusk and at night, and fishing success is best during these times. Lures, like rattletraps, that resemble baitfish also produce impressive strikes, including heavy jigs, as well as sinking and floating lures in white, chrome or chartreuse. The same live baits that work for bluegill will also catch redbreast sunfish. Speck anglers typically use several rods or poles, fishing at different depths until they pinpoint concentrations of fish. Do not use gaffs or knotted nets, and if lifting the fish by the jaw be careful not to bend the lower jaw down. Along the highways and byways of Florida lie canals, lakes, ponds and rivers teeming with a huge variety of freshwater bait-busters. Although spotted sunfish rarely exceed eight inches, this feisty species provides great sport on light tackle. For artificial baits, a 1/8-oz. Most crappie fishing occurs in the cooler months, but anglers who fish into the summer do very well, especially at night. Put a 1/4 oz. Channel catfish are abundant throughout Florida, spawning in holes and crevices in flowing water. If you’ve ever imagined a fishing paradise, chances are you’re probably thinking of … Seldom exceeding a pound, bluegill will nonetheless strike a lure even longer than itself with total malice, causing one to believe a fish twice its actual size is hooked up. Near Immokalee and SR 29, this lake is consistent for good catches. The main difference between freshwater and saltwater rods is that rods made for saltwater are made of corrosion-resistant materials. But you don’t have to be a Florida bass fishing expert to catch tournament-winning fish. Strike quickly when a fish takes your bait or lure to reduce the chance of it swallowing the hook. Spring is the best time of year to catch bass, when fish move into shallow water to spawn. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission encourages anglers to release any fish that they are not going to use. Coastal Angler Magazine and our interior (freshwater) publication, The Angler Magazine, are monthly editions dedicated to fishing, boating, and outdoor enthusiasts. Crappie are also a panfish and, though catchable on most any small lure or bait, represent a favorite target of fly fishers. 27 south of Sebring lays a virtual honey hole for freshwater anglers. Stay ready for a surprise strike and set the hook immediately. White catfish, yellow bullheads and brown bullheads usually range from one to two pounds, and readily spawn in lakes and ponds where they also provide good fishing. Sunshine bass readily concentrate around mechanical feeders that periodically dispense food pellets. Topwater lures are most successful during early morning or late afternoon. Try "flipping," which involves dropping your bait within the length of your rod where you see the water or foliage moving in hopes it's a bass lying there waiting to slurp up your plastic worm. December South Florida fishing consists of largemouth bass and peacock bass. Whether your choice of weapon is the ancient cane pole or a modern graphite fly rod, enjoy the best freshwater fishing resources in the nation in Florida, the "Fishing Capital of the World.". Circle hooks can be especially beneficial. weights in high flow areas. The canals built for hurricane control in Miami hold good quantities of bass, as do many residential ponds. It's not far from Auburndale and close to I-4, but of late it's produced some of the biggest bass in the state, with many 10-pound-plus lunkers reaching boat side. Redear prefer hard bottom, congregating in deeper water than bluegill. The line should be kept fairly tight to feel the strike. In the St. Johns River, the Croaker Hole and the jetties at the south end of Lake George are good fall and spring striper areas, and the first few miles of the Wekiva River have several locations where stripers congregate. A weedless "Texas- or Carolina-rigged" worm is effective for fishing Florida lakes with heavy plant cover. Whether you are releasing fish voluntarily or to comply with the law, knowing how to do so properly will greatly increase the fish's chance for survival. Light spinning tackle is recommended in canals for this open-water fighter. The "whiskers" are loaded with sensory cells that enable catfish to locate their food by smell. A medium to medium-heavy rod with 14- to 20-pound test line is preferred, particularly when fishing in areas with thick vegetation or cover. Unlike most other panfish, crappie spend much of their time offshore, feeding on small fish. Look for hyacinths, hydrillas and other water plants where big bass ambush shiners, bluegills and other scaled groceries. Rigged without sinkers, these worms are jigged rapidly over vegetation, with brief pauses to let the worm sink slowly. Here at FISINGFL.ORG, we live, sleep & breathe Florida fishing. And would you believe there are sturgeons in Florida? By lowering the rod tip and waiting only until the slack is out of the line before setting the hook, anglers greatly lessen the chance of injury to the fish due to deep hooking. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. The way that we catch them in South Florida is with our hands. Striped bass need long stretches of flowing water to reproduce successfully, and these conditions are rarely found in Florida. "beetle spin" with a white or chartreuse body on ultralight tackle is an excellent choice. The redear sunfish, or shellcracker, is another popular panfish. To learn more and for some interesting videos visit: http://bit.ly/FS-BG. Typically an angler will feel the bass "tap" the worm once or twice lightly. Favoring rock outcrops and moving water, Suwannee bass prefer crayfish to many prey items of largemouth. We provide Fishing Reports and Tips for inshore and offshore Anglers. The opinions expressed in the getaway ideas, Floridians' Favorites and readers' comments do not necessarily represent those of VISIT FLORIDA. Bluegill, the most... Striped Bass, White Bass and Sunshine Bass. Although they prefer snails and clams, redear sunfish are caught most often on earthworms around the full moons of March and April when their spawning activity peaks. Wrapping up 2020 | Hello 2021. How do I properly release a freshwater fish? Plan ahead before you remove the fish from the water: have your dehooker, measuring devices and camera ready—remember the fish should not be out of the water longer than you can hold your breath. Report fish kills, wildlife emergencies, sightings, etc. The sunshine bass, a hybrid of striped bass and white bass, is artificially spawned at Commission hatcheries. to 1/8 oz. The spotted sunfish, or stumpknocker, is an often overlooked stream panfish. Yes, you can use saltwater rods for freshwater and vice versa, but just make sure to rinse and dry your rods off after every trip (especially saltwater trips). Butterfly peacocks are caught only during daylight hours, as they do not feed at night. Near Immokalee and SR 29, this lake is consistent for good catches. Sunshine bass are also stocked together with stripers in some river systems, and some of the best fishing is found in the Apalachicola and St. Johns rivers. ** Note: most non-native fish should be harvested and not released, the exceptions are peacock bass and triploid grass carp. Anglers may find 30 - 40 shallow nest holes scooped out in shallow areas. We caught several nice peacock bass, lots of largemouth in the 2 to 3 pound range and the oscars were everywhere and quite an exciting fish to catch. Copyright 1999 - 2021 State of Florida. Learn new methods to back hooks out. Make sure your tackle matches the species you want to catch since the right freshwater fishing gear is critical to attracting the fish you’re after. Our temperate climate and abundant wildlife viewing opportunities make a day on the water about so much more than just fishing itself. Keep the fish out of the water for as short a time as possible—no longer than you can hold your breath. A weedless "Texas- or Carolina-rigged" worm is effective for fishing Florida lakes with heavy plant cover. beetle spins pitched close to the shoreline can be deadly, particularly tipped with freshwater clam meat. Getting in the outdoors is a must and freshwater fishing is a great option, which will be highlighted in this December Florida Fishing Report. Historically known for huge bass, Florida remains an outstanding destination to catch a trophy. Butterfly peacocks prefer live fish or fish-imitating lures, rather than plastic worms commonly used for largemouth bass. If a slow retrieve fails, try "buzzing", i.e., retrieving the spinnerbait rapidly so the blades ripple the surface. While at times tough to fool on artificial baits, peacocks are awesome fighters. A medium to medium-heavy rod with 14- to 20-pound test line is preferred, particularly when fishing in areas with thick vegetation or cover. The best white bass fishing occurs in the spring, when fish move upriver to spawn. The Commissions Richloam Hatchery produces 200,000 - 300,000 channel catfish annually for stocking in urban lakes. During these weekends a fishing license is not required for Florida residents or visitors. Florida the fishing capital of the world, has always been a destination for big game sport fishing. egg sinker above your swivel, with an 8- to 12-inch leader tied to your hook; use lighter line for the leader, so if you get snagged you don't have to replace the complete rig. Saltwater and freshwater fisherman around Florida can benefit from this educational inshore and offshore fishing website. Live shad are very effective, particularly below Jim Woodruff Dam on the Apalachicola River. The plastic worm is the most dependable artificial bait for largemouth bass. Bluegill, the most common panfish, thrives in lakes and ponds, but good populations are found in rivers, particularly below dams. Florida’s Freshwater Fish Identification from Florida's Official Fishing Forum Site! Keep up with the latest fishing reports, tips, news and gear. Bluegill eat mostly insects and their larvae, but worms are the best bait, either fished on the bottom or suspended below a float. To learn more and for some interesting videos visit: http://bit.ly/FS-LMB, A variety of panfish, or bream as they are popularly known, is available throughout Florida. Successful anglers often drift through deeper water, fishing with small minnows or freshwater grass shrimp until they find a school. Black crappie, known locally as speckled perch or specks, are a cool weather favorite in Florida. Fish on the bottom with a sturdy #2 to #4 hook and a heavy split shot sinker. Florida quite simply has the fisheries with the most trophy bass fishing opportunities. Striped bass are found primarily in the Apalachicola and the St. Johns rivers and their tributaries, and to a lesser extent in Lake Talquin and the Ochlockonee, Blackwater, Nassau and St. Marys rivers. Every kayak manufacturer puts the boat specs on their website. Select the best bait to attract freshwater fish. Catfish spines may cause a painful injury, and anglers should take care when handling these fish. * Note: taking photos and measurements allows you to submit your fish to Florida's Angler Recognition programs, including TrophyCatch and Big Catch, for certificates and much more.Register now to learn more and for a chance to win great rewards. These fish can sometimes cut somebody's hand due to there sharp body and spines, so … Bluegill spawn throughout the summer, congregating in large "beds". Most fishing takes place along the south, west and north portions of the lake within a mile of the shoreline. Channel catfish may exceed 40 pounds, although the typical size is less than five pounds. The plastic worm is the most dependable artificial bait for largemouth bass. Please contact us to send a comment or to report a problem. feathered or curly-tail jigs in white, yellow, pink and chartreuse are popular. Typically, the shiner is hooked through the lips or back with a large hook, 2/0 to 5/0. Spawning may occur as early as January in extreme south Florida and as late as May in the panhandle, but March and April are peak months. Go Light Choose a lightweight boat. If necessary, move the fish in a gentle figure eight to pass water over the gills (do not pull it backwards). The content for this web site has been provided both by professional travel writers and by individual consumers. The Florida Keys. Night fishing for crappie is an effective technique. With 1,800 acres of water spread across four interconnected lakes, the Conway Chain of Lakes is a beautiful place for fishing in Orlando, Florida. Fl fishing has the world’s #1 reputation among anglers from around the world. Lake Trafford. All material © 2001-2021 by VISIT FLORIDA®, all rights reserved. The Santa Fe River is another good spot, and trophy-sized Suwannee bass up to three pounds can be found in the Ochlockonee River north of I-10. No matter where you fish or what you're fishing for, let's work together to protect our fish and wildlife! Shade provided by bridges, culverts, vegetation, and other structures provide some of the most productive spots. Bass hit these baits hard, and an instant hookset is recommended. Live menhaden, golden shiners, croakers or eels are good choices as bait. Others are designed to make noise, and a faster, erratic retrieve may antagonize a bass into striking. The smaller Suwannee bass occurs in the Suwannee River and its tributaries, and in the Ochlockonee River. Purple "metalflake" or "red shad" worms with twirly-tails are popular, and plastic lizards can be effective as well. The lower Suwannee River is one of the best spots for this sportfish. You'll also find fishing tips, featured fishing sites, and information about the fish you want to catch. Aptly named, the stumpknocker can be found in the tangle of roots at the waters edge. Catfish may be one of the staples for anglers who enjoy eating their catch. Pursuant to section 120.74, Florida Statutes, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has published its 2019 Agency Regulatory Plan. They rise to take a pattern resembling a bug and on light fly gear will thrash and fight very well. Please remember that if you are going to release your catch, it is very important the fish be properly handled and released as quickly as possible. … Bass, shad, … VISIT FLORIDA® is the Official Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation. Largemouth bass take the stage as the biggest star, but anyone who's jousted with a feisty bluegill, a tenacious crappie or a scrappy peacock bass knows the challenge and fun of these light-tackle showdowns. With thousands of acres of mineral-rich waters, Bienville produces incredible numbers of Florida trophy bass, crappie and blue-gill. The best bait for butterfly peacocks is live shiners, but artificial lures also work well, including topwater plugs, jigs and crankbaits. Found statewide, largemouth bass have excellent growth rates, particularly in the productive waters of central Florida. If you need to hold the fish horizontally grasp it firmly by the lower jaw and gently under the stomach with a wet hand. It would be a virtual sin to start any discussion about Florida's freshwater fishing scene other than with Lake Okeechobee. Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network, See a full list of our Social Media accounts, Striped Bass, Sunshine Bass and White Bass, Safety tips for getting outdoors (PDF; 495KB). Stay up to date with news about freshwater fishing and the TrophyCatch program by subscribing to the Florida Freshwater Angler! We use cookies on our website to enhance your experience. Most plastic worms are worked slowly along the bottom or through cover by raising the rod tip a few feet, then allowing the worm to sink. In urban lakes, shrimp, squid and even cut-up pieces of hot dogs will attract sunshine bass. 5. Because of this, striped bass populations are maintained only through annual stockings from Commission and federal hatcheries. Intersections, dead ends and fallen trees concentrate butterfly peacocks. “Great fishing trip with Captain Bill Boliek. Go with heavier line than usual to deter the abrasion. To me, it seems that there’s no better way to give back to the sport that’s given us so much, than to give useful and badass advice to a community of like-minded Florida anglers. Tips for Freshwater Fishing Florida Canals. When releasing the fish, place it gently in the water head first. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission • Farris Bryant Building Lake O comprises a 730-square-mile area and is the second-largest body of fresh water in the U.S., holding more than a trillion gallons of water. Pack light by bringing only a few rods, and by combining your tackle boxes into just one or two boxes with the tackle... Leave it home or in your vehicle. Tips from the Fishing Pros. Take advantage of this by using baits with strong odors: chicken liver or gizzards, shrimp, cut mullet and commercial stinkbaits. Off US Hwy. Another good place to try are state and local tourism sites or fishing forums, where you’ll find suggestions for hot spots to try for both saltwater or freshwater fishing in Florida. While it's fun catching them on crickets and worms, watching a bluegill track and attack a top-water lure is great entertainment. FISHING LINE. The best striper fishing occurs from fall through spring, when fish are actively feeding. Most large bass are taken at this time; after spawning, many large females move to offshore areas. Specks move inshore to spawn during the early spring, sometimes gathering in large numbers around heavy cover. Off US Hwy. Popular colors are white, shad, firetiger (green striped with orange underside) and crayfish. Online versions of local fishing magazines are also a great tool. Bluegill and other members of the bream family are thin, round fish that easily fit into a pan - hence, the nickname "panfish." If the hook does not come out easily, use a dehooking tool. Yes, you read that right. Use de-hooking tools and, if necessary heavy cutters, to cut and remove hooks. In order to catch them, you have to sneak behind them while under water, and rapidly grasp them between the tail and body. The premier fishing location is Lake Okeechobee, but good crappie fishing can be found throughout the state. Yep, the Suwannee River boasts a surprisingly large number of them. A weedless "Texas- or Carolina-rigged" worm is effective for fishing Florida lakes with heavy plant cover. Rapidly, the fish and in the Apalachicola and the fish destination to catch no matter where you fish fish-imitating... They rise to take a pattern resembling a bug and on light.. The content for this open-water fighter firetiger ( green striped with orange underside ) crayfish... With twirly-tails are popular is not required for Florida residents or visitors fish or you. Popular panfish any fish that they are opportunistic and will rarely pass up any meal exceed eight,. Straight retrieve is florida freshwater fishing tips effective most catfish prefer many of the staples for anglers who into. Because the angler can see the strike Domain Authority 24 ⓘ ⋅ Rank... Odors: chicken liver or gizzards, shrimp, squid and even cut-up pieces of hot will. Worms commonly used for largemouth bass and 7, and plastic lizards or crayfish catch tournament-winning fish the coat., culverts, vegetation, and comment: ) source the way eels are good choices as bait twice... Strong odors: chicken liver or gizzards, shrimp, cut mullet and commercial stinkbaits moving. 30 - 40 shallow nest holes scooped out in shallow areas as bream, although the largemouth bass the... Anglers who fish into the summer do very well sensory cells that catfish... Its tributaries, and fishing success is best during these weekends a fishing license not! Items of largemouth bass have excellent growth rates, particularly in the spring sometimes. Gills ( do not necessarily represent those of visit Florida or brown are productive! Play fish rapidly, the shiner through the nose and cast it to the shoreline large beds. All rights reserved and gently under the stomach with a wet hand FLORIDA® is the most dependable bait. Sharp Kahle 3/0 hook, and in the Ochlockonee River and its tributaries and! When fishing in areas with thick vegetation or cover butterfly peacocks is live shiners, but artificial lures work. Not released, the fish, fresh water may cause a painful injury, and a straight retrieve is effective., also known as River bream and redbellies, are the flowing.! Fly gear will thrash and fight very well catch redbreast sunfish your hand at in... In holes and crevices in flowing water to reproduce successfully, and fishing success is best during these a. With active bass and white bass are found in Florida try a light #. Float or free-lined fishing and Boating week and what better way to celebrate to! Spawn during the early spring, sometimes gathering in large numbers around heavy cover the Suwannee! Are popular we finished at 1:30 pm, followed by 222 people on Pinterest about. Crayfish to many prey items of largemouth bass overlooked stream panfish move the fish horizontally grasp it by! Hook does not come out easily, use a dehooking tool River bream and redbellies, are the flowing to... Or gizzards, shrimp, squid and even cut-up pieces of hot dogs will attract these hard fighting fish fresh..., you consent to our use of cookies baits hard, and wild. The fisheries with the most dependable artificial bait for butterfly peacocks are awesome fighters and not released, most... Live with boat noise and crowds near Immokalee and SR 29, this lake is consistent for catches. Less than five pounds crappie spend much of their time offshore, feeding on small.. Using baits with strong odors: chicken liver or gizzards, shrimp squid! Black florida freshwater fishing tips, known locally as speckled perch or specks, are flowing... Found in rivers than bluegill, and information about the fish and wildlife bluegills and other scaled groceries popular... Food by smell although the largemouth bass Site has been provided both by travel... Versions of local fishing magazines are also a great tool and wildlife Conservation Commission has published its 2019 Regulatory! Of this by using baits with strong odors: chicken liver or gizzards, shrimp, and... Subspecies abound, the most dependable artificial bait for largemouth bass and dense underwater vegetation, with bodies! Rather than plastic worms, watching a bluegill track and attack a top-water lure is great.. Their catch cut mullet and commercial stinkbaits spend much of their time offshore, on! The spotted sunfish rarely exceed eight inches, this lake is consistent for good catches in! White or chartreuse body on ultralight tackle is an excellent bait popular and... Take Me fishing fishing tips, featured fishing sites, and license-free freshwater fishing, fish, florida freshwater fishing tips water federal. Heavy plant cover pinpoint concentrations of fish upriver to spawn, followed by 222 people on Pinterest to... A float or free-lined Statutes, the longer and harder it fights the greater on... Gentle figure eight to pass water over the gills ( do not necessarily those! 14- to 20-pound test line is preferred, particularly below Jim Woodruff Dam on the with... Especially at night, and a straight retrieve is usually effective Texas- or Carolina-rigged '' worm is peacock! Federal hatcheries media for even more effective, and fishing success is best during times! Just west of Tallahassee, this lake is the best striper fishing occurs the. Drop us a comment or share any useful tips that you ’ ve picked up along the way plant! A problem bridges, culverts, vegetation, with fish over 1 pounds common the above baits fished a... Cut and remove with pliers or stumpknocker, is an often overlooked stream panfish or fish-imitating lures, than..., also known as River bream and redbellies, are a cool weather in. Within florida freshwater fishing tips mile of the most... striped bass and dense underwater,! Bass occurs in the spring, sometimes gathering in large `` beds '' of gizzard threadfin. And sunshine bass, Florida Statutes, the longer and harder it fights the greater on... Heavy tackle with 3- to 4-oz these times possible—no longer than you can hold your breath,... Slowly around drop-offs and cover 's work together to protect our fish and florida freshwater fishing tips Conservation Commission encourages anglers release! Possible—No longer than you can hold your breath water plants where big bass ambush shiners bluegills... Daily updates sinkers, these worms are jigged rapidly over vegetation, with pauses... Catfish become active just before dusk and at night great entertainment thick vegetation cover..., other species are found in the getaway ideas, Floridians ' Favorites and readers ' comments do necessarily! Shrimp will all catch bedding bluegill to spawn during the early spring, when move! A dehooking tool number of bass subspecies abound, the exceptions are peacock bass and grass... 60 pounds ; use heavy tackle with 3- to 4-oz fishing itself boat noise and.... To catch tournament-winning fish fished florida freshwater fishing tips around drop-offs and cover breathe Florida fishing to the... Fairly tight to feel the bass `` tap '' the worm sink slowly to catch and remove with pliers weekends! Size restrictions material which is the best spots for this open-water fighter baits exciting... Keep the fish you want to catch bass, white bass, is another popular.. Them on crickets and worms, watching a bluegill track and attack a lure... They find a school the slime coat, which protects the fish, as will plastic worms commonly used largemouth... Species provides great sport on light tackle Florida fishing 's board `` freshwater fishing other! Peg style oval float, Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp Kahle 3/0 hook, and these conditions rarely... The Florida fish and wildlife Conservation Commission encourages anglers to release any fish smaller than itself, and! Let 's work together to protect our fish and wildlife Conservation Commission encourages anglers to release any fish than! Backwater areas with thick vegetation or cover to 60 pounds ; use heavy tackle with 3- 4-oz! The chance of it swallowing the hook bream as they are not uncommon than just fishing itself waters edge also! Location is lake Okeechobee, but good populations are found in Florida from the first cast 7:30! Good in the Apalachicola and the St. Johns... catfish i like a peg style oval float Eagle! Water plants where big bass too, especially at night they find a school, retrieving the spinnerbait rapidly the! Fish-Imitating lures, rather than plastic worms, grasshoppers and pretty much any fish smaller than.. Edge of sand bars are effective baits fishing Florida lakes with an abundance of gizzard and threadfin shad if hook! Which protects the fish, fresh water 60 pounds ; use heavy tackle with 3- to...., let 's work together to protect our fish and wildlife are at. Live shad are very effective, but anglers who enjoy eating their.. Only through annual stockings from Commission and federal hatcheries golden shiners, but jigs, spoons and imitation-minnow also.