Around Polk County
1 Around Lakeland, in Saddle Creek the bass are starting to show up and the bite is good as you flip the trees with craws and critter baits. Purple, June and gold colored soft plastics are also getting the bite. Deep diving crankbaits also occur on rock piles. The bite is also good around the park. Spots are also biting on lakes in the Lakeland area like Hollingworth and Parker. We are selling a lot of fish, reports Melinda Lapina at Phillips Bait and Tackle (863-666-2248).
2 In Auburndale, Lake Ariana is producing good numbers of mostly school-sized bass on Rat-L-Traps. Spots bite as they drift. Around the Lake Alfred area, Haines, Rochelle and Alfred lakes are producing good numbers of bass on live shiners. Alfred is producing some bigger bass up to 7lbs. A good number of specks are biting as they drift and fish. Some of the specks are moving shallow on rods and shoulders along the shorelines, reports Ron Schelfo at Ron’s Tackle Box (863-956-4990).
3 In Winter Haven, Lake Summit is producing good numbers of bass along the shorelines. Schelfo reports that channel mouths throughout the southern chain are good for spotfish and bass on a variety of lures.
4 In Lake Hamilton, Spots are still biting in open water on both fish and cabinets, but some spots are starting to move shallow. Bass fishing is also being picked up in the shallow grass inshore. Plastic worms, swimbaits and shiners are getting the bite, reports Hoppy’s of Crossed Industries (863-439-7616).
5 At Lake Marion, near Haines City, Bass fishing is best around the lake’s scattered hydrilla. Buck bass are moving shallow toward the beds. Speck anglers are doing well drifting around Bannon Island. Some of the spots are starting to move shallow for spawning, reports Hoppy’s.
6 At Pierce Lake, the spring bite is still good in the middle of the lake, especially on fish. The bite is best from in front of the resort here, to the south. Some stains also bite the bearings, but not many. Bass fishing around the lake is good. A 10-pound bass was caught this week, but the angler was tight-lipped about which lure and which part of the lake caught it, reports Chris Beasley at Jennings Resort (863-439-3811).
7 At Hatchineha Lake, speckled anglers are catching their limits at night in the channel between Hatchineha and Cypress. Bass spawn in the harbor front pads. White swimbaits are getting the bite, reports Charlie Wynperle of Bridgemaster Fishing Products (863-676-1009).
8 And Lake Toho, fishing has been very good this past week with the warm weather. The bass are in full spawn mode right now and fish can be found everywhere in the shallow beds around the hard bottom. Flipping a Gambler Burner Craw has been “the ticket” lately, but topwaters and other creature baits will also produce. Grady Johnson (407-205-6719) reports Grady Johnson (407-205-6719).
9 On Lake Kissimmee, A good number of whiting are being caught around the Lemon Point mats. Fish a Muck City Tackle jig with a red head and chartreuse body for the best action. Bass are shallow getting ready to spawn. Cover the water with frog bait until you get an “explosion,” then slow down and cast a tape-tail worm, Wynperle reports.
10 At Walk-in-the-Water Lake, tip anglers are getting their limits with fish along the grass edges and pads in the early morning. Bass are shallow along shorelines and channels in a foot of water getting ready to spawn. Wynperle reports casting a watermelon-red trick worm in isolated pads and grass for the best action.
11 At Crooked Lake in Babson Park, Decent numbers of school bass up to 5lbs have been caught this week. Live shiners and topwaters are getting the best bite. An angler caught a few bluegills on redworms and the catfish bite is good on chicken liver docks, reports Cindy Ritchison at Bob’s Landing (863-638-1912). Bass up to 7 pounds are biting while drifting along the grass edges on the south end of the lake. The jig bite is good for fish in 20 to 25 feet of water around Wirt’s Point and Grassy Island, reports Jim Childress of Big Bass Bait & Tackle (352-207-7520).
12 Frost proof, at Lake Arbuckle, the speck bite has returned to drifting fish during the day in 6-8 feet of water. Some stains also bite into the insole bearings. The speck bite in Lake Reedy is also picking up as they drift in 6 to 8 feet. The bass bite is good there drifting live shiners around the edges of the grass. Bass are also being caught on white baits around the grass and Zoom Horny Toad frogs in the grass early in the morning. Clinch Lake has a good bite as they drift in 15-18 feet. The bass bite is good there on live shiners moving along the West Coast, Childress reports.
13 At the phosphate pits near Mulberry, the bass have moved shallow again around the banks and off the island points. White crankbaits, red plastic jungle worms, or black and blue tail Senkos are all producing in water down to 1 to 3 feet. There are plenty of bass on the beds but not many females with the inconsistent weather keeping the water too cold. A good number of specks are biting as they drift along hydrilla lines in 5 to 6 feet, reports Danny Hamm of Bull Bay Tackle Co. (863-937-3292).