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Hey guys,

I am moving from Houston, Texas having fished Lake Conroe, Sam Rayburn, Toledo Bend for the last few years. My new location will be in Palm City, Florida just east of Okeechobee.

Okeechobee is going to be a whole new ball game for me. I would be very appreciative if someone could give me a breakdown of the BIG O and just how to get started.

I guess my plan is to continue reading a bunch of articles and get to flipping when I get there.

As always, THANKS GUYS!

 

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I'll throw an invite out to you, seeing you live in Palm City.

The East Coast Bass Anglers club meets every 2nd Monday at the Bass Pro Shop in Port Saint Lucie 7PM, Next Monday 9th May

http://www.eastcoastbassanglers.com

I've recently joined and they are a great group of guys and fish Lake O several times a year.

Ken

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Ken,

I won't be in Palm City until the end of May. But I will definitely attend the June one. Looking forward to meeting you all!

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The problem with Chobee is it keeps changing.  If you only fish it occasionally, areas you fished last time can  look different the next time you go.  Vegetation's will grow up so much so quickly, wind will blow mats from place to place.   Bass will move to different locations following their pray.  When the wind blows hard, areas that were clear will turn chocolate  When that happens things get very tough.  Wind will raise and lower water levels as much as two foot just from wind driven current, in this huge shallow bowl.  Areas that you fished last time, may be too shallow to get into this time.  One thing I can tell you for sure, if you can find clear water you can find fish.   Follow the weather reports for the last few days before you go.  Try to find protected areas from the big blows.  Clear water may be in those areas. If hard winds are out of the east, the west side of the lake will be muddy.  The lake, and the fish, are constantly changing, more so then in deep reservoirs.  Up to date info in the planning of a trip is key for guys that have success week, after week, on the Big O.  They will adjust to what mother nature gives them.

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I'm your huckleberry....I live in Palm Beach Gardens, just south of Palm City and I can show you the lay of the Lake if you'd like.  I launch most of the the time out of J&S, OkeeTantie and Henry Creek, all on the East/North side, but know the entire lake well, been fishing/hunting (Incredible Duck if you got the time to scout)  it since I was a kid (over 30 years) and know plenty of guides' secrets (shhhh...in..er...S) and the community holes.  Also know the areas that are risky when levels drop below 13.5ft....! Usually don't tournament fish, but know plenty of 5 by 3 dudes, that fish for the $$$$.  

 

Do you own a boat? 

Send me an Email to Robert@hawgtech.com to coordinate and welcome to the BR community, place is full of great information and genuinely nice people, one piece of advice avoid that Dwight character he'll get you kicked off prime bass spots.....

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18 hours ago, geo g said:

The problem with Chobee is it keeps changing.  If you only fish it occasionally, areas you fished last time can  look different the next time you go.  Vegetation's will grow up so much so quickly, wind will blow mats from place to place.   Bass will move to different locations following their pray.  When the wind blows hard, areas that were clear will turn chocolate  When that happens things get very tough.  Wind will raise and lower water levels as much as two foot just from wind driven current, in this huge shallow bowl.  Areas that you fished last time, may be too shallow to get into this time.  One thing I can tell you for sure, if you can find clear water you can find fish.   Follow the weather reports for the last few days before you go.  Try to find protected areas from the big blows.  Clear water may be in those areas. If hard winds are out of the east, the west side of the lake will be muddy.  The lake, and the fish, are constantly changing, more so then in deep reservoirs.  Up to date info in the planning of a trip is key for guys that have success week, after week, on the Big O.  They will adjust to what mother nature gives them.

Well Done Geo!!

OP, this is the best advise you can get. Print it and take it with you. 

Good Luck

 

Mike

9 hours ago, South FLA said:

I'm your huckleberry....I live in Palm Beach Gardens, just south of Palm City and I can show you the lay of the Lake if you'd like.  I launch most of the the time out of J&S, OkeeTantie and Henry Creek, all on the East/North side, but know the entire lake well, been fishing/hunting (Incredible Duck if you got the time to scout)  it since I was a kid (over 30 years) and know plenty of guides' secrets (shhhh...in..er...S) and the community holes.  Also know the areas that are risky when levels drop below 13.5ft....! Usually don't tournament fish, but know plenty of 5 by 3 dudes, that fish for the $$$$.  

 

Do you own a boat? 

Send me an Email to Robert@hawgtech.com to coordinate and welcome to the BR community, place is full of great information and genuinely nice people, one piece of advice avoid that Dwight character he'll get you kicked off prime bass spots.....

You and I need to meet sometime for lunch and a little conversation ??

 

Mike

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20 hours ago, geo g said:

The problem with Chobee is it keeps changing.  If you only fish it occasionally, areas you fished last time can  look different the next time you go.  Vegetation's will grow up so much so quickly, wind will blow mats from place to place.   Bass will move to different locations following their pray.  When the wind blows hard, areas that were clear will turn chocolate  When that happens things get very tough.  Wind will raise and lower water levels as much as two foot just from wind driven current, in this huge shallow bowl.  Areas that you fished last time, may be too shallow to get into this time.  One thing I can tell you for sure, if you can find clear water you can find fish.   Follow the weather reports for the last few days before you go.  Try to find protected areas from the big blows.  Clear water may be in those areas. If hard winds are out of the east, the west side of the lake will be muddy.  The lake, and the fish, are constantly changing, more so then in deep reservoirs.  Up to date info in the planning of a trip is key for guys that have success week, after week, on the Big O.  They will adjust to what mother nature gives them.

Thank you very much for this info. Those are great starting points for me. I'll definitely use those to build off of. What I'm interested in seeing is how the lake sets up in different seasons?  Being mostly shallow and a big bowl, it can't really have the same type of seasonal bass transitions a typical reservoir Lake has, am I right?

11 hours ago, South FLA said:

I'm your huckleberry....I live in Palm Beach Gardens, just south of Palm City and I can show you the lay of the Lake if you'd like.  I launch most of the the time out of J&S, OkeeTantie and Henry Creek, all on the East/North side, but know the entire lake well, been fishing/hunting (Incredible Duck if you got the time to scout)  it since I was a kid (over 30 years) and know plenty of guides' secrets (shhhh...in..er...S) and the community holes.  Also know the areas that are risky when levels drop below 13.5ft....! Usually don't tournament fish, but know plenty of 5 by 3 dudes, that fish for the $$$$.  

 

Do you own a boat? 

Send me an Email to Robert@hawgtech.com to coordinate and welcome to the BR community, place is full of great information and genuinely nice people, one piece of advice avoid that Dwight character he'll get you kicked off prime bass spots.....

Wow, that is an incredible offer. I absolutely will take you up on this. I will not be arriving until the end of May, beginning of June. I will contact you closer to that time.

Currently in the process of selling my Nitro and will be purchasing a new or newer Bass Cat Eyra when I get to Florida.

Thanks again to everyone.

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Don't think so much about seasons.  You are almost in the tropics, so weather patterns don't last for long periods.   You will sometimes have heat in the winter, rain in the dry season, wind in the winter, dead still in the summer, several major spawns a year, and an occasional hurricane.  The traditional seasons that govern bass patterns are not here.  Think more about how fishing patterns adjust to the short term weather conditions, and the controls of the government.  Is there a front coming from the north.  Has it rained hard north of the lake, from Orlando south, so water levels are rising quickly, and keep rising for weeks.  Wind draws current on this shallow lake, where is the clean water going to be.  Corp of Engineers is releasing large amounts water west to the gulf.  What will this do to the patterns.  This info is found all off the web.  Weather alone is not the only factor, man controls the lake in a big way, and they have screwed it up several times recently.  It is a very complex lake to learn and consistently do well.  The ones that are the most successful fish it regularly, and have a network of contacts that share their knowledge.  It will be a fun learning experience if you can fish it at least once a week.  The lake does not follow the normal patterns you will find reading seasonal facts from a bass magazine.  These Florida bodies of water like Poga, Kissimmee, Toho, are a real challenge for some of the most successful pros on the tour. Good luck, it is always enjoyable to be on the O even if your not catching them.  It is a special place!

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If you're in the market for a boat, you might consider something like a bay boat that could be used in saltwater as well, you are moving to an incredible fishery along the coast, as well as freshwater lakes. I'm not sure how resistant to salt corrosion a pure bass boat is.

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On 5/4/2016 at 11:15 AM, BareHook said:

If you're in the market for a boat, you might consider something like a bay boat that could be used in saltwater as well, you are moving to an incredible fishery along the coast, as well as freshwater lakes. I'm not sure how resistant to salt corrosion a pure bass boat is.

Thanks Barehook. I'm a bass fisherman with professional fishing career aspirations. I can not go any other route than a bass boat. It will never touch the saltwater. I can fulfill my saltwater fishing itch from the shore, if needed.

I appreciate the input though!!

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On 5/2/2016 at 9:25 PM, _Backwoodzboys_ said:

Hey guys,

I am moving from Houston, Texas having fished Lake Conroe, Sam Rayburn, Toledo Bend for the last few years. My new location will be in Palm City, Florida just east of Okeechobee.

Okeechobee is going to be a whole new ball game for me. I would be very appreciative if someone could give me a breakdown of the BIG O and just how to get started.

I guess my plan is to continue reading a bunch of articles and get to flipping when I get there.

As always, THANKS GUYS!

 

Okeechobee can be great, but it's enigmatic. Go out with some of the numerous pro guides a few times and really pick their brains. Because learning where catchable fish are is going to be is an ongoing process in a lake whose landscapes are always changing. The key is learning how to learn for yourself where to fish. And in the shallow bowl lake, your electronics will be useful mostly as a GPS and secondarily as a depth finder. Your eyes will serve you better in picking out favorable looking vegetation patterns, birds, water clarity, water surface characteristics, etc.  The best starting point is, of course, fishing where you caught them the day before -- not that that always works, either. But after a couple of weeks of not fishing the lake it can be like starting from scratch. And another challenging annoyance is the fishing pressure, which may be considerable in spite of the huge size of the lake. BTW, bring some serious sticks and lots of braid: at Lake O you'll want to have some heavy artillery.

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bring 3 really good fliipin sticks,rattletraps,topwater plugs,spinnerbaits. plenty of plastics,gambler baits were made for the big O. patience is the key. and welcome to florida.

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The only thing I can add is to be ready for up close, in your face, hand to hand combat!

And to leave any pre conceived notions of what you THINK it will be like at home. I know there are a few amazing lakes in this country, but this is Okeechobee pal. 

If you get on them....Well, you'll see. 

Have fun

 

Mike

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Thanks to everyone who has given me tips and recommendations for fishing Okeechobee. 

I have another question for you all, if you wouldn't mind helping..... 

I am picking up a new 2016 Puma FTD BassCat in July and I need a place to keep it out of the elements. I just got a condo in Stuart, Florida, so anywhere somewhat near there would work for me (<20/30 minutes). Are there any places with indoor storage large enough? Or would anyone be willing to have me rent-out a garage or barn of theirs? I would be willing to pay a decent amount monthly! I am not having much luck finding anything online!

I would prefer to keep it indoors, keeping it outside with a cover would be the absolute last resort. 

Thanks, as always!!

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I have room for the last resort option, but no enclosed storage, it would be on a slab, you could also assemble a carport tent over it if you wanted. Let me know if interested.

Ken

P.S. Worst case, its an option until you can locate an indoor storage.

BTW the next bass anglers meeting is Monday June 13 at 7:00 pm if interested.

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12 hours ago, BareHook said:

I have room for the last resort option, but no enclosed storage, it would be on a slab, you could also assemble a carport tent over it if you wanted. Let me know if interested.

Ken

P.S. Worst case, its an option until you can locate an indoor storage.

BTW the next bass anglers meeting is Monday June 13 at 7:00 pm if interested.

Barehook, you continue to be incredibly gracious. I appreciate it. I'll definitely keep it there in the event I can't find anything fully covered. 

I just drove back to PA to work until June 17th. Then, I'll be back down for good. I plan on attending the following meeting. My gf and I explored the area this past weekend, we loved it. I cant wait to get back down there.

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Backwoodzboys

The next meeting is this Monday at 7pm if interested

Ken

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Well, I finally got settled into my new home in Florida and was able to drive out to Mississippi to pick up my boat. This past week was the first time I had made it onto Okeechobee and it did not disappoint. 

I was able to catch the stud below on a home-made jig. However, I am not getting the number of bites I expected. My bites are coming completely scattered out and have not been easy. Small 10"-12" bites seem to be pretty easy, but thats not what I really come to Okeechobee for. 

I have been out a few times, each time fishing the North end of the lake both on the Northwest and Northeast sides, from daybreak to approximately 11am. 

Does anyone have or is willing to give a current fishing report on the lake to help me dial in on where the majority of the population is sitting this time of year? 

Thanks, as always!

07196.5lb.jpg

07196.5lb2.jpg

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That's a nice toad right there. A buddy of mine and I did ok last weekend on the South End. 

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I know you're looking for spots but there's a lot of tournaments on that lake and I don't think anyone is giving up any spots... best advice I can give you is that the more time you spend on it the more you will learn about it... if you ever want to get in to a tournament and need a co-angler let me know ill travel along

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I just wanted to swing by and give a thanks to everyone for their helpful tips and kind jesters. I haven't been able to do as much fishing as I would have liked. Working every day, but Sunday and 70-80hours a week...as well as a baby that's expected to be here this week, it's been tough to get out like I had hoped.

 

With the exception of this past weekend, I've done pretty well. Here are a few...

FB_IMG_1476047110800.jpg

FB_IMG_1476047095357.jpg

IMG_20161030_183014.jpg

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