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Janderson45

Okeechobee Guide/Advice

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Hey guys, wondering if anyone can recommend a quality guide or guide service for largemouth on Okeechobee?  I'm looking to bring my father down there on a fishing trip for his 60th birthday coming up in April.  Figuring two days with a guide bass fishing on the big O and then a day or two or inshore fishing on the coast.  A google search returns quite a few results for okeechobee guides, but it's pretty hard to tell what you're signing up for and who the guides are in a lot of instances.  Hoping maybe some of you have done something similar or if you're a local you may have some better insight/advice?

 

Also worth noting that my father is NOT an experienced bass fisherman.  I've read that a lot of guides down there use large wild shiners for bass on guided trips, which I think is a good option to have for my father. I would like to fish mostly artificals myself, but I think pops would really struggle unless the fish are really fired up and slamming spinnerbaits.  

 

Also- I realize it's a massive body of water and this may not be a simple answer, but what does early April fishing on okeechobee usually entail?  Post-spawn?  A mix of pre and post spawn?  When does the super heavy duty flippin and punching bite begin down there??  What would water temps be like?

 

Thanks in advance for any info you can provide me with.  I'm trying to get my father more interested in fishing, he's going to need a hobby in retirement!

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Hi Janderson45

 

When thinking of hiring a guide on Lake Okeechobee, none are more popular then Capt Mark Shepard he literally has a waiting list. But he has personally mentored and coached many others on the lake that are equally as good. Others that come to mind are Capt Rob Alfano, Capt Mark Rogers a 10yr BASS Elite Pro vet or Capt Dave Lauer a 20 year vet of the FLW all good choices that you can't go wrong with.

 

Good luck, hope your father catches a trophy!

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2 minutes ago, Dwight Hottle said:

I have fished with Steve Daniels & highly recommend him.

 

http://www.okeechobeeprostevedaniel.com/

 

x2 for Steve Daniels.great guy,better fisherman.

better book him soon he fills up quick.

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Thanks for the replies everyone.  I'll look into the guides you have recommended for me!

 

@Dwight Hottle- when you fished with Steve were they full days?  He list 4, 5 & 6 hour days whereas most other guides offer 8 hour days which is more of what I was looking for. 

 

Can anyone share some general information (a link is great too) about the fishery and seasonal habits of the bass on Okeechobee?  I've found some decent information on google, but there's been so much written about Okee over the years that it's hard to sort through it to find useful/relevant information to my trip.  Even when I go fishing with a guide I still like to know as much as possible about the fishery before heading out. 

 

I'll plan on either shipping or flying on the plane with a few of my favorite rod/reel combos to use.. I've never done this before but after my last experience with a guide where I used his equipment I realized I'd really rather have my own rods available.  My assumption is that most guides don't give their clientele the same high-end combos that I'm used to fishing with.  What is the safest and most cost effective way to travel via airplane with fishing rods or ship them to my destination and pick them up upon arrival?

 

Thinking about bringing the following combos: How many is reasonable?  Listed 4 here but 6 or 8 would be more ideal..

-7'11 HMF - flip/punch

-7'8 MHXF - toads/trigs

-7'4 HF - frogs/jigs

-7' MHF - trigs/spinnerbaits

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4 minutes ago, Janderson45 said:

Thanks for the replies everyone.  I'll look into the guides you have recommended for me!

 

@Dwight Hottle- when you fished with Steve were they full days?  He list 4, 5 & 6 hour days whereas most other guides offer 8 hour days which is more of what I was looking for. 

 

Can anyone share some general information (a link is great too) about the fishery and seasonal habits of the bass on Okeechobee?  I've found some decent information on google, but there's been so much written about Okee over the years that it's hard to sort through it to find useful/relevant information to my trip.  Even when I go fishing with a guide I still like to know as much as possible about the fishery before heading out. 

 

I'll plan on either shipping or flying on the plane with a few of my favorite rod/reel combos to use.. I've never done this before but after my last experience with a guide where I used his equipment I realized I'd really rather have my own rods available.  My assumption is that most guides don't give their clientele the same high-end combos that I'm used to fishing with.  What is the safest and most cost effective way to travel via airplane with fishing rods or ship them to my destination and pick them up upon arrival?

 

Thinking about bringing the following combos: How many is reasonable?  Listed 4 here but 6 or 8 would be more ideal..

-7'11 HMF - flip/punch

-7'8 MHXF - toads/trigs

-7'4 HF - frogs/jigs

-7' MHF - trigs/spinnerbaits

When I fished with Steve I think it was a full day 8 hours. Call Steve & talk to him about the time & what to bring & use. 

Make sure you bring a rod to fish jerk baits, traps & cranks.

Shipping your rods might be the easiest way to go. Pack them tightly together with velcro straps or zip ties so they don't rattle around in the tube. Alternate butts to tips with the rod tips on the inside of the butts so that only the butts stick out at the ends. Cushion each end with bubble wrap & a sock pulled over the ends. 

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1 hour ago, Janderson45 said:

Thanks for the replies everyone.  I'll look into the guides you have recommended for me!

 

@Dwight Hottle- when you fished with Steve were they full days?  He list 4, 5 & 6 hour days whereas most other guides offer 8 hour days which is more of what I was looking for. 

 

Can anyone share some general information (a link is great too) about the fishery and seasonal habits of the bass on Okeechobee?  I've found some decent information on google, but there's been so much written about Okee over the years that it's hard to sort through it to find useful/relevant information to my trip.  Even when I go fishing with a guide I still like to know as much as possible about the fishery before heading out. 

 

I'll plan on either shipping or flying on the plane with a few of my favorite rod/reel combos to use.. I've never done this before but after my last experience with a guide where I used his equipment I realized I'd really rather have my own rods available.  My assumption is that most guides don't give their clientele the same high-end combos that I'm used to fishing with.  What is the safest and most cost effective way to travel via airplane with fishing rods or ship them to my destination and pick them up upon arrival?

 

Thinking about bringing the following combos: How many is reasonable?  Listed 4 here but 6 or 8 would be more ideal..

-7'11 HMF - flip/punch

-7'8 MHXF - toads/trigs

-7'4 HF - frogs/jigs

-7' MHF - trigs/spinnerbaits

pm me and I'll help you out. we can talk on the phone. going down next 3 weekends for tourneys. so I can give you some spots if you like.

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Thanks Dwight- I think you're right, if I ship one tube I can probably fit four rods and two tubes would be 8 rods.. got to be cheaper than flying with them. 

 

I knew I was missing a crankbait rod,  I'll definitely have to ship down more like 6 or 8 rods including a couple spinning rods for my father... 

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Guide should have everything your dad needs to fish with. Remember that guides are quite accustomed to customers bringing no more than a hat. I would ask the guide what you should bring. 8 extra rods plus 3 anglers in a small boat might be more than the guide is comfortable with.

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And just for reference, if you are shiner fishing "normally" you go to a spot, set up, put out a spread......and wait.  If you are throwing artificials, your casting lanes will be limited and you more than likely will end up making 50 casts to the same area because it's a process to pull in lines and move when you are shiner or balloon fishing.  If it were me, I would leave my gear at home, hire a good shiner guide and fish right alongside pops. You'll both have a blast.  ;)

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On 1/19/2018 at 10:34 AM, Dwight Hottle said:

I have fished with Steve Daniels & highly recommend him.

 

http://www.okeechobeeprostevedaniel.com/

 

Going out with Steve for two full days  at the end of March.  Thanks for the recommendation Dwight!  Hoping I can break my PB, currently stuck on 6-3, so I think I'll have a good shot!

 

Anyone have any current Okeechobee fishing reports?  I know the Pros struggled a bit but a month or two later I'm thinking conditions could have improved? 

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He and any other full time guide will have his spots to take you. 

 

They'll put you on fish. 

 

Bring your camera. 

Have fun

 

 

 

Mike

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