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Redroy

Central Florida fishing

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How goes it’s fellow Fishermen! I’m brand new to this forum and am hoping it will be useful in getting some information about fishing central Florida, I’ll be there on March 13-20th if this year and was hoping someone had some good information about fishing central Florida, I’ve never fished in the south before only the PNW. Anything helps!!

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Gonna be in Kissimmee Florida March 13-20 and need some advice of where to fish! Please help!!

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Surprised at no responses. I don't know the area but you have options galore there! Just look at the map! Boat, kayak or on foot?

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Are you going to be landlocked (fishing from the shore) or bringing a boat, kayak, canoe, etc?

 

A guide would the optimal way to go because they will know the current conditions of the lake and status of the fish. Some lakes here in Central Florida are pre-spawn while others are in a winter offshore stage. Most of the lakes are high due to some heavy winter rains, which has changed where the fish are as well. 

 

By March, the fish should be spawning or post spawn, but that also depends on weather. Last year, spawn was late March and into April, whereas other years the fish are spawning December and January. We had a strong cold front come through on Sunday with another set headed our way on Thursday and Sunday. Florida bass are more sensitive to these front, so while the water temps are right in some of the bigger lakes, the fronts and winds cause them hold off. 

 

Techniques are also going to depend on weather and where the fish are. Spawn is a great time for swimbaits and plastics. If the weather is cooler and the fish aren't spawning yet, flipping heavy cover or fishing offshore for suspended fish are the best bets. 

 

There are a lot of variables. This is the time of the year I can prep my fishing gear a couple days a head of time and then have to change it the morning of or while out on the water. 

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Thanks for the great info, I will be landlocked but am looking at guides, seems to be 300-350 for a six hour guide trip. I also would be up for renting a kayak as that how I primarily fish in Washington state. I will defiantly pay close attention to weather patterns the closer to March it is, and will keep in mind the baits your advising. I’m just stoked to go to a world class fisheries state like Florida, for bass anyway!!! If it’s ok I may ask ya some more questions in the future?

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On 1/23/2019 at 5:54 PM, Redroy said:

Thanks for the great info, I will be landlocked but am looking at guides, seems to be 300-350 for a six hour guide trip. I also would be up for renting a kayak as that how I primarily fish in Washington state. I will defiantly pay close attention to weather patterns the closer to March it is, and will keep in mind the baits your advising. I’m just stoked to go to a world class fisheries state like Florida, for bass anyway!!! If it’s ok I may ask ya some more questions in the future?

 

Of course. That helps narrow down the options. 

 

Since you'll be bank fishing, check out the FWC's Fish Orlando lakes like Ivanhoe and Underhill. I would avoid the FWC residential ponds as the bass get cleaned out pretty quick. 

 

Yes, that is about the standard rate for a 6 hour trip. That price is general for a pair on the boat though, so if you have someone to fish with, you can half your cost.

 

If you are looking for a kayak rental, call either Turkey Lake or the Paddling Center at Shingle Creek. Those are the 2 places that rent kayaks that I am aware of. There was a vacation resort that was renting, but you now have to have a reservation at the resort to rent a kayak there now. You may also want to check out the boat rental at Turkey Lake. It is about $31 with taxes for 4 hours. Turkey Lake is the best of the FWC Fish Orlando lakes but is struggling right now due to a combination of environmental factors which has caused catch numbers to drop significantly. 

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I fish the butler chain and conway pretty regular. The bite has been real slow. Crankbaits have been king.

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1 hour ago, reelcraker said:

I fish the butler chain and conway pretty regular. The bite has been real slow. Crankbaits have been king.

 

Yep, slowing down big time. The Toho tournament shows that with 1st place's 15lbs bag and 2nd place's 7lbs bag. Some good numbers from the Open being posted, but all off shore fishing. Looks like big girls that were ready to spawn and got pushed back out deep. 

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I will check out turkey lake for the boat/kayak rental and paddling center. And stay away from the res. ponds. Thank you for the info. It’s a little overwhelming coming from Washington all the way to Florida and try to decide where to fish!! There is just tons of options from what I’m finding. Can you bank fish the Butler chain or lake Conway? 

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I’ve got anothe question? Since I am gathering information on Central Florida bass specifically, what are some baites you guys find your selfs using in March? I understand from what was posted by Fishing_FF that March could be pre-spawn, spawn or post spawn. Or is it just trying several techniques, colors, depths, softs or cranbaits and so on..... cause of the possibilities of what the fish could be doing in March. For example here in Eastern Washington I specifically would be jigging for bass in March, but in our spawning months may/June, crankbaits reign supreme along with senko baits.

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18 hours ago, Redroy said:

I’ve got anothe question? Since I am gathering information on Central Florida bass specifically, what are some baites you guys find your selfs using in March? I understand from what was posted by Fishing_FF that March could be pre-spawn, spawn or post spawn. Or is it just trying several techniques, colors, depths, softs or cranbaits and so on..... cause of the possibilities of what the fish could be doing in March. For example here in Eastern Washington I specifically would be jigging for bass in March, but in our spawning months may/June, crankbaits reign supreme along with senko baits.

Turkey lake is great the canoe rentals are a bit pricey imho but well worth it. hopefully we should be in post spawn by march/late march or earlier. the weather here in cent. fl. has been pretty crazy. so keeping my fingers crossed. Turkey lk. rarely gets fished so, there are quite a few lunkers out there. if we are in post spawn you can throw a piece of fried chicken out there and catch fish. bank fishing on the Butler Chain is hard. there are a few places you can fish from a dock. let me know if you wanna go out to the Butler Chain or Conway chain. it's usually just me and my dog, recon, so i have room. I am a member of the sportmans club here on the butler chain and a Windermere resident so I have access to a couple of different boat ramps. I am also in the FOP (I'm a cop) so i have access to the Conway chain via the FOP camp boat ramp. just give me a holler.

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as far as baits go, I would bring what ya got. right now crankbaits have been great however, I love top water and post spawn frogs, popping frogs and spooks are ffffuuuuunnn to fish. soft plastic worms, senkos and creature baits can't be denied. also, chatterbaits from bounty hunter have been great for me in the past. I will give this disclaimer tho, I am not a guide, pro or any other type of good angler. I fish for fun and beers. Just saying. i am probably what you would call a below average angler. I try lol and manage to catch a few fish along the way. Just saying.

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Red Roy, where are you staying?

That time of year, most any bait will work it just depends on what water temp is. Senkos, swim baits and other plastics are probably the go to baits but they’ll hit a rapala type topwater too. 

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On 1/26/2019 at 2:44 PM, Redroy said:

I’ve got anothe question? Since I am gathering information on Central Florida bass specifically, what are some baites you guys find your selfs using in March? I understand from what was posted by Fishing_FF that March could be pre-spawn, spawn or post spawn. Or is it just trying several techniques, colors, depths, softs or cranbaits and so on..... cause of the possibilities of what the fish could be doing in March. For example here in Eastern Washington I specifically would be jigging for bass in March, but in our spawning months may/June, crankbaits reign supreme along with senko baits.

From shore, your tackle needs to be focused on fishing grass.  I seem to normally have a jig on during that time of year.  Since you'll find bass at every range of the spawn you can swim it for pre/postspawners if they're active, make casts to any isolated hard cover you see, and they work well on beds as well.  Flukes, senkos, speed worms, and swimbaits are safe bets you can throw anywhere and into anything from shore.  Rattle traps fished around grass edges and over flats can perform pretty well during the spring, but from shore the grass can sometimes be too thick or shallow to make the hassle worth it.

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Great information from all of you I appreciate it. I’ll be able to purchase the mentioned baits befor I head down, and I won’t have to purchase any, hopefully, while I’m there. I don’t usually use swim bait so I’ll snag some of those as well. I am staying in championsgate off the I-4 from the 13th-20th of March. And yeah ReelCracker we should talk closer to when I’m headed down, that would be cool see what locals fish. I have a lake here in Washington that is kind of my “lunker lake”, almost no way someone from out of town would know about it, mostly because it difficult to get to and not a very big lake, but it’s where I caught my PB 6.8lb. And I know you guys have way larger bass than that!! Washington state record in only 12 lbs I’m pretty sure, so a 6lb+bass is really good for Washington.

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15 hours ago, Redroy said:

Great information from all of you I appreciate it. I’ll be able to purchase the mentioned baits befor I head down, and I won’t have to purchase any, hopefully, while I’m there. I don’t usually use swim bait so I’ll snag some of those as well. I am staying in championsgate off the I-4 from the 13th-20th of March. And yeah ReelCracker we should talk closer to when I’m headed down, that would be cool see what locals fish. I have a lake here in Washington that is kind of my “lunker lake”, almost no way someone from out of town would know about it, mostly because it difficult to get to and not a very big lake, but it’s where I caught my PB 6.8lb. And I know you guys have way larger bass than that!! Washington state record in only 12 lbs I’m pretty sure, so a 6lb+bass is really good for Washington.

gimme a holler.

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Hey ReelCracker what is FOP? Also I’m in law enforcement, prisons division. For got to mention that after you said you are as well.

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FOP is the Faternal Order of Police. My wife is on the law enforcement side, so something I learned for her job. 

 

We also have a couple really good bait and tackle shops in the Orlando area in case you aren't able to get something, forget something, or conditions change.

 

I've got a couple days off during the time you'll be down, may even hit a couple lakes. 

 

Feel free to hit me up when you're down should you need some help, and definitely don't pass up the opportunity to get on a boat during visit if you are able to. 

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yep FOP (Fraternal Order of POPO). gees we seem to have a small group here in the Orlando area. We should organize a fish day somewhere.

Kinda crazy but had a nice 2-3lb fish in lake crecent yesterday next to a dock off a senko. Kinda funny cause i was throwing a crankbait in that area for a while with no results cause i knew there was something under there. So, i try to think outside the box sometimes and grabbed this ugly green and black spotted senko that I bought for a dollar at the big academy outdoor sale, really good sale by the way going on at academy outdoors!!!!, little guy nailed it boooo yah, so I have no idea what these guys are up to these days lol.

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Absolutely, I've met a few different folks from this forum.

 

I've got a couple days at Turkey Lake booked. Usually my father-in-law goes with me, but he is notorious for bailing if it is cold, rainy, or windy. I actually had a couple from Iowa go with me as they posted on here they would be visiting Orlando and were looking for places to fish. My father-in-law thought it was too cold, so they went instead. It was a 20+ day. 😂

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I love throwing a senko, Yamamoto specifically, 5” pumpkin green w/ black flake, then a #2 gomakatsu offset shank weighted hooks,  1/8th oz. and finally rigged weedless Texas style. That’s my favorite go to bait for sure. I went and checked out an awesome lake yesterday but it’s frozen over, figured I would try jigging but ice was dangerous. Other option is to head north a few hours, colder temps and safer ice but no bass. 

       From what I’m reading the Month of March is unpredictable in Florida, sounds like you literally have to adjust on the fly, nothing too pre determined, maybe even trying a few different lakes in one day. Switching lakes in one day where I live is almost not gonna happen, we have a lot of lakes but spread out or just not productive. 

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Senkos don't work here in Florida, especially weightless. 😉 

 

Yes, the switch can be unpredictable. I was looking at my catch log from last year 3/24/18, I had several catches that were all offshore. Then the next outing on 3/30/18, it was all plastics in the shallow grasses. One of those grass fish was a 5.8lber that hit a 4" green pumpkin t-rigged Senko. In winter 2017, I wasn't doing much offshore or wasn't catching them offshore as all my Jan, Feb, and Mar fish were from flipping and punching grass. Florida bass can start spawning in Dec, so 2017 may have been an earlier year. 

 

As we get closer, hopefully the Florida guys can give you better advice on what to pack, and worst case scenario, you can pick up baits locally. 

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Yes I will contact you (Fishing_FF) and ReelCracker most likely, seems like you’ll both be in the area I’m going to be in. I don’t know what I would do if I had year round fishing for bass, I don’t know if I would be married anymore! The other awesome fishing here in the winter is walleye but you really need a boat. I’m just super stoked to get down there and fish!! Two of the days I’ll be there I will be at the gatornationals in Gainesville, the 15th and 17th, but the other days are open. So sounds like they are fishing days!!

 

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senkos who uses those things?😄 anyway, gatornationals will change your life. awesome time!! daytona will make your thank god your alive. But yeah right now flipping and punching grass looking for those bedding fish is the way to go. even hitting the shore under cypress trees. My buddy caught a nice 5lb fish hitting the bank next to some cypress knees with a crank bait twitching it a couple times first almost like a popper. kinda simulated a dying bait or something, fish nailed it as he started the retrieve.

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