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First Trip to the Big O - Advice Please

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I am planning on a trip to Okeechobee later this month.  I want to put in at the Clewiston ramp.  My question is......should I stick to the rim canal for my first trip?  It seems there is access once I am through the lock leading into the lake.  Any other advice would be welcome.

Thanks

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Water level is dangerously low in places on the lake.  Stay in the rim canal or dynamite holes.  Best advice is hire a guide and take live shiners.  Or hire a guide and do artificial. Bring an extra prop and lower unit if you venture out into the lake.  Don't slow down once you get on plane or you won't be getting back up.

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Lake Okeechobee water level as of Jun 09, 2008  

9.44 ft.

 

About 3 ft. below its historical average for this time of year.

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Thanks for the replies.  I figured as much.  I wait years to get a boat and when I do we are going through the worst drought in decades.....

I'll stick to the rim canal then.  Any particular style of artificial fishing that is most productive in the canal?

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