Lake Osborne Fishing
Lake Osborne is a 356-acre water body located in Palm Beach County. Aquatic vegetation consists of cattail, spatterdock, and hydrilla. Nine fish attractors have been constructed on the lake and are marked with buoys. Fish present in Lake Osborne include peacock bass, clown knife fish, largemouth bass, sunshine bass, black crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, catfish, and Mayan cichlids.
Because much of the lake is surrounded by John Prince Park, bank access is plentiful. The park has a public boat ramp and fishing dock equipped with its own automatic fish feeder. Picnic pavilions, a campground, and public restrooms are also present in John Prince. There are no marinas, fish camps, or bait and tackle stores on the lake.
Guides Capt Brett Isackson, Capt Tony Masiello and Capt Daivd Lauer all to South Florida guides who spent many days fishing on Lake Ida & Osborne and is often written about in the media. He explains fishing on Lake Osborne uses live bait and artificial lures. We believes the Lake Osborne bass fan out beds near hydrilla because the aquatic plant keeps the water clear, which allows sunlight to reach the beds. Brett fishes deeper in Lake Osborne than he does on other lakes. Heavy boat traffic on Lake Ida & Lake Osborne on the weekends for anglers is unbearable, we believe, encourages these urban bass to seek refuge in deeper water.
It’s a great place to fish, even with wind whipping across the lake, you are able to find sheltered spots to fish. This is urban fishing. Lake Osborne anglers can find fish around grassy, tree-lined stretches of John Prince Park — or around the sea walls of waterfront homes, where the family pet may be present. You may find yourself fishing along sea walls, boats and docks as cars whizzed by at high speed. Helicopters taking off from Lantana airport and buzz over you. The bass do not seem to care. Another great pattern is wooden docks. Something bumped about the shade and cooler water. Bass often weigh up to 6 pounds — very nice bass in most places, but hardly the best at Lake Osborne. We have pulled 10-pound bass from this lake. In February like most South Florida lakes, is a prime spawning month.
The catch rate for largemouth bass in Lake Osborne is solid, too. A survey of 188 Lake Osborne anglers by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission showed a catch rate of 1.07 bass per hour — far better than the statewide average of one bass every four hours. Peacock bass thrive in warm water in this system and are most active in the warm months. They’re known to school and hit topwater baits on hot summer days. But we have been catching peacocks year-round in Lake Ida, Lake Osborne, Lake Clarke and surrounding canals.
Fishing Lake Osborne
Where to fish: Anglers can find largemouth bass around marked fish attractors, docks, grassy edges of the lake and near hydrilla mats in open water. For sunshine bass, try fishing in deeper water with threadfin shad or cut shrimp at night under the Sixth Avenue Bridge. For butterfly peacock bass, try pitching live bait or artificial lures near docks and sea walls south of Lantana Road. Try fishing around fallen trees for Mayan cichlids.
Fish variety: In addition to largemouth bass, anglers catch peacock bass, hybrid sunshine bass, Mayan cichlids, bluegills, speckled perch and catfish in Lake Osborne. Anglers also catch an occasional clown knifefish, an odd-looking aquarium fish illegally released into the Osborne/Ida chain.
Regulations: Anglers can keep five largemouth bass a day, only one of which can be 14 inches or longer. Two peacock bass can be kept, only one of which can be 17 inches or longer. There are no limits on Mayan cichlids. The bag limit for speckled perch (black crappie) is 25. For details, refer to the Freshwater Fishing Regulations brochure or go online to www.myfwc.com/fishing/rules.
Licenses: Freshwater fishing licenses are required unless exempt. Licenses can be purchased at sporting goods stores, tax collectors’ offices, online at www.myfwc.com or by calling (888) 347-4356.
Shoreline restoration: Several sections of the Lake Osborne shoreline have been planted with bulrush, spikerush, pickerelweed and other wetland plants to improve the marsh habitat. Planted areas are protected by wave barriers to minimize erosion. Additional shoreline work along the west side of Lake Osborne is planned next year.