Okeechobee Lake Water Levels

Okeechobee Lake Water Levels

Lake Okeechobee Water Levels 2021

Lake Okeechobee

The Big O

Lake Okeechobee provides a natural habitat for fish, wading birds, and other wildlife. It’s also a primary component of flood control systems and the water supply for South Florida. Okeechobee attracts boating and recreation enthusiasts every year from around the world. It is also home to a number of sport and commercial fisheries.

This famous body of water offers incredible bass fishing, a beautiful ecosystem, and scenic natural views. But more importantly, Lake Okeechobee and its wetlands center a much larger watershed that stretches from the Kissimmee River through the Florida Everglades into Florida Bay. Lake Okeechobee is the heart of the Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades system.

Lake Okeechobee Lake Levels

The water levels on Lake Okeechobee are primarily dependent on rain and the Kissimmee River Basin, the main water supply for Lake O. The water level conditions on Lake Okeechobee will fluctuate about 3 to 5 feet per year.

Falling Water Level

The Big O water levels range from 14 to 16 feet above sea level during the winter. The water level during the winter on Okeechobee will consistently fall from January to June. Farming and evaporation are the main reasons for the changes in depth during the dryer time of year.

Lake Okeechobee Water Rising

The water levels of Lake Okeechobee during the summer ranges from 12 to 15 feet above sea level. Due to afternoon rain showers and hurricanes, the summer months are when the Lake Okeechobee water levels rise the quickest. The runoff caused by rain in the Kissimmee Valley, the land area between Orlando and Okeechobee, is the main reason for rising water levels in Okeechobee.

Click to see the live feed showing the current Okeechobee lake levels on the US Army Corp of Engineers Website.

This feed is provided via satellite pump and water flows, including all depth changes. It shows the current water levels in Lake Okeechobee, as it is constantly updating with autocratic water level conditions.

Lake Okeechobee water levels

Herbert Hoover Dike

The lake provides flood protection with the Herbert Hoover Dike (HHD), a 143-mile earthen dam surrounding the lake. The dike reduces impacts from flooding caused by high lake levels for most areas of South Florida.

water levels in Okeechobee

Okeechobee Health and Estuaries

In recent decades, the lake’s health was threatened by excessive nutrients from agricultural and urban activities in the lake’s watershed, by harmful high and low water levels, and with the spread of exotic vegetation. When levels have gotten high especially after past hurricanes, it was lowered via coastal estuaries. The lake’s discharges are very damaging to the estuaries.

Today, Lake O is used to store water from a 4,000-square-mile basin north of the lake. Historically, there were much more natural storage areas in central and south Florida. Today, most of these wetlands have been developed, leaving fewer places to store rain. Because of this, it is stored in Okeechobee. The Hoover Dike allows for additional water storage. But, this extra water is harmful to the lake’s ecology.

Big O fish habitat and rain level
August Lake Okeechobee Fishing 2
Best Lake Okeechobee Boat Rentals

Best Lake Okeechobee Boat Rentals

Famous Lake Okeechobee in South Central Florida offers anglers the opportunity at a freshwater fishing adventure of a lifetime. Nothing is better than bass fishing in the largest lake in Florida, known for its trophy fish.

Lake Okeechobee is full of fishing guides that come with their bass boats, gear, and tackle. But luckily for anglers who are ready to venture in a different way, the giant lake also has the option for anglers to rent a boat large enough to fit a group but small enough to cruise this peaceful lake with fishing success.

Lake Okeechobee has numerous access points and not many places to rent a boat; here’s the breakdown of the best options around southern Lake O. And for those closer to the northern end of the lake, its less than an hour drive to the south end where all the boat rental action currently takes place.

South florida rental boats

Rent A Boat On Okeechobee

South florida rental boatsBassonline Boat Rentals

Nothing tops a bass fishing adventure with a big family or larger groups; unfortunately, bass boats cannot take more than three or four people at one time. Luckily, aside from being a professional charter service with fishing guides and bass boats, Bassonline now offers pontoon boat rentals in Belle Glade, the southeast end of Lake Okeechobee. The Bassonline pontoon boats typically fit up to ten people, making it possible for the whole family and your entire group of friends to enjoy a fun fishing excursion together. Belle Glade is conveniently located to West Palm Beach and within an hour to Okeechobee, Fl. Belle Glade is the closest launch point location for anybody coming from south Florida areas such as Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

fishing guides lake o More Information

Pontoon rental boats on Lake Okeechobee come with an experienced mate and high-quality gear and tackle, everything your group needs for a productive day of fishing this great Florida lake. All Bassonline boat rentals have a bimini top for shade and comfort during your fishing adventure. Anglers can rent a boat on famous Lake O for 4, 6, or 8 hours. When booking your trip online, there will be default start times, which can easily be changed at your request for a time that works best for you and your group.

lake okeechobee boat rentals-jon boatsFishing Lake O On Your Pontoon Boats

Lake Okeechobee is the second-largest freshwater body in the contiguous United States. It covers 450,000 acres and has endless spots for largemouth bass and panfish to be hiding. The most efficient way to get accustomed to this giant lake with success is to go with an expert. Your local mate can answer any questions about the area and provide insider recommendations on restaurants, accommodations, water depth, and especially on learning the habits of the giant Okeechobee bass. Whenever you are visiting South or Central Florida with a group of friends and family, pontoon rental boats will be ready for you to explore this famous lake and experience its incredible fishing.


Florida Boat rentals


Jolly Roger Marina

Jolly Roger Marina offers boat rentals out of Clewiston, the southwest end of Lake Okeechobee. The Marina has pontoon boats, Trolling Motor Boats, and Skiffs to rent and cruise the big O.

Central Florida boat rentals

Roland Martin Marina

This Clewiston marina offers V-bottom rental boats, Pontoon boats, and Strato Bass boats to rent out of the southwest end of Lak Okeechobee in Clewiston.

South Florida Boat rentals

North Okeechobee

At this time, there are no boat rentals in Okeechobee, Fl. Luckily it’s only a short drive from Okeechobee City on the North to Belle Glade on the south end. There are a few airboat tours available in Okeechobee. A couple of the places that do airboat tours are Eagly Bay and Okeechobee Airboat Rides.

fl pontoon boats

Experience Lake Okeechobee

However you decide to fish and cruise on the famous Lake Okeechobee, it will be an experience to remember. The Big O has endless adventures waiting for you between its incredible fishing, scenic views, and beautiful wildlife. While fishing Lake Okeechobee on your boat rental, you will have the opportunity to catch famous Florida trophy bass, Bluegill, Crappie, Gar, and Catfish. Visit the largest lake in Florida, the second-largest in the United States, with your whole group for the chance at a true freshwater fishing adventure creating the ultimate bonding moment!

Top Central Florida Lakes To Find Big Bass

Top Central Florida Lakes To Find Big Bass

There’s no better place to bass fish than the “bass fishing capital of the world,” also known as the state of Florida. There are endless Central Florida lakes for anglers to catch largemouth bass and have a great time. However, for those looking to increase their chances of landing that dream trophy bass, there are certainly some lakes with characteristics that help those big bass thrive, landing them a spot on Central Florida’s top big bass lakes. Only a small percentage of largemouths live long enough to attain that trophy size, which requires them to live at least ten years. Unfortunately, the average lifespan of bass is only 5 to 6 years. Fortunately, Florida bass grow faster and larger than anywhere else, especially in Central Florida. Many Central Florida lakes have incredibly healthy vegetation and water quality, creating an excellent habitat for the bass to live longer and grow large.

Central Florida has numerous options when it comes to excellent bass fishing. This list will start with the top lakes offering the best chances at a double-digit bass, along with tips from our local experts to achieve success. The article will end with the honorable mentions that consistently offer incredible fishing with good numbers and decent quality throughout the year near the Central Florida area.

Top Central Florida Lakes To Catch Big Trophy Bass

4. Lake Istokpoga

Top Central Florida trophycatch fish

Lake Istokpoga is a natural lake located northwest of Lake Okeechobee, near Lake Placid. It is the fifth-largest lake in the sunshine state, covering 27,692 acres. Lake Istokpoga averages 6 feet in depth and offers an array of shallow vegetation that big bass love, such as spatterdock, cattails, bulrush, eelgrass, peppergrass, and Kissimmee grass. Since its significant restoration effect in the early 2000s, Istokpoga has consistently produced quality size Florida bass. The Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission and its environmental partners drew the lake’s water levels down and removed over 1,300 acres of muck, allowing its native vegetation to flourish. Istokpoga is a top option for those looking to experience Florida bass fishing any time of the year. It has a strong reputation for having quality big bass throughout the year, not only during the spawning season.

Tips From The Local Experts

Live wild shiners are equally effective as artificial lures on this body of water, so if you like artificial fishing, this may be the Florida lake for you to experience. By the end of April, the big bass tend to finish spawning and then move on to schooling fish. Largemouths will begin schooling chasing threadfin and gizzard shad along peppergrass in the open water.

3. Harris Chain of Lakes

Lake Istokpoga - Lake Okeechobee

The Harris Chain consists of nine major water bodies totaling about 76,000 acres in Central Florida. The Harris Chain of Lakes has hosted numerous national bass tournaments, including the B.A.S.S. Megabucks decades ago. In the recent decades, Harris went through a low period but was since brought back to life. After going through a significant restoration and restocking project, the Chain has since been thriving and is now full of trophy fish. The Chain consistently produces excellent catches now and is one of the top recommended lakes for anglers looking to get their personal best largemouth bass. Since coming back strong, there are several bass tournaments on the Harris Chain of Lakes every year again. Harris is now incredibly fertile with a mostly green-stained water color. The primary aquatic cover is Kissimmee grass, lily pads, eelgrass, and bulrushes. 

Tips From The Local Experts

These healthy big bass require power techniques and stout tackle. Because of the strength of these big fish, anglers are risking breaking off an excellent catch when using light tackle on Harris. Sight fishing and casting in deep pockets are two different and popular methods to try here. Lake Eustis is one of the more popular lakes on the Chain, and its residential canals can be very productive at specific times of the year. It also has a famous spot called “Gator Hole,” a deep sinkhole leading off the main lake and produces large numbers of big bass.

2. Lake Kissimmee

Lake George-Kingsley lake

Lake Kissimmee covers 34,948 acres and is the southernmost link of the Kissimmee Chain, located east of Lake Wales and 40 miles south of Orlando. Lake Kissimmee has earned its spot on the big bass list because of its perfectly fertile environment that allows the bass to grow large in good numbers. The Kissimmee Chain lake has an extremely bass-friendly habitat consisting of expansive native grass, lily pads, cattail, bulrush, and hydrilla beds. The bass fishing pressure is relatively light on Lake Kissimmee due to its vegetation’s expanse and the endless places for big bass to hide out and ambush baitfish. The local bass can live to a ripe old age without as many angler encounters since there are impossible places to reach with any conventional boat.

Tips From The Local Experts

Soft jerk baits, rattling crankbaits, and Carolina or Texas-rigged plastic worms casted in the open water or along the vegetation edges are effective during the summer and fall. Fishing a smaller shiner, such as a hatchery shiner, is a good option during the year’s warmer times. Our local fishing guides go to great lengths to ensure the proper size shiner when fishing Lake Kissimmee during any time of the year. Fishing with Live Bait in the heavy cover is always a great option and will often bring feeding big bass to the attack. During certain times of the year, fishing with wild shiners is preferred since they are hardy and more active than a hatchery-raised shiner. Largemouth bass will go for shiners in all sizes, but the giant trophy bass will likely go for a shiner in the 4 to 6-inch long range. Our Central Florida guides suggest choosing your artificial lures based on the watercolor, wind, temperature, cover, and time of year. Plastic worms are always a good bet, as are rattle traps, buzz baits, weedless spoons, spinnerbaits, and frog baits. Numerous big bass are taken regularly on top waters and shallow crankbaits. Flipping and pitching the weed lines can land you a trophycatch in the heat of the day.

1. Lake Tohopekaliga (Lake Toho)

West Lake Tohopekaliga Florida-Lake Toho

West Lake Tohopekaliga, Lake Toho for short, is an 18,810-acre fishery located southeast of Kissimmee and is the uppermost part of the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes. Lake Toho is one of the best bass fishing lakes in Florida, earning the number one spot on our list because of its consistency. It’s an excellent fishery any day of the year and the most recommended by our team; however, Lake Toho has been on another level during the spawning season. Almost every fishing trip on Lake Toho during the peak season lands one big bass over 8 pounds, many reaching the ten-pound mark, and numerous bass over 6 pounds. Like most Central Florida bass lakes, Lake Toho is abundant in aquatic vegetation to support its healthy big bass population, including shallow grass flats, maidencane, natural bullrush, and hydrilla. Lake Toho hosts numerous well-known bass fishing tournaments every year. According to Bassmaster magazine, Lake Toho is considered the most consistent bass lake in the country for producing both numbers and trophy bass.

Tips From The Local Experts

The mouth of Shingle Creek, the shorelines east and west South Port Park, Goblets Cove, and Lanier Point are all top spots in Lake Toho holding trophy largemouth bass. The offshore hydrilla patches near channel marker 24 and Little Grassy Island also are good spots to check. Live shiners are the most effective, but artificial lures also produce in these spots. When exploring Lake Toho, look for some healthy vegetation in the water that could serve as a suitable habitat for big bass, include its bulrush, lily pads, weed mats, Kissimmee grass, and fish attractors put in by The Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission. Fishing in the canals and tributaries after heavy rains is a good idea because the runoff sends a good flow throughout the lake, creating a hot bite in these connected areas. Some of the top techniques and lures used on Lake Toho to catch big bass include pitching craws and beavers or flipping Texas-rigged worms. Frogs, swim jigs, and spinnerbaits are also productive.

Lake Toho Florida lake - West lake Tohopekaliga

Honorable Mentions

There are several excellent bass fishing locations in Central Florida, and conditions are constantly changing, making certain ones better at specific times year after year.

Central Fl

Butler Chain of Lakes

The Butler Chain of Lakes, located less than 30 minutes from Orlando, covers 5,000 acres consisting of 11 small interconnected lakes that are extremely deep, averaging 20 to 40 feet. The Butler Chain of lakes near Orlando is one of the best bass fishing spots for numbers. An angler visiting Orlando looking for non-stop action should experience this Florida lake. The Butler Chain of Lakes certainly has its fair share of big bass, but it doesn’t provide as high of a likelihood of landing a trophy as the other Central Florida lakes. The Butler Chain of lakes has a high abundance of submerged vegetation, making it a top-notch spot for large numbers of small to medium-sized fish.

Johns Lake

Johns Lake in North Park, located northwest of Orlando, Florida, used to be well-known for producing largemouths over ten points and was rated in the top 10 lakes in Florida. Recently, Johns lake has gone through some low water conditions, but it remains producing consistently well.

Clermont Chain of Lakes

The Clermont Chain of lakes located in Lake County, in Clermont Florida consists of 11 connected lakes and has over 167 square miles of fishable waters. It’s home to various fish species including a healthy largemouth population.

Butler Chain of Lakes - Florida fish management area

North Central Fl

Rodman Reservoir

No big bass list would be complete without mentioning Rodman. The 9,500-acre reservoir is located in Northern Central Florida but is trophy largemouth bass central. This fishery is best known for offering quality over quantity. Its flooded timber and healthy vegetation make for excellent fishing for good size fish.

North Central Florida - Lake George and Rodman

South Central Fl

Lake Okeechobee

Lake Okeechobee is located on the southern end of Central Florida but is the largest fresh body of water in the state and the most famous bass fishing destination in the country. Its full of productive vegetation allowing for consistent numbers and many good size fish to be caught on almost every trip.

Okeechobee big fish

Best Florida Bass Fishing Destinations for 2021

Best Florida Bass Fishing Destinations for 2021

Florida Bass Fishing

Top Florida Bass Destinations

Florida has hundreds of lakes and rivers full of fish, but some consistently produce good quality and quantities of bass, earning them a spot on the list of best bass fishing lakes in Florida.

  • Considered the best bass fishing lakes in North Florida are Rodman Reservoir, Orange Lake, The St John’s River, Lake George, and The Harris Chain of Lakes.
  • The best bass fishing lakes in Central Florida are Lake Tarpon, Stick Marsh, Fellsmere Reservoir, Lake Toho, The Butler Chain, Lake Kissimmee, Lake Istokpoga, and Lake Okeechobee. 
  • Look at as best bass fishing lakes in South Florida are The Golden Gate Canal, Lake Ida an Osborne, The Everglades, and Miami Airport Lakes.
Florida big bass lakes

All of these offer incredible fishing opportunities but also have something unique to offer.

Florida weather and healthy vegetation have promoted incredible fisheries throughout Florida all year. They range from North to South with exceptional bass fishing that is worthwhile to experience. Our adventure through the state will start in the North and move further South. Each stop along the way will provide you with a new perspective of what the sunshine state can offer you.

Whether your goals are to catch big bass or large quantities, there is a Florida fishery for you.

Here are the details on your Top Florida Bass Destinations to experience and explore while visiting the tropical state of Florida.

Florida trophy largemouth bass fishing

North Florida

The Rodman Reservoir

If you are coming to Florida and are looking strictly for a trophy largemouth bass, North Florida is the place to visit. Cooler water temperatures promote a slower metabolism for the bass, allowing them to grow larger. The Rodman Reservoir in Putnam County covers 9,500 acres and has been one of the most productive fishing destinations in the state for big bass. It is a consistent fishery that promotes daily catches of over 8 pounds.

Rodman has registered 348 trophycatch fish to date. If you are looking to fish a top-ranked lake in the country, the Rodman Reservoir would be an excellent choice. Experience this 19 miles long lake while enjoying the wild nature of North Florida near Gainesville with high chances of landing your dream largemouth bass.

Rodman reservoir big largemouth bass fishing

Orange Lake

Orange Lake is in the southeast of Gainesville designated fish management area with 20 miles of shoreline. Orange Lake has extensive aquatic vegetation of lily pads and hydrilla, providing prime bass habitats. The thriving habitat allowed Orange Lake to get on the list of many bass anglers for having the best trophy largemouth bass fishing in Florida. Along with its big bass, Orange Lake holds black crappie, redear sunfish, and bluegill in good size and numbers.

The only public boat ramps are located at Heagy-Burry.

Florida fish management area

The St John’s River

The St. Johns River is a unique waterway with some of the best largemouth bass fishing in Florida. The river begins in Vero beach and winds through 12 Central Florida counties before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. The St. Johns River is known for consistently holding trophy largemouth bass. The best big bass fishing here is done by wild shiner fishing. Along with its big bass, the St. Johns River is also known for its top-notch pan fishing for crappie and bluegill. The river consists of three basins that all offer some unique angling opportunities.

The upper basin of the river is the most unpredictable and becomes best after widening up near Titusville. The middle basin is the shortest and is more navigable. This basin has access to Lakes Monroe, Harney, and Jesup, which all thrive as excellent bass fishing lakes. The lower basin starts before Lake George and runs north through Jacksonville before reaching the Atlantic. This basin is home to both freshwater and saltwater fish species.

Bass fishing in Florida

Lake George

Lake George is the second largest lake in Florida after Lake Okeechobee. The lake spans 46,000 acres and stretches 6 miles at its widest point. This fishery is relatively shallow with an average depth of eight feet and is very brackish for a lake in this part of Florida. The lake is best known for its big bass, striped bass, and sunfish.

Lake George does not have vegetation along its shoreline or on the bottom, making it more difficult to find fish than the other heavily vegetated Florida lakes. Despite the lack of foliage, there are still plenty of spots to catch big Florida bass, including the remnants of an old bombing range throughout the lake. There is also a sunken ship in the middle of the water that will be the home of a large panfish population.

Great Bass fishing lakes - Lake George

The Harris Chain of Lakes

The Harris Chain of Lakes is one of the most prolific bass lakes in the state. The Harris Chain is nutrient-rich and filled with large shad, bluegills, and golden shiners to feed the enormous trophy fish. The Chain of Lakes consists of nine lakes and covers about 76,000 acres. The Chain of Lakes used to host several bass tournaments twenty years ago. The bass fishing declined and got a bad reputation for several years; however, the fishing is back and stronger than ever. Numerous big bass are caught on the Chain of lakes every day while on a fishing charter.

Today, the Harris Chain of lakes is exceptionally fertile with mostly dark stained water. This freshwater lake is primarily covered in Kissimmee grass, lily pads, eelgrass, and bulrushes. Fishing the Chain requires stout tackle and power techniques for its robust and healthy bass population.

Florida chain of lakes bass fishing

West Central

Lake Tarpon

Lake Tarpon is located about 10 miles west of Tampa in Tarpon Springs, Florida, United States. The lake covers 2,500 acres and stretches almost nine miles long. Its surrounded by houses and resorts with tons of fishing opportunities.

This fishery offers some of the best big bass fishing in Florida on the west coast. Lake Tarpon is renowned for its trophy-size bass and supports a healthy population of crappie, bluegill, blue tilapia, sunfish, and catfish.

The lake’s bottom has deep-water holes and shallow edges with grass beds for the thriving populations of various fish species. Two county parks border the lake with boat ramps, east John Chestnut Park and west A.L Anderson Park. Because of its location, Lake Tarpon hosts numerous bass tournaments.

Central Florida lakes

East Central

Stick Marsh (Farm 13)

Stick Marsh, also known as Farm 13, is a 6,500-acre impoundment a part of the St Johns Water Management Area. Stick Marsh lies near the Treasure Coast of Florida and is one of the nation’s most abundant and natural big bass fisheries.

The Farm 13 water depths average 4 to 8 feet, but navigating the area can be difficult with its numerous underwater stumps. Stick Marsh holds prime waters for trophy bass, with many catches being in close to double digits. Live bait is the most effective method for catching trophies, but artificial lures can often produce as well. It’s best for an angler new to the area to fish with an experienced local captain to safely and efficiently get the full experience of this trophy bass lake.

Stick Marsh Bass Fishing - Fishing In Melbourne Fl - Central Florida

Fellsmere Reservoir

Fellsmere Reservoir, also known as Lake Eden, Headwaters Lake, and Lake Headwaters, is a world-class human-made lake in Indian River County, covering 10,000 acres. Fellsmere borders Stick Marsh, Blue Cypress, and Lake Garcia.

The underwater features and structural habitat of Fellsmere lake provide an exceptional experience for a visiting bass fisherman. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation stocked nearly 1,000,000 sport fish in the reservoir along with bluegill, crappie, and redear sunfish. Fellsmere is one of the lakes a visiting angler must experience when freshwater fishing in Florida.

Fl trophy fish

Central Florida

Lake Tohopekaliga (Lake Toho)

Lake Toho in Central Florida is an 18,810-acre bass fishery southeast of Kissimmee and is the uppermost lake in the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes.

Lake Toho is full of vegetation, including lily pads, cattails, weed mats, bulrush, and Kissimmee grass, all supporting a healthy bass population. In addition to its vegetation, Fish management practices improved the bottom of Lake Toho by allowing extreme drawdowns to its water level. During the drawdowns, deposits of muck are removed by bulldozers from the shoreline areas imitating a natural drought, making the shoreline of Lake Toho prime for bass spawning success.

Lake Toho is home to numerous annual bass fishing tournaments, including Bassmaster opens. Lake Toho also supports healthy populations of bluegill, crappie, redear sunfish, pickerel, gar, and catfish.

Lake Toho trophy fish - lake tohopekaliga

The Butler Chain

As we travel further south into Central Florida, you land yourself through a maze of a chain of lakes. There is one particular Chain that stands out from the rest: The Butler Chain of Lakes. This interconnected Chain of 11 lakes promotes one of the most unique Florida bass experiences. It is considered relatively deep for a Florida lake with 20 to 40-foot holes. One of the most incredible aspects is its deep vegetation structures in some of the clearest fresh water in Florida that the bass love.

Bass fishing on this lake can get very exciting. It has a large quantity of largemouth bass that causes them to school regularly, making Butler best known for its numbers rather than size. This allows for some of the best action you can explore here in Florida. As you are fishing these schools, enjoy catching quality 4 to 5-pound bass throwing artificial topwater bait fish. Springtime is when the bass truly begins to school up and produce what you are searching for. Explore the R.D. Keene Park for a great trophy bass adventure.

Central Florida big bass fishing lakes

Lake Kissimmee

Lake Kissimmee is the southernmost lake in the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes. It covers 34,948 acres and is located 18 miles east of Lake Wales and 40 miles south of Orlando. Lake Kissimmee is a fertile environment making it a top trophy bass fishery. Lake Kissimmee has produced over 497 TrophyCatch fish, including 1 Hall of Famer, 87 Trophy Club, and 409 Lunker Club.

The fertile soil of Lake Kissimmee creates a healthy abundance of food sources such as zooplankton, insects, and forage fish. The rich food sources allow the Lake Kissimmee bass to grow fast. Along with the food abundance, Lake Kissimmee has an excellent habitat consisting of a diverse combination of emergent and submerged vegetation ideal for bass spawning.

Lake Kissimmee bass - central florida

Lake Istokpoga

Lake Istokpoga in Highlands County is located five miles northeast of Lake Placid and is the fifth-largest natural lake in Florida, covering 27,692 acres. It has numerous boat ramps on the North, Northeast, and Southwest sides of the lake.

Since a significant restoration effort in the 2000’s, Lake Istokpoga has consistently cranked out quality-sized bass. Lake Istokpoga had 329 trophycatch fish.

Lake Istokpoga has an average depth of 6 feet, offering a vast amount of shallow vegetation, including spatterdock, hydrilla, Kissimmee grass, bulrush, lily pads, eelgrass, and cattails. According to Bassmaster Elite Bobby Lane, bass anglers will likely get 10-15 quality bites a day any time of year when fishing on Lake Istokpoga.

Lake Istokpoga great bass fishing lakes - Lake Placid

South Central

Lake Okeechobee

Moving further on our Florida Bass Fishing Tour, Lake Okeechobee is our next stop. Okeechobee is an enormous 730 plus square-mile freshwater lake in Florida known for its legendary largemouth fishing throughout the year. Spring Bass Fishing has been truly heating up every year, especially in the southern destinations on the lake. You can experience fantastic fishing across the whole lake, but the South has been producing the best. Clewiston and Belle Glade will be the best locations to fish this spring. Anglers can experience big numbers and great-quality largemouth bass this time of year as the bass are still in their spawning process.

Lake Okeechobee has one of the most vibrant and abundant largemouth bass populations in the state of Florida. You can fish there your whole life and never see the same fish twice. One of the best parts about fishing Lake Okeechobee is that wherever you are traveling from, there is a destination near you. If you are coming from Miami or Fort Lauderdale, Belle Glade or the southeast side of the lake would be your best bet. If Fort Myers or Naples is the vacation or home destination, Clewiston would be the best location. When coming from Central Florida, make sure you experience Okeechobee City to provide you with a truly unique perspective on the lake.

Lake Okeechobee fishing


Golden Gate

The Golden Gate Canal is centrally located between Naples-Marco Island’s beaches and The Everglades National Park, Big Cypress Preserve, and Collier-Seminole State Park.

Popular exotic fish such as the peacock bass and Oscars have found their way into southwest Florida from Miami. These fish are now extremely abundant here, making the Golden Gate a top peacock fishing lake in the state. The fishing is excellent year-round for peacock bass, largemouth bass, and panfish. The big bass are most often caught during the colder months when they are actively feeding during their peak spawning time. In addition to these popular freshwater fish, anglers can also catch snook and tarpon in these canals.

Sunshine state bass


Lake Ida and Lake Osborne

The Lake Ida Chain of Lakes starts in Boynton Beach and ends in Delray Beach. The lake to the North in Boynton is Lake Osborne, while to the South in Delray is Lake Ida. Lake Ida and Osborne both offer some of the best south Florida lakes for largemouth and peacock fishing. The lakes have some good-size largemouth and peacock bass, sunshine bass, bluegills, Mayan cichlids, and other exotic fish species like the clown knife fish.

These Florida lakes in Palm Beach are the furthest North in the sunshine state that an angler can experience a peacock bass fishing charter. The Chain of Lakes has convenient access points allowing anglers to start searching for big bad and beautiful peacock bass within minutes.

The endless canals of the Chain of lakes provide the high opportunity to catch peacock bass in good numbers. The numerous structures, including docks, bridges, cuts, and seawalls, are good focus points for largemouth and peacock bass.

Boynton Beach peacock bass & Clown Knife

The Florida Everglades

When you think of Florida Bass Fishing, the Florida Everglades or “the river of grass” should hopefully ring clear. Cruise through the miles of canal systems that dominate South Florida while uncovering untouched waters pristine for largemouth fishing. If you are looking for extreme numbers of largemouth bass and some peacock bass, the Florida Everglades is the place to explore. The Everglades covers a large area with many access points; some of the more popular areas are Everglades Holiday Park, Sawgrass Rec Center, and Mile Marker 35 and 41. Every cast can yield a fish during these fantastic spring conditions. Another unbelievable feature of this incredible fishing destination is the abundance of wildlife.

Enjoy your fishing experience while listening to the birds, alligators and many other inhabitants create a song before you. We would also recommend this location for young kids and family members that love to be in the outdoors and have not yet experienced what Florida fishing is all about. Come enjoy catching 100-200 largemouth bass in a trip for memories we genuinely believe you will not forget.

Everglades - the river of grass bass - frog fishing

Miami Airport Lakes

This Miami destination stands out from the rest. It is a location that you can experience the total abundance of Florida exotics and largemouth fishing to its fullest. The Miami Airport Lakes is an excellent location to catch the hardest fighting bass in the state, the peacock bass. Blue Lagoon or Airport Lakes is home to the Florida Peacock Bass and some quality largemouth bass fish. It was one of the first locations they stocked this incredible species of bass. When it comes to fishing for peacock bass, domestic shiners are most productive, however artificial lures especially topwater lures can often produce. Your Bassonline fishing guide comes with all artificial fishing tackle needed for success. One of the significant aspects of fishing the Miami Airport system is the ability to catch saltwater species.

When the locks open to release water, many species, including snook, tarpon, and jack crevalle, travel through and get trapped in when they close them. These species can live in this water which provides you ample opportunities to hook one as well. Don’t count out catching some quality largemouth bass along with your adventures in the heart of Miami.

South Florida best peacock bass
bass fishing lakes florida

Best Time For Bass Fishing

Bass fishing in Florida is incredible throughout the year, contributing to it being the “Fishing Capital of the World.” However, the springtime is when largemouths spawn and provide anglers with their best opportunity to catch a double-digit trophy. Typically the spawn starts when water temperature becomes optimal as early as December and goes into June, varying slightly throughout the state.

Springtime here in Florida is the perfect time to take a vacation. As the northern states are still experiencing cold fronts, Florida is beginning to warm up. The characteristics of this spring have been considerably different than the many before it. Colder weather throughout the whole United States has made for exciting fishing conditions.

Freshwater fishing in Florida often gets overlooked, but has really heated up with the warming trends.

Late Spawns at our Top Florida Bass Destinations

One of the main reasons our fishing has been so fantastic here in Florida is the extreme weather. The cold fronts that have pushed through changed the water temperatures dramatically throughout our season. As temperatures change, the Florida largemouths pushed off spawns that they are now engaging in. During these new moon phases, our professional captains and experts have been catching largemouth bass filled with eggs and preparing for their spawning process. April will most likely be the last time they spawn, but it will also be one of the best months to catch excellent bass at all our top Florida bass destinations.

Florida Fishing Experience

Don’t miss out on our Top Florida largemouth Fishing Destinations across the whole state. Action will be consistent all year long. Each month will provide new challenges, different techniques, and great fishing. Florida is the best destination to catch that big largemouth bass or peacock you are looking for. We would love to create a memory worth a lifetime while you reel in that fish that will make you smile!

If you enjoyed this post about our Top Florida Bass Destinations, you might also enjoy this fishing report from the same area.

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March Florida Okeechobee Fishing for Largemouth Bass

March Florida Okeechobee Fishing for Largemouth Bass

March Florida Okeechobee Fishing

Lake Okeechobee is available to explore and go fishing. Most of the boat ramps are open and our local experts are still out scouting the water for largemouth bass. Local travelers have been able to still get in the outdoors and enjoy a day on the water. Fresh air in a beautiful destination like Lake Okeechobee can be the perfect way to explore what this destination has to offer. Our March Florida Okeechobee Fishing trips can provide some exceptional memories and some big bass on your next outdoor adventure!

Our local experts, especially in times like now, are extra courteous of all your needs. We are taking extra measures for safety and want you to be sure of it. Our private tours can be a great way to explore the great outdoors and change up your plans for the day. We hope to get the chance to get you out on the water in the near future!

Check out this Lake Okeechobee Bass Fishing Update:

March-Florida-Okeechobee-Fishing“Some of the best fishing trips are the ones that you get to celebrate something. Fishing on Lake Okeechobee is always a special moment but when you have a birthday wish and it comes true, it is even more remarkable!

I had the pleasure of fishing with Riley, a young man with a birthday wish. His wish was to explore and fish the beautiful Lake Okeechobee. Riley’s parents, Amy and Doug, made that happen for him. It was an honor to get the chance to show this wonderful family around for a fishing adventure they would not forget.

The fishing was strong with light tackle. Riley was an exceptional fisherman and knew how to put the bass in the boat. He also made sure to document his fishing trip for his YouTube channel. Nothing like spending a day on the water with an angler that loves to fish and wants to learn more about it.

Riley and his family caught over 20 largemouth bass on their fishing trip. The biggest fish weighed in around 3-4 pounds. The action is red hot and is only going to continue to get better in the upcoming weeks.

I am looking forward to getting back out on the water with them!”

My second trip of the day with a long time repeat client was just as good

“As always, spending time on the water with long-time repeat client Jim Robertson was amazing. This man travels from Texas to land Florida largemouth bass multiple times a year. When he does, we always have a great time and catch a number of fish.


Jim is a seasoned angler that loves to throw artificial baits on both bait casters and spinning rods. Working and fishing with light tackle here on Lake Okeechobee is an experience worth exploring. Unfortunately, arthritis in his hands confines him to using a spinning reel for a portion of the day.

One of the best parts of fishing with Jim is that every trip is a new adventure. We were able to get around some outside grass structure and land some beautiful largemouth bass in the 3-4 pound range. Jim was catching fish all trip long, making for a successful day on the water.

Lake Okeechobee largemouth bass pulls harder than any other fish in the country. You can have an absolute blast on your next fishing adventure here in Florida.

Jim had a great time and I am always looking forward to our next trip!” – Captain Mark Shepard

 Fishing with Captain Mark Rose out of Belle Glade, FL

“Lake Okeechobee is fishing really well. I had the pleasure of fishing with Paul and Bill. While coming to Florida and enjoying the Florida sunshine, they wanted to catch some largemouth bass. Lake Okeechobee was the perfect place for them especially out of Belle Glade, Florida.


We spent three days on the water and each day they caught numbers of bass. The average day brought out 15-20 bass to the boat. When fishing Lake Okeechobee, you can catch fish with either or both live bait and artificial lures. By far, the most productive fishing comes from live bait but you can have a blast catching fish with artificial lures as well.

Paul and Bill caught fish on both. The best artificial lures to use was soft-plastic flukes and senkos. As the water temperatures rise, the bite will consistently get better. These guys caught fish up to 3 pounds with no giants in the boat.

All-in-all, everyone on board had a fantastic time on the water and I am looking forward to seeing them back out on the water again soon!” – Captain Mark Rose

Come Catch Yours TODAY!

Keep Lake Okeechobee in mind when looking for something different and fun to do. Please reach out with any questions you may have about our fishing tours and which locations are still open to fish. This is the month to get out and go bass fishing. You can catch the fish of a lifetime! When looking to take a break, hop on board with one of our local experts and enjoy the fresh air while setting the hook into a largemouth bass on our March Florida Okeechobee Fishing trips!

March Okeechobee Fishing Trip for Florida Largemouth Bass

March Okeechobee Fishing Trip for Florida Largemouth Bass

March Okeechobee Fishing Trip

Lake Okeechobee is one of the most world-renowned fishing destinations in the world. Every year anglers come to Lake Okeechobee to explore and get the chance to catch the biggest bass of their life. You never know what is going to be on the other end of your line and this fishery is the perfect place to get addicted to the outdoors. Enjoy a March Okeechobee Fishing Trip for Florida largemouth bass.

March-Okeechobee-Fishing-TripLake Okeechobee is alive and well. During these winter months of the year for the United States, cold fronts do move through the state of Florida. When this happens, your early morning temperatures tend to drop. During the day, the weather is absolutely beautiful once the sun comes out. The early morning bite is the best during this time and almost all year round.

Our local experts have years of experience to help you have the best possible fishing trip. They also can help you develop and cultivate your skill level. Whether you want to learn more about live bait fishing or how to target bass with artificial lures, they have you covered. We hope to get the chance to show you around why we love Lake Okeechobee on your next visit to Florida!

Check out this Lake Okeechobee Bass Fishing Update:

Fishing with Captain Mark Shepard

“Some of my favorite fishing trips are the ones with young anglers looking to learn more about bass fishing. My years of experience and becoming a guide has made me love sharing along with my passions with anglers.

I had the opportunity to fish with Brian. He was traveling from Canada looking to explore what Lake Okeechobee had to offer. We fished out of Clewiston, Florida, a hot spot for Okeechobee bass fishing. This young man was an exceptional fisherman and battled some tough conditions.

Brian came out fishing on the backside of a cold front. Right off the bat, he caught several nice fish. This was a full day of fishing with only artificial baits. We were in store for a grind with a ton of great learning lessons in the mix.

As the day progressed, we caught numbers of more largemouth bass. You can tell the fishing is starting to get really good here on Lake Okeechobee!

Brian had a great time fishing with artificial baits. The most productive lures on this trip were the Wow Factor Fishing crankbait, soft plastic worms, and flukes. Slow-moving presentations when the bite slows down is key when looking to cash in on a quality bite.

Looking forward to next time!” – Captain Mark Shepard

Fishing with Captain Mark Rogers out of Okeechobee City, FL 

“I had the pleasure of fishing with Pete, who was traveling from Wisconsin to catch some Okeechobee bass. Lake Okeechobee bass fishing was always something that he wanted to do and he loved every moment of fishing on the lake.

It was a beautiful day on the water with perfect conditions. Water temperatures are on the rise which helps the bite after having some cooler weather. The warm sun was an added bonus for Pete who enjoyed the wonderful Florida weather on this trip.

The artificial bite was productive in the early morning and then slowed down as the day went on. Pete was catching male bass with senkos and swimbaits. You could tell that some bigger females were on the way with how these males were acting.

During the early afternoon hours, we switched over to wild-caught live shiners. Pete caught a total of 15 largemouth bass on this fishing trip. Most of the fish were in the 2-4 pound range. Unfortunately, a giant bass got away but that is why they call it fishing.

I am looking forward to having another great day on the water with Pete again in the near future!” – Captain Mark Rogers

Fishing with Captain Mark Rose out of Belle Glade, Florida

“Lake Okeechobee fishing has been amazing this month and is only getting better. It was a great pleasure to fish with Ken and his wife, who was traveling from Pittsburgh, PA looking to enjoy some Florida sunshine. While doing so, getting out on Lake Okeechobee is always a great experience.

March-Okeechobee-Fishing-Trip One of the main goals on this fishing trip was to catch their very first largemouth bass. They spent two days out on the water and had a blast every minute. Slim’s Fish Camp out of Belle Glade, Florida is a great place to be introduced to the amazing fishing here in South Florida.

Ken landed the biggest bass of the trip with a new personal best weighing in at 5.50 pounds. Most of the bass were caught on flukes and senkos. Soft plastics are a great way to get addicted to catching bass here in Florida. The key to landing fish is finding clean water. Once you do, then throw out a watermelon red fluke Senko near the grass structure and hold on.

Ken and his wife enjoyed the beautiful sunny days in the outdoors landing over 15 bass on each trip. I am looking forward to getting them back out on the water in the near future!” – Captain Mark Rose 

Come Visit Florida and Catch Yours Today.

The bass fishing here on Lake Okeechobee is getting better and better. Stay tuned for more great action with our local experts. You never know where your next fishing adventure will take you. We hope we get the chance to show you around, get you out on the water, and help you catch that fish of a lifetime. Bring your whole family along for an adventure you will never forget!

See you on the water next time!

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