Florida Bass Fishing Tips

Florida Bass Fishing Tips
Bring up the state of Florida in a conversation with a bass fisherman, and his eyes likely will light up. Florida is home to some of the best bass fishing--for large and average-sized bass alike--in the United States. Its waters are the setting for hundreds of bass tournaments each year, and the state is a prime destination for both competitive and casual anglers.

Hit it Early

The air and water get warm in Florida, especially during the summer. As a result, bass are more likely to feed early in the day when the water is coolest. The best places to begin fishing are around weed edges or moving water. Throw topwater baits like buzzbaits and poppers if the water is calm. Spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits retrieved quickly work especially well if there is some wind rippling the surface of the water. When the water is at its warmest in the summer, bass often are done feeding before 10 a.m. To combat this, hit the water early and use quick-moving lures to cover water until you locate a school of fish.


Focus on Boat Docks

Since ice never covers the lakes in Florida, most boat docks are never pulled from the water. As a result, they provide year-round shade and good places from which bass can ambush their prey. Docks nearest deep water usually are best, except during the spawn, when bass are focused on large, shallow flats. Worms and tube jigs are especially effective when pitched around the pilings of the docks. Both lures also can be skipped underneath the docks for bass that are not on the edges of the docks.

Lure Bass with a Live Shiner

Grab a stout rod and reel, spool it with 20-pound test or heavier fishing line, attach a hook and impale a live shiner on the hook. Live shiners are one of the best ways to target bass, especially big ones, in Florida. If you're fishing sparse vegetation, fish the shiner beneath a bobber. If the vegetation is heavy and fouls your bobber, just fish the shiner on a plain hook and let it swim wherever it might go. Focus on shallow-water, vegetated areas when fishing live shiners.

Key on Hydrilla

Even though hydrilla is a common type of vegetation in Florida and most anglers know it holds bass, many anglers refuse to fish in it because hydrilla can foul lures and get wrapped around boat and trolling motors. But hydrilla is attractive to bass because it provides them shade and protection, as well as plenty of ambush points from which to feed. Anglers should focus on flipping jigs and worms into the openings in the hydrilla. Otherwise, cast quick-moving baits like spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits around the edges of hydrilla beds to locate actively feeding bass.


Article Written By Larry Anderson

Larry Anderson has been a freelance writer since 2000. He has covered a wide variety of topics, from golf and baseball to hunting and fishing. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, including "Fargo Forum" newspaper. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from Concordia College.

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