Tips on Small Lake Largemouth Bass Fishing in Florida

Tips on Small Lake Largemouth Bass Fishing in Florida
Some of the most well-known bass lakes in Florida are large waters that sprawl across thousands of acres. But the state is home to an abundance of other, smaller lakes that, while less known, are also home to fantastic bass fishing. In many ways, the methods for fishing large and small lakes are similar, though anglers who target small lakes usually do not have to deal with the fishing pressure that larger lakes receive.

Hit a Variety of Places

One of the nice things about fishing small lakes in Florida is that it often does not take long to check out the cover that is likely to hold bass. Anglers should target the visible cover first--edges of emergent and submerged vegetation, boat docks, standing or fallen timber, for example--and then, if they haven't caught much or want to keep exploring, look to deeper water. Areas such as the deep edges of submerged weed beds, drop-offs, and humps all can hold bass. And even though bass in Florida's small lakes receive less pressure than those that live in large lakes, the bass in deep water of small lakes likely receive the least pressure of all.


Hit the Shallows Early

The Florida sun can be intense and can quickly increase the water temperature. While bass can handle warm temperatures, they are more active when the water is cooler. As a result, early and late in the day are prime times to hit the shallow waters of small lakes in Florida. Cast topwater baits like buzzbaits and poppers, or shallow-running, search-type lures like lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits to locate actively feeding bass. While bass will be around shallow cover early and late in the day, they will not be tight to it, and, instead, will be roaming in the open water around it.

Try a Live Shiner

Some of the biggest bass taken every year in Florida are caught by anglers using a live shiner. While lakes like Okeechobee are synonymous with hot shiner bites, the minnows are no less effective in small lakes in Florida. The only difference is the weed beds in small lakes are not as large as those in large lakes. The technique, though, is the same. Hook a live shiner just behind the dorsal fin. If you are fishing heavy cover, it probably will work best to just let the shiner swim around on its own. If the vegetation is sparse where you are fishing, rig a bobber a couple of feet above the hook. Make sure to use heavy equipment and thick fishing line when you are using live shiners, since you stand a good chance of hooking a large bass.

Holes in cover

Many of the small lakes in Florida are ringed by emergent vegetation, including cattails and reeds. While the latter are more likely to hold bass, the former will, too. One of the best ways to fish this type of cover is to pitch and flip jigs and pigs or plastic worms into it. Target areas where there is something different. Look for spots where grass grows among the reeds, where the vegetation forms a point, or where there is a change in the bottom composition. Make sure to use stout equipment that allows you to drag the fish out of the cover quickly, since it is easy for the fish to wrap the line around the vegetation, which often results in a missed opportunity to catch a fish.


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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