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Top Fishing Charters in Lake Okeechobee

Fishing in Lake Okeechobee

There’s a lot to love about “Florida’s Inland Sea”. Throughout the year, Lake Okeechobee fishing guides get groups on monster Bass and tasty Crappie, while solo anglers comb the shallows in search of hidden fishing spots. There are always new gems to discover, too.
 
Lake Okeechobee is the largest lake in Florida, with over 450,000 acres of shallow, fertile fishing grounds just begging for someone to wet a line in. Hit the right spot at the right time, and Largemouth Bass well over the 10-pound mark are a real possibility. Even in the summer, you can find plenty of hard-fighting three-pounders.
 
And if you’re not that into fishing, there’s plenty more to keep you busy. The Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail runs for 110 miles around much of the shoreline. Even a short walk will reward you with some great views and unique wildlife. Head to Clewiston, known locally as “America’s Sweetest Town”, and you can also take a tour (and a taste) of the local sugarcane fields. The whole family will enjoy a trip to the Big O.

Lake Okeechobee Fishing Spots

Most Lake Okeechobee fishing charters launch out of Clewiston in the South or Okeechobee in the North. These are the easiest places to put a boat in the water, but you can find great fishing all around the lake. Where you fish will depend on water level, its clarity, wind, and time of year. Conditions can change on a dime in Lake O, so fishing with a guide is the best way of getting the most out of your day. Here are a few spots you might visit on your hunt for big fish.
 

Bay Bottom

The area from Belle Glade to Grassy Island is one of the best places for Lake Okeechobee Bass fishing. In the winter, monster Largemouth move into the shallow grasses by the dozen to spawn.
 

Pahokee Rocks

North from Bay Bottom, this is one of the best summer Bass spots around. If you’re looking to load up on tasty Largemouth on a midsummer morning, this is the spot to visit.
 

Rim Canal

The rim canal surrounds much of the lake and is a great place to take cover when the wind kicks up. Target Bluegill and Crappie in the canal itself, or fish for Bass in the cuts leading to the lake.
 

Coot Bay

If you’re launching from Clewiston, fishing here is a no-brainer. It’s right next to town and has a productive Bass bite, especially in the fall.
 

The Shoal

This huge area covers much of the west side of the lake. Its thick grasses make for five-star Bass hotels. You can find fish both inside and outside the grass walls, making it productive all through fall and winter.
 

Indian Prairie Canal

One of the best winter spots on the North Shore. Fish along the canal or out in Cody’s Cove, where it meets the lake proper. Either way, you’ll find plenty of action.
 

Eagle Bay Island

Right in the north of the lake, this is yet another great Bass spot. Monsters are caught here every winter, and the surrounding waters hold fish even in the heat of summer.
 

Kissimmee River

This river links Lake Okeechobee with Lake Kissimmee. It’s an awesome spot to fish for schooling Bass, and is within easy reach of Okeechobee city.
 

And More

Yes, we know, we missed a few off the list. There are so many places to fish in Lake Okeechobee, it’s easier to name the spots you shouldn’t visit. Guided fishing trips could take you to a hundred different places. Go wherever they say, and have a great time!

Lake Okeechobee Fishing Tips

There are a lot of ways to fish Lake Okeechobee, considering there is only a handful of species to target. It really depends on the wind and the time of year you visit, but there are a few tried-and-true techniques that all the locals love. 
 
The biggest Bass are caught in the winter when they move into the peppergrass, hydrilla, and bullrushes to spawn. Lake Okeechobee Bass fishing guides use live Shiners or a huge range of lures to bring them in. Jerkbaits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, plugs, spoons – you name it. Flipping worms and crawfish in the grass is a go-to winter tactic, while weedless spoons are great in spring and Carolina-rigged plastic worms work well in deeper waters during the summer. If the wind picks up and flipping and pitching becomes impractical, switch to spinnerbaits instead. 
 
Fly fishing Lake Okeechobee can also be great fun. People have spent their lives talking about different ways to go after Largemouth Bass on the fly, but one of our top flies is the humble cricket. Strip them across the surface to imitate insects trying to escape the water – the Bass won’t be able to resist!
 
Black Crappie (also known as Speckled Perch) live in the lake and surrounding canals in their millions. They’re great to eat and are perfect for giving children and beginners a feel for freshwater fishing. Again, the best time to try is in the winter, hitting shallow waters with little or no current. Live minnows are the go-to bait when Crappie fishing Lake Okeechobee, but specialist Crappie jigs also work wonders on light spinning gear.
 
Bluegill and Shellcracker (Sunfish) also thrive in Lake O. Spring is the best time to target these guys, fishing the canals in shady waters under trees. Use live crickets or worms, or try small spinnerbaits if you’re feeling more sporting.

Need to Know

You’ll need a Florida fishing license to enjoy the Sunshine State’s freshwaters. These are not usually provided on charters, but can be bought online ahead of your trip. If you’re heading out on your own, remember that Lake Okeechobee is home to more than just fish! Alligator attacks are rare, but not unheard of. Take extra care when exploring grasses and keep well clear of any gators you do come across.
 
Lake Okeechobee is a truly magical place, home to everyone’s favorite freshwater fish. And if you somehow get bored, you’re sitting in the middle of the Sportfishing State! So whether you’re flying south for the winter or happen to be in town on business, why not take a trip to Lake O? You won’t regret it!
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Lake Okeechobee Fishing Seasons

Fishing Lake Okeechobee in January is about as good as it gets! The Bass spawning season has just kicked off, drawing casual anglers and FLW tournament fishers to its vast, shallow waters.
Largemouth Bass spawning season is in full swing, and the lake is covered in small bass boats looking for that trophy fish. Climb aboard or fish from shore at spots like the East Wall.

There’s no end to what you can catch fishing Lake Okeechobee in March. Bass and Crappie are on fire this time of year, and the Bluegill and Sunfish are coming into season, too!

April is traditionally the last big push of the trophy Bass season. Head out and bag that dream ten-pounder before the big fish disappear. Hit the canals for some Crappie while you’re at it!

As the spring sun warms the waters, the biggest Bass move to deeper and more remote waters in an attempt to beat the heat. You can still find some monsters this time of year, though!

Trophy Largemouth season is over on all but the coolest years. Bluegill and Sunfish are still around in the canals, and you always find smaller Bass further from the shore.

The Okeechobee Cattlemen’s Ranch Rodeo offers great Southern fun that’s perfect for the whole family. This action-packed event sees cowboys and cowgirls don their hats and take on bulls and broncos.

The summer heat makes getting out on the lake almost unbearable unless you’re up early or out late. You can find plenty of two or three-pounder Bass if you can take the temperatures, though.

Spend the day hunting Bass in the depths of the lake, or try out a range of other water sports like water skiing or wakeboarding. If you’re swimming in the lake, keep an eye out for gators!

Summer is long gone, but the heat shows no sign of dropping off! Hit fall hotspots like the Shoal or Coots Bay if you’re on the hunt for Bass, or just head out for a boat tour of the area.

Lake Okeechobee fishing guides head back onto the water in force as Bass creep into the shallows. Spawning hasn’t started yet, but you can catch a monster before the season even begins!

If all you want for Christmas is a rod in your hands and a lake full of big Bass and Speckled Perch, head to Lake Okeechobee and get fishing. You’re guaranteed to avoid a white Christmas here!

Lake Okeechobee Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Lake Okeechobee

"First Annual Full-day deep sea fishing. The day was Awesome!"

Barbara Nunneley fished with Fins Sport Fishing on November 10, 2018

Bring a large cooler for getting the fish home.

"Best Charter Trip Ever"

Marty Tittl fished with Fins Sport Fishing on October 27, 2018

We Chartered Fins SportFishing with Rich and had the trip of a lifetime!!! Great fishing out of Ft. Piere. We are already planning next year's trip. Great fishing!!!

"Half day trip with Captain Jonathon"

Karinda Ross fished with Colossal Catch: The Reel Experience on July 23, 2018

I’m too inexperienced to recommend anything lol.

"Fishing with Richard"

Daniel Pena fished with Fins Sport Fishing on June 15, 2018

Definitely look up Captain Rich on the Fins charter . These guys will put you on fish , they will have my business every year !!!

Top Targeted Species in Lake Okeechobee

Bass (Largemouth)

Crappie

Catfish

Sunfish

Top Lake Okeechobee Destinations