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Central Florida fishing Reports March 23

Including: Lake Okeechobee, Kissimmee Chain, Stick Marsh/Farm 13, etc.

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Central Florida fishing Reports March 23

Postby Captgene » Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:03 am

Published Thursday, March 23, 2006

Fishing: Around Polk County


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1. Around Lakeland, bluegill starting at Saddle Creek Park, gobbling up crickets this week, reports Phillips Bait and Tackle. Lee Phillips also said bank fishermen busy on west shore of Lake Parker for bluegill. At Tenoroc, bluegill in lakes 2, 3 and B, reports Brian Fleming. Bass remain excellent in shallow water in local lakes, with impressive numbers when it's not too windy. Lake Parker continues to give up bass over 5 pounds flipping cattails (junebug red Zoom Brush Hog or salt-pepper craw), said Bob Stone. Size not as good at Bonny, but pretty consistent action up to 5 pounds. At Tenoroc, lakes 4, Picnic and Shop best for bass up to 25 inches this week, said Fleming.

2. At Auburndale, time of year anglers have choice of bass, bluegill or speckled perch. Bluegill and shellcracker just starting, while specks starting to taper off as water warms up. Bass hitting surface lures and Zoom Horny Toads early mornings.

3. At Winter Haven, Mike Ringley of Haines City boated a 12-pound, 4ounce bass on Lake Eloise March 9 with a golden shiner spinnerbait. Ismael Garcia of Winter Haven released an 81/4-pound bass at Lake Hartridge last Thursday on a Berkley Power Bait motor oil worm in deeper water. Also good numbers of bass 3-8 pounds in Sunday tournament on south chain. Keep an eye out for bluegill and shellcracker in shallow water around new moon next week.

4. At Lake Hamilton, no big bass, but plenty 2-3 pounds "tearing up" Zoom Horny Toads and Zoom junebug red Mag II worms, reports Chain O'Lakes Bait and Tackle (863-4393885) in Dundee. A few shellcracker reported, but not on beds yet.

5. At Lake Marion near Haines City, shellcracker beginning to bite, with one boat getting 20 on Monday, reports Ray Chase at Bannon's Camp. Best bait is grass shrimp (jumpers), but red worms also do the job in lily pads on north end toward the twin islands, said Chase. Specks slow over weekend, but active again mid-week with 15-20 per trip. Bass so-so, but not many folks fishing for them, said Chase.

6. At Lake Pierce, bass starting to hit topwater plugs early mornings in pockets inside grass and along outside grass line, then go to junebug worms.

7. At Lake Hatchineha, good weekend for big bass flipping and pitching around bulrushes in 3-4 feet with junebug red glitter Bass Striker worms or black/blue craws. Topwater plugs and Super Flukes or Shad Assassins working early. Shellcracker just beginning to show in shallow water, no big numbers yet but 10-15 a trip in lily pads. Bluegill should start showing along grass edges in canals. Specks good on Sunday, but getting time for them to slow down as water temperature rises.

8. At Lake Toho, "numerous 7- to 9pounders" being caught free-lining shiners or on Carolina rigs over submerged, sparse hydrilla, reports Marc Detweiler at Big Toho Marina. Boats using electronics to locate hydrilla. Carolina-riggers using Zoom Centipede (sour grape) or Zoom Super Fluke (watermelon red). Limits of bluegill at the city piers on red worms, and Southport Canal should be picking up for bluegill. Couple of shellcracker.

9. At Lake Kissimmee, eight bass over 8 pounds caught Saturday in Children's Miracle Network Charity Bass Tournament. The top fish was 11.60 pounds, and two other 10-pounders weighed. The winners, Leo Cosce and Todd Bertoldi, produced five bass up to 9.95 pounds totaling 32.15 pounds, an amazing 6.43-pound average. Jerry Deborde, a Kentuckian who lives at Grape Hammock in the winters, reported a 14pound, 5-ounce bass on a 10-inch shiner Feb. 19 in the south end of the lake, which he released. Most bass have spawned, but still great time of year to boat a big one pitching and flipping shallow water, 3 feet or less, with soft plastics. Topwater action early, Devil's Horse, Super Flukes or Horny Toads, and white or gold/black spinnerbaits when it's windy. Shellcracker moved into shallow lily pads Sunday and Monday, but not in great number. Boats getting 10-15 on red worms or gray wigglers around lily pads at spots like the pig trail, Eagle's Nest and Philadelphia Point, said Cosce. Cosce said shellcracker should stay shallow until weekend, but cold front on the way. Could be another run on new moon next week.

10. At Lake Walk-in-the-Water, bass numbers on the increase, with fish up to 4-5 pounds on shiners on calmer days between fronts. Try to fish around major periods in solunar tables.

11. At Crooked Lake at Babson Park, a 91/2-pound bass caught on Saturday, reports Cindy at Bob's Landing. Lot of limits in Sunday tournament with Lee County bass club, with top fish 6.8 pounds and winning weight 161/2 pounds. Anglers fishing 5 feet of water or less with plastic worms, craws and Super Flukes or Shad Assassins (gold pepper shiner). Specks hanging in there for night fishermen in deep water. And a few bluegill and shellcracker this week.

12. At Frostproof, time of year to be on water as much as possible, focusing on shallow water at Lake Reedy, Lake Arbuckle and Lake Buffum.

13. In the phosphate pits south of Mulberry and Bartow, bass up to 21 inches in Lake 1 at Hardee Lakes Park over the weekend flipping reeds with Zoom Baby Brush Hog. Color didn't seem to make a difference.

COMPILED BY DEL MILLIGAN

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Captgene
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