The rumor has it there are a couple of lakes, besides Okeechobee, that are on fire. Keenenville Lake is one of them. From the reports I've had there are a lot of fish being caught there. In fact, Roland Martin was seen there making a film for his TV show. Also Garcia Lake was doing well if you can get through all the heavy dead Lilly pads and Hyacens in the canals.
I was out there a week or so ago and really had a tough time getting to the fishing grounds because of all the stuff in the water. My partner was talking to a wildlife officer and was told it would be cleaned up in a couple of weeks. The south was by no means open, but you could get through.
Lake Jackson has reported some good to excellent fishing. I was talking with John Picardi of Sebastian this past week and he told me the Stick Marsh is also doing better than it has been. The BIG O is still doing well, so take your pick.
Lure wise you can't go wrong with the spinner bait. Use gold blades for sunny days and silver blades for cloudy days. I find using a trailer of some sort seems to create more bites. That doesn't happen all the time, so add a trailer and see what happens.
We also have been getting some really good bites early in the morning on buzz baits with a chartreuse skirt as with the spinner baits, and don't forget to bring your Senkos. Try your skinny dippers also.
This past Sunday my partner, Dave, and I went and fished the The Big O in and around Horse Island. The bite was slow, but there were quality fish. Unfortunately, I couldn't get to where I wanted to fish as another boat beat me to the punch. We managed to catch three good fish in the 3 / 4- pound range and saw the other boat catch one in the 5-pound range. We caught our fish on Skinny Dippers in heavy hydrilla.
That cold snap we just had put a damper on the bite. Things should get better soon, though.
I'm looking for you anglers that catch a Big'un or some interesting fishing trip to let me know so we can pass the news on, you can email me at the address given.
Joe Kubik is a tournament fisherman and former Charter Captain. Joe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org