Lake Okeechobee fishing ‘is on fire’

LAKE OKEECHOBEE — What a difference a year makes. Lake Okeechobee’s ecology is much improved, with the regrowth of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). According to local anglers, Big O fishing is great.

“The fishing has been fantastic,” said Mike Krause at Okeechobee Fishing Headquarters. “The grass is coming back from Tinhouse Cove to Harney Pond.”

He said when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers forced the lake level down during the 2018-2019 dry season it was a blessing, because it allowed the SAV to regrow.

Mr. Krause said the speckled perch (also known as specks or crappie) fishing has been good with anglers easily catching their limit. “The jig fishing is as good as they have seen it in a long time,” he explained. “The minnow fishing at night has been crazy.”

Not only are the anglers catching their limit, they are bringing in “some of the biggest crappie I have seen in a long time,” he said.

Bass fishing is also good this year, he said. “The lake is looking better than I have seen it in a long time,” he said.

On the south end of the lake, Ramon Iglesias at Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina & Resort also had a glowing report on this season’s fishing.

The bass fishing “is on fire,” he said. Thanks to the cooler temperatures, the fish have moved in, he said.

Both the bass and the speck fishermen have been reporting good catches, he said.

On Dec. 30, professional bass fisherman Scott Martin took Donald Trump Jr. out in Lake Okeechobee and they had a great day, Mr. Iglesias said.

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