Florida’s Lake Okeechobee is the second largest freshwater lake in the United States. Many claim that it’s an amazing fishery that anglers should try not to miss. Numerous professional and recreational tournaments are held here each year. Bass fishing is said to be the “best in the world” at Lake Okeechobee. Other species of fish you can catch here include crappie (bream, black, speck), sunfish, catfish, pickerel, bowfin, and gar.
Lake Okeechobee is perfect for trophy bass fishing where the spawn exists long into the winter on the southern side. You can access the south side of the lake from Moore Haven, Clewiston, and Belle Glade. Belle Glade is the best winter fishing location on the lake and home of Torry Island, which has a boat launch for fishing from the water. The best way to catch bass on Okeechobee is with artificial lures or wild shiners using spinning, baitcasting, or fly fishing equipment.
The best time to catch crappies is from late fall to early spring along the southeastern, western, and northern shorelines, 8 – 25 feet deep. You’ll often find crappies near water plants where they hunt for shiners, frogs, worms, insects, and bluegills. Plastic imitations of these baits work well. They also spend time near schools of shad, which are easy to spot on a depth finder. A landing net is essential for catching crappies that weigh over a pound as their skin tears easily. The color and weight of your jig can influence the catch rate for crappies, so take a variety when you head to the lake. Lighter, thinner lines can help the lure sink deeper.
Look for spawning areas near the mouth of the Kissimmee River, the canals, the northeast edge of King’s Bar, the outer edge of Observation Island, and the outer edge of South Bay. The best live bait for Bluegill, Redear, and Crappie fishing is worms and crickets, which you can buy from the marinas.
Lake Okeechobee Fish:
Lake Okeechobee boat ramps:
The following boat ramps provide access to Lake Okeechobee.