The Rodman Reservoir, near Alaska, is perennial champ in terms of speck numbers, and this year, it will be doubly good because a habitat restoration program will require a drawdown of water levels, which will concentrate the fish. FloridaCrappieFishing iPhone of the most sought-after pan fish in Florida, crappie, or speckled perch as they are sometimes called can be found in most lakes, rivers, and other sizable bodies of water.
Because of the warm weather the year-round, particularly in the southern part of the state, crappie can be caught whenever you feel like going out on the lake. Thanks to the warm conditions and the many sources of food for the crappie, they tend to grow larger in Florida compared to most other states.
However, there are some tips that will help you catch more crappie when fishing the freshwater bodies of water in Florida. While all lakes in Florida offer excellent chances to catch crappie, there are some that stand out more than others.
Lake Kissimmee: Most noted for bass fishing, it has become a hot spot for crappie as well. Lake Monroe: Located near Sanford, this hidden gem is less than 10,000 acres, but offers a substantial number of crappie just waiting to be caught.
It offers plenty of cover for crappie which makes it a great place to fish. Orange Lake: This favorite is also located between Ocala and Gainesville offers plenty of opportunities to catch crappie.
Ochlockonee River / Lake Alcuin (Leon, Gadsden and Liberty counties) A hot spot destination for Striped Bass, especially below the dam, as well as, a numbers' destination for Channel Catfish and Top Spot for Black Crappie fishing. The Ochlockonee River is impounded to form Lake Alcuin reservoir located between Gadsden and Leon counties Florida approximately 10 miles west of Tallahassee.
If you catch a Striped Bass, please call the telephone number on the tag to claim your prize. This shallow lake is designated as a fish management area (FMA) and is located roughly 20 miles southeast of Gainesville.
Of the many eligible bass submitted to FCC’s TrophyCatch program in 2020, 4 qualified as Hall of Fame (>13lbs) fish. Bass anglers on Orange typically do well flipping soft plastics in and around emergent pads and floating vegetation mats, especially during the springtime spawn.
Anglers should also target submerged vegetation such as coon tail and drill beds with spinner baits, lidless crank baits, soft plastics, and top water lures. Anglers are catching good numbers of really nice black crappie (“speckled perch”) measuring between 10 and 14 inches, with some fish even larger.
Most of the anglers are fishing in the northern and southern ends of the lake with a lot of folks using minnows and grass shrimp as bait. Creel surveys take place on random days throughout the entire spring on Orange Lake to collect information on the fishery and ask anglers their opinions about management.
Jig fishing can be outstanding in and around native grasses, bulrush, and lily pads when the crappie are spawning. Anglers also have success jig fishing in and around patches of lily pads and native grasses in these areas.
These lakes offer some of the finest and most easily accessible fishing for multiple species in central Florida. Lake Cartridge also provides excellent bass fishing with plenty of Illinois pond weed (aka pepper grass) that is often loaded with bait fish.
Lake Ships has two public boat ramps and some great flipping opportunities for bass in the cattails along its shoreline. Nearby Lake Eloise has numerous docks, often surrounded by pepper grass, which are a bass angler’s dream to fish.
Live shiners, jerk baits, spinner baits and plastic worm presentations all work well in these lakes. Bass will begin to spawn as early as January and continue through April, depending on water temperatures.
During spawning season, anglers should fish shallow areas near cattails, bulrush and Kissimmee grass while using lizards, crawfish and other soft plastics such as the Zoom Z-Craw in June bug, red shad and tilapia colors. If black crappie is your target, the Winter Haven Chain has plenty of fishing opportunities for them (or specks as the locals say) as well.
The Winter Haven Chain also has an awesome pan fish fishery for bluegill and repair sunfish (aka shell crackers). The lake also boasts four vegetated islands (Big, Bumble Bee, Grassy, Long) and a few incoming creeks which are great locations to catch several species of fish.
Since 2012, over 550 bass greater than eight pounds, have been documented from the lake and submitted into the FCC’s TrophyCatch Program. Anglers fishing for bass on this lake basically use either live wild shiners or some type of artificial bait.
Bass begin to spawn in mid- to late January depending on moon phases and often move into shallow areas around bulrush (buggy whips), cattails or lily pads on the northern shoreline and around Big Island and Bumblebee Island. Fishing these areas with soft plastics, weightless speed worms and swim baits will be the best bet during the spawning season.
When water temps increase after the spawn, try targeting bass around dense vegetation such as bulrush or cattail while flipping soft plastic baits like crawfish, lizards or worms. Fishing spinner baits, spoons or jerk baits around submerged vegetation like eel grass or drill can also be productive throughout the year.
Henderson’s Cove and the north end of the lake usually produces good numbers of specks on the outside edge of the pads and grasses near deeper water while open water areas around Big Island and west of Long Island are also good speck fishing spots. The lake boasts nice bluegill and repair sunfish (shell crackers) which often approach a pound.
The fishing gets wonderful during late spring and throughout the summer when a lot of the seasonal anglers have left for the year. The best method is to use crickets and grass shrimp under a cork for bluegill and red wigglers on or near the bottom for shell crackers.
Locate areas with dense bulrush, Kissimmee grass or cattails for the best action but don’t forget to try the lily pads too. Fishing the shade around cypress trees on the southeast side of the lake can also be productive at times.
Although hurricanes removed all the drill from the water many years ago, the lake still has large areas of vegetation for anglers to target bunker size bass. FCC biologists tag more large mouth bass over eight pounds in this lake every year than any other nearby water body.
Pitching live wild shiners and flipping soft plastic baits in offshore stands of bulrush (“buggy whips”) in the northern, eastern and southern areas of the lake can be productive during the spring when bass are up shallow and spawning. Although top water baits can catch fish throughout the year, summer months offer the best action when the bass are very aggressive.
Summer is also the best time to target bass on the FCC fish at tractors using spinner baits and Carolina-rigged soft plastics. Most anglers prefer to spend their time in open water trolling or drifting minnows, jigs and spinners for crappie.
Good numbers and some quality fish are caught in deeper (10 ft) areas of the lake during the cooler months and in shoreline vegetation (bulrush, knot grass and maiden cane) during the spring spawning season. Fish at tractors are scattered underwater over an area of about ¼ acre in size and marked with orange and white buoys.
Lake Okeechobee (Palm Beach, Martin, Glades, Okeechobee, and Hendry counties) Long and frequently recognized nationally and globally as a top destination for large mouth bass fishing, even when the bass fishing isn’t at its best, it is still pretty good on “Lake O”. Over the eight completed seasons of TrophyCatch, Lake Okeechobee is one of the top 5 waters for qualifying submissions.
Prime access points are at Ann Ole sky Park and Lake Trafford Marina. If jigs aren’t producing tight in the vegetation in one place, start drifting or move to another patch of habitat until you locate fish.
Patrick McDaniel with a fine fish on Lake Lane, in Orlando. “Black crappie in Florida tend to be ‘boom or bust’ populations from year to year,” said Ryan Hamm, Northeast Regional Fisheries Administrator, division of Freshwater Fisheries Management, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Hamm is lead administrator on a team that recently developed a black crappie management plan. It’s a pair of perch, the speckled kind, for Pete Slip, the writer.
Tom Fierce is a seasoned crappie angler familiar with spider-rigging, having lived in Florida since 1973. At other times, he likes to cast for crappie or fish heavy vegetation.
If you’re looking for results, keep this fact in mind: ninety percent of tournaments are won from spider-rigging. He’s had success trolling when the water level is high, and a favorite time is fishing right after a big thunderstorm.
Indeed, the first place spot for a March 2019 tourney went to James Hazleton with 12 pounds, 8.1 ounces. He expanded on the seasonal spawning fish scene, stating that it’s basically the smaller male “roosters” that anglers catch in the grassy shallows during the spawn.
He advises fishing about 100 feet away from the “hot spot” (in more open water) and you may find the huge ones. Crappie are typically found in high nutrient lakes, and they like green or tannin water.
Everyone I talked to agreed that the St. Johns River system is an excellent crappie fishery, including Dr. Mike Allen, Professor of Fisheries at University of Florida. Allen has studied crappie for over 20 years and also wrote a dissertation on them.
“ Crappie are typically found in high nutrient lakes, and they like green or tannin water. Generally, there’s no large numbers of crappie in very clear lakes,” he said.
Allen also lent credence to some theories touched upon earlier: “As adults, they spend a lot of time in open water. He said it’s good to look around each year in different water bodies to see where the heavier populations are, because of the cyclic nature of the fishery.
McDaniel put us in a 17-foot deep area, with fish visible on the depth finder at 9 to 11 feet. He anchored up, and we proceeded to catch 150 crappie (released), including a 14.25-inch fish (1.12 pounds).
That large fish, incidentally, meets the 14-inch requirement to qualify for Florida ’s “Big Catch” program. I look back and wonder how many crappie I have missed over the years, not knowing it was a strike.
Serious speck anglers use super light line, gear and drag settings. He will use an 18-ounce single jig on a shorter rod when scouting for “only large” crappie.
Black Crappie fishing (speckled perch or speck) as they are called throughout the State of Florida are the most sought after pan fish on Lake Okeechobee. While the Florida crappie is often caught during summer, the best fishing is from late fall to early spring.
Join Captain Skeeter for a Lake Okeechobee freshwater fishing adventure with your family or friends together for an awesome day of crappie fishing on Lake Okeechobee. Lake Okeechobee comprises a 730-square-mile area and is the second-largest natural lake in the country, containing more than a trillion gallons of water.
Most fishing takes place along the southeast, west and north areas of the lake within a mile or so of the shoreline. Look for plants like hyacinths, drill and others, where big bass lurk to prey on shiners, bluegills and other food sources.
Crappie will eat frogs, crickets, worms, grasshoppers and almost any type of fish smaller than itself. Bag limit for crappie (speckled perch) is 25 per person per day.
Our Premium Packages include Lodging in a private two-bedroom suite equipped with a full kitchen, dinning area as well as a spacious comfortable living area and even a large covered porch with tables and chairs. Located right next to the world-famous Lake Okeechobee, just minutes from your Bow fishing Trip destination.
Top FloridaCrappie Lakes (speckled perch) BASS ONLINE 2016-10-18T14:25:28-04:00The Top FloridaCrappie lakes for speckled perch or speck’ as they are called throughout the State of Florida is the most sort after pan fish until the introduction of the cichlid species. Although the Florida crappie can be caught during the summer months, they really are at their best from late fall to early spring.
During warmer months, many speckled perch fanatics locate their quarry on or around deeper, underwater structures that will show on electronic fish finders. Others prefer slow-trolling or drifting in open water with live bait or small jigs, either singly or in tandem, to zero-in on concentrations of crappie.
Warm weather fishing at nighttime, in the glow of lantern lights and Hydro Glow 12-volt light fixtures, is also becoming increasingly popular with crappie anglers. Locating the proper depth at which crappie are feeding is vital. Recently revered by crappie and large mouth bass anglers nationwide, the Big O is currently imperiled by environmental consequences of record setting Hurricane seasons in 2004 and 2005 when devastating storm winds repeatedly wreaked havoc on Okeechobee’s aquatic plant communities.
Crappie were biting in open water through last fall, and they’ll start again when the weather warms up this spring. Also, the patches of maiden cane are good spots to try when crappie get ready to spawn in early spring.
Lake Monroe (near Sanford) The FCC’s habitat-restoration wizards have been tuning up this 9,400-acre sweetie-pie since the late 1980s, and they’ve got her really purring. Since the Commission lifted the 12-inch minimum length limit in July 2005, anglers have flocked back to Monroe and put up impressive catch rates.
Lots of crappie also hang out in the Soldier Creek area and the north end of the lake, where it connects to the St. Johns River. But, if you want to catch some nice crappie, and you’re willing to abide by the 10-inch minimum size limit, you’ll love it here.
With lakes ranging in size from seven to 227 acres, anglers will have plenty of areas to dunk a bomber with a minnow or jig. Casting a small Beetle spin lure or jig tipped with a minnow can also produce some nice stringers of fish.
Call the Tenor office at (863) 499-2422 for more information or to make reservations, because these lakes are only open to fishing four days a week. Lakes within the 1000-acre Mosaic Fish Management area near Ft. Meade in southern Polk County, have some mighty fine crappie populations.
The dozen lakes on the area range in size from 10 to 200 acres and many have shorelines with an abundant supply of woody brush, tree tops, and vegetation that are perfect targets for placing a well-hooked minnow under a float. Casting a small Beetle spin or jig into deeper areas can also produce fish at times.
Some of them throw the 10-inchers back, and say things like “That one was tiny.” To catch your share of crappie in this lake, fish with minnows and jigs along the grass line and offshore. They’re big enough at 9 inches or more though, and they’re packed into this 5,739-acre lake; so, it’s not hard to find them with minnows, small jigs and such.
Then, just for fun, call your friends up north, who are in the middle of a blizzard, and rub it in about your fishing trip. Located near Weirs dale, this 5685-acre lake is somewhat atypical, with lots of depths exceeding 20 feet and irregular bottom encounters.
The FCC refurbished many old fish at tractors and built several new ones this summer and anglers are already utilizing them successfully. West Lake Tohopekaliga (South of the city of Kissimmee) In addition to its fame as a nationally acclaimed large mouth bass destination, Lake Toho has quickly gained a reputation in central Florida as a super spot for big and abundant crappie.
Anglers are having the most success on FCC fish at tractors with Hal Flies (almost any color) and minnows. For GPS coordinates of the fish at tractors on Lake Toho, contact our fishery biologists at 407-846-5300.
(Pools annular is / nigromaculatus) Surrounded by seawater, it’s no surprise that Florida ’s best freshwater fishing comes bang in the middle of the state. The rich network of lakes and rivers in Central Florida offers fishing as good as anywhere in the US.
Choose from any Crappie fishing guide in Central Florida and discover beautiful nature and productive fishing. Better known as “Speckled Perch” in Florida, Crappie is treasured in the Sunshine State.
Hit the productive waters where the St. John’s River meets these lakes and get your fish on. The canal-linked lakes of the west merge into the Kissimmee in the east, and provide an array of Speck fishing.
You’ll chase your target, all the while taking in the stunning surroundings of the 21,000-acre protected area. When not battling it out with the Crappie, keep an eye out for a flying bald eagle or osprey, or a feeding deer or bobcat.
Trips run all the way up to eight hours, giving you the ideal opportunity to bring the whole family aboard and get the kids hooked. Bring some drinks and snacks aboard and make the most of your time with a Crappie fishing guide in Central Florida.
Even on a very Hot September day without any wind we caught plenty of fish. If you find your deal on another fishing website at a lower rate, contact our customer care team.
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