Orlando Bass Fishing Report
The last few days we have had runs out on Butler Chain, although we have had cooler nights and the waters have cooled down nicely, starting the day out with a surface temperature in the upper 70’s, the bass have not turned on just yet. We have come across a lot of good sized schools running in 12 to 18 foot of water, but very little if any schooling action has been seen on the lakes we have been hitting. Little Lake Down and Lake Down have seen the deeper water schooling with us picking up a few here and there. Today we started the day on Lake Pocket, working shoreline and lily pads we had several serious blowups on a Gitem Toad but hook up were missed. From there Lake Blanche, which has been producing as of late yielded a few descent sized bass this week.
Lake Chase was the lake to be fishing, working spinner baits and toads, this lake has woken up with some good action. Fishing wind blown side of the lake is the key. Working grass beds and the edges and working slowly, areas close to drop offs, even a slight drop off has held some bait.
Lake Louise has been doing good with Carolina rigged lizards, working slowly thru the eel grass in 6 to 9 foot of water. Bait fish pods have been getting pounded a lot as of late with the diving birds so keep your eyes open.
Today we spent doing some scouting on Butler Chain. Started out working different areas up in Lake Chase, catching a few good bass on a mixture of lures. Spinner baits, rattle traps and senkos. Did manage one good bass on a toad early on, but the was the only top water action I was able to muster up. From there I moved into Lake Blanche, working flooded timber and grass beds, picking up 3 more descent bass, had one that would have been close to 5 pounds, but 5 feet from the boat, I noticed she had locked down on the blades of my spinner bait, giving her some slack in hopes she would turn into the hook did not work.
Made a move into Lake Isleworth to end the days action, picking up 2 more bass for a total of 11 for the day. Water temps were holding steady at 77 degrees and waters were looking very good. All bass today came in water from extremely shallow to 6 foot.
Talked with a few others at the ramp, and they had said they spent their time down by Lake Down area, working spinner baits and rattle trap to catch their fish. Sounds like a consistent pattern throughout the chain right now. Two other gentlemen hit up the specks, drifting Lakes Tibet and Chase catching 14 of hat they called medium sized specks, but a good day. With the waters finally in the 70’s, the bite should really start to pick up, key to today was working the breezy side of the lakes, winds have been fairly consistent the last few days and bait fish were starting to stack up.
Today we had the great pleasure with helping out in the Edgewood Boys Ranch day on the water. These kids were ready for a great time on the water and the weather, even though it got hot before noon time did not let us down. The kids were allowed to keep one fish each over 14 inches to bring back and weigh in, and at the end of the day, word was fish were being caught on just about ever lake on Butler Chain.
With an estimated 30 to 35 boats and 2 kids per boat that ment a lot of fishing and a ton of smiles. Bass were being caught on everything from wild shiners to slow trolled crank baits. The end of the day saw a great cookout and the kids all getting prizes from rods and reels to basketballs. These kids did a great job out on the water and it was a great pleasure being able to help out, the saying “take a kid fishing” means nothing unless you actually do it. Pictured is the two youngsters I had the great pleasure of having on my boat, pictured with a very nice 5.59 pound large mouth, which also was the winning fish for the day, as they took home the hardware and some darn big smiles. Sorry that my camera person didn’t zoom in on this one, she was a very healthy one and jumped great.
Today we were once again out on Butler Chain, with conditions a little tougher.
Day started out sitting in line at the ramp for almost an hour, as without warning there was a tournament out here with a good amount of boats in it.
The day once again started out in Lake Chase, this has been the hot lake as of late, especially for getting the better quality bass to bite first thing in the morning, and they played well this morning catching a few good ones early on. Baits of choice once again were the spinner baits with a mix of live bait. Bass were holding on the drop offs and hitting the baits as they were worked up the drop offs from the deeper waters. This is a pattern that has been holding true for the better part of a week now, and with the cold front coming in, should hold true for at least another week.
Lake Sheen and Lake Tibet, the bite had slowed some for us, but we have been spotting some bait fish pods on the screen as of late so the bass should really start feeding up very soon, as long as we can keep a good cooler weather pattern going. Waters on most of the lakes have really cleared up which has dictated longer casts, Fluorocarbon lines and lighter lines to get the good bites.
Monday the 23rd we spent the day on the water with Larry and Terry. With picture perfect weather as the cold front passed thru. Pattern from the past week now has been holding true, hitting areas on the chain in 6-8 foot of water, with a good drop off close by, meaning a drop off to 16 to 20 foot of water. Bass seem to be cruising back and forth from deep waters to grass beds and being in these areas has been the big key to getting the bigger bass, as Larry and Terry found out.
Small bass of the day came in at 3.9 pounds and big bass, with a few twin look- a-likes came in at 4.7 pounds. Hits were very light, as they were taking baits and swimming them back towards the boats and the deeper waters, and the flip side, taking the baits in deeper waters and swimming back to shallow waters. Being a line watcher was a must.
Baits the last few runs have remained very consistent from spinner baits, senko type baits and wild shiners. Jigs and swim baits were also tried with no luck to speak of. Crappie fishing as reported to me by a few locals has been off and on using a drift pattern over deeper waters using minnows but it is expected to pick up with some great action as the waters start to really cool down.
Thursday we were out on Butler Chain with David for what turned out to be some tough fishing. From bluebird skies to party cloudy, and little to no breeze at times, the bass definitely did not want to play as they had in days past. We had started out on Lake Chase, working a deep water drop off area for a few with no luck. Making the long move to Little Lake Down, we did manage to pick up two bass, one on a drop shot and the other on a shiner.
Making the move out to Lake Down, David picked up 2 small ones on a rattle trap before we made the move to Lake Louise and trying some buzz baits and toads. I tried working a buzz bait across the top of the eel grass and turned to look behind the boat when the buzz bait got hosed by a descent 3 pounder.
Friday we were back out on Butler with Frank and Tom from the Villages. Again starting out in Lake Chase with no takers, we moved into Lake Blanche where Tom managed 3 quick keepers before the bite in there died off. The winds were starting to pick up, so I made a move into Lake Louise, where the guys were tossing spinner baits and working them thru the eel grasses, were again, Tom picked up 4 more good bass, leaving Frank scratching his head, Tom would simply cast in right behind Frank to catch the fish for the day. Water temps were a comfortable 74 degrees and the bass definitely played a lot better today. Cooler water temperatures have helped to turn these bass back on and things will only get better.