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Lake Toho, Butler Chain, Lake Kissimmee, Johns Lake and Harris Chain Bass Fishing Report July 2006

Orlando Bass Fishing Report 

Butler Chain

Today we had a free day and used it to do some scouting out on Butler Chain.
Waters were 85 to start the day out and very clean as usual. Main purpose of this trip was to work a Carolina rig and see what bite would develop. Turns out it was the perfect ticket for the day.

We started out in Lake Down and Little Lake Down, Carolina rig with ¼ ounce weight and lizards were the big time key. Working the deeper waters, starting at the 6 foot mark and going into the 10-12 foot range we picked up several good bass on both lakes.

With a quick move into Lake Butler, we stayed on the same pattern for the rest of the morning, working the Carolina rig with watermelon lizards we picked up several more quality bass, with the day being capped with 3 very nice and solid 5 pounders. Total on the day was 22 bass with the best 5 going around 21 to 22 pounds. Key to the whole day was to work the deeper waters, hitting the drop offs and working very slow. Bass were picking up the baits and swimming to even deeper waters so you really had to stay focused on you line.

Butler Chain

Butler Chain for the most part this week has been a mixed bag of tricks.
Start of the week, Monday, was some of the best fishing, just about every lake hit fish were caught. Tuesday the front rolled in and the bite had totally changed, having to work a little harder to locate fish and get them to bite. Wednesday the rains really stepped up and we fished pretty much most of the day in either a light rain or a complete downpour.

Bass were very much more scattered than usual, with no schooling activity going on, normally you can troll slowly and ping fish in good groups, but the last two days the fish being pinged on the graph were more of a one here and one there variety. Thursday brought out some serious heat and very little breeze to speak of, which made the day on the water very brutal weather wise.

Baits used during the week ranged, from a day with shiners, to Gitem Toads, Shads, Warlocks and the Gitem Drop Shot. With waters heating up, the deeper water bite was the definite way to go to get your catch, working the 10 to 18 foot range was the best tactic and the best producer. Drop Shot in the deep holes, 18 to 30 foot produced a few good bass, as well as flipping the deeper water grass beds, beds in waters 8 to 12 feet..

John’s Lake

Today we were out doing some early morning scouting on Johns Lake.
The day started out at 5:30 working some buzz baits and managing to pick up 3 good slot sized bass. Schooling activity had picked up good today, better than it has been in recent trip out here. Made a move to the horseshoe area and the bass were schooling up in a big way, you could see several bass in the five pound class breaking water chasing the bait fish all over the place. We had several slaps at a spook but no
hookups with it, as they were slapping it right out of the water.

Made a fast switch to a drop shot and managed to pick up 3 bass before Making a move back to the main lake area. Pitching Gitem Shads into holes In grass beds we managed a few more descent bass, with one other being
Picked up on a frog and calling it a day around 10am as the heat started to Really turn on. Water temps were running 87.9 with pretty good water clearity.

Lake Kissimmee

Saturday the 22nd we spent most of the day down on Lake Kissimmee.

We had made the decision to start out south of the highway 60 locks and check out the river to see how fishing was down that way, we made the run all the way to the second set of locks and slowly worked our way back to Hwy 60.

Hitting the cuts and a lot of flipping did produce some descent bass but nothing to really brag about. There was very little water flow to speak of and with little to no breeze at all.
Most all bass related very tight to cover, with 2 others being caught on a white spinner bait.

Making our way back thru the locks, we worked the southern end of the lake picking up a few more descent bass. Water levels are way down, as was evident by the pontoon boat that got stuck not once but TWICE, pay close attention to water colors as you cruise, you will be able to spot very shallow areas to avoid.

Northern end of lake had some very nice hydrilla but we were not able to get any takers from it. Scattered trees and grass beds did hold some good bass along with an accidental snag of a nice crappie. Baits used were Gitem Shads, K.O’S and rattle traps in Chrome/Blue.
Tonite we start some more scouting to kick in nite trips to help avoid the brutal heat. Lakes we will be working will be John’s Lake and Lake Toho.

Harris Chain

Hello from HOT lake county, we spent the last 2 days out on the Harris Chain with a mixed bag. Fishing lakes Harris, Eustis, Dora, and Carlton had us running pretty much all over the chain. We had reports the fish were “very scattered” and boy were they on the money with that info. Tossing everything under, spinner baits, crank baits, Carolina rigged worms, and which bait was the reliable bait? DROP SHOT!!!!

Sitting up on Lake Harris at the mouth of the Dead River drop shotting yielded 3 bass and one small striper, moving to the opposite end of the chain, and again drop shotting in Lake Carlton yielded the exact opposite, 1 small bass and 3 stripers, big striper came in at 4 ½ pounds. Water a very dirty, but that is pretty much typical for Harris, water temps were running right at 90 degrees, surprised the bass weren’t half cooked at these temps! But as well all know, here in Florida, the temps will get even higher and the bass will still come out and play, we just have to work harder for our catches. Big key, hit the waters EARLY or switch to night fishing. Till our next report, tight lines, great fishing, and drink ALOT of water.

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