Central Florida Trophy Bass Fishing in Fall

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That magical time of the year, when Florida's Largemouth Bass put on weight for winter, however short it may be, is fast approaching. As the minor cold fronts come through, and the water cools off a few degrees, the Bass become steadily more active, putting on a show for the angler in the right place at the right time of day.

Second only to the spring spawn period, the action can be fantastic. Big bass run the shallows looking for a meal, and the water is not a safe place for any edible creature.

Water in Florida falls into three categories. Clear, Tannic stained, and Variable (in Phosphate Pits).

The majority of fishing waters in Florida fall into three categories: Natural Lakes, Rivers, and River Impoundments.

Here's a partial listing of some of Florida's finest trophy Largemouth Bass waters, listed from North to South. There are hundreds more, no doubt, but these are my favorite spots that produce big Bass for local anglers on a regular basis.

Lake Talquin.

Near Tallahassee, Lake Talquin is a river impoundment, and is a boaters nightmare with thousands of acres of standing timber and a winding river channel in it. It is also a fisherman's dream, since the cover is heavy and the Bass run to large size. Great spot for wormin' and noisy topwaters.

The water color at Talquin is a Brown/tannic to chocolate at times. Bright colors work well there.

Lake Jackson

North side of Metropolitan Tallahassee on Highway 27 near I-10, Lake Jackson is a natural Florida lake, with crystal clear water and lots of grass cover. The lake is famous for the huge numbers of over-10 pound Bass it has consistently produced over the years.
A good bet earlier in the fall and a bit later in the spring, since it is subject to more cold fronts than the lakes farther south.

Lakes Iamonia and Miccosukee

A pair of natural lakes also near Tallahassee. Not well known out of the area, but produce big for local anglers. The favorite methods there include plastic worms, weedless spoons, topwaters, and above all, shiners.
Locals there have been known to catch big bass on Calcutta cane poles laid on top of pad fields with a big shiner attached.

Suwannee River

Not a famous big Bass river, but still a great vacation spot. The Suwannee is the last Florida river to remain in it's natural state, winding from South Georgia's Okeefenokee Swamp to the Gulf of Mexico south of Fanning Springs.

Home of the Suwannee Bass, a fiesty miniature Largemouth, the Suwannee is great for canoeing and float trips.

Don't be surprised to slam a big bass there, since they do exist in the river, just not as commonly as some of the other waters listed here.

Lake Rosseau

Another Fisherman's Dream/Boaters Nightmare, this impounded-river lake is located at the Gulf end of the northward flowing Withalacootchee River, which is born in the Green Swamp in Central Florida.

The Lake itself starts near the junction of the Withalacootchee River, (Tannic Stained) and the Rainbow River (clear spring water), near Dunellon, Florida, and cover some 18 miles of heavy bass habitat. On the dam end, near Inglis/Yankeetown at Hwy 27/19, the river channel is from 25 to 40 feet deep, with flats running into forests on all sides.

The Lake is covered with standing timber and tree stumps, and has claimed many lower units and boat keels from unwary boaters. The lake bottom has Eelgrass and Hydrilla, and other cover includes Hyacinths, Bonnet Lilies, Cattails and reeds, as well as occasional duckweed.

Favored techniques include topwaters, wormin', shiners and spinnerbaits.

Lake Tasla Apopka

Lake Tsala Apopka, located in Inverness Florida, is a chain of natural lakes surrounded by cypress trees. Lake Tsala Apopka produces lots of big bass.

Typical cover includes Hydrilla, Bonnet Lily Pads, reeds, and cattails.

A series of canals connects the lake chain together, and action can be good in these canals.

Techniques include Shiners, flipping, worming, topwaters and crankbaits.

Lake Teneroc

Lake Teneroc is actually a series of lakes created from reclaimed phosphate pits that cover a large area near Lakeland, Florida.

The lakes are managed by the State of Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission, and are strongly regulated to provide consistent big bass action.

Several of the biggest bass I have ever seen are in Teneroc. Shock tests in Teneroc have proven that big bass over 15 pounds are there.

This is the location where numerous T.V. fishing shows have been filmed.

Lake Kissimmee

Ahh..Now we're talking Big Bass. Lake Kissimmeee has the attention of anglers all over the world focused on it at the present, due to last year's drawdown and bottom cleanup.

Kissimmee's been a consistent producer of big bass since the last drawdown, some 9 years ago. The 38,000 acre main lake is largely shallows and flats, with natural sinks and depressions in the bottom in some areas.

The Kissimmeee River Flows through Lake Cypress and Lakes Hatchineha on it's way to Lake Kissimmee, and exits lake Kissimmee on the south end to head to Lake Okeechobee to the south.

Lakes Rosalie, Tiger, and Walk-in-the-Water are connected by canals to Kissimmee, but these canals are not normally considered navigable.

Located near US Hyw. 60, a favored stop is Camp Mack near the Kissimmee State Park east of Lake Wales, Florida.

Favorite techniques include shiners, plastic worms in June Bug colors, chrome and blue colored crank baits and topwaters.

The Stick Marsh

The Stick Marsh and other lakes located near Fellsmere in East-Central Florida are a well kept secret among local anglers.

We keep hearing reports that these lake are producing some real whoppers.

The Stick Marsh is scheduled to be shut down for some improvements this month.

Lake Okeechobee

Lake Okeechobee is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, a natural filter for the Everglades, and home to a complex ecosystem supporting wildlfe in South Florida. Big Bass in Okeechobee are common.

The sheer size of the lake can be intimidating to first time anglers, so I'd suggest allowing a few days to get to know it a bit.

Some of the more popular marinas and fish camps are on the western side of the lake.

Favorite techniques include shiners, plastic worms in various colors, chrome colored crank baits and topwaters.

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