Largemouth bass anglers will most likely need to expend their fishing effort during the cooler periods of the day as unpleasant heat from summer air temperatures will be in full force during the most of the daylight hours. Anglers should also be aware of the higher probability of afternoon thunderstorm activity during the period, which Florida is notorious for in the summertime. Even with the threat of inclement weather and hot, balmy days in the forecast, anglers should still be able to enjoy some successful days on the water, especially if flowing water or schools of baitfish can be located. Historically, anglers fishing in and around vegetative communities on the south and west sides of Brahma Island with golden shiners have had good success. Trolling shiners offshore at the mouth of C-37 (canal connecting lakes Hatchineha and Kissimmee) and along vegetation associated with Philadelphia Point, Grassy Island or the channel north of State Road 60 should also account for some good action.
For those bass anglers using artificial lures, 1/4 oz or 3/8 oz white or pearl-colored spinnerbaits will be a good choice. Spinnerbaits, along with top-water propellored baits (Devil’s Horse and Torpedoes), Buzz-baits (lunker lures) and soft-bodied jerkbaits (white, watermelon and motor oil colored), used around Ox Island, Grassy Island or the mouth of the Pig Trail should give anglers a good chance at some exciting action. Deep-diving crankbaits (shad colored) fished near deeper areas of the lake (channels or bottom irregularities) or in flowing water from creeks and tributaries could also account for some nice stringers. In addition, the ever-popular plastic worm (black grape, red shad and junebug colored) should not be forgotten for use within and around edges of open-water vegetation.
During this time of year and under calmer water conditions, schools of baitfish (shad) can usually been seen moving at the surface in open water. Knowledgeable anglers who discover this activity know that bass will not be too far away. Lip-less crankbaits (Rattle Traps and Hot Spots), spinnerbaits or hard jerkbaits used in and around these baitfish schools are a proven method in these situations.
Spawning activity by the prolific bluegill will continue in earnest during these months. Anglers should seek out areas of the lake having clean, sandy bottoms, and use live bait (crickets or red wigglers) fished just off the bottom (split-shot sinker placed 5-6 inches above the bait). Both native (lily-pads, grasses and bulrush) and non-native (hydrilla) vegetated areas north and south of Overstreet’s Landing, Philadelphia Point, 27-Palms and Brahma Island should not be overlooked as possible areas to be tested for this popular sportfish. Speckled perch (black crappie) action typically is somewhat slower during these months, but respectable stringers can be achieved by fishing with minnows at the edges of vegetation near Bird and Brahma islands and along vegetation associated with the channel north of State Road 60. During this time of year, black crappie anglers will need to move around within these areas in order to increase their chance of locating fish.