Located within the city of Winter Haven, nine lakes compose this 6000-acre chain where fishing and boating are extremely popular. Boat and shore access to the South Chain are available at lakes Summit, Shipp, Howard, Cannon, and Hartridge. The North Chain can be accessed through lakes Conine, Rochelle, and Haines. Fish attractors are located and marked in lakes Summit, Winterset, Cannon, Smart, and Haines. Bass anglers achieve success by "flipping" plastic worms around shoreline plants such as cattail and maidencane, as well as docks.
Fishhound also offers a fishing forecast for the Winter Haven Chain .
TrophyCatch is FWC's citizen-science program that rewards anglers for documenting and releasing trophy bass 8 pounds or larger. The following TrophyCatch bass have been submitted from the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes:
Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 32
Trophy Club (10 – 12.9 pounds): 5
Low water levels can make it difficult to get from one lake to the next on the Winter Haven Chain during the spring until the summer wet season. Bluegill (bream) fishing should improve with warmer water temperatures. Use crickets and red wigglers fished below a cork near shoreline vegetation. Black crappie (specks) fishing will be good until late April when warmer water temperatures cause most anglers to switch to bream fishing. Drift live Missouri minnows or troll with Hal flies and small spinners over grass beds for the best action. Largemouth bass fishing is good, with most fish being caught on live wild shiners, and plastic worms fished slowly around cattails and bullrush (buggy whips). Try using a lipless crankbait along deeper grass beds. Bass will finish spawning by the end of April, so fish shallow areas with cattails, bullrush and Kissimmee grass (maidencane) with plastic lizards, crawfish, and other soft plastics in Junebug, red shad, and tequila colors.