Okeechobee 10-9-17

Ok wanted to get a fishing report out to let everyone know that we survived hurricane Irma and Lake Okeechobee is just fine. Now we do have some elevated water levels but they are dumping it out of the lake about as fast as they can. The water level today is 17.16 feet above sea level and even though that is high we have been catching plenty of bass and there is a lot of new places to fish. We did not lose to much vegetation even though right now a lot of it is covered with water, and we do have some dirty water in some areas for the most part the lake is pretty good and I am looking forward to a great season here on Okeechobee.
I have been out quite a few days since the hurricane and have done really well on live bait and I have been getting reports of good numbers being caught on artificial lures. The key for the next few months will be to look for clean water and there is still plenty out there. Check the weather forecast for the wind direction and try and fish areas that are protected from the wind. Areas like South Bay, Pelican Bay, Grass, Ritta Island, and up around the shoal have all been producing bass. We are still in our summer pattern here but fall is coming fast and so will the bass be on the move toward shallower spawning areas. With the water levels being up there will be new areas to fish this year that haven’t seen a boat for years. For artificial lure fishing I would suggest moving baits like spinnerbaits, swim jigs, lipless and shallow running crankbaits. If fishing with wild shiners is your favorite way to catch bass I suggest looking for clean to stained water and throw some shiners up against any heavy vegetation like floating mats or lily pads.
We all have a new lake to learn to fish with the higher water so if your traditional areas that you have fished for years aren’t working try somewhere new. You will get to see some areas of the lake that you haven’t seen since 2006, so get out there and look around. I have not received and reports on crappie yet but the snowbirds are starting to show up here on Okeechobee and I should have a report soon. Now is the time to get those fishing trips booked as dates are filling up fast. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to see and fish some new areas of Lake Okeechobee.