I live in North America, where bass is the most popular game fish. Since I knew I would be out on the lake a ton this summer, I wanted to know how difficult it really was to catch some bass. So, I dove deep into my research and reeled out the real answers.
So, are bass easy to catch? The answer is that it can be, and this depends on a wide range of variables. You should take into consideration where you’re fishing, what time of year it is, what bait you’re using, and what size of bass you’re looking for. Relatively speaking though, because bass are so predatory, it does make them easier to catch. Continue reading to increase your chances of catching one.
Bass photo by @Andrew Lindsey Fishing Spots App
Fishing for bass is surprisingly a much more intricate and strategic affair that I had initially thought. While a lot of it is within our control, there is a strong element of luck involved.
The Level of Difficulty in Catching Bass
Let’s face it: catching bass can be tough. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, there are a multitude of factors to be considered and techniques that can be utilized to maximize your chances of finding bass. Firstly, if you find cover, you’ll likely find bass. Bass love to roam in cover since it helps them to easier ambush their prey – this includes rock, wood, boat docks, grass, lily pads and more.
Secondly, bass eat different live prey depending on their ecosystem. Make sure your lure imitates the type of forage that the bass in your local waters are feeding on. This means that you need to do your homework beforehand.
To be effective in catching bass, you need to be versatile. Depending on the season and the location, your circumstances when fishing can vary greatly, so you shouldn’t get too comfortable with one technique. Keep changing your locations and getting accustomed to different fishing conditions, and you will be more skilled in catching bass easily.
You also need to understand how the weather plays a part in fishing for bass. Weather conditions have a dramatic effect on bass behavior, and it’s a key factor in becoming a great bass angler. Cloudy days are ideal for bass fishing, since bass tend to be more active and willing to hunt for prey, thus exposing themselves. Also, windy days stimulate bass to bite, which can help you in your endeavor.
Finding the Right Equipment
The first thing you should make sure you have is the right lure. The three main types of lures that are best for catching bass are crank baits, spinner baits, and plastic worms. You can use any of these successfully at any time of the year, but one conscious choice you will have to make is the choice in color. Usually, you should have two of each lure in your tackle box: one in a natural color, and one in a vibrant color.
Crank bait are tiny lures that look like small, live fish. There are two hooks, with three points each for each lure – one at the tail, and one under the belly. They also have a flat plastic area on the lip of the fish. Spinner baits have two main parts – one arm that has large, curved metal blades, while the other arm is the same length, but with a hook on the end. Sometimes, the hook is covered in a plastic wig that hides the hook or hooks. The spinner arms are often also shaped like a fish, making them look like the crank fish. If you want to fool the fish into thinking the bait is injured, be sure to use a spinner bait with a red or pink head. This works particularly well in shallow cover, around wood, stumps or clumps of grass.
Plastic worms look like large earthworms and have a hook embedded into them. They’re effective, as the fish is hooked as soon as they try to eat the worm, but requires more patience. A pro tip from professional anglers is to save the plastic worms that have gotten torn up from prior fishing trips. Bass like to ambush wounded prey, so a beaten worm is perfect to attract bass, especially in shallow water.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to use lures, you can also use live bait to trap your bass. Some common types of live bait to use are worms, minnows or crawfish. Worms are easiest, since you can keep them refrigerated in dirt if you don’t use them all in one trip. They’re also easy to keep and carry around. Crawfish and minnows are harder to handle because you must keep them in a water bucket while you fish. If you’re going to use minnows, bass prefer the shinier ones, and ones of the creek variety. Alternatively, you can use frogs, insects or salamanders.
Next, you can pick from two preferred reels for bass fishing. The main difference between the two is the level of experience needed by the person doing the fishing. A more experienced fisherman can use a spinning reel, also known as an open-faced reel, since it requires more dexterity to maneuver. A spin cast reel, also known as a closed face reel can be used by a beginner, since it doesn’t demand any advanced moves.
The power of a rod is its weight capacity, and it’s usually indicated on the side of the rod. If you plan on catching larger bass, you need to rod with medium to medium light power. If you’re catching smaller bass, you just need a rod with lighter power.
Choosing When and Where to Fish
It’s widely agreed among the fishing community that the best time to fish for bass is during the pre-spawn. This is when fish are waking up from the winter inactivity to start the mating cycle. To start, the water temperature will begin to rise to about 55 or 60 degrees, and the males and females will rise within the waters to interact with each other. Due to them being dormant for so many of the colder months, they generally emerge quite angry and aggressive during the pre-spawn. This pre-spawn period usually falls around the early spring, and lasts the whole season.
During pre-spawn, you can catch bass closer to the shore, and closer to the surface of the water. However, remember that if you catch a female during this period, you should let her go so she can next and populate the water with more bass.
No matter the season you end up fishing for bass in, be sure to use a map to strategically plan where you’ll be fishing. Proper maps will show you the depths of waters in different areas, and will point out drop-offs under the surface of the water. Since bass typically lurk near the bottom during non-peak times, it’s good to linger in these areas, especially during pre-spawn.
Further, it’s important to consider the time of day when it comes to searching for bass. The best time of day to catch bass is in the early hours of the morning and the last few hours of the day. The bass is more at ease with biting when the sun isn’t overhead, so getting to it either an hour before sunrise or after sunset is always a good idea. Bass don’t like direct sunlight, so look for shaded areas if you’re there during the day – anywhere away from extreme light and heat. They also like to be near areas that are covered, so you can fish near objects, vegetation or obstructions in the water, like a fallen stump or tree in the water. Of course, you’ll have to be more careful that your lures or hooks don’t get stuck on these objects.
A trick to getting under docks and other structures is to stop halfway instead of following through when casting your bait. This makes the lure hit the surface of the water a few feet ahead of your target, sending the lure skittering across the water.
The ideal weather condition is a cloudy day with a light breeze as this allows fish to roam and get comfortable cruising up to shallower depths, and feeding on anything in their paths. These conditions are ideal for fishing top water baits over vegetation, rocky points, or a big sand flat. This could very well be one of the most exciting ways to catch bass, since you can see everything as it happens.
If the sun gets high on a warm day, the smallmouth bass will push down to deeper water. In this case, the best thing to do is to toss a tube out and let it sink to the bottom, slowly dragging it back to the boat. If you get a bite and the tube slows down, you can use the drop shot technique to put more fish in the boat. However, it’s important to remember that smallmouth can still be in shallow water, and a wacky rigged bait placed near a dock, tree, or vegetation will entice anything nearby to come out and eat. In short, this technique catches fish…not necessarily bass.
Now on the other hand, largemouth bass can be easier to track at times, with a high sun. They become easier to pattern as they gravitate towards vegetation with overhanging cover like lily pads, eel grass, arrowheads, and the like. You can bait it up close and personal, by putting your bait in the fish’s face. If you drop it near them, a bite will come quickly, so you’ll have to be ready to set the hook and get your fish out.
On windy days where boat control can be difficult, head over to a wind-blown point, shoreline, or shoal and set yourself up facing into the wind. The wind acts like a current, delivering bait to the fish who are waiting for an easy meal. Your aim should be to bring your bait right into their faces.
Another thing to consider is how to find the right location to fish, having considered what size bass you’re tracking. If you want to learn how to catch bass, the first thing you need to know is how to locate the ideal habitat for this warm water fish species. Largemouth bass will more likely be found in shallower areas of freshwater ponds, lakes, reservoirs, and slow-moving rivers that contain some type of cover in the form of vegetation, brush, trees, or structure. One of the key largemouth bass fishing tips to remember is that you’re more likely to find these fish close to cover. Regardless of whether you are fishing from the shoreline or from a boat, you should gravitate towards any submerged trees, vegetation, docks, bridges, or changes in bottom depth. Just as when learning how to fish for any other species, finding spots that offer cover or structure is a good first step.
Learning the Proper Techniques
If you decide to catch bass with crank bait, you’re tricking the bass into striking, since your bait holds the appearance of injured, weak fish in the water. To use the crank bait, decorate your line with lure and cast your pole into the lake. If you are fishing in a calmer body of water, make sure you’re using steady, even pulls and reels with the bait to mimic a live fish. If it’s windy or the waters are choppy, switch between fast and slow reeling.
Spinner baits have bright, spinning blades that attract the attentions of bass and pulls them close, since the movement bothers them. The problem with spinner baits is that bass often bite at the blades instead of the hook, making it more difficult and time-consuming to hook a bass.
Using a worm for bait is probably the easiest of all methods, since all you need to do is cast your worm-adorned line into the water, and let it sink to the bottom while you wait. You don’t need to do anything else, except be sure to add weight to your worm to ensure it sinks down to the bottom.
Bass are extremely attracted to live prey. If you want to hook the fish with live bait, the best technique is to constantly move around your line to mimic the live fish, worm or frog. Since your bait is either completely dead or almost there, you need to either keep reeling your pole either in and out or back and forth.
Bass have boney jaws, so be sure to sharpen your hooks, to better penetrate the fish. Also, once you catch your first bass and put it in the livewell, you can see what it was feeding on. Bass are known for spitting up what they were eating, which will help you to decide which lure to cast for the rest of the day.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a complete article on how to catch bass without discussing the drop shot rig. You can fish drop shot rigs in any type of water, including deep waters, shallow waters, and all in between. A drop shot rig consists of line tied to a hook with a trailing leader that comes to an end with a weight, so that the weight is at the bottom and the hook and bait are above it. While you have the option to choose from many hooks, weights, and bait options for your drop shot rig, we’ll only be discussing a general set-up.
Since the drop shot rig is a delicate technique, you’ll need to choose a light line with low visibility. You can use fluorocarbon in 6-8 lbs., or a lighter braided light with a 2-foot fluorocarbon leader – both are great choices. Next, you need to a split shot or drop shot hook, preferably size 1-1/O. These are perfect for finesse fishing and most companies have good drop shot hooks to choose from. These are generally great for close range baiting, providing the most action and natural motion. Most drop shot weights possess a crimped swivel that makes it easy to clip onto your line, but weights from 1/8 oz. to ¼ oz. that you can tie on will also work, but use your own discretion. It depends on the roughness of the water and other variables.
Nose hooking the bait is a good way to start, but you can also do wacky rigging or Texas rigging with a straight shank or wide gap hook. Firstly, you’ll need to take the drop shot hook in between your fingers and put the line through the top of the hook eyelet, and then pull it through enough that you will have at least a foot or more tag end to make a leader. After you have enough line, you should make a loop with it and thread the line back through the bottom of the hook. While holding the loop on the bottom side of the hook and leaving a longer tag end on the top side, you should make a single knot with the loop and take it over the front of the hook, giving you the makings of a knot. Next, you should wet the line with saliva and cinch it tight, leaving you with a tag end. With that end, you will next take it through the top of the hook and pull it tight to cinch the hook straight on the line. Then, just put your weight on the line by clipping it on the tag end or tie it if necessary. Once you’ve done all that, you have a drop shot rig!
If you pair the best early season bass lures with the best fishing techniques, you can hook a bass no matter where they are hiding. If you’re heading out to do some bass fishing, a little extra help never hurt. Here are a few more early spring bass fishing tips to set you up for success this season:
- Cast for repeat results: One of the best tips for early spring bass fishing success is to keep note and pay close attention to what is working for you and what is not. Since bass behavior changes often with the fluctuating weather and temperature in spring, each day on the water may call for a different approach. Once you find a technique that wins you a bite, repeat the same cast and retrieve to catch a few more – but never get too comfortable, as there are many factors at play.
- Fish out the area: Bass usually congregate in the same areas in spring — meaning if you catch one, you may catch a dozen more in the same spot. After your first catch, continue casting in the same area. If you do not get a second bite, try different angles in the same area before moving to a new spot.
- Pay attention to water conditions: The constant change in spring weather can make it a challenge to locate bass. However, by paying close attention to the water conditions, you can find bass more quickly on each subsequent spring fishing trip. Once you find an area where bass is congregating, take a mental note of the water color, depth, temperature and bottom conditions. Consider the location of the ridge or point relative to channels and flats. This information and data will help you track down bass more quickly next time!
- Watch for birds: When fishing with jerkbaits or crankbaits, watch for areas where birds are diving to catch dying baitfish. These will often be spots where hungry bass are also congregating and where jerkbaits and crankbaits will be most effective.
- Use the wind to your advantage: On spring days when the water is clear, bass can see your bait more clearly and be more cautious with regards to biting. On the positive side, wind can help to disturb the surface of the water to attract bass better. If you are not getting any bites on a clear lake, try again when the wind picks up.
- Fish the mudlines: If you are having trouble locating bass on a spring day, you should look for mudlines created by wind and waves. Bass will often hide along the edges of mudlines where they have the advantage over baitfish which are drawn there to feed on plankton. You can benefit from using brightly colored lures, drag your line across a mudline from the muddy water into the clear water. Bass will usually strike just as the bait emerges.
With the right techniques and a little bit of luck, you can reel in a big bass to start the season right.
At the end of the day, fishing is like any other sport – the more you practice, the better you get. Keep learning and keep fishing!
Where should I hook the live bait? The most popular place to hook them is in the middle of the side, towards the top. This allows them to swim around more easily when submerged. Keep in mind that you should be careful not to puncture the swim bladder.
What pound of line do I need to catch bass? For larger fish, I will usually try and hit 10 lbs. Since in bass habitat you’ll generally find a ton of lily pads or other vegetation, so you need to make sure that your line is strong enough to get the fish through those weed structures.
How much of it is attributable to luck? In an investigation which spanned more than 20 years, researchers at the University of Illinois offered an explanation as to why fishing success in certain lakes varies from year to year. The simplest explanation of the results of the investigation is that some bass is just easier to catch than others, and that there is a vulnerability trait can be passed onto their offspring. In short, once all the easy fish are caught, only the tougher fish and/or their progeny remain.
Four years after the start of the research project, the lake was drained and approximately 1,700 fish were collected – 200 of which had never been caught before. The bass was then sorted, and the 200 were designated as Low Vulnerability (LV) bass and released, since they were not prone to being caught. Those caught four or more times were designated as High Vulnerability (HV) fish and released into different ponds to spawn. The progeny of the two lines were then marked and released into common ponds; this process was repeated for several generations over 20 years.
It was found that the offspring of HV fish were easier to catch than the offspring of LV bass, even after generations of breeding. With bass, females lay the eggs but leave the caregiving to the males, which guard the nest and stay with the offspring for 8 to 10 days after they hatch. If a male happens to be an HV parent, it’s not surprising if they take off from the nest site, leaving offspring vulnerable to predators. Meanwhile, nests guarded by LV males, which are better at resisting lures, remain intact, and their progeny maturing into fish that are good at resisting baits. That’s the luck factor that plays a part in bass fishing, so be sure to keep track of where the HV bass are!
Top 5 Florida Bass Fishing Guides for Lake Tohopekaliga
- Florida Bass Charter – 407-821-6101 One of the top choices in the whole state of Florida is Captain Tim and his crew of very knowledgeable, friendly, and experienced anglers. Captain Tim is a United States Coast Guard certified Bass Charter. Fishing is Captain Tim’s job and his passion. When he is not a guide, he is fishing at the professional level, all over Florida. Not only is Captain Tim one of the top fishing guides, but he also owns a well-known, popular bait and tackle shop, “Get Hooked Magic Baits”.
Lake Tohopekaliga, also known as Lake Toho, is located near Kissimmee, Florida. The locals refer to it as West Lake, or simply, Toho. The lake is the largest in Osceola County, covering 22,700 acres and spanning 42 miles. Lake Toho is the primary inflow of Shingle Creek and is bordered by Kissimmee on the northern shore and Kissimmee Park on the eastern shore.
Lake Toho is best known for birdwatching and bass fishing. There are also some beautiful sight-seeing spots nearby, at Kissimmee Park. At the north end of Lake Toho, you will find Lakefront Park. There is a gorgeous walking path with benches. Visitors to the area will also enjoy alligators, waterfowl, turtles, and other wildlife. There is also a stunning lighthouse, a playground for the kids, and the Marina, located on Lake Toho’s west end.
You will learn everything you need to know about Lake Tohopekaliga and the extreme bass fishing in the area. We will provide you with some great tips for fishing in the area, along with the five best bass fishing guides for the Lake Toho area.
Fishing at Lake Tohopekaliga
For decades, Lake Toho has had an excellent reputation among professional and recreational anglers. Lake Toho has produced trophy-sized largemouth bass for many years. The lake received National recognition in 2001 during a bass tournament. An experienced angler snagged a 108-pound trophy bass, breaking the B.A.S.S tournament record.
Lake Toho went through extensive rehabilitation during the spring of 2004. 8.4 million yards of vegetation and material were removed from over 3500 acres of the lake bottom. The restoration was done to enhance the shoreline habitat for the trophy bass and other wildlife.
Lake Tohopekaliga came from the nearby Seminole Indians. It is said by the Florida Wildlife Commission that is every 10 acres of Lake Toho; there is one largemouth bass that weighs over 10-pounds. In the Bassmaster magazine, Lake Toho is dubbed “the most consistent lake in the country for producing both numbers and trophy bass.”
Tips for fishing on Lake Tohopekaliga
A large portion of Lake Toho bass fishing is centered around hydrilla. Hydrilla is native to India and was introduced to bodies of water in Florida between 1950 and 1951. By the mid-1970s, it was throughout Florida waters. Hydrilla has stems that are up to 20-feet long and can grow to the water’s surface as deep as 25-feet. Hydrilla can grow in a large variety of conditions; in almost all freshwater systems, lakes, marshes, springs, and ditches.
Hydrilla is a prohibited plant, not recommended by UF/IFAS. It is on the USDA Noxious Weed List and the Florida Prohibited Plant List. Every year in Florida, millions of dollars are spent on herbicides and mechanical harvesters to place the hydrilla under ‘maintenance control.’ It is considered a category one invasive species. Hydrilla can displace native plant communities. It may make your bass fishing a little bit challenging, but it will not harm you in any way during your fishing excursions.
Locating the bass among the hydrilla is a definite challenge. Anglers need to find a hydrilla that looks alive. There will be minnows and birds in the area. Anglers will want to use moving baits, such as; lipless crankbaits, swimbaits, jerk baits, and trolled shiners. These baits can cover large areas efficiently.
Anglers will want to note the circumstance in which they catch their bass and recreate it each time. It may take you a while to divide the large areas of hydrilla, but I assure you, it will be well worth it. Because Lake Toho is shallow, the bass in the area is affected more by the water and weather conditions than in any other lake. December through April, the shiners catch the majority of the trophy bass. They do this using flukes, swimbaits, plastic crawfish, and lipless crankbaits by anchoring 1-4 feet of water.
You stand a better chance of catching fish with topwater baits, swimbaits, jerk baits, and lipless crankbaits on Lake Toho in the early mornings. Use a worm or a crayfish-like bait in the hydrilla during mid-day. Baitfish may attract bass when you fish in areas of running water. During the summer months, you can do your fishing on Big Grassy Island, Lanier Point, or Browns Point. These are a couple of widespread grasslands on the north end of Lake Toho.
The different areas at Lake Tohopekaliga
Lake Toho is one of the lakes in the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes. Being located next to Kissimmee, Florid, it is the second-largest lake in the chain. Below are a few of the hot spots on Lake Tohopekaliga that are home to largemouth bass.
Area #1. Lake Runnymede Canal: it is said that largemouth bass can be found throughout the canal’s entire length. The fishing is best in the late spring and early fall. If you fish along the banks, use jerk baits, vibrating lures, and topwater plugs due to the mass amount of hydrilla.
Area #2. Boy Scout Camp: There is a deep hole just off of the camp where bass hides out. Cast a crankbait around the drop-off or troll a live shiner 30-yards behind a boat. Silver/black lures are the most popular in this area during the summer months. Use your live shiners close to the bottom, which is about 16-feet deep.
Area #3. The Fells Cove: The entrance of this cove has bass at all times of the year. Anglers fish this area with lipless crankbaits in the open water or plastic worms by the weed line. Fishing is best when a current is coming in, continuing 25-50 yards into the canal.
Area #4. The Mouth of Lake Ajay: Here, it is best to catch bass after a spring or summer rain. Schools of bullhead catfish and bass are attracted to the running water. They respond best to live baits or artificials in this area.
Area #5. The Lily Pads: This is along the shores of Fells Cove. You can find many basses hanging out in this area during the cooler months of the year. Anglers seem to have the best luck along the vegetation at 4-6 feet deep, using plastic worms. finding
Choosing a Fishing Guide
Bass fishing is challenging, exciting, and a load of fun. But, with a local fishing guide, your bass fishing experience will be 10x better. With so many fishing guides and charters listed, how do you know which one to choose? Below, you will find some tips on finding the best fishing guide for the area you are going to fish. There are things to consider and many questions to ask.
Depending on your budget and the time of year you plan to take your fishing trip, you will want to book your fishing guide months in advance. Most of the charters are extremely busy at certain times of the year, so the sooner you book them, the better. The first thing you are going to want to look at is the price of their packages. Just because they are the most expensive doesn’t mean they are the best. In the same terms, just because they are the cheapest doesn’t mean they are a lousy fishing guide. Fishing guides are required to be licensed, insured, and bonded. Suppose the price seems too good to be true. Unfortunately, there are ‘guides’ out there who are doing it illegally, for the money, not to help visitors have a spectacular fishing experience.
Never be afraid to check with the captain of a guide service or charter. Feel free to ask for their license, credentials, and insurance. If they are legitimate, then they will have no problem showing you these items. As with every vacation that you go on, you always do research on the area and the attractions available at your visit. It is the same when going on a fishing trip. You want to do extensive research on the location, what they have to offer, and check out all the area’s fishing guides. Read the reviews that are on their websites. Look at the forums or chat rooms for the charter; people are always willing to share their experiences.
When you are looking for a local fishing guide, you want to focus on the captain, not the boat! You want someone personable, friendly, and patient. The captain will make or break your fishing experience. If they do not have a good attitude, extensive knowledge, and do not seem helpful, you will probably have a bad experience. When you book your accommodations, ask if they have any recommendations regarding what fishing guide you should use. You can also call the marina or the local bait and tackle shops.
You want to make sure you ask all the right questions before booking your fishing guide. If you are taking kids, you want to make sure they are kid-friendly. You should also ask what techniques they use, their main tackle options, and whether they catch and release or catch and keep. You need to figure out which approach (technique) you want to use and find a guide service that caters to that. Most reputable guide services do many styles. You want to have the best experience possible. Some charters will even clean and fillet the fish for you at the end of the trip.
You will also want to make sure you find out what you need to bring with you. The majority of fishing guides provide rods, reels, tackle, life jackets, and drinks and ice. Beyond that, you will have to bring what you need (food or snacks). Ask them for items that are prohibited on their boat. Many of them do not want you to bring alcohol, but if you’re going to bring your rod and reel, that is usually okay with the fishing guide.
The quality of your bass fishing adventure is going to depend on the fishing guide that you choose. Do in-depth research on each charter in the area, call the fishing guide, talk to them on the phone, and ask for references when you call to make your accommodation reservations.
Top 5 Lake Tohopekaliga Fishing Guides
Now that you know how to choose the best fishing guide let us give you the top 5 for the Lake Toho area. We will get you started on your research and help you pick the perfect captain to take you out for the experience of a lifetime.
- Florida Bass Charter – 407-821-6101
One of the top choices in the whole state of Florida is Captain Tim and his crew of very knowledgeable, friendly, and experienced anglers. Captain Tim is a United States Coast Guard certified Bass Charter. Fishing is Captain Tim’s job and his passion. When he is not a guide, he is fishing at the professional level, all over Florida. Not only is Captain Tim one of the top fishing guides, but he also owns a well-known, popular bait and tackle shop, Get Hooked Magic Baits.
Captain Tim and his team use top-of-the-line equipment and fishing gear at all times. He also guarantees that you will get your money back if you do not catch a fish with a wild shiner. Whether you want one boat, five boats, or 30 boats, Tim and his crew can accommodate. Captain Tim and his team specialize in live bait or artificial trips. With an abundance of five-star reviews, how can you go wrong with Florida Bass Charter? The whole crew is outstanding, extremely experienced, and spends at least 250 days a year on the water.
Spending a day with Captain Tim and his co-workers is like spending a day with family. There are laughs, memories created, and a lot of basses that are caught. Every crew member is friendly, patient, and just wants you to have the ultimate bass fishing experience.
- Gators Big Bad Bass Guide Service
Captain Dean and his crew have a spectacular fishing guide service for the Kissimmee area. One big plus with Captain Dean; if you do not catch multiple basses during your trip, then the trip is free. For over 27 years, Gators has guided clients to thousands of trophy bass. They will take you to West Lake Toho, Lake Cypress, Butler Chain of Lakes, or Kissimmee, just to name a few.
Gators offer artificial trips or wild shiner fishing trips. Anyone is welcome on Gator’s boat. They have worked with many first-time bass anglers, including women and children. Gators have also taken many seasoned anglers out on the Florida waters to catch trophy bass. Everyone on Captain Dean’s crew is friendly, knowledgeable and will ensure that everyone has a grand time on the water.
Rods and reels are free to use when you book a trip with Captain Dean. Gators also offer free ice & drinks, a photo of your catch, a big fish prize pack, and more.
- AJs Bass Guides
The guides at AJs fish Lake Toho and surrounding areas on a full-time basis; they all enjoy fishing, even when they are not on the clock as a guide. Their trips start at just $195; they specialize in trophy bass, holding the record for the two most prominent basses ever caught. One of the bass weighed in at 16 pounds 10 ounces, and the other bass was 15 pounds 8 ounces. James Jackson is the leader of AJs Bass Guides. They have been in the businesses since 1970. James is a Coast Guard licensed Captain, as are most of the fishing guides in the area.
AJs Bass Guides recommend fishing with shiners, even if you usually use artificials. They prefer to go out in the early mornings, when fishing is prime, especially during the summer months. Depending on which package you choose, certain things are included. All packages include; kids 12 and under are free, all gear, gas, and tackle are included in your package’s price. James recommends bringing anything you would like to eat during the excursion. They provide ice and soda for the trip. If you prefer water or something else, you will need to bring it with you.
- PS Bass Guide Service
Captain Paul, a retired Sergeant Major from the United States Army, has been fishing since he was a young boy. When he retired in 2011, he did so in Florida and has helped vacationers catch trophy bass ever since. With his military background, a leader in Boy Scouts of America, and as a father, he has the patience that a guide needs to make the fishing trip enjoyable and memorable, especially for beginners.
Captain Paul excels at taking anglers of all ages and stages and teaching them multiple ways to catch largemouth bass. It is safety first with Captain Paul, whether he is taking visitors on a nature ride, a basic cruise of the area, or fishing trips. You will take your guided trip on his 2013 FX20 Skeeter Bot. He ensures you will have a fun-filled, memorable fishing experience. He offers ½ day, ¾ day, for full-day fishing trips. Included in the package price; drinks, digital photos, lured, rods, reels & free pick-up and drop-off.
Led by Professional bass angler Art Ferguson, he has been a fishing guide since 1991. Mr. Ferguson offers guided trips on Lake Toho, Orlando/Kissimmee, Butler Chain of Lakes, Harris Chain of Lakes, and other locations. Art guides in Florida during the winter months and in Michigan during the spring and summer months. While Art was fishing in the 1990 Bassmasters Classic, he was offered a job at Roland Martin’s Marina.
Art provides everything for your guided fishing trip, except for lunch and drinks. He does have a built-in cooler on his Tritan that will hold several sandwiches and beverages. Art provides Shimono reels, Kistler Custom Rods, and Sunline fishing line. You are more than welcome to bring your rod and reel—some other items you may wish to obtain; sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, and your camera. Art is fully licensed, insured, and bonded. He is even willing to pick out your vacation accommodations; all you have to do is ask when you call and book your trip.
Bass fishing is exhilarating, fun, and challenging no matter where you go. But, if you will be staying and fishing around the Kissimmee area, then definitely contact one of the fantastic fishing guides above to make your bass fishing experience even more enjoyable and memorable. Chock-full of experience, expertise, and kindness; you can not go wrong with any of the above.
Fishing Willow Beach – Catch Fish Near Las Vegas
Can You Fish at Willow Beach?
Willow Beach is a long-time classic fishing destination. It’s a part of Lake Mohave on the Colorado River. The black rock canyons are just below Hoover dam and are part of Lake Mead National Park. Its Cold waters are on the north of Lake Mohave.
I’m going to share stuff here that you won’t find anywhere else.
Back in the day, they used to catch huge
rainbow trout out of that little beach. I remember when I was a kid they had a café in by where the
store is. Other Species we caught were Carp, Catfish, and Bass.
Inside the café, we used to go there to eat breakfast in the mornings before we went
fishing or we would go fishing early and come to the café after a couple of hours of fishing.
Inside the café.
The walls were lined with hundreds of pictures of anglers with their catch. These
were all rainbow trout at the time and you had to have a trout over 5 pounds to get on the wall.
There were also taxidermy trout on the walls along with other wildlife that you can find in the
area. If I remember right there was a bighorn ram mount at the front entrance.
Later on, as I grew up in the 80s and 90s the decor changed a little bit. The trout pictures were still on the wall
but the trophy at the front of the store was in a case and it changed to a striped bass.
Around this time striped bass got out of Lake Mead into the river system. They had a heyday eating up
Because of that, they grew to enormous sizes. I can’t remember exactly but I seem to
recall a striped bass in the display case that was over 60 pounds if I remember right.
This place is the iconic big fish travel destination. There have been people coming here for decades to
catch big fish whether they be trout or striped bass.
I took a 100 person survey on facebook if people like bass fishing best or trout fishing best. Here’s the results.
Can You Swim at willow beach?
There is no swimming allowed at the marina but if you go outside the buoys you can swim. You should be warned that the water is ice cold year around though.
Do I need an Arizona fishing license to fish at Willow Beach?
There is a lot of confusion unless you already know about whether you need a license to fish at
Willow Beach or not.
First of all yes you do need a license to fish at Willow Beach. However, if
you have a Nevada license that will work as well.
It doesn’t matter if you are on a boat or on
the shore as long as you have a Nevada or an Arizona license you are good to go.
Do I need a stamp for Arizona or Nevada at Willow Beach?
The answer is
no. Some time ago they did away with the stamps. Now when you buy the license it is included
with the license if you get it in Nevada or Arizona does not matter.
Do I need a trout stamp at Willow Beach?
Again the answer is no. Back in the day you
used to have to buy a trout stamp but nowadays that is included with the license as well no
matter which state you come from Arizona or Nevada.
|Darren Enns||Willow Beach||04/10/2021||More Info|
|Victor Jr.||Lake Mead||06/21/2021||More Info|
|Earl Rohn||Willow Beach||06/15/2021||More Info|
|Martin McElroy||Echo Bay||06/17/2021||More Info|
Do I need a stamp for a second pole at Willow Beach?
Once again the answer to that is no. It is
included with the license and you can have up to two poles but a maximum number of three hooks
between the two poles.
So I usually fish one pole with one hook in the other pole with two
At the end of this article, I will give you a willow beach fishing Report for 2021
Can I catch striped bass at Willow Beach?
The answer is absolutely yes you can.
What are the
recommendations for catching striped bass?
Well you can do it similar to the way you do it in
Lake Mead- bait fishing with anchovies that are frozen.
Cut them in thirds and put them
on a standard worm hook. Use about 1 ounce of weight and toss them out there about as far as
you can get them.
If you are on a boat you can do the same thing or you can go upstream a ways and float down slowly with an anchovy on the hook slightly above the bottom.
recommended way to catch striped bass is using baits that mimic baitfish. Either a lure that
mimics a shad or one that mimics a trout or even bluegill.
These are terrific to use because
the bass and the striped bass love to eat these smaller fish, especially trout.
In case you did not know trout are stocked at Willow Beach every Friday. When this happens it’s like buffet time for
the striped bass. This would be a good time to throw out a swim bait that looks like a trout.
Can I catch trout at Willow Beach?
Again the answer to this is an astounding yes.
How do you catch trout at Willow Beach? I would suggest the old standby Berkeley power bait and fish
somewhere around the picnic area by the store or the fishing pier over by the hatchery.
Probably the best place to catch trout. Anywhere in between that is able to be official legally is
good as well. If you have a boat or kayak you can go up or downstream and fish The coves. The
trout like to hang out in there as well and you can catch some real big trout at Willow Beach.
Both of my sons have caught 5-pound trout there. In case you were wondering yes this was
recently it was 2020.
I know the best do you eat the trout but the hatchery also put out some
very large ones for the anglers to catch. You can also use lures like spinners for trout and even
jerk baits that are semi-small.
Another popular soft bait or mouse tails made by Berkley. Also,
regular old nightcrawlers are a great option. You can get them from my friend mike
Marshmallows are a good bait for trout as well. Some people use the garlic-flavored ones made
specifically for fishing but the little colorful marshmallows that you put in your hot cocoa do a
nice job too. (the garlic flavored ones give me bad breath)
Lastly, a super very good option is wax worms or mealworms that you can get at
the store at Willow Beach. Keep in mind Arizona time is different than Nevada time most of the
year and the store closes fairly early.
What are some Willow Beach fishing tips?
The first tip I would give you is to try to fish in the off
hours to beat the crowds.
A lot of people go down to Willow Beach If you try to go during a holiday weekend you are
going to fight for elbow room. I would say if you go in the morning during the week that would be
a terrific time.
It doesn’t matter if you are going just to kayak or if you are fishing, the middle of
the week is a good time.
Late in the evening is also a good time. Only the most diehard
fisherman are out there after about 10 PM so getting a spot is not so hard except maybe on the
weekends. They do have a very nice fishing pier at Willow Beach and it’s quite large but in the
late summer, there’s a lot of grass around the pier so it’s kind of difficult to fish.
If you are going to fish the pier in the late summer you are going to want some sort of gear that you can cast out
very far. This will get you out past the grass and give you a better chance of getting a striper.
Mouse tails and wax worms seem to do the best on trout if you can see them. Plop one of these
baits in front of them and you can usually get their attention with it especially the wax worms
and regular worms.
The best piece of advice I can give you if you want to catch trout is to go
there on Friday morning. Prepare for heavy traffic along the shore because a lot of people know
that the department of wildlife stocks Willow Beach at the ramp on Friday mornings at about eight.
Watch out for the no fishing signs. You need to stay in the designated fishing areas which are a
little ways away from the docs. If you are fishing for striped bass this is a good time too.
Because the stripers come in to eat the trout. Putting something out there that looks like a trout
is a good bet during this time.
Willow Beach trout stocking schedule 2021
All I can tell you is that they stock Willow Beach at about 8:00 AM every Friday morning. There
are occasions when that schedule is changed for example during Covid lockdowns they did not
stock for quite a long time.
There may be other reasons why they don’t stock for example if it is
a holiday. Other than that they are pretty regular about it.
Willow Beach Fishing Guides
There are fishing guides that will take you fishing at Willow Beach. The one I recommend is
Travis Pitt Bass Experience.
Tell him Darren from FishinMoney sent you.
Willow Beach Fishing Report 2021
It’s willow beach. itseveryones favorite place to go get skunked. However if you follow the tips I give in this article you can also hit one out of the park. Oh and if you land-a big one, make sure to stop at the Willow Beach General Store and put your name on the board! and Tell em FishinMoney sent Ya!
Best bait shop in Orlando (live Bait / Custom Plastics)
If you are taking a trip to Orlando, Florida for a huge fishing trip, then I am going to offer you some spectacular information. This will help you in catching a lot of fish, having a superb time, and going home with a ton of stories to tell. I have found the best bait and tackle shop in the Orlando, Florida area. They offer hundreds of hand-made, custom baits for catching fish on all of the Florida lakes. The owner of this particular bait and tackle store is also a United States Coast Guard certified fishing guide. Captain Tim Bagwell knows all there is to know about the lakes and fishing in Florida. https://floridabasscharter.com/
Where can I buy bait in Orlando?
Get Hooked Magic Baits is the premier place to get all of the bait and tackle that you will need to be successful while fishing in Florida. Tim’s website (www.gethookedmagicbaits.com) offers any kind of bait and tackle that you can imagine. All the baits are custom-made and used all over the United States for outstanding fishing. Whether you are a beginner, a pro, young, or old Get Hooked Magic Baits has everything you need for a fantastic fishing trip, no matter where you are. (Captain Bagwell says It’s not about the baits it’s about the magic.)
Let’s take a gander at the website and give you all of the best information possible, including all of the contact information that you need, in case you have any questions or concerns. Get Hooked Bait & Tackle is the go-to bait and tackle shop in the Orlando area.
Best Bait Shop in Orlando – Get Hooked Bait & Tackle
If you are in the Orlando area and you are looking for the best tackle possible for fishing the Florida waters, please stop in at 358 Story Road Suite A in Ocoee, Florida. The staff atGet Hooked Bait & Tackle will help you find everything that you need to make your fishing trip successful. Whether you live in Florida or you are there on vacation, stop in and see Captain Tim and his extremely knowledgeable staff.
Best Bass Baitshop Website
If you are wanting to take a look at everything they have to offer, before you get to Florida or to use in your own lakes then take a look at their spectacular website www.gethookedmagicbaits.com It is extremely user friendly and organized. They have thousands of items to choose from in a vast array of shapes, sizes, and colors. You can do a ‘search for a particular product or you can browse one of their many categories; flukes, worms, frogs, jerk baits, and trick worms just to name a few. They also have rods, reels, combos (in-store), and everything else you need for a spectacular fishing trip
If you can not find something that you are looking for, feel free to email [email protected] or give them a call at 1-407-347-3072. Tim and his amazing staff will be more than happy to help you with any questions that you have. Also available on their website is Get Hooked merchandise and terminal tackle. You can also visit their other website www.gethookedbaitandtackle.com Not only do they have all the fishing equipment that you need for your fishing trip in Florida, they also offer Bass Fishing Guide Trips. Check it out and book your trip today.
Where can I buy live bait in Orlando?
Tim and his crew offer live bait all year round at Get Hooked Bait & Tackle. It is actually some of the best live bait in the state of Florida. Choose from crickets, minnows, shiners, wild shiners, and worms. At Get Hooked Magic Baits they have all of your must-have fishing supplies. They also have buckets and aerators for the live bait. They have forgotten not a single thing that you will need for an amazing fishing trip in Florida.
Get Hooked Magic Baits has every type of bait you will need to catch every type of fish that roams the waters in Florida. They can provide advice on the best spots to fish, the best times of day to go fishing, and they can answer any other questions that you may have. You can follow Tim and his crew on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/gethooked.baitandtackle or https://www.facebook.com/GHMBwork
Check out their blog from either website www.gethookedmagicbaits.com or www.gethookedbaitandtackle.com You can also see photos and videos of their catches … using the Get Hooked Magic Baits very own custom baits. Everything you need and everything you need to know about fishing in Florida can be purchased and answered by Captain Tim and his staff. Browse their website and you will see for yourself. Their baits are popular all over the United States, no matter where you are going to be fishing their baits will get you what you want.
Captain Tim Bagwell and his team are extremely knowledgeable about all things fishing in the Orlando, Florida area. His bait and tackle shop Get Hooked Bait & Tackle has thousands of options to choose from. They sell and ship all over the United States. Check out the website www.gethookedmagicbaits.com and see for yourself, all of the ‘magic’ that Tim has to offer, whether you are fishing in Florida or fishing ‘in your own backyard.’
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