The following is a generalized quarterly fishing forecast for the Fish Orlando! program. For even more up-to-date information, we suggest you call or visit a local bait-and-tackle shop or guide service. At times we will provide information for some local contacts, which indicated they were willing to be listed herein.
Fish Orlando!'s mission is to create and promote convenient, quality fishing opportunities in the greater Orlando area. Initiated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) in 1998, the program is supported by the City of Orlando, City of Ocoee, City of Winter Park, Orange County, BASS PRO SHOPS and a variety of other businesses and volunteer/civic groups.
For a complete listing of directions to public fishing opportunities in Orange County, contact our office for a free copy of the Fish Orlando! Fishing Map (1601 Scotty's Road, Kissimmee, Florida 34744; phone: 352-732-1225; email: fishorlando@MyFWC.com).
Click here to see upcoming fishing events in the "Fish Orlando!" area.
New "Fish Orlando!" iPhone App now available!
This app will give you key information about the "Fish Orlando!" sites, where they are, their amenities, what the target species are at each location, and even a map to show you the way. More information is available at the iTunes store or by searching "Fish Orlando" in the App Store on your iPhone.
Starke Lake: Most of the largemouth bass will be in deeper water (> 10 feet) this quarter and therefore boat fishing will be the best bet for this FAB FIVE water body. For a starting point try the fish attractors (marked with a yellow FWC buoy). New brush was placed on these attractors in January 2014 so they should be especially productive this summer. Good baits on these attractors include Carolina and Texas-rigged worms. If the fish are active try a crankbait that runs between 4 and 8 feet but make sure you bring a lure retriever. The fish attractors are listed on a topographical map, which can be obtained by emailing the Fish Orlando office (See contact info above). Also try casting wacky rigged seinkos, flukes or weightless trick worms along the drop offs; trolling diving crankbaits along this same structure works as well. Schooling bass may also be present in the early morning or late evening hours. A fluke or swim bait is good lures for these fish.
Turkey Lake: Many of the largemouth bass will be out on the fish attractors (marked with a yellow FWC buoy). Similar to Starke Lake they were recently refurbished with fresh brush this winter. Try Texas-rigged (1/4 oz) watermelon seed trick worms, zara spook type topwaters and deep diving crankbaits (shad or bluegill patterns). The fish attractors for this FAB FIVE are listed on a topographical map, which can be obtained by emailing the Fish Orlando office (see contact information above). Although not always consistent, schooling bass in the open water may also be another option this quarter; particularly first thing in the morning. Cast lipless crankbaits, topwaters and shad imitating jigs right into the area where the fish are surfacing. If bites in the open water do not produce, try flukes and Texas and wacky rigged seinkos on the edges of the deeper Kissimmee grass and pads. The edges of the submersed vegetation in 8-10 feet of water are also worth checking with these baits. Due to deed restrictions there is no public boat access on Turkey Lake, but the FWC, the City of Orlando and Bass Pro Shops have teamed together to provide a Boat Loaner Program where four Bass Tracker Boats can be rented for only $32 a morning (7 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.; Thurs - Sun). Call the City of Orlando’s Bill Frederick Park at 407-246-4486 to reserve a boat.
Lake Underhill: A hydrilla treatment is scheduled for this summer in the south lobe so depending on the results the north lobe may be the best bet for consistent summertime action. For this FAB FIVE, try focusing efforts early in the morning or after dark (the boat ramp closes at 11 p.m.) to avoid the heat and the numerous personal watercraft activity during this quarter. Spend most of the time bass fishing the 8 – 15 foot depths on the edge of the submerged vegetation. Try flukes, wacky rigged seinkos, weighted trick worms and light weight (1/16 oz) Carolina-rigs during the day. Zara spook type topwaters may draw strikes first thing in the morning and right before sunset. After dark a black Texas-rig worm is a faithful standby.
Ivanhoe: The bass in this FAB FIVE should be in the 8 – 15 foot depth range next to the submerged vegetation. Try a 4 inch Texas-rigged worm with a small bullet weight a foot or so in front of the worm. A lipless crankbait is another good lure to try, especially if you see bass chasing shad on or near the surface. Unlike Starke and Underhill where the deeper productive water is usually out of reach of the shore angler, Ivanhoe’s narrow littoral zone (vegetation zone) allows for this area to be reached with a 20 – 50 foot cast from the bank, making it appealing to non-boaters even in the warmer months.
Clear Lake: Although this FAB FIVE is managed for hybrid striped bass, because hybrids are a cool water fish it would be best to focus on the channel catfish action this quarter. Catfish in the 5 – 10 lb range are common and liver fished on the bottom around the numerous dredge holes is a good way to “hook up”; sprinkle the liver with unflavored gelatin prior to the trip to help keep the bait on the hook. The dredge areas are listed on a topographical map, which can be obtained by emailing the Fish Orlando office (firstname.lastname@example.org). If the dredge holes do not hold fish try fishing the mouths of the numerous canals associated with the lake.
Urban Ponds (Barnett Park Frog Pond, Bear Creek, Lake Island Park, and Santiago): The URBAN PONDS are managed as put, grow and take channel catfish fisheries. Bear Creek and Santiago received spring stockings of channel catfish so they would be the two to focus on this summer. Barnett Park and Lake Island Park have very low densities of catfish right now due to cormorant predation and fishermen harvest but they will be stocked in September and should be hot for 3-4 months following the stocking. At all the URBAN PONDS focus your efforts early or late in the day around the “Baited Fishing Area” signs and aerator diffusers (bubbles coming to the surface mark the diffusers). Try chicken liver, hot dogs, bacon or night crawlers fished on the bottom. For more bites use light monofilament lines (< 8 lb test). Some decent largemouth bass fishing can be had in Bear Creek and Santiago using crappie minnows under a float or a large domestic shiner free lined on a #2 hook first thing in the morning. Because of their abundant small bluegill and redear sunfish, the URBAN PONDS are also a good place to take a kid to catch their first fish. A cricket, or small piece of worm fished under a small float is usually all that’s needed.
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