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
Bluegill (bream) fishing has improved with warmer water temperatures and should be hot around the full and new moons each month. Use crickets and red wigglers fished below a cork near shoreline vegetation. Black crappie (specks) fishing will be slow until water temperatures cool in the fall. Drift live Missouri minnows or troll with Hal flies and small spinners over grass beds for the best action. Largemouth bass fishing has reached its summertime pattern. Most fish are being caught on live wild shiners and plastic worms fished slowly around cattails and bulrush (buggy whips). Try using a lipless crankbait along deeper grass beds. Some bass will move to deeper grass lines to find cooler water and if you can locate them, you can catch some quality fish. Try some topwater baits around docks, vegetation or woody structure early in the morning or late evening for some explosive strikes that you will not forget.