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Winter Haven Chain of Lakes

Polk County

Winter Haven

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. Bass anglers achieve success by "flipping" plastic worms around shoreline plants such as cattail and maidencane, as well as docks.

Bluegill (bream) fishing will pick up as the temperature rises, try using red wigglers under a bobber and small jigs around vegetation. Look for crappie in areas with grass and other vegetation. Dropping a minnow or jig into holes in vegetation or around grass edges can produce some bites. Drift live Missouri minnows or troll with Hal flies and small spinners can also be productive this time of year. Largemouth bass fishing should be heating up as they try to regain energy after the spawn. Try fishing a vibrating swim jig (chatterbait) along grass beds and thick vegetation lines. Bluegill style baits are a good choice this time of year. As the days heat up target docks and areas with heavy vegetation with swimbaits or Texas rigged soft plastics. Deep water structure will also hold fish. Use deep-diving crankbaits or heavy jigs in these areas. Tight lines!

Popular Species

Popular Sport Fish Species

Fish graphics by Duane Raver, Jr.

More species information is available for:

Largemouth bass, Bluegill, Redear sunfishBlack crappie

FWC Trophy Catch Logo

TrophyCatch Tracker

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): 225

Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 33

Hall of Fame Club (13+ pounds): 5