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The Complete Guide to Fishing on Lake Okeechobee

The Complete Guide to Fishing on Lake Okeechobee

Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake located in Florida. The lake level changes with the seasons and with yearly rainfall. The average depth of the lake is 9 feet (3 m). The most common fish in the lake are largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill.

Lake Okeechobee is an excellent place to fish. The lake has been stocked with over 15,000 largemouth bass and thousands of bluegill and crappie. The lake is a great place to fish from the shore, or you can rent a boat at one of the many marinas around the lake.

The best time to fish is in the spring and fall. The water temperature stays between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 27°C) all year long, but it can get very hot during summer.

The most popular fishing spots are the many inlets and creeks that feed into Lake Okeechobee. You can catch bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish in these areas.

Fishing gears to pack

-A good quality fishing rod and reel

– A fishing license

-A small tackle box to carry hooks, sinkers, and lures in.

-Plenty of patience! It can take a while to hook into a good one.

-A cooler to put your fish in and some ice if you stay for a while.

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You can surely have a successful fishing trip on Lake Okeechobee with the right gear.

Top Fish Species and their baits at lake Okeechobee

Largemouth bass

The largemouth bass is a popular fish found in the waters of Lake Okeechobee. The largemouth bass’s most distinctive characteristic is its elongated jaw, which it uses to strike prey. The largemouth bass prefers to eat small fish, frogs, and other aquatic animals that live in the water column.

The best time to fish for largemouth bass is typically in the spring when the fish are spawning. The best largemouth bass baits are live bait, such as worms or minnows. The largemouth bass is also known to be very aggressive, so lures that mimic their natural prey can also be effective.

Largemouth bass

Black crappie

The black crappie is one of Lake Okeechobee’s most popular fish species. You can catch them on various baits, including live worms and grass shrimp. Crappie is typically caught in the winter when they migrate up to shallow water with warmer temperatures.

They are known to spawn every 3 to 4 years. The best time to fish for them is during the early morning or evening when they are most active. The crappie is a popular sport fish and can be eaten. The meat is white, flaky, and mild-tasting. It’s often served fried or breaded with cornmeal and flour.

Black crappie


Bowfins are a prevalent fish in the lake. They can be caught by fishing with live bait such as worms, minnows, and grass shrimp. The best time to fish for Bowfin is early morning or evening when the sun is not as high. Bowfin will also eat dead bait, such as chicken livers or pieces of fish. If you are using live bait, it is best to keep the bait moving in the water so that it looks alive.

When the Bowfin strikes, it will usually grab ahold of the bait and not let go until you catch it or it dies. Bowfins are very strong and can give you a lot of resistance when trying to reel it in. Bowfins have sharp teeth, so if you get bit by one, be sure to get medical treatment. The Bowfin’s skin is very rough and can irritate you if it gets in contact with your skin for a long period of time.


Channel catfish

The channel catfish is one of Lake Okeechobee’s most sought-after fish species. It thrives well in murky and muddy waters as it has a special filter that can clean the water that it’s in. Channel catfish are not picky eaters and will gladly consume any bait, including nightcrawlers, minnows, or other smaller fish species.

The best time for channel catfish fishing is in the spring and summer months when they are spawning. The best baits for channel catfish are live bait, such as minnows or worms, and lures that mimic the appearance and smell of live bait. Channel catfish have excellent eyesight and taste receptors all over their body, so it is essential to use attractive baits.

Channel catfish

What are the best spots for fishing at Lake Okeechobee?

Lake Okeechobee is great for fishing because it has a lot of different habitats, and bass is found in narrow waterways and places overgrown with vegetation or brushy areas. Guides know all the hotspots and can take you there directly. Hiring a guide can save time and trouble finding great spots by the lake.

What is the best month to fish Lake Okeechobee?

The best month to fish Lake Okeechobee is October, when the bass is spawning. Bass are a type of fish that live in freshwater, and they spawn in late October. During this time, the bass is more aggressive than usual, making it easier for anglers to catch them.

Do I need a fishing license at lake Okeechobee?

Yes, all persons fishing in Florida must have a valid fishing license. You can purchase a fishing license online or by phone at the sporting goods store or bait shop nearest to you. You can buy a 7-day nonresident sportfishing license for $17, and a 1-year sportfishing license costs $28.

What are the fishing regulations at lake Okeechobee?

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) regulates fishing in Florida. You can view their regulations online at or pick up a copy at your local sporting goods store or bait shop.

There are no bag limits on fish caught from the shoreline of Lake Okeechobee, although there are some size and creel limits on certain species. For example, largemouth bass must be at least 14 inches long and may only be kept in quantities of five per day.

Final Thoughts

Lake Okeechobee is an excellent place to fish. It’s one of the best freshwater fishing spots in Florida and has tons of potential for catching trophy-sized bass, catfish, and other species.

The best times to fish are from spring until the end of summer when the water level is low, and the weather is hot. Fishing can be a bit more difficult during fall and winter when the water level is high, but it’s still possible to catch fish. The best way to learn more about fishing at Lake Okeechobee is by visiting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website.