If you are a bass fisherman, you're well aware of how famous Lake Kissimmee is for bass. It is famous world wide for being a fantastic bass fishery. Many B.A.S.S. Tournaments have been held there over the years, including the Superbowl of bass fishing, the BASS Master Classic.
Because of the vast expanse of Lake Kissimmee, about 35,000 acres give or take, and the expanse of vegetation which keeps boats out of many areas, largemouth bass can grow very old and large. One of the many rules that has also helped with developing trophy bass is the five fish limit, including that of these five only one over 24 inches can be kept.
Fishing live bait at Lake Kissimmee is very popular, specifically shiners. Fishing shiners in the heavy cover more often than not will tempt the bass to strike.
Fishing wild shiners is your best bet as they are more active than the farm raised shiners. You should have success fishing with any size shiner, but if you are looking for that elusive trophy you better bring along some 4 to 6 inch ones. Don't worry about the large size because you are just as likely to catch a 2 pounder as you are a ten pounder on that size.
There are numerous ways to fish with shiners including bobbers, balloons or just letting the shiners swim free on your hook.
Fishing freestyle though, it is much harder to know when you have a strike because the bass are very likely to just inhale the shiner and sit in the same spot.
Bobbers vs. balloons
Bobbers aren't a bad choice, however, when the bass grabs onto the shiner and swims away they will most likely feel the resistance of dragging the bobber and possibly just let loose.
With a balloon tied on they actually pull the line through the knot in the balloon so will hold on much longer giving you the chance to set the hook.
If you plan on using artificial baits you have many choices and should have much success. The most popular artificial lures are:
- plastic worms
- weedless spoons
You'll also have a lot of luck using topwaters and shallow running crankbaits along the weed lines. Flipping jigs along the weed lines in the heat of the afternoon should produce some good numbers for you as well.
When fishing artificial baits the determining factor should be decided by the clarity of the water, wind, cover and the time of year you visit Lake Kissimmee.
When to visit
The best times to visit Lake Kissimmee are late autumn through the spawning season into April and maybe early May.
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