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Kissimmee, Fl, may be known for its proximity to popular theme parks like Disney World, but hardcore anglers also know it’s a Bass fishing paradise. Lake Kissimmee is the crown jewel of this area and boasts some of the best Bass fishing in the entire state. Countless professional Bass tournaments have been held on this body of water over the decades, and the lake still produces outstanding bag limits to this day.
In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know to plan your Lake Kissimmee Bass fishing adventure. Less than an hour’s drive from the hustle and bustle of Orlando and its tourists, this undeveloped lake is like taking a step back in time. Let’s see how you can make the most of it.
Why Lake Kissimmee?
At 34,948 acres, Lake Kissimmee is one the largest lakes in Florida. It’s the largest lake in the Kissimmee chain – a series of connected lakes and canals that tout some of the best Bass fishing in the country.
What really makes Lake Kissimmee unique is its layout. The uneven shoreline and large islands make it seem like multiple lakes in one. Unlike Lake Okeechobee, which is mostly open water, Lake Kissimmee has multiple coves, large points, some urban development, and miles of lily pads. You’ll also find the historical, 5,000-acre Brahma Island in its waters.
When Bass anglers envision “Florida Bass Fishing,” Lake Kissimmee should be the poster child with its mossy oak trees, dark waters, and prolific wildlife. There’s also no shortage of alligators or bird-watching opportunities, either.
Where to Go Bass Fishing on Lake Kissimmee
As the fourth largest lake in Florida, the size of Lake Kissimmee can be a bit overwhelming. If you’re short on time or want to be put on the fish right away, consider hiring a Lake Kissimmee Bass fishing guide.
Many of the captains who charter on this lake are retired professional Bass anglers, who know the lake very well. But if you’re looking to explore it on your own, here are a few notable locations and popular landmarks to get you acclimatized with the layout of the lake.
The 5,000-acre Brahma Island is a popular spot for Bass fishing on Lake Kissimmee due to its unique shape and location. It sits on a shallow flat and is surrounded by deeper water, making it an ideal spot for Bass to feed and rest. Anglers can target Bass around the edges of the island where the shallow water drops off into the deeper channels. Topwater lures and soft plastics are popular bait choices here.
Grassy Island is another hotspot for Bass fishing on Lake Kissimmee. This island is covered in thick vegetation, providing cover and shelter for Bass to hide and ambush their prey. Anglers can target Bass along the edges of the grass beds using topwater frogs, buzz baits, and swimbaits. It’s also a great spot for flipping and pitching into pockets and holes in the thick vegetation.
This spot is popular due to its unique structure and depth changes. Philadelphia Point features a steep drop-off into deeper water and is surrounded by submerged vegetation, providing ample cover for Bass. This is a great area to find post-spawn Bass as they move back into deeper waters. Anglers can target Bass along the edges of the vegetation using jigs, worms, and creature baits. This area is also great for trolling using crankbaits.
The Pig Trail
The Pig Trail is a long, narrow canal that connects Lake Kissimmee to Lake Hatchineha. It’s a popular Bass fishing location due to its unique structure and the abundance of bait fish that pass through it, especially after periods of heavy rain.
Anglers can target Bass along the edges of the canal using a variety of baits including spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and soft plastics. The Pig Trail is also a great spot to anchor up and fish vertically using live bait or drop shot rigs.
Public Boat Ramps
As large as Lake Kissimmee is, there are very few public boat ramps on the lake. Below are the most popular locations to launch your boat, kayak, or canoe.
- Joe Overstreet’s Landing. Located on the northeast side of the lake, this public boat ramp offers two wide concrete lanes and floating docks.
- Grape Hammock Fish Camp. This launch is located on the south end of Lake Kissimmee, at the mouth of the Kissimmee River. This is a full-service fish camp and marina with amenities for food, fuel, and bait.
- Lake Kissimmee State Park Boat Ramp. Within the state park on the west of the lake, this small ramp can accommodate paddle craft and small motorized vessels.
When to Go Bass Fishing on Lake Kissimmee
Located in sunny central Florida, Lake Kissimmee boasts year-round fishing opportunities. In fact, you can catch Bass during all four seasons. But the best Bass fishing occurs during the winter and early spring months. That is when the biggest female Bass are caught, many of them over 10 pounds.
Winter Bass Fishing on Lake Kissimmee
Starting as early as December, male Largemouth Bass begin to make beds in preparation for the females to come in and spawn. Anglers should focus on located spawning habitats – shallow waters 2–4 feet deep near isolated cover.
This time of year may not produce the numbers that summer Bass fishing does, but it’s the best time of year to catch a real trophy and sight fish for big female Bass on the beds.
Spring Bass Fishing on Lake Kissimmee
By Late February, the spawn is starting to wrap up on Lake Kissimmee, and the Bass move into their post-spawn patterns. Through March and April, they’ll be feeding like crazy on schooling bait fish – and the weather is typically very pleasant this time of year, too.
Use your fish finder or live scope to locate ledges and deep submerged grass beds. Remember, this is Florida, our ledges are not big. A difference of just 1–2 feet can be enough to hold fish.
What to Look For
The primary native cover on Lake Kissimmee is maiden cane, Kissimmee grass, and bulrush. Largemouth Bass will use this cover not only for spawning but for ambushing bait and hiding from the hot overhead sun.
Wild shiners, shad, and sunfish are the primary forage for Bass on the lake. Keep an eye out for bait schools, diving birds, and sunfish beds (especially during the summer months).
With more than a few canals on the lake – and the Kissimmee River flowing in and out of the lake – pinch points of flowing water can be a goldmine. Look for subtle ledges and structures near flowing water, especially on the northern and southern ends of the lake.
One of the cool things about Lake Kissimmee is that there is most likely a habitat to suit your desired fishing technique. If you want to punch cover with heavy jigs, no problem. If you want to flip wacky-rigs under boat docks, Kissimmee has that too. There’s also deeper water for cranking hard baits and plenty of shallow water for sight fishing. This lake is very diverse, so pick an area and fish in the style that suits you!
Top Lures for Lake Kissimmee Bass Fishing
Popular search baits on Lake Kissimmee include chatter baits, shallow-running crankbaits, and rat-l-traps. Once you find some fish, pick the area apart with topwater frogs, swimbaits, or, if they’re deep, try throwing a Texas-rigged speed worm or wacky rig.
Remember, this is Florida Bass fishing. Fishing in or around the cover will yield the best results. Florida Bass prefer to be in shaded areas or within thick vegetation, especially on bright sunny days. Popular colors on this lake are black, blue, junebug, gold, watermelon, and chartreuse.
Live Shiners For Lunkers
Lake Kissimmee boasts a very large and healthy population of wild shiners. In fact, most of the bait and tackle shops in the area catch their shiners on this lake. To really increase your chances of a bite, consider fishing with live shiners. I strongly recommend using a 3/0 circle hook to prevent your Bass from swallowing the hook. Simply rig your shiner a couple of feet below a cork, and fish it tight to cover like hydrilla banks, docks, and pads.
One popular method is to find a large submerged grass flat in 3–6 feet of water. Position your boat upwind, and plan a drift. Toss a live shiner out the back and, while you’re waiting for a bite, pitch out your favorite swim bait.
Lake Kissimmee Bass Fishing Regulations
A valid freshwater fishing license is required for any resident or non-resident anglers aged 16–64. You can get yours from the MyFWC website, and here’s how much they cost:
- Non-resident 3-day freshwater fishing license: $17
- Non-resident 7-day freshwater fishing license: $30
- Non-resident annual freshwater fishing license: $47
- Resident freshwater fishing license: $17
Lake Kissimmee follows the Florida statewide Black Bass bag and size limits, which limit the take to a total of five Bass per person. Please note that only one Bass may be 16 inches or more in length. There is no minimum length limit, but catch and release is generally encouraged.
Lake Kissimmee Bass Fishing FAQs
Bass Fishing on Lake Kissimmee: Florida’s Freshwater Gem
As you can see, Lake Kissimmee is a top destination for Bass fishing in Florida. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting out, the lake offers a variety of locations to explore. With proper preparation, patience, and perseverance, you can catch your next trophy-sized Bass on Lake Kissimmee and fish in the footsteps of Bass fishing legends. Grab your gear and hit the water to experience the thrill of Bass fishing on this beautiful lake.
The post How to Go Bass Fishing on Lake Kissimmee appeared first on FishingBooker Blog.
This article originally appeared here and was republished with permission.