UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Cumberland

Chamber of Commerce days

Chamber of Commerce days
Stren Series anglers head out for another spectacular day of fishing on Lake Okeechobee.

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. - If you have ever wondered why most of the bass-fishing world retreats to Florida every January, carefully study the above photo.

For serious anglers, there's nothing quite like idling out into an Okeechobee sunrise for a day of fishing in sun-baked warmth and balmy breezes while the rest of the country is shoveling snow.

And no matter what you're after - bass, bream or crappies - fishing on South Florida's biggest freshwater fish factory on days like this is usually a sure bet for some solid action.

The pros and co-anglers fishing the Stren Series Southeast Division event on the Big O are certainly getting their money's worth this week. Keeper bass have been plentiful with many anglers reporting catching 10 to 30 keepers per day.

The trick, of course, has been finding and fooling the big fish.

Noted Okeechobee big-fish expert J.T. Kenney of Daytona Beach, Fla., weighed in five keepers for 9 pounds, 8 ounces on day one. The "great big ones" that normally anchor his impressive creels were noticeably absent.

"Those big females usually come in off the main lake and bury themselves under those thick grass mats," Kenney reasoned. "They feel safe and secure up underneath the thick stuff. But with 4 feet of water gone out of the lake, those nice deep inside mats are gone. The big fish have less water and cover to conceal themselves with, so they're much more scattered and wary. Catching a big one comes down to making the right cast rather than punching into a bass cave laden with great big ones."

Kenney contends the "great big ones" are still out there; they have just changed the way they stage up before the spawn.

"Someone's going to figure it before too long," he added. "They always do down here."

Weigh-in watch

The day-two weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. EST at C. Scott Driver Park in Okeechobee. For bass-fishing fans unable to attend the festivities in person, you can catch all the weigh-in action live at FLWOutdoors.com with FLW Live.

Thursday's conditions

Sunrise: 7:15 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 66 degrees
Expected high temperature: 82 degrees
Water temperature: 68-72 degrees
Forecasted winds: SE at 10 to 15 mph
Day's outlook: warm and breezy

Tags: rob-newell  morning-story  2007-01-03-lake-okeechobee 

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