What you need in a bass fishing guide at Lake Okeechobee

Lake Okeechobee is located in Florida and is a major tourist destination for anglers, bird watchers, wildlife enthusiasts and sightseers. The name Okeechobee in Seminole means, “Great Water Can Not See Other Side.” That is so fitting. The lake measures an enormous 730 square miles and has more than 450,000 acres. It is 19 feet deep and provides a lot of drinking water for South Florida. Most of it is shallow and filled with vegetation. You can see the lake from the edges and along Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail and get close with nature and the environment. The bass here grow very big and anglers come from all over North America with the hope of catching the big one.

There are many bass guide services to be found in the area so you may want to research some to find the right fit for you and your family or friends. It could be a team of fishing guides or just one. You want to find one that has been in business for a long time and has a good reputation.  A good bass fishing guide should be able to tell you about the Florida vegetation and how they live at different time of the year. They should be able to travel the huge lake without difficulty and have the skills to know where the best bass fishing is located.  They should be teaching you how to catch more fish and new fishing techniques. Your guide should be able to handle first timers and the most advanced anglers. The guide should be able to teach young angles how to fish. A good guide will have artificial and live bait.

The guide should have water and safety training and be knowledgeable of all aspects of safety. The boat should be state of the art with full electronics and VHF two way radio that monitors for emergency transmissions. These are some rules the guide should enforce on the boat:
-speeds over 15mph require the use of life vests
-no firearms on board
-no drunkenness
-rules must be followed

There are numerous waterways and canals that are teeming with bass along with grassy areas, brush piles and vegetation. There are many places to go on this lake where you can have loads of success in catching a bass. The problem is that when you don’t know where you are going you spend a lot of time searching for those areas. That is where a guide comes in handy. They can take you right to all those hotspots and get your fishing adventure started right. The best time to fish at Lake Okeechobee is in the last part of fall and into the early spring.  Some of these guides even specialize in certain fishing such as for largemouth bass. Okeechobee has been hailed as a dangerous lake because it is so enormous and open. Light winds can even create big waves. A guide can tell you when the weather is not suitable for bass fishing.

There are some areas of submerged rocks in this lake and your guide will know where they are located. They can check the map and watch for those rocks especially during low water levels. The lake is so big it is very easy to get lost especially when the sun goes down! You should have a compass but if not a guide is the person you want along the trip with you. A good guide should have a number of artificial lures for people who want to improve their fishing skills. They should have some Wild Shiner to catch those Trophy sized Largemouth Bass. These guides should have plastic worms, crawdads, jerk baits, weed fewer spoons, spinner baits, lipless crank baits and top water plugs. The weed less spoons and spinner baits are favoured in spring and summer when the bass are in the grass at the first light.

A good guide should know certain tips like burning crank bait over a submerged bed of hydrilla is a good tactic. Guides should know where to fish by the wind direction and strength. Some area could be unfishable due to dirty waters that are too rough for fish or boaters. Your guide should be aware of the good sites to fish like Pahokee Rocks, The Rim Canal and any cuts around the main lake. Pelican Bay is good in the winter and Bay Bottom is one of the best winter spots for bass because they go there to spawn. You can find guides on both sides of the lake or do a search online. This area is known for the best bass fishing in the world and people come from different parts to catch those big bass. You will have to pay a certain fee for these guides but it will be worth the expense.

Dan Eggertsen is a fellow bass fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on bass fishing since 2004.

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