Lake Okeechobee Fishing

Lake Okeechobee Fishing

Lake Okeechobee Fishing is a popular year round activity that is enjoyed by anglers of all ages and experience. Bank fishing locations and numerous boat launch points provide easy access to the lake. Fishing boats are available for rent at the various marina locations and live fishing bait and tackle is readily available at local bait & tackle shops.

The lake is known for being one of the nations best lakes for catching trophy size bass. Lake Okeechobee bass fishing is at it's best in the late winter and early spring month when the bass are on their spawning beds. When fishing for bass, the best live bait is live shiners. Plastic worms, spoons, and top water lures all will produce well when targeting largemouths. Black crappie also commonly known as speckled perch can be caught year round but are most popular in the winter months. Preferred crappie baits include jigs, small artificial worms and live minnows. Catfish are active all year long and traditional catfish baits such as worms or chicken livers are effective. Bluegill and Redear are plentiful and can be caught using a variety of jigs, worms, and spinner baits.

For competitive anglers, numerous fish tournaments are held at the lake at all times of the year. Tournaments range from amateur high school tournaments to professional bass tournaments. Tournament schedules are posted at local marinas and bait shops.

Fish Species at Lake Okeechobee

The most popular fish species include

  • Largemouth Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Catfish
  • Redear
  • Bluegill

Current Fish Size & Creel Limits

Bass less than 18 inches must be released. The daily limit is 5 bass of which you may only keep one fish over 22 inches.

Black crappie under 10 inches must be released. The daily crappie limit is 25 fish.

Largemouth Bass 18 inches 5 (including 1 bass over 22 inches)
Black Crappie 10 inches 25
Bluegill, Redear No Limit 50
Catfish No Limit No Limit
Grass Carp Illegal to Possess Must be Released
Alligator Gar Illegal to Possess Must be Released

Lake Okeechobee Fishing License Information

A valid Florida Freshwater Fishing License is required for all anglers 16 years of age or older. For non-residents 3 day, 7 day and 12 month Florida fishing license options are available. See the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website for additional details.

Lake Okeechobee Fishing Guides

Lake Okeechobee Bass

Numerous professional fishing guides are available for hire. Most fishing charters provide tackle and bait making a fishing charter a great addition to your South Florida vacation. A professional guide is highly recommended if it is your first time fishing Lake Okeechobee. Using a guide will help increase your knowledge of the lake and help you learn how to land more fish when fishing on your own. Hiring a guide can increase your chances of landing on of Lake Okeechobee's trophy size bass.

Florida Fishing Information

Additional Florida fishing regulation information can be found in the Florida Freshwater Fishing Regulations brochure.