Whether you’re an experienced angler or if you want to try out bass fishing for the first time, Florida’s beautiful freshwater Lake Kissimmee is one of the top destinations for fishermen from around the globe.
It’s Florida’s third largest lake at a whopping 35,000 acres, and its more remote location means that it’s a haven for largemouth bass, panfish, and much more. It’s also the biggest lake in the Kissimmee Chain.
Located about 15 miles from Lake Wales and 40 miles from Orlando in the Osceola and Polk counties, the lake is also famous for its Florida cowboy history and stunning wildlife.
However, it’s the promise of an unbeatable bass fishing experience that attracts the most visitors. It even hosts the annual Florida Bass Federation Tour and the Bassmaster Classic events, and other fishing competitions.
If you’re looking to catch one of your biggest bass fish ever, then Lake Kissimmee fishing is the ideal experience. Still, you’d like to know a bit more about what to expect from the region, the best times to go fishing, and what you can do to get the perfect catch.
Consider this post as your ultimate guide to an incredible Lake Kissimmee fishing experience.
The Basics of Lake Kissimmee
Let’s begin by taking a look at what makes Lake Kissimmee bass fishing so popular.
The lake is known for its slightly warmer water temperatures, which is one of the biggest reasons why it’s such a haven for bass. Fishermen in search of large catches prefer to head out during the summer, as the combination of the heat and the warm water temperatures bring out some seriously huge fish.
If you can, we suggest that you schedule your fishing trip during the full moon phase. The light brings the fish much closer to the shallow sections of the water, making them much easier to catch.
Don’t let the tannin-stained color of the lake’s shallow waters fool you. The lake is home to countless bass, especially on the South end and even within the Kissimmee River.
However, in spite of the large concentration of bass, the lake’s thick, heavy vegetation. This means that it’s not as crowded as some of the clearer lakes.
More experienced fishermen — or those fishing with a guide — can use the lake’s vegetation to their advantage.
Where There is Grass There is Bass
Common knotgrass, maidencane, and bulrush provide ideal hiding places for large groups of bass. In fact, it’s this very vegetation that helps to protect bass. This allows them to live to grow to the large sizes the lake is known for.
When you head out on Lake Kissimme Florida, don’t be surprised when you encounter areas that are completely inaccessible due to an overgrowth of vegetation.
Overgrowths of hydrilla, in particular, have been known to cause navigational issues for some anglers. So, if you’re on the less experienced side, it’s best for you to go with a guide.
Finally, be aware that, because of the lake’s shallow waters, it’s a bit more susceptible to temperature changes than other lakes. Make sure that you check the daily Lake Kissimmee fishing report before you head out for the day.
What to Expect From Lake Kissimmee
One of the best things about Lake Kissimmee fishing is the potential for big bass.
It’s not unusual for fishermen to catch bass that weigh anywhere from 5-8 pounds. Many are able to catch bass fish that are larger than 10 pounds.
We’ve already mentioned that the south end of Lake Kissimmee is a haven for bass. We also suggest that you and your guide take a look at the smaller creeks and canals. Make sure that you also check out Philadelphia Point ad North Cove. Especially if the south end of the lake is a bit more crowded than you’d like.
Keep your eye out for large concentrations of reeds or eelgrass, as this is often where larger schools of bass spend their time. You may even see some success fishing close to docks, as schools will concentrate underneath them.
Often, bass simply “lie in wait” for their next meal, which is a huge part of what makes them so easy to catch.
Find The Schooling Bait And The Bass Will Bite.
So, what are some of the signs that usually signal the presence of a large school of bass?
The shiners will likely start to come to the surface of the water, and you should be able to notice the bass following right behind them. The shiner become agitated and actively swim away from the area where the bass are concentrated.
If you notice the shiner consistently leaving/pulling away from one area, it’s a good indication there’s a large amount of bass nearby.
In addition to bass, you can also expect to encounter crappie, panfish, and shellcrackers (also known as redear sunfish.
Tips For Successful Bass Fishing in Lake Kissimmee
One of the best ways for you to catch some seriously huge bass is by using the proper bait and lures.
Some expert fishermen swear by the ribbon tail worm as bait. As we mentioned above, golden shiners are usually the bait of choice for this area.
When it comes to shiners, the great thing about Lake Kissimmee bass is that you can pretty much use any size of shiner you’d like. The most important aspect is live bait, not the size.
Fishermen have had much success using shiners that are four inches long, while more experienced fishermen suggest that you use a seven-inch shiner to catch a huge bass.
You may also want to try white spinnerbaits, lip-less crankbaits, and even jerkbaits.
On Lake Kissimmee, you can watch a school of bass fish fight furiously over your bait. This is a prime photo opportunity and a wonderful experience for new fishermen. When this happens, we suggest you use lip-less crankbaits or topwater lures.
Keep in mind that you may need to leave your shiner bait in a single area for up to half an hour before you see any results.
As with all types of fishing, patience is key if you’re out to catch big bass.
Additional Lake Kissimmee Bass Fishing Tips
Let’s quickly go over a few of our top bass fishing tips for Lake Kissimmee.
Though it might sound counterintuitive at first, we do suggest that you face the wind whenever possible. Keep in mind that bass swim with the current, which means that facing the wind ensures that they run into your bait before they discover your boat.
Before you head out, get a good look at the weather report. Always try to plan your fishing day for the time right before a larger storm front moves through. The pressure will encourage heightened activity, while the time directly after a storm makes them a bit more skittish.
If you’re looking to catch bigger fish over ten pounds, then we suggest you have a look at these tips from Field and Stream.
However, nothing beats the personal, one-on-one advice that you’ll get from hiring a fishing guide. Plus it is always better fish with a buddy on Lake Kissimmee.
Read on to learn more about how to hire one.
Do You Need a Lake Kissimmee Fishing Guide?
Get excited about heading to Lake Kissimmee on your next fishing trip.
It’s certainly one of the most popular spots in the country for bass fishing. It’s also accessible to fishermen of all levels during different times of the year.
If you’re new to the area, or to largemouth bass fishing in general, we strongly suggest that you hire a local fishing guide. The fishing guides are familiar with Lake Kissimmee. Even highly experienced fishermen opt to go with a guide. They can discover lesser-known spots, new baiting techniques, and much more.
Click here to book your fishing charter with us on Lake Kissimmee or another one of Florida’s stunning lakes.
You can choose your dates, which lake you’d like to visit, the length of your trip, and much more.
We can’t wait to help you have a bass fishing trip you’ll never forget — and we’re confident that you’ll want to return to Lake Kissimmee again and again.
The unofficial biggest Largemouth Bass caught on Lake Kissimmee weighed 19.20 lbs. This fish was caught by Dave Ochs, who manages Lake Rosalie Bait and Tackle, on a weightless Yamamoto Senko
There are two public boat ramps on Lake Kissimmee. Lake Kissimmee South Boat Ramp is located in Lake Wales, Florida 33898. The second public boat ramp is located on the Northeastern side of the lake at 4900 Joe Overstreet Rd, Kenansville, FL 34739.