September is one of the hottest months of the year in Florida, so if bass fishing is your passion, you’re used to waking up early and being on the water before the sun comes up. By about 10 a.m., the best fishing of the day is over, although you can get in one some good midday action during or after a rain storm.
Because it’s so hot on a consistent basis, the bass are looking for moving water, deep water or good cover. At first light, the fish are up shallow feeding, because that’s the coolest time of the day. You’ll usually find a lot of schooling bass active right at first light.
Some of the better places to fish in my Region include Lakes Toho and Kissimmee, the Butler Chain of Lakes and the Harris Chain of Lakes, but even the small development and golf course ponds will produce great bass fishing in Florida. Of all the options, the Harris Chain is one of the best, because a lot of the lakes in chain are spring fed, so the water comes from deep in the ground and is around 72 degrees year-round. If you know where the springs are located, you can fish large concentrations of bass in those areas when it’s hot or cold.
The shad populations have hatched out and are growing, so you’ll see the bass busting shad on the surface at dawn. Those are usually school fish in the 1-3 pound range. Target them with a white spinnerbait with a gold willowleaf blade, chrome with a blue back lipless crankbaits or soft plastic swimbaits like a Bass Assassin Elite Shiner or Die Dapper in the Mama’s 14K or Houdini colors. Just cast right to the busting fish, and you’ll do well.
As the dawn schooling bite slows down, then it’s time to fish the outside grass lines or Kissimmeegrass patches. Grass provides shade and also an ambush point for the bass, so they like to hold on the edges of the grass and eat anything that swims by. If you’re looking for a big fish, an 8-10 inch plastic worm rigged Texas-style in Junebug, Blueberry or redshad is the way to go. Work those same outside grass lines or the mouths of creeks where there’s moving water. In the rivers, fish the bends in the river, where the current pushes up against the bank.
September is always hot in Florida, but it can also be rainy, and if it is, the late afternoons after the rain has cooled things down can be a great time to go out and fish stick baits along the edges of the floating grass. Just rip them and let the lure pause, and the fish will eat it on the pause.
If you’re just targeting big fish, the way to go is a live wild shiner. Wild shiners are different than domestic shiners in that wild shiners like to hide in the grass where the bass are holding, while domestic shiners will swim in the open water. I prefer wild shiners, but you can’t always get them.
Fish them on 30 pound talk and a 3/0 Khale hook, and either hook them through the lips or in the back and place them under a cork and cast it up against the grass lines. You’ll know when the bite is eminent because the shiner will go crazy and make your float dance before it goes under in a huge boil of water.
Get on the water early, off the water around 10a.m., and avoid the heat of the day, and you’ll catch plenty of bass and be back in time for a late breakfast.
Captain’s Tip of the Week #25 Bass - 2015
Chevy Florida Insider Fishing Report