Orlando may be known for its theme parks, but it also has some outstanding bass fishing within a short drive. The Kissimmee Chain of Lakes are close and they get a lot of attention from anglers. You can also do well on the Clermont Chain of Lakes, Johns Lake, Butler Chain of Lakes and a guided fishing trip on the Disney World lakes can be an awesome experience for the family too.
Bass in this part of the country can grow very big with fish over 10 pounds caught every year. Fish in the 3 to 5 pound range are fairly common and many of the local guides will give you a good chance to catch a bass in the 7 to 8 pound range. Huge live shiners is recommended if you are looking to target big bass exclusively.
The Butler Chain of Lakes has over 5,000 acres in surface water; distributed in the following 13 interconnected lakes. The lakes in the Butler Chain are part of the WWNCD (Windermere Water Navigation Control District). The WWNCD is the largest lake MSTU in Orange County, including 27 lakes having a combined surface water area of over 6,000 acres.
The lakes in the Butler Chain are popular because the water is much deeper and clearer that the lakes throughout Florida and especially so compared to the other popular lakes in the Central Florida area. There are a lot of fishing techniques you can use here that you can’t use on the shallow lakes throughout the area. This chain of lakes is also popular for the amazing scenery with all the amazing homes that line the chain. Famous people such as Shaquille O’Neil, Ken Griffey, Jr., Tiger Woods and many others own homes in this lake community.
The Clermont Chain of Lakes are located in the town of Clermont, Florida mostly with a couple of the lakes in the town of Groveland as well. This chain of lakes totals more than 8,600 acres with 11 lakes and a couple of boat ramps to make it easy to get access to the water. Most of the water will be tea-colored with the exception of Lake Minneola, which is relatively clear compared to most of the lakes in the Central Florida area.
Largemouth bass are the big attraction here for most anglers with good numbers of 2 to 4 pound bass and fish in the 5 to 7 pound range being fairly common. Bass up to and above 10 pounds are available here as well. Bluegill and other sunfish are here as well to go along with catfish and crappie.
Disney World provides some very good fishing on its private guided tours, however, they are quite expensive compared to a normal guided bass fishing trip. It is Disney World though, so the background is something that you can’t really compare to other bass fishing destinations and the fishing is very good as well. You will most likely be fishing with live shiners and you should have plenty of action to keep you busy. Big bass are possible here as well, however, bass in the 5 to 7 pound range would be considered very solid bass for the Disney World Lakes with lots of 2 to 3 pound bass for action. In the other popular lakes to fish in the Orlando area, a 7 pound bass is still big, but bass up to and above 10 pounds are possible.
Disney World Official Website
Johns Lake is a popular bass fishing lake just north of the Disney area. From many of the resorts and hotels, you’re looking at a 20 to 35 minute drive depending on where you are located and what time of day you are leaving for the lake.
This lake gets plenty of fishing pressure, but even with the parking lot filling up, the lake doesn’t feel too crowed when you’re out there because the boaters usually spread out quite a bit. You have lots of grass to fish here with most of it along the shoreline but some is offshore as well. It’s a shallow water fishery, so plan on coming here to flip and fish plenty of your shallow water favorites around a variety of vegetation.
The Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Area (KCOLA) spans 21,000 acres in Polk and Osceola counties, about 11 miles south of St. Cloud and nine miles east of Lake Wales. KCOLA includes numerous lakes, from Cypress Lake in the north to Lake Kissimmee in the south. The lakes are a part of the greater Kissimmee Chain of Lakes watershed, which originates in Orange County and forms the headwaters of the Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades system. The watershed encompasses more than two dozen lakes, their tributary streams and the Kissimmee River.
The Kissimmee Chain of Lakes is one of the top bass fishing destinations in the country. There are a number of lakes on the chain that provide some excellent bass fishing for numbers and size. Expect to catch lots of bass in the 3 to 5 pound range with some pushing 10 pounds or more.
Shiners are the easiest and most common way to catch Florida bass. Most of the guides use them even if they would prefer to be using artificial lures and the reason for this is that live shiners consistently get bit by big bass. For whatever reason, the Florida strain largemouth bass is a lot more difficult to consistently catch with lures than the northern strain largemouth bass, especially the bigger, trophy-sized bass. So most guide services will offer live bait on every trip to make sure their customers have the best chance to consistently catch quality largemouth bass. Learn more about shiner fishing in Florida for largemouth bass.
Best Baits for Largemouth Bass
Largemouth bass will eat so many different baits and there are so many different lures that are made for catching these fish. Anglers have more options than they really need, but since we have all these options, it’s nice to know about the different baits that are available.
Minnows, nightcrawlers and leeches are definitely the best live baits for largemouth bass. When it comes to artificial lures, you have so many options. Soft plastic worms, lizards, crayfish baits and minnows work great. Hard baits such as crankbaits, topwater lures, spinnerbaits, jigs and jerkbaits are also all awesome choices for largemouth bass.
To learn more, take a look at our pages below.
There are so many different rigs for largemouth bass. While you definitely don’t need to use all of them to consistently catch bass, it is important to learn how some of the rigs will help you fish certain areas or certain baits in a way to catch more fish. Most good bass anglers will use several different rigs in a variety of situations to consistently catch quality largemouth bass.
There are many different techniques that are used for largemouth bass fishing. Casting a variety of baits to cover water is most popular, however, flipping & pitching is one of the best ways to catch bass around shallow water cover.
To learn more, take a look at our best techniques for largemouth bass page.
Our largemouth bass fishing section has tons of tips on the best lures, live baits, where to catch them and how to catch them.