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5 Big Bass Lakes In Florida That You Need To Fish

5 Big Bass Lakes In Florida That You Need To Fish

Florida is a fisherman's paradise with water just about anywhere you look. Most everywhere will hold big bass, from small neighborhood ponds and urban canals to large lakes and rivers. That doesn't even take into account the excellent saltwater fishing.

The state is regularly one of the top states for fishing license sales and is a destination for anglers from across the country. There are many deserving fisheries for this list, including the following five best bass fishing spots in Florida.

1) The Kissimmee Chain

Josh Douglas with a chunky Florida strain largemouth

The Kissimmee Chain of Lakes is four lakes in one, with all of them connected. The list includes well-known fisheries lakes Toho (Tohopekaliga), Kissimmee, and the smaller Cypress and Hatchineha.

All of the lakes have serious big fish potential. Lake Kissimmee is regularly the top producing lake for Florida's Trophy Catch program that recognizes anglers who catch a bass over eight pounds in the state. Lake Toho still holds the record for the biggest five-fish limit in Bassmaster competition, weighing 45 pounds, two ounces, set by Dean Rojas in 2001.

There are countless ways to catch fish on the chain, including Florida staples of soft plastic baits either cast and retrieved or flipped or pitched to vegetation.

2) Harris Chain of Lakes

It wasn't long ago that the Harris Chain of Lakes was a challenging fishery, but it has blossomed into one of the best places to bass fish in Florida in recent years. Made up of eight lakes, the Harris Chain offers surprising diversity for a Florida waterway. Anglers can fish aquatic vegetation with soft plastics and vibrating jigs, but there is almost always a good crankbait or jerkbait bite happening somewhere on the chain.

3) Lake Okeechobee

Okeechobee is a monster of a lake that covers 730 square miles and looks like a hole in the state of Florida when viewing satellite images of the state. It is a bass fisherman's paradise with nearly the entire lake surrounded by vegetation of some sort.

Year after year, popular areas like the North Shore, the Monkey Box, Harney Pond, South Bay, and others attract anglers fishing for bass in the expansive fishery. It's a typical Florida lake as flipping, pitching, and punching catch plenty of bass. There are also opportunities for fishing moving baits, swimming worms, and soft swimbaits.

4) Lake Seminole

Sharing the lake with neighboring Georgia, this large lake in the Florida Panhandle is a legendary fishery with huge largemouth bass. It is a windy and sometimes treacherous lake formed by the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers. Seminole is home to a nice mix of vegetation and tons of submerged trees.

The fishing ranges from standard Florida grass fishing to focusing on creek channels and river bends, where baits like lipless crankbaits and ChatterBaits can dominate. Add in the opportunity to target shoal bass in the lake's upper reaches in the Flint River, and the lake can be very fun.

5) Fellsmere Reservoir (Headwaters Lake)

This is the newest and hottest fishery in Florida, as it was opened to boats in 2020 after only being accessible to kayaks before that. The fishing was incredible from the moment it opened and it continues to kick out giant bass. It was developed with the bass angler in mind and it's full of a variety of aquatic vegetation and the whole lake could be considered "fishable," and you can catch bass anywhere in the 10,000-acre lake.

*Feature image credit Bri Douglas Photography

Updated January 13th, 2022 at 4:43 AM CT