Harris Chain Bass Fishing Seasons
As far as Lake County bass are concerned, there are only three seasons; Spring, Summer and Fall. Our winter season is the very short time between the first good December cold front and the spawn which normally begins right after the first full moon in January. The winter season is not really a factor except during severe cold fronts which only last a few days.
Spring (January through May)
Our Spring season usually starts right after Christmas on the first full moon in January. In colder years or during severe cold fronts, the spawn can be delayed. This is the time of the year when the biggest bass of the year start moving shallow to bed. A week before the full moon in January right up to the full moon is your best chance at a fish over 10 pounds. Some years, spawning activity continues until well into May. During the spring, winning tournament weights are commonly in excess of 25 pounds for a 5 fish limit. April is the best overall fishing month for numbers of fish.
Winter and Spring temperatures in Lake County can range from the high 30s (very rare) to the high eighties (also rare). The average Winter and Spring Central Florida day starts in the mid fifties and gets up to the mid seventies by 1:00 PM (it's paradise!).
Summer (June through September)
I consider the summer season to have two parts; starting with post-spawn dog days followed by the summer flipping season. June and July can be slow. You can catch fish, but it's hot and the midday sun can drain your energy. The best way to catch bass at this time is of the year is to fish early and late in the day. The morning bite is usually over by 9:00 AM. In summer, most tournament anglers drag Carolina Rigs on deep ledges, flip boat docks, or fish man-made attractors and spring holes during the heat of the day. In recent years the lakes have begun to clear and deep cranking offshore structure is beginning to win tournaments. Winning tournament weighs around this time of the year usually average around 10-15 pounds for 5 fish. The summer flipping season starts when lake levels rise due to consistent afternoon thunder showers, which is usually by August or September. The fish follow the water up and good sized bass can be found cooling themselves in dense grass beds or under boat docks. You normally don't catch a lot of numbers this time of year but the bass you catch flipping will be fat and healthy.
Summer temperatures in Florida can range from the seventies to well over 95 degrees with the humidity at 100%. It's very hot by 3:00 PM, when the summer thunder storms start rumbling through. After the storms have done their thing the evening is generally nice and we usually have a another period of good fishing just before dark. Night tournament anglers routinely weight 15-20 pound 5 fish limits.
Fall (mid October through mid December)
The fall season usually starts within a week of the first real cool snap in mid October. The Harris Chain is full of shad, shiners, blue gills and
other forage. When you find the bait you find the bass. The bass start moving shallow this time of year and begin to feed actively,
preparing themselves for the spawn. This is my favorite time to fish as the lakes are mostly deserted. The tourists and snow birds don't
really start to arrive until after Thanksgiving. The fall bite continues and runs right up to Christmas where the whole process
If you have any questions or comments about Harris Chain bass fishing seasons, please contact me.