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River Ranch / Kissimee river

I need some advice please.
We are staying at Westgate RiverRanch and plan on doing some bass fishing the river in that area.
Any suggestions on what to use and a general idea where to start would be a great help.
We will be fishing on our own boat. we'll be there from the 30th till the 3rd.
Thanks in advance
Chuck Redding


  • gettinwetgettinwet Posts: 1,366 Officer
    Lake Kissimmee is a world class fishery and holds some monster bass - I fished several years there during the water drawdown/cleanup back in the mid/late 90s. I don't know how far you want to run but the grass shoreline in North Cove, pitching the hydrilla beds on the flats around the state park entrance, and the old riverboat channel just off of Grassy Island (about a half mile offshore from Thomas Landing) are all great spots. I've never fished the river - but I know the mouth of it just before the locks was great (I think the locks might be gone now because they were restoring the natural river flow). Also, the narrow cut on the west side of Brahma Island was productive. There is a point that the river boat channel cuts through just off the south west corner of Grassy. The bass will stack there - also around the channel markers especially if there is a hawk or eagles nest on it. The open area in the middle of Grassy is also great for topwater early mornings/late evenings. Fishing the hydrilla is tough - heavy braid - heavy weight to punch through - really not my style of fishing. I prefer top water mornings (particularly frogs or spinners) and plastic worms texas rigged or rattle traps later in the day. This lake is relatively shallow - sandy/muck bottom - with a lot of grass and hydrilla. Almost anything you fish with will have to be weedless. Also, soaking wild live shiners always produces (though you will also catch a lot of chain pickerel and mudfish) and the shiners are expensive (were $20 a dozen 15 years ago) unless you catch your own. Word of caution - beware of the airboat channels cut through the cattails surrounding the lake - particularly when it is foggy - they blaze through there especially at night/early mornings. Also, the lake can get really choppy - I've seen 4-6 foot breakers that were too much for the 18 foot ProCraft I used to have - and there are huge gators/water moccasins/and bugs a plenty (worst are the blind mosquitoes they don't bite but will swarm so bad you literally can't breathe or even open your eyes though usually none of those are an issue during the day unless you get way up into the grass beds nearshore).

    Here's a link for some additional info:

    Also, even though it is a bit out of your way if you get the chance visit Camp Mack - it is well worth the drive IMHO:
    There are only so many casts in life, so shut up and fish!!
  • Lobstercatcher229Lobstercatcher229 Posts: 4,845 Captain
    I have had luck with plastic worms and with Shiners in that part of the world. Lily pads seem to hold bass.
  • capt louiecapt louie Posts: 10,937 Moderator
    All good advise ^ , with the warm weather we are having I'm betting some of the big females are pushing in shallow looking to bed soon.

    Post us a report !
    "You'll get your weather"
  • reddawg1128reddawg1128 Posts: 4 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it. I'll post a report when we are done. Thanks again
  • gettinwetgettinwet Posts: 1,366 Officer
    One last thing - not to be your nanny - but unless you are really familiar with the lake I wouldn't get caught on it at night - there are not many lights/points of reference and the shoreline silhouette starts to all look the same as the sun sets. If you do, the fishing is great - especially for big catfish (which love dead/live wild shiners or live bluegill fished on the bottom in the channels) - but bring a GPS, spotlight, and survival supplies. I got caught out there one time in really bad fog - couldn't see 3 foot in front of you - totally disorienting............and another time we run up into some grass beds by mistake and were instantly coated in blind mosquitoes.......literally..........they were as thick as pea soup. Had to get up on plane to rid ourselves of them.
    There are only so many casts in life, so shut up and fish!!
  • gettinwetgettinwet Posts: 1,366 Officer
    Good luck to you - brings back great memories!
    There are only so many casts in life, so shut up and fish!!
  • largeredbulls55largeredbulls55 Posts: 28 Greenhorn
    I used to spend a lot of time there at Grape Hammock. Kept my travel trailer and bass boat there year round for about 5 years. Some big time bass there and tons of gators. Can't go wrong with Shiners or Blue Gills. I used to love tossing artificial frogs in the pads. There are HUGE Gar in the river. I always preferred going past the locks a couple miles to start. Lots of good info to be had at Grape Hammock walk around and ask what's going on real friendly people.
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