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Bass Fishing in the Cold on Lake Okeechobee
On The Pro Trail With Scott Martin - January 1th 2006
I’m on the road half the year, so as a father of three, I make it a point to spend the Christmas Holiday with my family. That doesn’t mean I can slack off, since to be competitive on the professional level, you have to fish every chance you get. Lately I’ve been guiding a few trips on my home waters of Lake Okeechobee, where we operate our family business, Roland Martin Marina.
Over the Holidays, our area of Florida experienced a period of prolonged cool weather, with a drop in air temperature that reached into the high 30’s just after Christmas.
Posted on Dec 07 2009 by Scott Martin
Drop Shot your shiners in the cold !
By Scott Martin
This specialized rig holds shiners tight to cover to inspire feeding from lethargic bass
Tournament season is just around the corner, so prior to my long run on the road I’ve been fishing some guided trips on Lake Okeechobee out of my marina in Clewiston (Scott Martin’s Angler’s Marina). With the onset of cooler temperatures, we’ve been fishing live shiners using a set-up I like to call the Drop Shot Shiner Rig.
Posted on Dec 07 2009 by Scott Martin
Braided line the key to Stren win on Okeechobee
Scott Martin January
On The Pro Trail
Braided line the key to Stren win
Bryan Thrift won the Everstart Series opener on Lake Okeechobee, partly because he had the right line to get his baits deep.
This week I’ve been practicing for the upcoming FLW Tour opener on Lake Okeechobee. I spent time fishing around the FLW Stren Everstart crew last week, so I could find some for fish that were getting a lot of pressure.
Right now, I’m catching most of my fish away from the cattails. The first five
Posted on Dec 07 2009 by Scott Martin
Stable Weather Makes Fishing Good
Stable weather really makes the fishing good
After several weeks of really cold weather, a week or so of stable weather has the bass on Lake Okeechobee moving into the shallows to spawn, even without the full moon

February produced a lengthy spell of cold weather here in South Florida, but going into the first week of March, we’ve had eight days of really stable weather. Lake Okeechobee is clearing up now that we don’t have the wind blowing every day.
Posted on Dec 07 2009 by Scott Martin
Noticing the little subtleties like how the fish react to the wind and sky will really improve your catch.
Attention to detail improves the bite
Noticing the little subtleties like how the fish react to the wind and sky will really improve your catch.

I’m in-between the last FLW Tour event at Beaver Lake, Arkansas and licking my wounds from that trip. Right now, I’m driving back from a day of fishing in the Everglades. I’ve been home for two weeks, and am getting ready for the next event on Kentucky Lake.
It’s getting to the time of the year I really
Posted on Dec 07 2009 by Scott Martin
A good map and fine-tuned depth finder go a long way towards finding sweet spots
Today I want to talk about how to find fish out deep in rivers and reservoirs. I’m in Kentucky right now filming episodes for the Scott Martin Challenge and it’s summertime up here, just like it is everywhere, and the water is hot.
Right now the water temperatures are 85 to 87 degrees. Any time you get water temperatures up close to 90 degrees, the majority of the bigger fish
Posted on Dec 07 2009 by Scott Martin
Deep Diving Crankbaits Part 1
The last few weeks we talked about lipless crankbaits, which are one of my favorite lures to throw in Florida, but another bait I like to fish in Florida--especially this year because the water in most of the lakes is fairly low and the fish are moving to the deeper channels—is the standard or lipped crankbait. This lure comes in a lot of different shapes and sizes, and there’s a lot to learn about the different types of crankbaits, when to throw them, what colors to throw and the tackle to use.
One of the old standards in Florida for bass is the standard 6A or 7A model Bomber lure. This is a plastic round-bodied bait with rattles in
Posted on Dec 07 2009 by Scott Martin
Deep diving : Part 2
Utilizing the proper line, rod and reel combination will make the baits swim deeper
Any time you’re fishing crankbaits, the line, rod and reel are going to determine how deep the bait swims and how effectively it catches fish. Under most situations, I’m throwing crankbaits on 15-pound monofilament or fluorocarbon lines. Heavier line will get more fish out of the structure, but
Posted on Dec 07 2009 by Scott Martin
Expect fishing pressure during tournaments
Expect fishing pressure during tournaments and then adapt to it by watching what the other boats are doing. Afterwards, make sure to stay outside their drift pattern
Scott Martin
On The Pro Trail
Last week we left-off with my plan for the second day of fishing for the FLW Pro Tour event on Lake Okeechobee. During the first day of fishing, I caught a good number of fish by swimming a jig in Moonshine Bay. It was really windy the first day, as a mild cold front pushed through the area
Posted on Dec 07 2009 by Scott Martin
How to find big bass in the heat of the day
On the pro trail
How to find big bass in the heat of the day
Look for isolated cover, drop-offs or thick vegetation in open water or along the edge of the grass lines
Obviously, during the summer months the fish are more active in the early morning and in the evening time, when the temperatures are cooler. But, in the middle of the day, anglers are kind of scratching
Posted on Dec 07 2009 by Scott Martin
Fishing the jig and pig in Florida
Contrary to popular believe, it works very well in Florida from November through the end of April
The old famous jig and pig is a term fishermen have heard over the years, but the standard jig and pig is not a typical bait in Florida. Contrary to popular belief, it works very well, and especially over the last three of four years, the jig and pig has been producing some nice fish in Florida tournaments.
For years, Florida anglers have been throwing the soft plastic crawdads and creatures baits, which work very well. But the jig really
Posted on Dec 07 2009 by Scott Martin
Lipless crankbait tactics
Line size, lure color and retrieval speed determine the catch
By Scott Martin-On The Pro Trail
Last week, we opened the discussion on lipless crankbaits by describing the conditions you want to look for while fishing this style. You want shallow (3 to 5 feet) water, over flat bottom with little submerged vegetation or hydrilla.
You want to use heavier line – SpiderWire Ultracast 50-pound, if the grass is thick – or lighter line like Berkley Sensation, if you want to fish deeper in the water column.
Posted on Dec 07 2009 by Scott Martin
Old school worm fishing
Coming into June, water temperatures are starting to rise, and the key to catching fish in the summer months is to go back to the old school worm fishing. A lot of people who live in Florida know what I’m talking about—1/ 8- to 3/ 16-ounce bullet weights and the old standard 6- to 8-inch ribbontail worm.
Berkley has a Gulp! Turtle Back ribbontail worm that works really well, Charlie’s Worms makes a great ribbontail, as does Culprit. Those three worms I like a lot, but I like the Gulp! worm the best because of the scent trail it leaves in the water. This time of the year you want to fish slowly, and when you fish slow, you want to fish a worm that has a lot of scent and a lot of action.
Posted on Dec 07 2009 by Scott Martin
Swimbait strategies:
Swimbait strategies:
Swim baits come in three styles and the California trend is making its way to the east coast
This week, I’d like to talk about swim baits, which started out on the prairie lakes in California, and over the last few years have become a popular lure style on the East Coast. Some of the anglers on the FLW Tour and Bassmasters Tour have started catching a lot of fish on these baits in Texas, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia, and they’re starting to gain popularity.
There are a few different kinds of swim baits, so let’s look at them individually. The first type of swim bait is the soft body shad tail bait with the open hook on top and lead in the head. Some of the more popular ones on the tour are the Berkley 4-inch Freshwater Pogy, the Storm Wildeye Shad and the L.A. Slider.
Posted on Dec 07 2009 by Scott Martin
Fishing the Swimming Jig:
Swimming jigs imitate fish and are worked in a similar style as a spinnerbait
This week we want to talk about a fishing technique that’s fairly new in Florida. It got it start in the upper Mississippi River, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and it’s a technique called swimming a jig.
It’s exactly what it sounds like. You get a jig, and instead of dragging it on the bottom, you swim it through the water column like a baitfish. This technique does have some idiosyncrasies, so let’s talk about them.
Posted on Dec 07 2009 by Scott Martin
How to successfully fish tidal rivers:
I’m on the Potomac River in Washington, D.C, and there are keys to fishing this type of water
This week I’m on the road and fishing the fifth tournament of the FLW season on the world famous Potomac River in Washington, D.C., and what a bass factory this is. When you think of rivers around big cities you think about the pollution and a lack of fish, but this river has a lot of bass in it and a lot of good fish. It takes 20 to 22 pounds to win a tournament here, and there will be a lot of 15 pound bag limits caught. The average fish here is 2.5 pounds.
Posted on Dec 07 2009 by Scott Martin
Worm fishing basics; Part three: The Carolina rig
Worm fishing basics; Part three: The Carolina rig
Here’s how I fish soft plastics--the most commonly used freshwater lures

The last common way to rig soft plastics is called the Carolina rig. I’m sure this rig is named for where it originated somewhere in North or South Carolina. A lot of people think a Carolina rig is something you use in deep reservoirs or deepwater situations, but I’ve caught a lot of fish on a Carolina rig in the shallow lakes throughout Florida. In most scenarios, I’m dragging
Posted on Dec 07 2009 by Scott Martin
Worm fishing basics; Part two: The wacky rig
Here’s how I fish soft plastics--the most commonly used freshwater lures

Another way I like to rig my soft plastics is called the Wacky rig. It’s a very simple way of fishing soft plastic baits, and the essential need here is to use the right kind of worm. You want to utilize a very straight worm like a Gulp! Sinking Minnow, or some type of long finesse worm that doesn’t have any kind of a tail to it. You basically want a very straight, do-nothing worm.
What I’ll do with that worm is hook it right in the middle in the egg sac. On most worms, there will be a spot in the middle of the worm that looks like an egg sac, and most manufacturers build that into the
Posted on Dec 07 2009 by Scott Martin
Worm fishing basics; Part four: Color selections and spring lizards
In Florida, I like to keep worm colors pretty simple. I try to throw purples, junebug (basically a deep purple), and I’ll try some variations of those colors with different colored flakes. Some days the fish like a red color flake, some days they like a green flake.
I like the red flake around the full moon whenever
Posted on Dec 07 2009 by Scott Martin
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