In Collier County canal systems, peacock bass and exotic cichlids continue to be a consistent warm-weather bet on topwater popper or walk-the-dog lures and brightly-colored jigs. The bite will be good up until we get our first solid cold front, which generally shuts them off on this coast. If a peacock bass is on your bucket list, now is the time to go.
Lake and canal water temperatures are in the high 80’s here in Southwest Florida, so slow continues to be the way to go, particularly when fishing for largemouth bass during the heat of the day. Get out early or fish close to dusk if possible, focus on outside emergent vegetation edges (such as spikerush and bulrush) by slow dragging a Texas-rigged worm or creature bait.
A Texas-rigged Culprit 7-inch Fat Max ribbontail worm in the blue/green Okeechobee color has been working well when fished in this manner. On my trips, we’re seeing good numbers of bass in the 12 to 16-inch range. Many of my anglers have been averaging over a dozen fish per four hour trip, which makes for fun consistent action. Looking forward to cooler temperatures and the pre-spawn period that aligns with the fall to winter transition.