Fishing Season: Year Round

Winter Haven Chain of Lakes - FL

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Andy Thornal Company's Tip of the Week

Good topwater action during twilight hours. Morning and evening topwater can produce some of the best fishing of the year. Poppers in baitfish colorations are a favorite, including white and/or black. Small and large poppers will be effective. Schooling shad in the middle of some lakes can produce fast and furious action. Work the school on the edges with small white baitfish patterns like a Clouser, Schminnow, or EP minnow. Bluegill are cruising the weediness and invading bass beds. Trout nymphs can be effective in a dropper rig. Weedless micro poppers are perfect. For trophy Bass, use a big fly like a Gamechanger or Dahlberg style diver on a sinking line near the middle of the lake. These flies push a lot of water, and attract bigger fish.

Directions open in app

Map of Winter Haven Chain of Lakes

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

5-Day Outlook as of 10/2/23

Big poppers and sliders can produce fish at the right time of day. We all know that the bottom patterns, creature flies, worm flies, bushy buggers, will agitate a strike. Small minnow patterns working weedlines will produce buck bass and bluegill. Reaction type baits are popular in conventional fishing with a fast action. Gamechangers (count them down to depth) and heavy clousers fished with quick strips are great fly versions of reaction style fishing.

Techniques & Tips as of 10/2/23

Morning and evening Topwater are producing some great Bass. Wasp and Dragpon flies are everywhere. Bigger badder fly patterns are for the big fish, this time of year.

Local Species Available Year Round

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    Largemouth Bass

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    Grass Carp

Andy Thornal Company's Recommended Fly Patterns

"Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Clouser Minnow white 6
Tunghead Pheasant Tail Jig natural 16
Clouser Minnow white 6
Elk Wing Caddis tan 14
Game Changer White 2
Rubber Spider white/Gree 10
Weedless Sneaky Pete Popper chartruese 6
Orvis CJ Nymph olive

Clouser Minnow

This fly is arguably the best all-around and most recommended saltwater fly ever tied.

Andy Thornal Company's Recommended Gear

Description: About Winter Haven Chain of Lakes

There are 50 lakes that either touch or located within the City of Winter Haven that cover an estimated 5,200 acres. There are two chains of lakes…the Northern Chain has 8 interconnected lakes and the Southern Chain has 16 lakes all connected at the same elevation. These chains are connected by a lock which is open to the public. The Winter Haven Chain is the headwaters for the Peace River. These are dozens of small lakes in the city, some with boat access, others with fishing access from shore.Bass, Bluegill and Crappie are popular sport fish targets. Other species are carp, catfish , and gar.

Nearest Airport:

Orlando International Airport


Mayflies, Dragonflies, frogs

Best Time to Fish:

Mid Morning, Evening