3 Baits to Always Have on the Harris Chain 

Fishing in Florida, can be absolutely epic. Especially the largemouth bass fishing in Florida. Florida is home to some of the best lakes in the country for bass fishing. Lake Okeechobee, the Harris Chain of lakes, Lake Seminole, Lake Tahoe, and the St. Johns River. All these bodies of water hold tremendously huge largemouth bass. Although they all fish a little bit different, probably one of the most talked about areas is the Harris Chain of Lakes. This is a system made up of Little Lake Harris, Lake Eustis, Lake Griffin, Lake Apopka, Lake Dora, Lake Carlton, Lake Yale, and Lake Beauclair. Now, with all that water to cover- the common question is, “Do I need different baits for fishing the different lakes on the Harris Chain?” Or “what are the best baits to fish with on the Harris Chain?” So here is a quick break down of three baits that will always get bites, year-round, on all the bodies of water on the Harris Chain in Florida. Make sure to read to the bottom to find out How Revital Outdoors Premium CBD Products may help fishing on the Harris Chain of Lakes.

Senko Bait

The first is a Senko. This is also known as a stick bait, I “do-nothing” worm, or the “confidence machine” in Florida. The Senko was invented many years ago, even decades ago, and the original founder mimicked the bait after his pen in his office. The different names pretty much explain what the worm does, it looks like a stick and it does almost nothing in the water. This is a great bait to fish on the Harris Chain because the water is generally very shallow, and it has a bigger profile with a little bit of a shimmy action as it falls, which fish just really can’t resist. The senko is probably the top bass catching bait in the state of Florida. Every angler at every tournament will always have a bag or two of senkos in his tackle bag or boat. There are a couple different ways to fish it on the Harris Chain, all of which are a great presentations. The first being a Texas-Rig, anglers will rig this bait with an EWG style hook, a ¼-ounce or smaller weight, and that’s it. Some angles like to peg the weight, other angles do not. Also, anglers will experiment with different weights to figure out what is triggering the best bites from big largemouth bass in the Harris Chain. Generally speaking, anglers will start out with a quarter ounce weight, and sometimes drop down to a small as a 1/32-ounce weight. The key is to find the right balance of weight that helps the bait glide to the bottom, rather than sink straight down. A lot of the bites will happen when that bait is gliding through the water. Which leads to the next rigging technique, many anglers will also rig the senko weightless. This means there’s no weight attached to the line in front of the senko. And the only weight behind the lure, is the actual weight of the bait itself. This is a great way to rig a senko on the Harris Chain, because it has its most natural action. It is an exceptional way to rig the senko in the pre-spawn time of the year. The fish become lazy during the prespawn, and they want to eat the easiest meal they can, which the senko fits exactly what they are looking for. Another great rigging technique which is very similar to the standard weightless senko, is to throw a senko wacky style. This means that angler will take a circle hook and rig direction into the middle of the bit and expose the hook. This also creates an irresistible falling action, and because the bait is rigged in the middle, it generally will have a little bit more of a shimmy action when it falls. 

Chatterbait

Second on the list is a chatterbait. Chatterbaits have been around since the early 80s and were originally developed and tested outside of the state of Florida. However, this is become a Florida staple that can literally catch big largemouth bass on the Harris Chain year-round. It shines the most also during the pre-spawn and late winter, but a chatterbait is literally on the deck of angler’s boats throughout the whole year. A chatterbait is a jig style bait with a very loud thumping blade attached to the head of it. This bait is generally meant to be casted and reeled through the water column. Many angles have the best of luck letting the blade cut into the grass and when they rip it out of the grass is when a lot of the best strikes will happen. There are a couple different methods to rigging a chatterbait for a trailer. Some anglers will use swimsuits, others will use flukes, some leave and use a senko, and anglers will even use craw style baits as trailers. All of which work but are better suited for different conditions. For instance, a craw style trailer will give a chatterbait more of a deflective type of motion in the water. A swimbait will help an angler be able to reel the bait very fast and has a good rolling action in the water column. Finally, especially for fishing the Harris Chain, rigging a chatterbait with a with a fluke style trailer allows the chatterbait to sink and stay down in the water column. As mentioned, the key with this bait is to make sure you’re bumping into grass, cover, or whatever it is an angler is fishing. It’s almost similar to fishing a crankbait; if it’s not banging into target, it is harder to get those reaction strikes. 

Lipless Crankbait

The last bait on the list no angler wants to leave home without when fishing on the Harris Chain, is a lipless crankbait. Like the chatterbait, the lipless crankbait was developed outside of the state of Florida. But it has quickly became very popular among bass anglers and tournament bass anglers fishing on the Harris Chain. It’s another bait that can literally catch fish year-round and has won numerous big tournaments on the Harris Chain. Lipless crankbaits have a very tight action when swimming through the water and has a very loud internal sound chamber. The key with this also is to make sure it is digging into the grass and ripping it out with a hard snap of the rod- almost like setting the hook. The bites will happen 90% of the time when the bait is falling, the perfect reaction opportunity. Lipless crankbaits mimic the size of the forage on the Harris Chain very well, even with their swimming action being a tight wobble. Anglers will experiment with different sizes of lipless crankbaits, however the ¼-ounce to ½-ounce size is the most effective and most popular. In the late winter to pre-spawn time of year, a ¼-ounce lipless crankbait can produce the bigger bites on the Harris Chain. The small profile, finesse presentation, and lighter sound is exactly what big largemouth on the Harris Chain are looking for. 

Make sure to plan a trip well ahead of time for heading down to the Harris Chain. Not too far from Orlando, there is a lot of fun activities to do with the family when not on the water. Also, for tournament anglers that need a break from being on the water. The Harris Chain always lives up to its potential; and with these three baits, anglers are bound to find themselves weighing in solid bags of largemouth bass during tournaments in the late winter and pre-spawn. 

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