Ron's Florida Freshwater Fishing

Reel in the fun with guided excursions for famous largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Shellcracker, and Crappie on beautiful Lake Okeechobee.

Freshwater Fishing
4 hours

Bass, Bluegill,
Shellcracker, Crappie
$ 350 per boat
  • Bass Boat
  • Up to 3 Passengers
  • Private & Fully Guided
  • Tackle, Rods, & Reels

Freshwater Fishing
8 hours

Bass, Bluegill,
Shellcracker, Crappie
$ 450 per boat
  • Bass Boat
  • Up to 3 Passengers
  • Private & Fully Guided
  • Tackle, Rods, & Reels
Kennedy holds a huge largemouth bass while fishing on Lake Okeechobee.

The Experience

During Ron’s Freshwater Fishing, you’ll immerse yourself in 730 miles of prime freshwater fishing habitat.
[showhide type=”theexperience” more_text=”Read More” less_text=”Show Less” hidden=”yes”]

Let’s Go Fishing
Arrive at your designated meeting location where your guide will greet you and make sure you have all the necessary licenses. You will have the option to purchase live bait and your guide can advise you on how much is needed based on party size.

Take In the Lake
Climb aboard a fully equipped fishing boat and hang on tight as you cruise out into the middle of the second largest lake in the USA!

Patience is Key
Be patient. Patience is the key to a good fishing trip. You’ll spend your time learning tips and tricks from your guide, reeling in fish, and creating memories that last long after the sun sets on Lake Okeechobee.[/showhide]

  • Locations
  • 1505 FL-78,
    Okeechobee, FL 34974
  • 14296 E SR 78,
    Okeechobee, FL 34974
  • Hours & Availablity

7:00 AM, 2:00 PM
Check Availability

Come Fish with RGS

A women holds a Florida largemouth bass on a Lake Okeechobee fishing trip.

A Private Voyage

Get personalized attention on a completely private excursion. [showhide type=”aprivatevoyage” more_text=”Read More” less_text=”Show Less” hidden=”yes”]

Your knowledgeable guide will share valuable tips and tricks when it comes to casting and reeling in a “big one”. Our bass boats can hold 3 passengers and our pontoon boat can hold 5—so bring the whole family!

A man with sunglasses holds a medium sized Florida largemouth bass during a sunny Lake Okeechobee fishing experience.

Famous "Lake O"

Marvel at the size of the second largest lake in the USA. [showhide type=”famouselakeo” more_text=”Read More” less_text=”Show Less” hidden=”yes”]

Lake Okeechobee is Florida’s largest lake and the second largest body of fresh water in the contiguous United States. The word Okeechobee comes from the Seminole Indian language “Oki” (water) and “Chubi” (big) and means “big water.” These early Floridians chose the name well. Vast surface area (730 square miles), shallowness (averaging only nine feet deep) and enormous habitat diversity makes the ecosystem unique on the North American continent. The lake is a multiple-use resource, which supports valuable commercial and sport fisheries, provides flood control, and acts as a reservoir for potable and irrigation water for much of south Florida.

Freshwater Fishing Capital
Lake Okeechobee is most famous for its largemouth bass. Crappie, bluegill, and shellcracker also dominate this international fishing destination.[/showhide]

A small group freshwater fish on Lake Okeechobee.

Per Boat Not Guest

Save money with us! We charge per boat—not passenger.[showhide type=”perboatnotguest” more_text=”Read More” less_text=”Show Less” hidden=”yes”]

We believe it makes no difference whether 2 people are fishing or 3 which is why we do not charge per passenger—our rates are per boat.[/showhide]

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission logo.

License 411

Get essential details on fishing license requirements.[showhide type=”license411″ more_text=”Read More” less_text=”Show Less” hidden=”yes”]

The FWC requires a fishing license for everyone 16 to 64 years old. Children 15 and younger and adults 65 years and older are exempt. Non-resident three day freshwater fishing licenses and resident annual licenses cost $17.00. Please visit our licensing page for more information.

A Florida crappie hooked on a Lake Okeechobee fishing trip.

Best Time to Come

Anytime is a good time for fishing on Lake Okeechobee.[showhide type=”box13″ more_text=”Read More” less_text=”Show Less” hidden=”yes”]

“When is the best time to come?” Is the foremost question Ron’s Guide Service is asked by every angler planning a fishing trip on Lake Okeechobee. Ron’s Guide Service has been providing fishing services since 1985 and we would honestly have to say that there really isn’t a bad time to go fishing on Lake Okeechobee. Lake temperature is a big part of your success rate. Panfish such as bluegill and shellcracker are abundant during the spring and summer months when the water temperature is 68-75 degrees. Crappie is best during winter months when the water is 52-60 degrees. Bass fishing is great year round![/showhide]

A man holds a Florida 6 lb largemouth bass while on a fishing trip on Lake Okeechobee.

Trip Length

Make it a half day or full day of  good ol’ fishing fun.[showhide type=”triplength” more_text=”Read More” less_text=”Show Less” hidden=”yes”]

We offer half day and full day trips. Half days consist of four hours and full day trips can last eight hours. We do make rest stops on our full day trips, especially during summer months when the fish get sluggish in the afternoon from the heat.

Some folks combine an airboat tour, wild boar hunting, alligator hunting, or another of our exciting experiences with their fishing trip. Check out our value packages page for ideas![/showhide]

A vintage photo of two boys bass fishing.

Freshwater Fish Facts

Read about the history of Lake Okeechobee fishing.[showhide type=”fishfacts” more_text=”Read More” less_text=”Show Less” hidden=”yes”]

Fishing on Lake Okeechobee has been a major source of food and recreation for thousands of years. The lake itself is 6,000 years old! From 100 A.D. until about 1700 A.D. the lake has been used by native Floridian Mayaimi people, followed by the Mayaca, then the Spanish, and of course modern Americans for the last 125 years. Fishing has been integral part of human history on Lake Okeechobee, particularly bass which have been here since the Mayaimi were fishing for the first 17 centuries A.D.!

Fishing Essentials

A variety of colorful artificial lures.

Artificial Lures

Lure in the excitement and hopefully the fish too. [showhide type=”artificiallures” more_text=”Read More” less_text=”Show Less” hidden=”yes”]

Artificial lures are included in your trip and can be combined with live bait. If you choose to bring your own artificial lures, the most popular for Largemouth Bass fishing include weedless plastic worms, spinnerbaits, weedless spoons, topwater plugs and, in open water, swimming plugs. If you are pan fishing, spinners and poppers are a great choice for shellcracker, crappie, and bluegill.[/showhide]

Small live bait for freshwater fishing swimming in tub.

Live Bait

Fish like a pro—or at least look like one with live bait.[showhide type=”livebait” more_text=”Read More” less_text=”Show Less” hidden=”yes”]

Fishing with live bait is by far the most productive and sure shot method for a successful fishing trip. We recommend fishing with shiners if you are bass fishing. The beauty of using shiners is that you don’t have to be a fishing “angler of the year” to really experience the thrill of fighting trophy size bass. Shiners cost $12.00 – $16.00 per dozen depending on the market. A party can expect to use 4 to 5 dozen shiners for a half day of bass fishing and 6 to 8 dozen shiners for a full day of bass fishing. If you choose to bring live bait with you, other popular baits for Largemouth bass include Chubs, Bream, Shad, and large earthworms. Panfish such as crappie, bluegill, and shellcracker are versatile feeders, eating most types of insects, worms, small crayfish, and minnows. If you are unsure of what kind of live bait to purchase, your fishing captain will assist you.[/showhide]

A large amount of Florida Crappie after a successful day of freshwater fishing on Lake Okeechobee.

Bag Limits

Read important details on freshwater fishing bag limits.[showhide type=”box10″ more_text=”Read More” less_text=”Show Less” hidden=”yes”]

Our fishing captain is knowledgeable and fully aware of all statewide and local fishing bag limits imposed by the FWC. We will help you make the most out of  your trip without breaking any bag limit laws.

-The daily bag limit for black bass is five (including largemouth, Suwannee, spotted, Choctaw, and shoal bass individually or combine), only one of which may be 16 inches or longer in length, except no length limit for largemouth bass.

-The daily limit for panfish such as bluegill and shellcracker is 20.

-Crappie less than 10 inches in length must be released, and the total daily limit for black crappie is 25.

 More detailed information and species can be found on the FWC’s website here.


Fish Species

Colorful illustration of a Florida largemouth bass.

Largemouth Bass

Learn about Largemouth Bass.[showhide type=”bass” more_text=”Read More” less_text=”Show Less” hidden=”yes”]

Average length: 18″
Average weight: 6 lbs.

The largemouth is the largest member of the sunfish family. It generally has light greenish to brownish sides with a dark lateral line which tends to break into blotches towards the tail.

Spawning occurs from December through May, but usually begins in February and March in most of Florida when water temperatures reach 58 to 65 degrees and continues as temperatures rise into the 70s.

Largemouth bass is very difficult to clean, must be skinned if you plan on eating it, and can be quite bony. Typically bass will taste like the water they come from, Okeechobee water is murky with algae and mud, so largemouth bass from the the lake will taste like mud and algae. It is not a recommendable fish to eat for this reason.


A colorful illustration of a Florida bluegill.


Learn about Bluegill.[showhide type=”box05″ more_text=”Read More” less_text=”Show Less” hidden=”yes”]

Average length: 6″
Average weight: .5 lb

Bluegills have small mouths and oval-shaped, almost rounded, bodies. Body coloration is highly variable with size, sex, spawning, water color, bottom type, and amount of cover. In general, they are somewhat lavender and bronze with about six dark bars on their sides. Males tend to have a copper-colored bar over the top of the head behind the eyes. The breast is silver to slightly blue most of the year, with some yellow or orange during spawning season. Females are generally lighter colored than males. Two distinctive characteristics are the prominent black spot on the rear edge of the gill-cover and a black spot at the base of the posterior portion of the dorsal fin.

Spawning occurs from April through October with the peak in May and June, when water temperature rises to about 78-80 degrees. Warmer than usual lake temperatures affect spawn times, please contact us to see what fishermen are reporting.

Bluegill are also considered panfish. Smaller ones are very good with the skin on but scaled; so are big ones, if filleted and skinned rather than scaled. Cornmeal, fry oil, and a frying pan make the perfect combination for this light and protein-packed fish![/showhide]

A colorful illustration of a Florida shellcracker.


Learn about Shellcracker.[showhide type=”shellcracker” more_text=”Read More” less_text=”Show Less” hidden=”yes”]

Average length: 8″
Average weight: 1 lb

Technically known as the redear sunfish, the shellcracker is similar in shape to the bluegill, but lacks the dark spot at the base of the posterior portion of the dorsal fin and has a red or orange border around the “ear” flap. The body coloration is light olive-green to gold, with red or orange flecks on the breast. The breast of a mature shellcracker is typically a rather bright yellow. The body is heavily spotted and they have long, pointed pectoral fins. Five to 10 vertical bars are more or less evident on the sides, depending on the size of the fish. Males and females are similar in appearance, although the male is generally more colorful.

Shellcracker spawn when lake temperatures are about 68-75 degrees. Late March through August are great months for shellcracker fishing. Shellcracker will move into their feeding areas as early as late February depend on the weather. They will begin spawning beds as early as late March, however, if water temperatures remain low throughout March then expect shellcracker to concentrate for spawning between the second and fourth weeks of April. One rule of thumb is to wait until the fist new moon in early March to catch them feeding in the lily pads.

Shellcracker makes for excellent table food since the meat can be a little sweet and flaky. It can be prepared in virtually any way, but the best method, as with other panfish, is breaded and pan fried[/showhide]

A colorful illustration of a Florida crappie.


Learn about Crappie.[showhide type=”crappie” more_text=”Read More” less_text=”Show Less” hidden=”yes”]

Average length: 8″
Average weight: 3 lbs.

The black crappie is a silvery-green to yellowish fish with large dorsal and anal fins of almost identical shape and size. The sides are marked with black blotches which become more intense towards the back. The dorsal, anal, and caudal fins also are marked with rows of dark spots. Crappies have compressed bodies, small heads and arched backs. It has a large mouth with an upper jaw extending under the eye.

Spawning occurs from February to April when water temperatures reach 62 to 65 degrees, warmer winters where lake temperatures are higher than 65 degrees affect spawn times, sometimes pushing spawn as early as January or as late as May.

Crappie is excellent for consumption, and is considered a type of “panfish” for this reason. Black crappie tastes best when pan fried, deep fried, or breaded and sauteed. The meat is firm and flaky[/showhide]

Plan Your Trip

Cousin Marie

Know Before You Go with Cousin marie

View important information including recommended attire, experience details, and cancellation policies.[showhide type=”box08″ more_text=”Read More” less_text=”Show Less” hidden=”yes”]

  • Recommended attire includes shorts or pants and a comfortable shirt. Closed-toe shoes with a back strap or boots are required. No flip-flops will be allowed. Skirts or dresses are not recommended.
  • Gratuities, licenses, live bait, coolers, ice, taxidermy, and shipping are not included.
  • Fishing occurs rain or shine, with the exception of severe weather or lightning.
  • Fishing itinerary, content, duration, and availability are subject to change without notice.
  • Reservation deposits are non-refundable. If you need to cancel your experience your reservation deposit will be treated as a credit on your account and will expire one year from the cancellation confirmation date.
  • You will forfeit the entire reservation deposit of your trip if you no-show or cancel the same day of your reservation.
  • With the exception of beer and wine, no other alcohol is allowed to be consumed on or prior to your hunt. If you are unable to come sober, please don’t come. You will not fish and you will forfeit your reservation deposit.
  • Please leave rude behavior at home. If any of our staff feels you are being disruptive or disrespectful you will be asked to leave.
  • Read the terms and conditions for all Ron’s Guide Service experiences. [/showhide]