Florida inland water temperatures are warmer than normal

Due to warmer than normal water temperatures the 2017 fishing season has started off in full swing, producing early catches and larger fish.

Fishing Crappies & Shellcrackers

This year we have seen one of the best Crappie seasons in a long time and we believe it’s due to the water reaching higher temperatures much earlier in the season. Now not only did we find an abundant of Crappies this year, but the average size being caught was larger, so what does this mean for the Shellcrackers? We believe these warmer temps will bring the Shellcrackers in earlier and that’s exactly what we are seeing.

First 2017 Shellcracker Catch

I know it’s difficult to take time out from catching large Crappies, but with the Shellcrackers being a preferred fish to eat we did not want to miss out on any early runs. We also expected that the warmer water would bring the Shellcrackers in earlier as they prepare for spawning. So my friend Ed and his wife continued to checkout their favor fishing spots for these aggressive large Bluegills.

Well we were right, it’s only the second week of March and Ed has already caught his first mess of Shellcrackers. Here is a photo of his catch this past weekend, with the Shellcrackers ranging between 10” & 12”. Now that’s not a bad size Bluegill, but these are not the largest Shellcrackers we have seen. I myself am heading down March 31, hoping to catch the prime time and experience another incredible fishing trip with a great friend.

The Best Shellcracker Bait – Freshwater Shrimp

The bait we prefer are freshwater shrimp, which can be netted or purchased. See How To Catch Freshwater Shrimp.

TIP: If you are limited on vacation days and the time to fish for this Bully of the Bluegills, then focus on the prime times of the season, one week before and one week after the full moon, early morning and/or evening, and plan your trip accordingly.

2017 Shellcracker Expectations

What are my expectations this year? I expect 2017 to be one of the best Shellcracker catches I have experienced. Why, well the Crappie season was incredible with large fish, the water levels are normal, and the early warm water is forcing the Shellcracker to start feeding aggressively much earlier. This can only equate to a Shellcracker Season like we have not seen in many years. Even if I’m wrong on my prediction you still will not be disappointed this year and don’t be surprised if you tangle into some of the largest Shellcrackers you have ever caught.