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Shellcracker spawn when lake temperatures are about 68-75 degrees. Late March through August are great months for shellcracker fishing. Shellcrackers 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 shellcrackers 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.
We use a variety of vessels depending on party size, fishing style, and preference. For families with kids we recommend our pontoon boat. Experienced anglers will prefer bass boats which hold a maximum of three passengers per boat.
Unlike some other sunfish species, shellcrackers rarely approach the surface to take flies or other artificial top baits. They may, however, be readily captured using natural bait such as earthworms and grubs dropped to the bottom.
Artificial lures are included in your fishing trip, your captain is fully stocked with artificial baits. Artificial lures can be combined with live bait fishing. If you choose to bring your own artificial lures – spinners and poppers are a great choice for shellcracker fishing.
Shellcracker grow larger than bluegill, most common at 10-12 ounces. Larger shellcracker caught tend to be in between 1-2 pounds. State Record: 4.86 lbs. Big Catch: 12 inches or 2.25 lbs.
Shellcracker makes for excellent table food. It can be prepared in virtually any way, but the best method is breaded and pan fried.
Ron’s Guide Service believes it makes no difference whether two people are fishing or three which is why we do not charge per passenger – our rates are per boat. Our bass boats hold three passengers and our pontoon boat can accommodate five passengers. Larger parties will need to reserve additional boats.
A Florida fishing license is required and can be purchased prior to your trip. Children under 16 years of age are exempt. A non-resident three day freshwater fishing license is available for $17.00 and can be purchased by phone, online, or from any Florida hunting and fishing retail outlet store like Walmart. The fishing license is issued immediately after purchase.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
1 (888) 486-8356
2101 South Parrot Ave
Okeechobee, FL 34974
There is no age restriction when it comes to fishing. Most of our young anglers are around six years old.
Ron’s Guide Service welcomes all levels of experience. Our fishing trips are perfect for first timers and advanced anglers. Our guides are experienced and patient to ensure you have a memorable fishing trip.
Fish cleaning is not included in your trip. There are often locals waiting by the piers that offer fish cleaning services. Your captain may be able to clean your fish for an additional fee if time permits.
Taxidermy preparation is provided free by Ron’s Guide Service which entails cleaning out the head of the boar or other requests you may have. Sometimes taxidermists require certain preparation before you bring them the animal so it is important to speak with your taxidermist prior to your hunt. After preparation of your kill you can take it to your taxidermist or your guide can assist you in finding a local taxidermist.
Ron’s Guide Service DOES NOT provide taxidermy. Aside from skinning, cleaning, quartering, and taxidermy preparation, anything else that happens AFTER your experience is not the responsibility of Ron’s Guide Service. We are not associated or affiliated with any taxidermists. Ron’s Guide Service strictly handles your actual hunting, fishing, and tour experience, not what comes after it. We are not responsible for any recommendations made by your guide regarding taxidermists. Any arrangements you make regarding taxidermy is between you and the taxidermist. It is your responsibility to get the contact number of the taxidermist or your guide if he is handling any taxidermy request.
Bringing a poncho or raincoat is advisable in order to be prepared for the temperamental Florida weather. Drinking plenty of liquids such as water during your Ron’s Guide Service experience is also recommended. Light snacks like trail mix can tame hunger pains. Sunscreen is essential anytime you go out into the Florida sun. Bug repellant will keep away pesky mosquitos. A hat and sunglasses will also help keep the sun out of your face. Over-the-counter pain medications help to soothe aches and pains after a long day of adventure. If you plan to rent a car or drive while in Florida, bring small bills and coins for Florida’s many toll roads. Bring your camera, extra batteries, the charger, and extra memory cards or film. We recommend a large ice cooler (60 qt. or larger) to pack your meat in. You will also need to supply your own ice. It is important you purchase your ice before arriving. We are not responsible for spoiled meat if you come unprepared. There is no ATM and most of our guides do not accept credit cards so make sure you bring cash. You will want to bring the exact balance due plus additional cash to tip your guide. Most licenses can be purchased upon arrival but some you can purchase in advance which will save time. You are welcome to bring your favorite weapon if you are not borrowing one of ours. Ammunition can be purchased without a license anywhere in the state of Florida.
When visiting Florida in the warmer months, generally between March and October, pack comfortable, lightweight clothing to help keep you cool during the day. During the cooler season, bring an assortment of short-sleeved and long-sleeved clothing items, as well as a lightweight jacket or two because temperatures often fluctuate from day to day during the winter. We recommend closed-toe footwear such as sneakers and rubber boots, sunglasses and hats.
There are plenty of nearby accommodations to fit your needs and budget. Some even offer discounts to our clients! Visit our lodging & campgrounds page for places to stay.
We are located about 70 miles from Palm Beach International Airport and about 13 miles from Okeechobee County Airport.
Palm Beach International Airport
1000 James L Turnage Blvd
West Palm Beach, FL 33415
Okeechobee County Airport
2800 NW 20th Trail
Okeechobee, FL 34972
The wonderful thing about Ron’s Guide Service is our experiences are conveniently located to all popular Florida vacation destinations such as Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Tampa, Key West, Vero Beach, West Palm Beach, and the Walt Disney World Resort.
Wild Boar and Alligator Hunting Location
1921 Fulmar Terrace, Okeechobee, FL 34974
Lake Okeechobee Fishing, Duck Hunting, and Tours Location
1505 Florida 78 West, Okeechobee, FL 34974
With the exception of beer, no other alcohol is allowed to be consumed on or prior to your fishing trip.If you are unable to come sober, please don’t come.