FWC biologists prepare to install some brush fish attractors. Note the yellow fish attractor buoy that marks the attractor location.
Fish attractors provide cover for sportfish as well as forage species such as insects, crustaceans and minnows that sportfish depend upon for food. Fish are attracted to brush piles or other structure in search of forage and protection from predators. As a result, attractors concentrate fish where anglers can catch them easily.
Brush fish attractor materials are cheap and usually easy to come by. Oak and citrus are best because they last longest.
Oak and citrus trees provide excellent attractor materials. Recycled Christmas trees, although popularly used, do not make good fish attractors, since they do not last very long because the branches tend to be too small and the trunk is a softwood. Green trees with numerous small limbs are best and sink with minimum weighting material. Rock piles, plastic pipe, concrete culverts and wood boxes also can provide shelter areas in private ponds. If a sandy or gravel bottom is not present, areas of lime rock, gravel or oyster shell can create attractors and spawning areas for largemouth bass and bream. There are also many man-made attractors on the market which eliminates the need for refurbishing natural materials.
NOTE: Placing natural or artificial attractors in lakes owned by two or more parties may require a permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection or water management district. Litter laws also apply to depositing materials in public waters.
Artificial fish attractors require more time and money to construct, but are just as effective as brush attractors and last almost indefinitely. The attractors shown here are made of PVC pipe and Geoweb.
A gravel fish attractor provides spawning substrate, attracting bass and sunfish.
The desired end product: A small school of bluegill enjoy the benefits of a FWC-installed fish attractor.
Learn more about fish attractors in this video about fish attractor installation at Lake Piney Z.
NOTE: Do not anchor near fish attractors. This is to prevent direct damage to the attractor by the anchor, and to prevent brush or attractor panels from being dragged away from the main attractor site, reducing their effectiveness.
A wide variety of fish attractors have been installed across the state by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Click the map below to see fish attractor locations and coordinates. A Fish Attractor List of locations and coordinates is also available.