Levy and Citrus Counties

Lake RousseauAn impoundment of the Withlacoochee River, as part of the original Cross Florida Barge Canal project, this large lake is full of cypress trees, pennywort islands and sometimes hydrilla. Abundant cover and structure grow plenty of bluegill, redear sunfish, catfish, black crappie and largemouth bass. The deeper river channel is always good to locate and fish underwater bends. The rest of the lake is referred to as the "flats" or the backwaters.

Local contacts:
Big Bass Village 352-447-3474, toll free 1-877-463-4742
Lake Rousseau RV Park/Fishing Resort 352-795-6336, lakerousseaurvpark.com External link
Dunnellon Bait and Tackle 352-465-2755


Popular species:

Popular fish species

Fish graphics by Duane Raver, Jr.


TrophyCatchTrophyCatch Tracker

TrophyCatch External link is FWC's citizen-science program that rewards anglers for documenting and releasing trophy bass 8 pounds or larger. The following TrophyCatch bass have been submitted from Lake Rousseau:

Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 89

Trophy Club (10 – 12.9 pounds): 16

Hall of Fame Club (13+ pounds): 1


Current Forecast:

As water temperatures continue to warm, early morning and evening fishing will lead to more success. During the day, pockets of cooler water are sure to hold fish during the hot summer months; try fishing the deeper holes of the channel or the box cut sides of the lock area. Target areas with submersed structures, such as stumps or fallen logs, using plastic worms and imitation crayfish or troll live golden shiners past the edges of dense hydrilla patches. Anglers targeting panfish should try fishing live crickets and grass shrimp in and around vegetation mats. Look for openings in topped out vegetation and drop a line in. If this doesn’t work, switch to earthworms fished on or near the bottom to try and hook a nice redear sunfish. Black crappie anglers should find success drifting live minnows or beetle spins in deep water. Those interested in catfish should use natural baits such as cut shad or frozen shrimp. Store bought stink baits should work as well. For those concerned about Hurricane Irma’s effects on the bass population, there are fish remaining and the population is recovering. An inquiry into bass tournament results indicated winning weights continue to increase and are similar to the pre-Hurricane weights produced last summer.


FWC Facts:
Florida has 3 million acres of freshwater lakes and 12,000 miles of streams and rivers - home to more than 250 different species of freshwater fish.

Learn More at AskFWC