Lochloosa Lake (5700 acres) is designated as a Fish Management Area and located 5 miles south of Hawthorne near the town of Lochloosa. Most of the shoreline is bordered by old-growth cypress trees, and knotgrass and spatterdock (bonnets) are the predominant aquatic plants in the lake. A public boat ramp provides access to the lake from U.S. Highway 301 in the town of Lochloosa, and at Lochloosa Harbor Fish Camp just north of the town of Lochloosa, also accessed from U.S. 301. In addition, a public pier is located south of the town of Lochloosa on Burnt Island and is a popular fishing site for those without a boat. Lochloosa Lake offers good bluegill, redear sunfish and warmouth (bream) fishing during April through September; however, some bream can be caught year-round. Anglers targeting bream should fish with grass shrimp in deep-water spatterdock or deeper grass patches. Black crappie fishing is best from January through April in the spatterdock with grass shrimp and minnows. During summer and fall, crappie anglers should drift open water with grass shrimp and minnows.
For more and updated information please call:
Lochloosa Harbor Fish Camp 352-481-2114
Gary's Tackle Box 352-372-1791
TrophyCatch 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 Lochloosa Lake:
Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 6
Trophy Club (10 – 12.9 pounds): 2
Lochloosa continues to be a reliable destination for anglers targeting Black Crappie relative to other lakes that surround the Gainesville area. According to the angler surveys on the lake, Speckled Perch are abundant in the 9 to 12 inches range with fish averaging about 11 inches. As the black crappie spawn winds down through March, crappie will return to open water where drifting live minnows and artificial jigs are baits of choice. But that’s also when the bream fishing starts to heat up, which is usually best during the warmer months of May and June. Bluegill and Redear Sunfish will be bedding in the shallows throughout the lake, but the grasses on the east shore and Burnt Island, and in the pads at south end of the lake. Use grass shrimp floating underneath a cork for best results. Anglers should be aware of tagged Black Crappies with rewards. If you catch a tagged Crappie, call the number below to receive information on how to claim your reward.
Travis Tuten, FWC fisheries biologist: 352-415-6964.