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
Lochloosa continues to be the most consistent destination in the area for anglers targeting black crappie. According to our creel results during the spring and early summer, the black crappie catches were similar to those of previous years, but the fish ran a bit smaller, which is great news for the upcoming years. Most of the fish caught by anglers this year were young fish, so these age classes should persist in the fishery for the next 2-3 years when they’ll grow to be “slabs.” Black crappie can be caught in the open water where drifting live minnows and artificial jigs are baits of choice. Additionally, bream fishing on Lochloosa is usually best during the approaching hot months. Bluegill and redear sunfish will be bedding in the grass and pads around the lake, but the pads at south end of the lake and the grass line along the east shore and Burnt Island are the generally the most productive areas. Good reports have also come from Little Lochloosa near the mouth of Cross Creek. Use minnows and grass shrimp for best results.