Alachua County

FW-Orange.jpgOrange Lake is the largest lake in the North Central Region at 12,550 acres. It is designated as a Fish Management Area and is located about 20 miles southeast of Gainesville. Orange Lake averages 5.5 feet deep with a maximum depth of 12 feet. Water levels fluctuate an average of 2 feet, annually. Outflow is controlled by a fixed-crest weir located at Highway 301 (southeast portion of lake). Orange Lake receives inflow from Newnans Lake through River Styx and from Lochloosa Lake through Cross Creek. Cross Creek (1.8 miles) is navigable to most boats during normal water levels.

Orange lake has an extensive aquatic vegetation community, dominated by spatterdock (lily pads) and periodically hydrilla. Shallow marsh areas are inaccessible to anglers due to the dense growth of vegetation. Bluegill, redear sunfish, black crappie and largemouth bass are generally caught in the deeper spatterdock, emergent grasses and hydrilla.

Marion County and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission allocated funds to establish a fishing pier at Heagy-Burry Park (southwestern part of the lake). The pier is handicap-accessible. A fish attractor is located near the pier, which provides for good fishing.

For updated information please call:
South Shore Fish Camp 352-595-4241
Sportsman Cove Fish Camp 352-591-1435

 

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 Orange Lake:

Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 5

 

 Current Forecast: 

Orange Lake is shaping up to be the outstanding fishery everyone thinks about. The water levels are up, the boat ramps are open, and your favorite fishing hole should be easily accessible. There is still some desire for increased pad coverage, but open water scattered with submersed vegetation will provide great habitat for fish. Orange Lake produced a terrific crappie bite in the winter and spring and there are lots of bream waiting to get on a hook for the summer. As the water gets warm, try moving in shore near vegetation where bream will be gathering up to spawn. They should feed on a grass shrimp or cricket under a cork. FWC has observed some big bass in our most recent fish surveys and we are now seeing some smaller individuals that will be ready to tighten a line this year. The best catches of bass have been reported off of small clumps of pads mixed with hydrilla and coontail.



FWC Facts:
Five different species of snook inhabit Florida waters: common snook, small-scale fat snook, large-scale fat snook, swordspine snook and tarpon snook.

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