Lake Tsala Apopka is 19,111 acres of shallow, heavily vegetated marshes intermingled with open water pools. Water control structures separate the lake into three main pools named after nearby towns: Floral City, Inverness and Hernando.
Public boat ramps are available 1/4 mile east of the intersection of U.S. Highway 41 and S.R. 200 (Hernando Pool); 1-1/4 mile east of City of Inverness on S.R. 470 (Inverness Pool); and on Duval Island Road off C.R. 48, one mile east of U.S. Highway 41 (Floral City Pool).
Local Contacts: River Land Bait and Tackle (352-465-2755) for more up-to-date information.
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 the Tsala Apopka Chain:
Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 2
Trophy Club (10 – 12.9 pounds): 1
Look for Largemouth Bass to be moving into shallower water as the spawn nears. Flip soft plastic lures into holes in vegetation or fish a live Golden Shiner around cover to entice bass to strike. It’s hard to say if one lake in the chain will be better than others. Interested anglers should seek information from local tackle shops, internet message boards, or other anglers to narrow down their choices and target their effort. Bluegill fishing should be steady around aquatic vegetation using crickets, grass shrimp, or other natural baits. You might need to keep moving to find fish of decent size and pick up enough for a fish fry. Catfish can be targeted near bridges and rip-rap by using cut baits or stink baits fished on the bottom. Black Crappie (speckled perch) school together and are easier to target once located during this season; in February they begin seeking shallower water for spawning. Common baits for crappie are live minnows and panfish jigs either trolled in open water or casted near vegetation.