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): 18
Trophy Club (10 – 12.9 pounds): 5
Largemouth bass are disbursed throughout the pools. Several trophy sized bass have been tagged and released in these pools and are ready to be caught. Spinners around 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. Stumpknocker (Spotted Sunfish), shell cracker (redeared sunfish), and bluegill fishing should be steady in shallow water close to the bank using crickets, grass shrimp, or other natural baits. Panfish concentrate in water depths that range anywhere from one to ten feet, but are usually found at the shallower end of this range. Bluegill seem to opt for slightly shallower areas, but it's not unusual to see redear and bluegill intermingle and to be found in deep holes. Catfish can be targeted near bridges and rip-rap by using cut baits or stink baits fished on the bottom. Black Crappie (speckled perch) will be more active with cooling water temperatures can be caught in deeper water by trolling live minnows and panfish jigs.