Citrus, Marion, Sumter, Levy, Hernando counties
This 157-mile stream originates in Green Swamp in Hernando County and flows north to the Gulf at Yankeetown. The stream has many limerock areas and associated swamps. Water levels fluctuate except in Lake Rousseau and the area just above the influence of Rainbow River. Water color is dark during the rainy season and clear during low water. Public ramps are located at S.R. 44 in Rutland, C.R. 470 north of Lake Panasofkee, the Outlet River west of Lake Panasofkee on C.R. 470 in Sumter County, C.R. 39 north of SR 200 in Citrus County, U.S. Highway 41 at Dunnellon and SR 40 at Yankeetown.
Local contacts: Anglers Resort Dunnellon 352-489-2397.
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 Withlacoochee River:
Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 31
Trophy Club (10 – 12.9 pounds): 4
The outlook for this quarter is good to excellent. Currently water quality issues are not a problem coming out of the cooler winter months, so these next months should be productive. Panfish catches should be excellent through June in the stretch of the Withlacoochee from the Turner Camp Road boat ramp to the Rainbow River. Use traditional methods and baits for redear (shell crackers) and bluegill sunfish and consider a late evening/night time fishing adventure. Farther upstream largemouth bass fishing pressure drops somewhat, but bigmouths can still be had with persistence and patience. Target any submerged woody structure or large rocky outcrops with crayfish like lures for largemouth bass.
Now is a great time for largemouth bass fishing. Larger fish should become more vulnerable to anglers, resulting in the possibility of some truly impressive catches. Register online with FWC’s TrophyCatch program and enter your trophy bass for a chance to win prizes. Entering fish is as simple as submitting a photo of the fish on a scale to the website above. The photo must show the entire fish and clearly show the weight on the scale.