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: The Art of Fishing (Fly-Fishing Specialist) Hernando 352-637-3316; Anglers Resort Dunnellon 352-489-2397.
Anglers looking to score bigger bass in the river should use live shiners as the weather cools into the fall and winter. These lively baits can be trolled, free-lined, or fished under floats along aquatic vegetation. Soft plastics fished around aquatic plants or around snags and other woody cover should produce fish as well. Panfish should provide steady action by fishing crickets or small artificial lures close to the bank and around woody structure. Fish can also be targeted in and around aquatic plants where you can find them.
As we approach the cooler months and cooler water temperatures that follow, largemouth bass fishing should improve. Larger spawning 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.