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): 12
Trophy Club (10 – 12.9 pounds): 1
Anglers looking to score bigger bass in the river should use live shiners. These lively baits can be trolled, free-lined, or fished under floats along aquatic vegetation. Top waters and rattle traps fished around aquatic plants or around snags and other woody cover should produce fish as well. Panfish should provide steady action by fishing crickets, worms, or small artificial lures close to the bank and around woody structure. Anglers targeting black crappie (speckled perch) should have luck fishing minnows and hair jigs around similar areas as panfish. Big catfish are hitting well on live shiners, worms, and liver. Look for slow flowing eddies and holes to pick up big catfish.
Now is a great time for largemouth bass fishing as fish move into spawning areas. 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.