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.

 

Popular species:

Popular fish species

Fish graphics by Duane Raver, Jr.

 

TrophyCatchTrophyCatch Tracker

TrophyCatch External link 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): 38

Trophy Club (10 – 12.9 pounds): 4

 

Current Forecast:

Water levels in the river can fluctuate with seasonal conditions. Anglers can stay up to date on river levels by visiting Southwest Florida Water Management District’s web page External link. 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. Good panfish catches have been reported out of the river. In the river near Dunnellon and up the Rainbow River, anglers should try using worms, crickets, or small artificials fished close to the bank and around woody structure. Anglers have been having great success catching spotted sunfish (stumpknockers) south of the Hwy 44 bridge and through the small channel heading into Lake Panasoffkee. Earthworms have been very productive baits through here. Catfish should bite any kind of stink bait. Look for them to be held up in slow flowing eddies and holes throughout the river.


FWC Facts:
The FWC operates two freshwater fish hatcheries: the Florida Bass Conservation Center in Sumter County, and the Blackwater Hatchery in Santa Rosa County.

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