Indian River County
The Lake Garcia Reservoir is a 3,149-acre section of the Blue Cypress Water Management Area (BCWMA) along the east coast of central Florida in north Indian River County. Water depths range from 1.5 to 6 feet on this impoundment, fluctuating seasonally. Boaters unfamiliar with the BCWMA are advised to operate their crafts cautiously, due to the number of navigational hazards found throughout the area. Facilities include a double lane concrete boat ramp, air boat launch site, paved parking lot, picnic pavilion and restroom. This impoundment is noted for good numbers of smaller largemouth bass, but does produce its share of trophy bass each year. Largemouth, bluegill and black crappie are the sportfish most often targeted by anglers.
For more information on daily fishing forecasts and lake conditions for Garcia Lake, call Stick Marsh Bait and Tackle Shop at 772-571-9855 and Palm Bay Fishing Outfitters at 321-952-4435.
In late-November, a heavy influx of water hyacinth and lettuce due to high rainfall made navigation to the western half of the reservoir extremely difficult if not impossible. Aquatic plant control efforts by the water management district has been ongoing and should have the east canal and north canals open to allow access to the deeper more open western have of the reservoir by January. Water levels will likely drop throughout the quarter unless unexpected rainfall comes during this year’s dry season. Boaters will need to use caution navigating to the deeper sites around the lake. This impoundment should produce good numbers of largemouth bass for those anglers who like to fish a variety of habitats such as cattails, hydrilla, eelgrass, emergent grass, and water lilies. Many locals seem to prefer this reservoir because it also offers more shelter from strong northerly winds which can be a real problem that anglers have to deal with this time of the year. The open northwestern section of the reservoir and the area around the submerged borrow pit are good places to start fishing for bass. The north central region, dominated by cattail and water lily, should be holding fish. The outlet canal (C-65) which runs for five miles – connecting to the control structure into Farm13, can also be productive. Typical techniques will work including live shiners, spinner baits, soft plastic jerk baits and plastic worms, diving minnow imitations and top-water baits becoming more productive as the water warms.
Black crappie anglers should focus their efforts in deeper waters within the borrow pit, southern inflow canal, outflow canal (C-65) at the northwest corner, and around floating mats of vegetation along the numerous old submerged canals that border and cross the reservoir’s bottom. Vertically jigging, slow trolling jigs or a live minnow under a small float will work. Fair numbers of other panfish (bluegill and redear) will be caught by crappie anglers but they are not typically the target species this time of the year with colder water temperatures.