(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.
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 due to its scenic appearance and lack of crowds, especially during this popular time of year. It’s located within a half-hour drive of the neighboring Stick Marsh/Farm 13 and also offers more shelter from strong northerly winds which can be a real problem for anglers. 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, is also known to hold 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.