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.
This water management area should produce good largemouth bass action for those anglers who like to fish a variety of habitats like cattails, hydrilla, eelgrass, emergent grass, and water lilies. During the last four month the water clarity has been low in the western third of the reservoir due to a persistent algae bloom. The bloom is shading out the submerged vegetation in this region of the reservoir which is typically dominated by hydrilla. Anglers can begin by fishing along the submerged drainages ditches/canals, the deeper northwestern section of the reservoir and the area around the submerged borrow pit. This time of the year anglers should also look for fish feeding and schooling around moving water coming in from the south canal and near the outflow (C-65) as fish will congregate in these areas. Typical techniques will work, including crank-baits, twitch baits, plastic worms, and top-water lures. Local anglers say that the early morning bite on top-waters can be excellent this time of year. If water is too turbid in the western third of the reservoir, anglers can usually move eastward where vegetation increases along with increased water clarity. Sometimes fish move into these transition areas between different habitats.
Black crappie anglers should focus their efforts on deep jigging or drifting live minnows in the deeper water within the borrow pit and the outflow canal (C-65) at the northwest corner of the lake. Bluegill and redear sunfish should be found along the hard bottom areas around submerged levees, along the perimeter of the borrow pit, the vegetated edges of canals, and the submerged vegetation in open water. Crickets, worms, or grass shrimp work best when targeting these two species, but don’t neglect your fly rod if you have one. This shallow, vegetated lake has strong hatches of non-biting midges and other insects.