Ocala National Forest Lakes

Lakes & Marion counties

Ocala National Forest LakesThere are approximately 600 natural lakes in the Ocala National Forest with lakes Bryant, Mill Dam, Kerr, Crooked, Wildcat, Lou Echo, Grasshopper, Eaton and Quarry Fish Pond being the most popular. A booklet titles "Fishing Opportunities in the Ocala National Forest" by the Ocala National Forest Interpretive Association is available at the Visitors Welcome Center at the intersection of S.R. 40 and C.R. 315. This booklet describes sport fishing locations, with recommendations for fishing methods and accessibility, as well as a topographic map.

Note: Lake Wildcat has a special regulation requiring all largemouth bass to be released immediately.

 

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 various Ocala National Forest Lakes:

Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 4

Trophy Club (10 – 12.9 pounds): 3

Hall of Fame Club (13+ pounds): 1

 

 Current Forecast:

As we move into the fall, largemouth bass fishing in the Ocala National Forest during the daytime should improve. As the water temperatures fall, fish become less lethargic. Live baits always work well. Shiners free-lined near weed lines can be effective, as can live worms. Soft jerk baits rigged weedless are also proven. Casting such lures into the weed line, then walking the lure on the surface to about 5 feet from the weed line, then letting it slowly sink to the bottom can be effective. Spinnerbaits can also be effective on cloudy days. Lakes Kerr and Weir have brush attractors marked with yellow buoys. Fishing around these buoys is a good bet due to current low water conditions. Sunshine bass have been stocked in Lake Bryant. These fish should be up to around three pounds. Target these fish using minnows near the fish attractors, or drift in the open water. Cold, overcast days are the best time to target them.

 



FWC Facts:
Larger, older striped bass can produce more than a million eggs at one time.

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