Lakes & Marion counties
There 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: There is a slot and special bag limit on Lake Kerr. No person shall kill or possess any largemouth bass that is 15" or more in total length and less than 24 inches in total length. No person shall take in one day more than 3 largemouth bass of which only one may be 24" or longer in total length.
Note: Lake Wildcat has a special regulation requiring all largemouth bass to be released immediately.
Lake Bryant has a new ramp with free access, and is always a good place to seek panfish. Bluegills typically bed near lily pads in this lake. However, the docks sometimes hold fish as well. FWC biologists observed large redear sunfish and bluegills around the entire lake. Biologists have stocked Lake Bryant with sunshine bass (a hybrid fish obtained by crossing striped bass with white bass) for two years now and anglers report catching large numbers of them, although they are relatively small in size. The lake level is low, so much of the vegetation is inaccessible. Because of this, the two brush attractors (marked by yellow buoys) can produce some fish. Use caution at this lake when launching because of the low water conditions. Lake Kerr can also produce panfish by fishing in the open water where the water depth drops. Fish on the shallow side of the drop on the bottom for panfish. Bass fishing in the forest remains good throughout the summer. Night fishing in some of the larger forest lakes (Bryant, Wildcat, and Grasshopper) works well. Fishing with shiners tends to produce the best results. Try fishing on full moon nights to make watching your bait easier. Use caution in launching on the forest lakes, as exteme drought has lowered lake levels, making launching a challenge.