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: Lake Wildcat has a special regulation requiring all largemouth bass to be released immediately.
TrophyCatch 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): 5
Trophy Club (10 – 12.9 pounds): 5
Biologists are still working to determine the extent of the fish kill that occurred on Lake Bryant in December, 2014. Although the fish population in Lake Bryant may be down, nearby lakes throughout the Ocala National Forest provide ample opportunity to fish for trophy Largemouth Bass. Wildcat Lake off of Hwy 40 east of Ocala has been known to produce largemouth in the 13 pounds or larger size-class. The lake has a catch and release only regulation for largemouth bass to help protect from the harvest of trophy-size fish.