A premier largemouth bass fishery located in north Northeast Florida, covers 9,500 acres and is about 15 miles long. It is located south of Palatka off of Hwy 19. The reservoir was created in 1968 when an earthen dam was built across the Ocklawaha River. A four-gate spillway (Kirkpatrick Dam) controls the water levels of the reservoir. The reservoir from its headwaters at Eureka Dam to Paynes Landing consists of flooded woodlands. The transition section from Paynes Landing to Orange Springs consists of flooded standing timber and areas of floating vegetation. The pool section from Orange Springs to Kirkpatrick Dam, including the river channel and the Cross Florida Barge Canal, consists of floating and submersed vegetation, dead standing timber and submersed and partially submersed trees and stumps. The Barge Canal and river channel have water depths up to 30 feet deep. Submersed vegetation (hydrilla, coontail and eel grass) is common in the pool section of the reservoir. Drawdowns are conducted every three to four years on the reservoir for aquatic plant control and fish and wildlife habitat enhancement.
Gary's Tackle Box 352-372-1791.
Fishhound also offers a fishing forecast for Rodman Reservoir .
Note: Look out for floating logs. To prevent boating accidents during the drawdown, boaters are asked to watch their wake and be courteous to anglers fishing along the Barge Canal and river channel. For current information on the Rodman drawdown, please contact the Department of Environmental Protection at 352-236-7143.
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 Rodman Reservoir:
Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 220
Trophy Club (10 – 12.9 pounds): 48
Hall of Fame Club (13+ pounds): 2
By the beginning of April, the three month reservoir drawdown will be over, and the reservoir will be back to normal levels. Largemouth Bass catches during the drawdown were hit and miss according to reports, but many testimonies of trophy fish were reported. At normal water levels, Rodman Reservoir still offers some of the best bass fishing in the area. As water temperatures increase, Largemouth Bass will move to deep water in the stump fields. Carolina-rigged soft plastics and deep diving crank baits are baits of choice. Anglers may also try drifting or trolling live shiners in the stump fields on both sides of the barge canal in the pool area. Artificial lures such as spinner baits and soft jerk baits retrieved along the stumps should also provide some action. In the Orange Springs area, live shiners floated under overhanging vegetation in the river channel should produce some good catches of Largemouth Bass. Deep diving crank baits fished along the river channel and flipping craws or lizards in the vegetation are worth trying. Bream anglers should fish around stumps using grass shrimp, crickets and worms. Bluegills are caught throughout the reservoir, but the Kenwood to Orange Springs area generally seems to be the best. For Redbreast Sunfish, fish the riverine section of the reservoir (Orange Springs to Eureka). Small beetle-spins and worms work well. Finally, look for stocky Warmouth between Orange Springs and Cypress Bayou using worms and grass shrimp to get the best results.