Rodman ReservoirPutnam County

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.

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 updated information:
The Tackle Box 352-372-1791.

Fishhound External Website also offers a fishing forecast for Rodman Reservoir External Website.

Current Forecast:

Rodman Reservoir and big bass are synonymous during this time of year, and that’s especially true when the lake is in its drawdown stage.  Reservoir levels were lowered 7 feet from normal levels in November 2015, and will remain at this level until March 2016.  Generally, the biggest bass are caught from deep water along the river channel and Barge Canal in the Kenwood to Kirkpatrick Dam area.  Outside bends in the river channel from Orange Springs to Cypress Bayou are also a good place to try for largemouth bass.  Deep diving crank baits and Carolina-rigged soft plastics (worms, lizards, and crawfish) are preferred in the deeper water.  Texas-rigged worms, spinner baits and lipless crank baits also work well, while golden shiners are the bait of choice for those seeking trophy fish.  During the drawdown, catch-and-release on all largemouth bass is mandatory until March 15th, 2016. Black crappie can be caught along the river channel and Barge Canal on live minnows with floats and plastic tailed jigs.  Anglers have their preferred colors, but jigs in chartreuse, yellow, and white colors seem to get the most consistent action.  Bluegill, redear, and redbreast sunfish fishing is best this time of year in the riverine section of the reservoir.  Beetle-spins and live bait (grass shrimp) work well.  Temporary boat ramps are located at Kenwood Landing, Orange Springs, and Hog Valley where anglers can launch into the Barge Canal and river channel.  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.


FWC Facts:
Four species of black bass occur in Florida's fresh waters. The most popular is the Florida largemouth bass, which can grow to larger than 20 pounds.

Learn More at AskFWC