Hurricane Lake is a 318-acre man-made impoundment constructed in 1971, opened to fishing in 1973, and is designated as a Fish Management Area. The lake has an average depth of 7 feet and a maximum depth of 25 feet with the deepest areas located near the dam and along the old streambed. A considerable amount of flooded timber remains, providing fish habitat. The lake has been stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish (shellcracker), and channel catfish. Hurricane Lake is located in northwest Okaloosa County within the Blackwater State Forest approximately 12 miles northwest of Baker, FL. Concrete boat ramps with courtesy docks are located in both the north and south campgrounds. The south campground is accessible from Kennedy Bridge Road off Beaver Creek Road north of SR 4. This campground contains primitive (no electric or water hookups) camping sites maintained by the Florida Forest Service. Restroom and picnic facilities are available. Several earthen fishing fingers are located in this area for use by bank fishermen. Construction of a fishing pier in the south campground is planned for the near future. An informational kiosk is located adjacent to the boat ramp. The north campground is accessible from Hurricane Lake North Campground Road off Beaver Creek Road north of Kennedy Bridge Road. A handicapped accessible fishing pier and an informational kiosk are located adjacent to the boat ramp. This campground has campsites with electrical and water hookups which are maintained by DOF. Bait, supplies, and other conveniences are available in nearby Baker, Blackmon, and Munson. Hurricane Lake is subject to the rules and regulations currently in effect for Fish Management Areas. Please refer to a current copy of Florida Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations. Gasoline boat motors are prohibited from use on Hurricane Lake; however, use of electric trolling motors is allowed.
The largemouth bass harvest minimum size limit was changed in July 2010 from an 18-inch minimum size limit to a 12-inch minimum size limit. All bag limit regulations remain the same.
For additional information regarding fishing opportunities at Hurricane Lake contact Blackwater Fisheries Center in Holt, Fl. Phone: 850-957-6175.
See also our Fish Management Area Brochure and Map for Hurricane Lake.
Largemouth bass anglers should continue to be successful throughout the quarter. Bass will move from shallower habitat used during the spawn into waters 6 ft. and deeper as temperatures rise later in the quarter. As water temperatures move into the upper 70’s and higher anglers fishing during dawn and dusk can often catch fish moving into shallow water to feed. Plastic worms and lizards rigged Carolina or Texas style, along with Rat-L-Traps and crank baits can all be effective. Top-water lures can be effective if anglers locate bass actively feeding along the surface. Bass can often be located holding around clumps of maidencane grass located throughout the lake.
Redear sunfish (shellcracker) spawning will be at its peak as water temperatures reach 68 to 72 degrees. During most years anglers can expect this to occur in late-March or April. Shellcracker tend to nest in “communities”, meaning there will often be numerous nests built in the same area. Peak bluegill spawning activity occurs when water temperatures reach 75 to 80 degrees, which is during May of most years. Bluegill will often use the same nesting areas previously used by shellcracker and also tend to nest in “communities”. Spawning activity will continue to a lesser degree through September. Light tackle with earthworms, wigglers, or crickets is usually the most productive. Oyster shell and gravel bed areas located in several areas around the lake are popular spawning sites for both bluegill and shellcracker.
Anglers who enjoy fishing for channel catfish usually find the fish are most active at dawn and in the evening, with chicken livers and earthworms both being effective baits. As water temperatures warm considerably during May and June catfish tend to feed more actively.