Okaloosa County

Hurricane LakeHurricane 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.

For additional information regarding fishing opportunities at Hurricane Lake contact Blackwater Fisheries Center in Holt, Fl.  Phone: 850-265-3676.


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Current Forecast:

As leaves change with the weather, Hurricane Lake becomes an even more scenic location to wet a line and take in the fall colors. For the most successful anglers, weather patterns will be crucial during this time of year. Cold fronts push fish into deeper water, while warmer days following these systems will cause fish to seek forage in shallower areas. Anglers should look for shallow water habitats located adjacent to steep drop-offs. Such areas provide a deep-water refuge during cold snaps with easy access to forage during the subsequent, warmer days. A key to success this time of year is to be observant of weather conditions and adjust your fishing strategies, lures, and presentations based on these observations.

Bluegill and redear sunfish (shellcracker) will be moving off their beds, but can still be targeted using traditional methods. Much like bass, these fish will be moving between shallow and deep-water areas based on changing weather patterns. Work around fishing fingers and the small island located in front of the northern most cove with red worms, wigglers, or crickets. Artificial baits such as beetle spins, roostertails, or curley-tailed grubs can also be an effective method for tempting a hungry panfish.

Largemouth bass activity should increase as cooler temperatures draw them out of their deep-water refuge. These fish can be targeted along the shoreline and around flooded timber with floater-diver type lures or dark colored plastic worms. Fish along drop-offs with medium diving crank baits or Rat-L-Traps to catch bass transitioning between deep and shallow water habitats. While Hurricane Lake provides a substantial amount of “eating sized” individuals, take advantage of pleasant temperatures to target the proverbial “lunkers” inhabiting this lake.

Catfish will be cruising the deeper portions of the lake searching for any tasty morsels they can pick up off the bottom. Use smelly chicken livers, beef livers, or earthworms to draw these transient predators to your hook. Hurricane Lake will supply your weekend fish fries with sufficient table fare, but be sure to consult the most recent state regulation booklet for a detailed and updated description of this year’s regulations.

FWC Facts:
Today, smalltooth sawfish are found only in the western Atlantic Ocean from Florida to the Bahamas, including southwest Florida Gulf Coast.

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