Karick Lake is a 65-acre man-made impoundment constructed in 1965, opened to fishing in 1966, and is designated as a Fish Management Area. The lake has an average depth of 7 feet with a maximum depth of 18 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. Karick Lake is located in northwestern Okaloosa County off County Road 189 approximately 8 miles north of Baker, FL. Concrete boat ramps with courtesy docks are located in both the north and south campgrounds. A handicapped accessible fishing pier is located adjacent to the boat ramp in the north campground. Both campgrounds are accessible from CR 189. Informational kiosks are located adjacent to each boat ramp. The south campground contains primitive campsites (no electrical or water hookups) and picnic areas. The north campground has picnic grounds and campsites are available with both electric and water hookups. Both campgrounds have restroom/bath facilities and are maintained by the Florida Forest Service. Bait, supplies, and other conveniences are available in nearby Baker and Blackmon, FL. Karick 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 Karick Lake; however, use of electric trolling motors is allowed.
Special Regulation: Effective July 1, 2006 a 12-inch minimum size limit harvest regulation for largemouth bass will replace the current catch-and-release regulation. The daily bag limit under the 12-inch minimum size limit will be 5 bass per angler per day, only one of which may be 22-inches in total length or larger. All bass less than 12-inches in total length must be released immediately.
For additional information regarding fishing opportunities at Karick Lake contact Blackwater Fisheries Center in Holt, Fl. Phone 850-957-6175.
Largemouth bass anglers will be more successful during the early morning and the early evening hours. Dark colored plastic worms, Rat-L-Traps, and floater-diver type lures are all productive artificial baits. Bass can often be found holding under floating mats of torpedograss growing near the shoreline in numerous parts of the lake and along the edge of stands of hydrilla located in the lake. Larger bluegill and redear sunfish (shellcracker) will be congregating on the oyster-shell spawning area and limerock piles located within the lake. Redear typically begin bedding as water temperatures reach 68 degrees, while bluegill bedding peaks as water temperatures reach 80 degrees. Live baits such as red worms, wigglers, and crickets fished on light tackle in 2 to 5 feet of water are normally productive. As with bass, the most productive fishing seems to be early morning and late afternoon/early evening. Another productive method for catching bream is to take a small Beetle Spin (1/16 or 1/32 oz), detach the spinner and use only the little lead headed jig preferably with chartreuse colored grubs. Bait with a cricket and fish 3 to 4 feet below a float. Fishing near fish feeders that are set up in the lake can usually result in nice catches of bream. For anglers without a boat, fishing off the fishing pier adjacent to the boat ramp can be productive for bream. Catfish can be taken using chicken livers and earthworms primarily in the evening. Night fishing for bass and bream can also be productive as water temperatures increase to the upper 80’s and into the 90’s.