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. Anglers should be observant of weather patterns during this time of year. Cold fronts late in the year will often push bass into deeper waters. Warm days following a cold front will often result in bass moving back into shallower habitats to feed, and anglers will need to adjust their strategies accordingly. Shallow areas that are adjacent to deeper water drop-offs where bass can seek refuge during cold periods can be prime habitat this time of year. Larger bluegill and redear sunfish (shellcracker) can be caught using live baits such as red worms, wigglers, and crickets fished on light tackle. If you are catching a lot of small bream, larger bream can often be found by fishing just a little deeper in the same area. Using the appropriate size hook is also an important factor when fishing for bream. Bream have small mouths and most bait and tackle stores sell “bream hooks” that are perfect when you are targeting these fish. Similar to bass, the changing weather patterns will result in bream moving between shallow and deep-water areas. For anglers without a boat a public fishing pier is located in the north campgrounds and plentiful bank fishing areas are available along both the north and south shorelines.