Lake JacksonLeon County

Located just north of Tallahassee, this 4,000-acre lake has been nationally known for its largemouth bass fishery. The best bass fishing time of year is the spring through early summer (February through May). This lake has a high diversity of aquatic vegetation, but hydrilla, eelgrass, and maidencane are the best habitats to fish for bass in this lake. This lake is shallow with an average depth of about 7 feet and a maximum depth of 30 feet. After May, fishing at night becomes the norm to get away from the hot weather conditions. It is a natural sink-hole lake that periodically goes dry (about every 25 years. See an excellent article from about the history of the lake and restoration efforts. There are 5 public boat ramps around the lake and one fish camp.

Attention Lake Jackson Anglers:

SPECIAL REGULATION (Effective as of September 9, 2013): No person shall take, kill or possess more than (5) black bass per day, only one of which may be greater than sixteen (16) inches in total length. This regulation applies to Lake Jackson proper, including Little Lake Jackson west of Highway 27, Meginnis arm of Lake Jackson north of Interstate 10, and Fords Arm of Lake Jackson west of Meridian road.

You do not have to release largemouth bass below 16 inches in length.  There is not a 12 inch minimum size limit for largemouth bass.  (See below for further information.)

Fishhound External Website also offers a fishing forecast for Lake Jackson External Website .

 Current Forecast:

The water level in Lake Jackson has risen and has been stable for a few years.  Anglers should be able to launch larger boats at Rhoden Cove, Sunset Fish Camp, and Crowder Road.  Only smaller boats can be launched at Miller’s Landing and Hwy 27.   Fishing for bream and shellcrackers should pick up during the end of March if the water is warm.  Black Crappie fishing should also improve during the next few weeks and some really nice slabs can be caught during the month of February.  Sixteen Largemouth Bass over 8 pounds caught from Lake Jackson have been certified in Florida’s TrophyCatch ( program since the program was established during October 2012.  Local anglers suggest the use of punching crayfish and jigs around the thicker vegetation on Lake Jackson during January and February. Soft plastic baits like senkos and lizards are great baits when the fish are cruising the shallows during March.  Remember to be mindful and courteous to our waterfowl hunters.  Please note the current bass regulation on Lake Jackson: anglers are allowed no more than 5 bass per day, only one of which may be greater than 16 inches.
Largemouth Bass less than 16 inches in length may be kept.  There is NOT a 12 inch minimum on Lake Jackson.  As an example, an angler could legally keep 5 bass of the following sizes in one day of fishing: 1 8-inch bass, 1 10-inch bass, 1-12 inch bass, 1-14 inch bass, and 1 18-inch bass. If there are questions regarding this regulation, please call the Northwest regional office at 850-265-3676.  Biologists encourage the harvest of small bass and strongly encourage the release of trophy-size individuals so they can live to fight another day.

FWC Facts:
Freshwater fish have a series of sensory pores called the lateral line that detect movement and vibration in the water, which helps with predatory and schooling behavior.

Learn More at AskFWC