Formerly known as Pleasant Grove Reservoir, this 770-acre reclaimed phosphate mine within Edward Medard Park is located in Hillsborough County, approximately six miles east of Brandon, one mile south of State Route 60 on Turkey Creek Road. The park, maintained by the Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Department, has facilities for fishing, boating, canoe rental, picnicking, camping, hiking, and swimming. The reservoir was impounded in 1970 and is very popular, with approximately one-quarter million visitors annually. Medard Reservoir is a fertile and productive impoundment with extensive, irregular shoreline. Bottom contours of the lake are very irregular as well, with an average depth of nine feet and maximum depth of 33 feet. Kissimmee grass, bulrush (buggy whips), and cattail are the predominant vegetation. Sunshine bass (striper hybrids) are stocked on a regular basis and channel catfish are very abundant. The many ledges and bars (flats) within the main body of the reservoir are productive for all species, but key in on the shoreline grass for largemouth bass in winter and spring. Due to the convoluted nature of the reservoir there is a no wake restriction (idle speed only) on boats for safety purposes.
For more information contact the FWC Southwest Regional Office at 863-648-3200.
Note: Medard Reservoir is full, and open to boating. On December 31, 2012, the no harvest of gamefish or catfish Executive Order was replaced by a new Executive Order which mirrors regulations that will go into effect once Medard Reservoir becomes a Fish Management Area later in spring 2013. Largemouth bass daily bag limit is five, with only one allowed to be 16 inches in total length or longer. Recreational freshwater fishing license holders may use only hook and line or rod and reel (no recreational cast nets can be possessed on person, boat, or in vehicle). Commercial freshwater fishing license holders may use cast nets to catch nongame fish other than channel catfish. Daily bag limit for panfish is 50, and crappie (specks) is 25.
The reservoir was stocked with approximately 5,600 adult bass since last year. These fish are already showing up in angler catches. Slow rolling spinner baits around maidencane (Kissimmee grass) and fishing plastic worms slowly can also be productive as fish move out of spawning areas looking for a meal. Look for bass to feed heavily on threadfin and gizzard shad, and small blue tilapia (Nile perch). Artificial lures that imitate these forage fish can be very effective. Black crappie (specks) are few and far between right now, but by next year they should be back. Recent angler surveys show good catches of 1-2 pound channel catfish. Catfish can be caught with chicken livers, shrimp, and night crawlers fished on the bottom. Bluegill (bream) and redear sunfish (shellcracker) fishing should improve with warmer water in the reservoir. Fish with crickets, grass shrimp, and red wigglers under a cork around shoreline structure (overhanging trees) and Kissimmee grass. Sunshine bass will be stocked this spring and will take a year or two before they reach catchable size.