Polk County

Saddle CreekSaddle Creek Park is a series of phosphate pits on 740 acres of mined phosphate land east of Lakeland off U.S. Route 92 in Polk County. The park provides convenient opportunities for family outings, picnics, boating, and fishing. An abundance of bank fishing makes this a unique Fish Management Area. Channel catfish are stocked regularly by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and largemouth bass are popular with Saddle Creek anglers. The special regulations on largemouth bass (15-24 inch protective slot limit, 3 fish bag limit) and catfish (6 fish bag limit) are needed to maintain desirable fish populations under intense fishing pressure. Fish feeders are operated and maintained near a number of bank fishing sites. Fishing for catfish and bluegill is often good in these areas. Willow is the major shoreline vegetation. There are a number of public boat ramps on Saddle Creek Park Road, which runs through the middle of the park.

For more information contact Phillips Bait and Tackle at 863-666-2248.
Anglers can also check out this outstanding Web site External link.

 

Popular species:

Popular fish species

Fish graphics by Duane Raver, Jr.

 

TrophyCatchTrophyCatch Tracker

TrophyCatch External link is FWC's citizen-science program that rewards anglers for documenting and releasing trophy bass 8 pounds or larger. The following TrophyCatch bass have been submitted from Saddle Creek:

Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 15

Trophy Club (10 – 12.9 pounds): 2

 

Current Forecast:

Bank fishing opportunities here are excellent. Bluegill (bream) fishing is improving with the warmer water, and they can be caught with crickets and red wigglers. Catfish can be caught on chicken livers and commercial stinkbaits around deeper holes. Anglers recently reported big largemouth bass being caught, but patience will be the name of the game for the hot summer months. Use live wild shiners for the best action, and try plastic worms in Junebug, red shad, and Christmas colors fished slowly along the edges and near drop-offs. Large schools of shad are coming to the surface in the morning and just before sunset. Don’t be afraid to throw out your walking topwater baits, suspending jerkbaits and weightless shad colored flukes in and around the schools to catch bass chasing the shad. During recent electrofishing surveys, 12 largemouth bass larger than 8 pounds were tagged, with a few around 13 pounds. Tags are yellow and located on the back (dorsal) of the fish. If you catch a tagged fish, remember to remove the tag and call the number provided. You will need it to collect your reward! Black crappie (specks) fishing is slow, but a few fish can still be caught. Live Missouri minnows and small jigs trolled or drifted are the best bets for specks.

 



FWC Facts:
Florida Bass Conservation Center volunteers can assist biological staff in all aspects of fish culture and center management.

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