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Fishing Forecasts for 2010

Fish Busters' Bulletin

Monday, February 01, 2010

Media contact: Bob Wattendorf

It is that time of year again. Freshwater anglers are taking advantage of the last of the winter crappie action and really looking forward to the spring spawn of bass and bream. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologists have completed their analyses of the 2009 fishing data to come up with a list of top fishing sites for 2010.

Information, along with fishing tips, is available to improve your fishing success at MyFWC.com/Fishing (click on "fishing sites and forecasts").

January's cold snap set several records and caused significant fish kills in freshwater areas. Fortunately for the resource and most users, those kills were primarily limited to nonnative fishes such as tilapia and suckermouth catfish. Thus, with the possible exception of peacock bass in Southeast Florida, the cold snap should not have harmed the overall freshwater fishing prognosis for 2010.

Site Size County Featured species
Apalachicola River/Lake Seminole 106 miles; 37,500 acres Gulf, Liberty, Franklin, Jackson, Gadsden, Calhoun Striped bass, channel, flathead and blue catfish
Lake Apopka 30,600 acres Orange Sunshine
Lake Arbuckle 3,800 acres Highlands Crappie
Blackwater/Yellow rivers 58/ miles Okaloosa, Santa Rosa Striped bass, flathead catfish
Lake Bryant 767 acres Marion Bream
Choctawhatchee River 96 miles Bay, Holmes, Walton, Washington Striped bass, sunshine, bream, channel and flathead catfish
Clermont Chain of Lakes 11 lakes totaling 8,692 acres Lake Channel and white catfish
Deer Point Lake 5,000 acres Bay Bass
Eagle Lake 541 acres Polk Sunshine bass
Escambia River 231 miles Escambia Striped bass, sunshine, channel, flathead and blue catfish
Everglades Conservation Areas 2 and 3 210 square miles Palm Beach, Broward, Dade Bass
Haines (Haynes) Creek 6 miles Lake Channel and white catfish, bullheads
Lake George 46,000 acres Putnam, Volusia Bass
Lake Harris 13,800 acres Lake Bream
Lake Istokpoga 28,000 acres Highlands Bass, crappie, bream
Lake Kissimmee 35,000 acres Osceola Bass, crappie, bream, channel and white catfish, bullheads
Lake Marian 5,700 acres Osceola Crappie, bream
Lake Marion 2,990 acres Polk Crappie
Lake Monroe 9,400 acres Seminole, Volusia Bass
Ochlockonee River 300 miles Leon, Liberty, Franklin, Gadsden, Wakulla Striped bass, white bass, channel, flathead and white catfish, bullheads
Orange Lake/Lochloosa Lake 12,550/5,700 acres Alachua Crappie, bream
Lake Osborne/Ida Chain of Lakes 356 acres Palm Beach Sunshine bass
Lake Panasoffkee 4,460 acres Sumter Bream
Lake Talquin 8,800 acres Gadsden, Leon Striped bass, white bass, crappie, bream
Lake Trafford 1,500 acres Collier Crappie
Lake Tarpon 2,500 acres Pinellas Bass
Lake Weohyakapka 7,500 acres Polk Bass, crappie
Mosaic Fish Management Area 1,000 acres Polk Bass, bream, crappie, channel catfish, bullheads
Rodman Reservoir 9,500 acres Putnam Bass
St. Johns River 310 miles Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, Volusia Striped bass, sunshine bass, channel and white catfish, bullheads
St. Mary's/Nassau River 90 miles Baker, Nassau Striped bass
Suwannee River 213 miles Suwannee Bass, bream
Tenoroc Fish Management Area 7,300 acres Polk Bass, crappie
West Lake Tohopekaliga 18,810 acres Osceola Bass, crappie, bream

In Florida, the Fishing Capital of the World, with more than 7,700 named lakes and 12,000 miles of fishable rivers, streams and canals, you're never far from an opportunity to relax and wet a line. Your recreational time spent on the water communing with nature and relaxing is time well used. Studies have shown that both children and adults who take time out to enjoy active nature-based recreation lead healthier, happier and smarter lives (www.GetOutdoorsFlorida.org).

Remember, if you catch a big fish, it may be eligible for recognition in the "Big Catch" Angler Recognition Program. The FWC recognizes 33 different species of freshwater sportfish in the program, and has extra incentives for catching a variety of species. If you submit a photo with the application, you may also see yourself published in the Fish Busters' Bulletin one day. Check out a copy of the Florida Fishing Regulations (2009-2010) - Freshwater Edition for a copy of a "Big Catch" application or go online to MyFWC.com/Fishing to learn all the details.

Also, be on the lookout for the 5-Year Freshwater Fishing License bonus program. The first 3,000 anglers to purchase a 5-year or lifetime license after March 1 automatically receive a free bonus package in the mail. Not only do we have you covered "hook, line and sinker," but we also have sample lures, other bonus gifts, coupons (including a free spincast reel worth more than $100 with purchase of a bait casting reel) and literature.  The value of the freebies and coupons is more than enough to offset the cost of your 5-year license.  Plus, you don't have to worry about renewing your license or any price increases for the next five years.



FWC Facts:
Florida has several grant programs that offer funding to enhance recreational boating access.

Learn More at AskFWC