Levy and Citrus Counties
An impoundment of the Withlacoochee River, as part of the original Cross Florida Barge Canal project, this large lake is full of cypress trees, pennywort islands and sometimes hydrilla. Abundant cover and structure grow plenty of bluegill, redear sunfish, catfish, black crappie and largemouth bass. The deeper river channel is always good to locate and fish underwater bends. The rest of the lake is referred to as the "flats" or the backwaters.
Lake Rousseau is a great waterbody for whatever fish species you are targeting. Largemouth bass are plentiful and big. Large swaths of eelgrass and hydrilla can be found throughout the reservoir. These areas should be hotspots for largemouth bass and panfish. The bass spawn should be well underway. Looks for signs of bedding in shallow, sandy areas. Bass tournaments have been steadily producing winning bag weights near 20lbs this spring, and that number should remain high through the early summer months. Panfish should begin spawning this quarter. Check for signs of bedding in shallow areas around the reservoir. Start in areas of dense eelgrass. Plastic worms and live shiners should make great bass baits; topwater buzz baits and frogs can be fished near dense hydrilla and pads. Crickets and small worms will work well for panfish. Catfish reports have been good. Good numbers have been caught near the dam. Fish stinky baits such as chicken liver or shrimp on the bottom.
TrophyCatch 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 Lake Rousseau:
Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 109
Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 18
Hall of Fame Club (13+ pounds): 1