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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.

Local contacts:
Big Bass Village 352-447-3474, toll free 1-877-463-4742
Lake Rousseau RV Park/Fishing Resort 352-795-6336,
Dunnellon Bait and Tackle 352-465-2755

Lake Rousseau is an excellent all-around fishery. However, anglers should use caution when navigating the lake due to sunken obstacles. Over the summer months, spawning panfish will begin to congregate in the shallows typically around the western shoreline making them an easy target for anglers fishing live crickets and grass shrimp. If this doesn’t work, switch to earthworms fished on or near the bottom to try and hook a nice redear sunfish. Crappie are much easier to catch at night than during the day in the hot summer months. Drifting or trolling live minnows in the channel or jigging the deeper offshore structure will usually produce fish. Catfish are a great fish to target here, especially in the upstream portion of the lake or near the dam where there is some current. Fishing chicken livers or gizzards and stink baits on the bottom are a good bet. If the scent of your bait hasn’t brought a bite after twenty minutes you may want to refresh the bait or relocate. Bass are the most targeted fish here and this reservoir produces a lot of fish over eight pounds every year. This is year is off to a great start with many bass over 8 pounds approved by FWCs TrophyCatch Program in Season 12, which began October 1, 2023. During the day, pockets of cooler water are sure to hold fish. Try fishing the deeper holes of the channel or the box cut sides of the lock area. Target areas with submersed structures, such as stumps or fallen logs, using plastic worms and imitation crayfish or troll live golden shiners past the edges of dense hydrilla patches.

Popular Species

Popular Sport Fish Species

Fish graphics by Duane Raver, Jr.

More species information is available for:

Largemouth bassBluegill, Redear sunfishSunshine bassStriped bassChannel catfishBlack crappie

FWC Trophy Catch Logo

TrophyCatch Tracker

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): 230

Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 47

Hall of Fame Club (13+ pounds): 2