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.
Largemouth bass should be in the shallow areas for their spawn. Live shiners are always a great option. Look for signs of bedding, or free line shiners under vegetation to draw out bass. As the spawn ends and bass begin moving out of the shallows, target deeper water near the edges of the channel. Panfish can be caught using crickets, worms, or grass shrimp. Target submersed structures and opening in vegetation. Plan your fishing trip around a full moon and get your haul of panfish. The channel catfish are reported to be big in the reservoir. Fish stinky baits such as liver, chicken, or shrimp on the bottom near submerged structures. Black crappie should continue their spawn through April. They can be caught using minnows or jigs around their beds. As they move into deeper water, fish live minnows are varying depths until you find fish.
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): 90
Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 16
Hall of Fame Club (13+ pounds): 1