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.
While the weather is still hot and water temperatures are warm, bass anglers should focus their efforts in the early morning or late evening hours. During the day, fishing deeper water near the edges of the channels should produce fish. Live shiners are always a great option. Large swaths of hydrilla and eelgrass are growing strong throughout the lake. These areas should provide excellent spots for bass fishing. Recent tournament data has been positive, with several winning bag weights over 17 pounds. The panfish bite has been very productive, especially around full moons. Worms and crickets are the preferred baits. Fish around edges of vegetation and submersed structure. The catfish here are reported to be big. Find submersed structures near the edge of flowing water. Drop a stinky bait and let the current carry the smell to any hungry catfish waiting for a meal. There are several local tackle shops near the lake. Contact them prior to your trip for additional fishing advice.
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): 96
Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 16
Hall of Fame Club (13+ pounds): 1