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 an excellent all-around fishery. However, use caution when navigating the lake, it is filled with sunken obstacles. Summer is the best time to target bream here as they will be spawning for the next few months. In the western half of the lake looking for spawning beds in the shallows is a great way to catch these fish. In the eastern portions of the lake fishing under or along tussock edges can be very productive. Crickets and grass shrimp are preferred baits for all panfish. 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 can 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 lots of fish over eight pounds every year. Fish near stumps, docks and tussocks using live shiners or soft plastics for bass.
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): 200
Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 42
Hall of Fame Club (13+ pounds): 2