Lochloosa Lake (5700 acres) is designated as a Fish Management Area and located 5 miles south of Hawthorne near the town of Lochloosa. Most of the shoreline is bordered by old-growth cypress trees, and knotgrass and spatterdock (bonnets) are the predominant aquatic plants in the lake. A public boat ramp provides access to the lake from U.S. Highway 301 in the town of Lochloosa, and at Lochloosa Harbor Fish Camp just north of the town of Lochloosa, also accessed from U.S. 301. In addition, a public pier is located south of the town of Lochloosa on Burnt Island and is a popular fishing site for those without a boat. Lochloosa Lake offers good bluegill, redear sunfish and warmouth (bream) fishing during April through September; however, some bream can be caught year-round. Anglers targeting bream should fish with grass shrimp in deep-water spatterdock or deeper grass patches. Black crappie fishing is best from January through April in the spatterdock with grass shrimp and minnows. During summer and fall, crappie anglers should drift open water with grass shrimp and minnows.
The Bluegill on Lochloosa Lake are some of the biggest in the area and can fill up a cooler really quickly. They will be bedding up in the shallows throughout the warmer months. Try your luck up in the pads on the North or Southeast end of the lake with a cricket or grass shrimp on a hook under a cork. You’ll probably end up with some giant Shellcrackers too. Most of the Black Crappie have moved offshore during the warmer months, but they still need to eat. Try your luck at fishing a spider rig in open water. If you don’t have a boat, you can fish off the pier on Burnt Island at Lochloosa Wildlife Management Area off of Hwy 301. Anglers should be aware of tagged black crappies with rewards. If you catch a tagged crappie, call the number below to receive information on how to claim your reward.
Travis Tuten, FWC fisheries biologist: 352-415-6964
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 Lochloosa Lake:
Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 20
Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 10