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.
For more information on FWC management activities at Lochloosa Lake, visit the Orange Creek Basin Working Group webpage.
FWC maintains fish attractors at Lochloosa Lake; visit the Fish Attractor webpage for locations.
Shore and Pier Fishing Opportunities/Boat Ramp Locations:
Lochloosa Lake Park: 16204 SE 207 St, Lochloosa, FL 32640
Burnt Island Fishing Pier in Lochloosa WMA: End of Burnt Island Road. Turn west off of 301. Road is south of Lochloosa/north of Island Grove, FL.
Lochloosa Lake is known as one of Florida’s leading crappie fisheries and anglers come from all over to fill their coolers. Many anglers were reporting lower catches this fall than the previous years, but most of the crappie being caught were between 1-2 pounds, so there are plenty of good ones out there waiting to tighten a line. The crappie bite should heat up this spring, so you may want to get to the lake early because the boats ramps will be full. If you don’t have a boat, you can always try your luck at the public fishing pier on the south side of the lake in Lochloosa Wildlife Management Area. Black crappie will be moving in shore to spawn this spring and can be found in the thick vegetation and pads. Those full moons of February and March usually produce memorable fishing trips. Try using minnows, grass shrimp, and jigs to catch them. 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. Lochloosa Lake also has one of the best Bluegill and Shellcracker populations in the area, both in terms of numbers and size. Try fishing the pads on the North or Southeast end of the lake with a cricket or grass shrimp on a hook under a cork as the water gets warmer in March. Largemouth Bass have also produced some big catches for anglers at Lochloosa Lake the past few years. The pads in Little Lochloosa and on the northwest side are good places to try casting a soft plastic or jerk bait.
Steve Beck, FWC fisheries biologist: 352-415-6958
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): 29
Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 14
Hall of Fame Club (13+ pounds): 1