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.
Lochloosa Lake is known for its Black Crappie fishery, and while the numbers aren’t there as much as they have been in the past couple of years, there are plenty of big fish to put in the cooler. Try fishing with a jig or minnow under a cork while drifting or trolling in open water. As the water warms up this spring, try moving up closer to shore and dropping a line into a hole in the pads and other vegetation. Crappie will be there to spawn, but you may also land yourself some big bream. Lochloosa Lake is packed with big bream and pound for pound, they’ll put up a fight as good as any freshwater fish and are also good to put on a dinner plate. Grass shrimp and minnows are a great choice to fish with for both crappie and bream near shore. 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): 8