Tsala Apopka Chain
The Tsala Apopka Chain of Lakes is 19,111 acres of shallow, heavily vegetated marshes intermingled with open water pools. Water control structures separate the chain of lakes into three main pools named after nearby towns: Floral City, Inverness and Hernando.
Public boat ramps are available for each pool:
- Hernando Pool: 1/4 mile east of the intersection of U.S. Hwy 41 and SR 200
- Inverness Pool: Highway 44 Boat Ramp, Eden Park, and North Apopka Boat Ramp
- Floral City Pool: Duval Island Road
Local Contacts: River Land Bait and Tackle (352-465-2755) for more up-to-date information.
Due to the size of this system, interested anglers should seek advice from local tackle shops or internet message boards to help focus their efforts. Anglers looking to target largemouth bass should find plenty of success fishing all three pools and their associated lakes. While the weather is still warm, bass anglers should fish in the morning and evening hours around areas of vegetation. Crank baits and imitation frogs fished through pads has reported to be successful. Live shiners or long, plastic worms are also good choices for bait. Panfish should be biting on any small baits like crickets, grass shrimp or worms. Bluegill are not picky and will bite any small bait they find, while redear sunfish are often caught best using earthworms. Redear sunfish prefer deeper water than bluegill, and areas with hardbottom and structure. Fishing a worm along the bottom, or along the edge of a submersed tree or dock piling should produce redear bites. Fish shallower areas with sandy bottom and vegetation when targeting bluegill. As the quarter progresses and the weather cools, expect the black crappie fishing to improve. Anglers should fish minnows in deeper water and near the edges of lily pads until they find schools of black crappie. Catfish should continue to bite any stinky baits like chicken liver, gizzard, or cut baits. Find areas with submersed structures or fish around bridge pilings and rip-rap. Change bait frequently, as the water will wash away the pungent odor of stink baits, decreasing the odds of landing a big catfish.
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 the Tsala Apopka Chain:
Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 223
Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 101
Hall of Fame Club (13+ pounds): 4