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 the entire chain of lakes, anglers are encouraged to contact local bait and tackle shops for the most current fishing reports and tips before planning a trip. Largemouth bass anglers can typically catch fish in any of the pools during the spring months, though some years certain pools or lakes are better than others. In recent years, the Hernando Pool was producing good numbers of trophy bass, though the frequency of these reported catches has slowed. Anglers should target areas of good submersed vegetation, looking for eelgrass and coontail, or patches of emergent lily pads and grasses. Fishing plastic worms in shallow areas near vegetation has been most productive, while weedless frogs over pads or jerk baits have been effective as well. Or try targeting the outer bands of vegetation with a deep diving crankbait. Expect the panfish to become active in the coming weeks and months, depending on the water temperature. Panfish anglers should check the lunar calendars and target nights on, and near full moons. Fish in shallow areas near vegetation and structures. Classic baits will work well. Live crickets, worms, and grass shrimp are the most popular. Fish deep jigs around hard structures such as dock and bridge pilings during sunny days. Those looking for catfish should target stinky baits fished on the bottom near bridge pilings, rip-rap or other hard, submersed structures.
Fish graphics by Duane Raver, Jr.
More species information is available for:
Largemouth bass, Bluegill, Redear sunfish, Channel catfish, Black crappie
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): 237
Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 108
Hall of Fame Club (13+ pounds): 5