Tsala Apopka Chain
Lake Tsala Apopka is 19,111 acres of shallow, heavily vegetated marshes intermingled with open water pools. Water control structures separate the lake 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.
Look for largemouth bass to begin their spawn as water temperatures reach 66-68°F. The bass spawn generally occurs earlier in the Tsala Apopka Chain than other NC Region lakes given the chain’s southern location. Check weather reports, but a mild winter could lead to an early spawn. Live shiners always make good bait. Plastic worms and other artificial baits fished near vegetation should also produce bites. On warm, sunny days, look for bass to begin moving into shallow parts of the lake. During cold fronts, the fish are likely to move into deeper water. Black crappie fishing should be good through the spring. Look for crappie to begin schooling in open water before moving inshore to spawn. Live minnows or grass shrimp fished on jigs should produce bites. Panfish movement should mimic weather patterns- as weather warms, target inshore areas with sandy bottoms and vegetation; during cold fronts find vegetation or structure in deeper water. Catfish are commonly found near structures throughout the chain of lakes. Target concrete pilings, rip-rap, and woody structures, fishing chicken liver or other stinky baits along the bottom. Given the size of the Tsala Apopka Chain, we recommend contacting any of the local bait shops for daily and weekly fishing reports as you plan your fishing trip.
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): 137
Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 66
Hall of Fame Club (13+ pounds): 2