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Indian River County

Farm River

(Note that a new boat ramp was recently opened on the adjacent Fellsmere Reservoir, also known as Headwaters Lake. For more information on that separate location see the Fellsmere Fishing Forecast page.)

The St. Johns Water Management Area (SJWMA), known to most anglers as the Farm 13/Stick Marsh, is a 6,500-acre impoundment located along the east coast of central Florida in northwest Indian River County. Water depths range from 4 to 8 feet. Boaters unfamiliar with the SJWMA are advised to navigate to fishing locations with extreme caution due to the number of man-made and natural hazards present. Facilities include a double lane concrete boat ramp, air boat launch site, restroom and paved parking lot. Closest towns/cities are Melbourne, Palm Bay, Vero Beach, Sebastian and Fellsmere. No gas, food or bait available on site. Popular sportfish include largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, black crappie and several catfish species. This water body is noted for its excellent bass fishing due to the special no harvest regulation on largemouth bass. The SJWMA is one of the top 10 trophy bass spots in the state.

Anglers are reminded to exercise caution when boating due to submerged and floating timber in the Stick Marsh/Farm13 impoundment and that they are legally obligated to adhere to catch-and-release regulations for largemouth bass.

For more information on daily fishing forecasts and lake conditions for Stick Marsh/Farm 13, call Stick Marsh Bait & Tackle Shop at (772) 571-9855.

Largemouth Bass will be in a typical summer pattern. The best bite should be during the morning or evening, especially a calm cool evening after the day’s thunderstorms have dissipated. Look for bass around the vegetated habitat on the North (“Backlot”) and South end of the reservoir, as well as the central ditches along the levee. Fish can also be found on the tops of underwater berms and woody structure near deeper water. During this quarter, anglers should look for fish at the outflow of the water control structures and narrow cuts which generate current when water is moving through the system. Bass often school up in these areas to feed on bait fish. If the water is not moving, bass anglers can always try out the open water fish attractors located along the eastern side of the Stick Marsh pool (north block). This time of year, the diet of largemouth bass typically consists of threadfin and gizzard shad. Artificial lures that imitate shad, including top-water, shallow-running, and deep-diving crankbaits should be anglers’ best bets followed by plastic worms and swimbaits.

Black Crappie (speckled perch) fishing will be slow this time of the year for those anglers willing to seek them out. During this quarter, crappie anglers should try fishing in and around deep-water structure, such as in Ditch 7, Ditch 13, along the drop-offs of numerous secondary submerge drainage ditches and around the fish attractors. Small spinners and jigs (1/32 and 1/8 ounce) with twister-tail or tube style tails and minnows should be effective.

Bluegill and Redear Sunfish (shellcracker) will be found feeding and spawning along the perimeter levees throughout the reservoir and along the open-water drainage ditches in Farm13. Biologists have been impressed by the number of Redear Sunfish that they have seen in the course of sampling for Largemouth Bass, both along the underwater humps and the fish attractors in Stick Marsh. Live crickets, worms, and grass shrimp will be the baits of choice, followed by beetle spins, and small jigs. Catfishing on this reservoir is also quite good, with traditional baits and methods all being productive.

Popular Species

Popular Sport Fish Species

Fish graphics by Duane Raver, Jr.

More species information is available for:

Largemouth bass, Bluegill, Redear sunfish, Channel catfishBlack crappie

FWC Trophy Catch Logo

TrophyCatch Tracker

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 Farm 13/Stick Marsh:

Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 135

Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 28

Hall of Fame (13+ pounds): 1