Farm 13/Stick Marsh
Indian River County
(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.
Water levels in Farm 13/Stick Marsh will be extremely low this quarter. As part of a planned draw-down, the stick marsh is down more than 4 feet to start the quarter, this is to facilitate a planting project in the south end of the Lake. FWC and SJRWMD planted bullrush and spatterdock across a shallow flat to reduce the effects of wind-related turbidity and facilitate growth of submersed aquatic vegetation in that area.
The lake is pretty much un-navigable and the ramp unusable at the current water level. Water levels may rise slowly throughout the quarter, but navigation will be challenging at best and unsafe at worst. Please note that planting areas are off limits. Extreme caution is encouraged at this time. Many navigation hazards exist in this lake (it’s not called the stick marsh for nothing!) and many more hazards will be present even to anglers familiar with the lake as these are very-unfamiliar conditions. Shore fisherman may have luck fishing for bluegill and redear sunfish from exposed dikes near the boat ramp, as the low water has made these areas more accessible. Boat anglers may want to consider fishing the nearby Headwaters Lake (Fellsmere Reservoir), Lake Garcia, or Kenansville.
Anglers are reminded that Stick Marsh/Farm13 is catch-and-release for largemouth bass.
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): 137
Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 28
Hall of Fame (13+ pounds): 1