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Harris Chain of Lakes

Lake and Orange County

Harris River

The Harris Chain of Lakes in Lake and Orange Counties is comprised of 8 primary lakes (Apopka, Harris, Griffin, Eustis, Dora, Beauclair, Carlton, and Yale) totaling about 75,000 acres. Located northwest of Orlando, the Harris Chain of Lakes offers excellent fishing opportunities for all anglers with over 30 public boat ramps (see FWC Boat Ramp Locator) and numerous public fishing piers. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has completed numerous restoration and management activities focusing on improving habitat, fish populations, and water quality throughout the chain including: fish stockings, installing fish attractors, and habitat plantings. Largemouth bass, black crappie, and bream (bluegill and redear sunfish) are the popular sportfish with anglers. Also, FWC has stocked sunshine bass in some lakes within the Harris Chain to add diversity to anglers' catches.

Local Contacts:

Lake Harris Lodge (352-343-4111) is a fish camp located on Lake Harris off of US Hwy 19 south of Tavares, and Palm Gardens (352-343-4111) is located on US Hwy 441 near Tavares.

Local Bait and Tackle Shops:

Brookers Bait and Tackle 352-460-0695
Lakeside Bait and Tackle 352-742-3336
Owens Fishing and Marine 352-357-3030

Please see below for more information on the Harris Chain of Lakes or contact Scott Bisping at Scott.Bisping@myfwc.com.

For largemouth bass topwater baits (e.g., frogs, devil’s horses) early in the morning or late in the evening are always a popular summertime technique. For more consistent action try finding clearer water in and around submersed vegetation. Anglers can also try soft plastics around pockets or edges of the vegetation. Make sure to have patience and slow your retrieve down during the summer months. During the mid-day, try targeting shaded areas, created by overhanging trees, dock, or vegetation. Summertime is also an excellent time to fish the attractors. FWC installed artificial attractors in Lakes: Griffin, Dora, and Harris. Lipped crankbaits work well, make sure to use a lure that goes down around 6-8 feet. Most of the hits will come when bumping off the attractors. Soft plastics also are a popular way of attracting a bite, try a Texas or Carolina rigged worm (e.g., trick, speed, senko). Popular soft plastic colors on the Harris Chain include Redbug and Junebug.

Bluegill will spawn periodically throughout the summer in the Harris Chain. Most bream anglers suggest the best bream fishing is around a full moon targeting bedding fish. You can target bluegill on the Harris Chain by locating beds around nearshore vegetation (e.g., Spatterdock pads). Fishing with crickets, grass shrimp, or worms on a cane pole should work well. You can also try targeting bream using small artificial lures (e.g. inline spinners, beetle spins). The Harris Chain has an extensive canal system, when fishing artificial lures try and find canals with clearer water. Bream fishing is an excellent way to introduce a kid to the outdoors. The Harris Chain of Lakes offers outstanding shore bream fishing opportunities, please see the links below for shore fishing options.

In recent years, FWC has stocked largemouth bass and sunshine bass in lakes within the Harris Chain to increase angler success and add diversity to anglers' catches. For more information on FWC stockings please visit our Fish Stocking page.

2018

Lake: Eustis
Species: Hybrid Striped Bass
# of Fish: 111,144
Size: Fingerlings

Lake: Harris
Species: Hybrid Striped Bass
# of Fish: 219,243
Size: Fingerlings

2017

Lake: Apopka
Species: Largemouth Bass
# of Fish: 1,003,956
Size: Fingerlings

Lake: Apopka
Species: Hybrid Striped Bass
# of Fish: 102,600
Size: Fingerlings

Lake: Harris
Species: Hybrid Striped Bass
# of Fish: 212,568
Size: Fingerlings

2016

Lake: Apopka
Species: Largemouth Bass
# of Fish: 430,651
Size: Fingerlings

Lake: Apopka
Species: Hybrid Striped Bass
# of Fish: 152,872
Size: Fingerlings

Lake: Harris
Species: Hybrid Striped Bass
# of Fish: 107,059
Size: Fingerlings

 

Aquatic plants play an important role in Florida lake management including the Harris Chain. Therefore, FWC monitors submersed vegetation on most lakes within the Chain. To find out more information on aquatic plant management please visit:

Aquatic Plant Management page

Aquatic Plant Treatment Schedule

Below are the most current submersed vegetation maps:

Dock Lights

LED underwater fishing lights at the Hickory Point fishing pier on Lake Harris.

In recent years FWC has installed numerous fish attractors on lakes within the Harris Chain (Lakes Dora, Harris, and Griffin). Please see the Harris Chain Fish Attractor List for locations and coordinates of these attractors. Also, please check out our Interactive Fish Attractor Map for statewide fish attractor locations.

In 2019, Lake County Water Authority (LCWA) partnered with FWC to install 6 green LED underwater fishing lights at the Hickory Point fishing pier on Lake Harris. This is the first-time in Florida underwater lights have been installed on a public fishing pier to improve freshwater fishing opportunities. These underwater lights will offer anglers improved nighttime pier fishing opportunities to target various fish species including largemouth bass, black crappie, and sunshine bass. For more information please see the news release.

Lake Harris

  • Hickory Point Fishing Pier
    27341 State Road 19 Tavares, FL 32778
  • Singletary Park Fishing Pier
    1902 S. 14th Street Leesburg, FL 34748
  • Venetian Gardens Park
    109 E. Dixie Ave Leesburg, FL 34748
  • Ski Beach
    Lake Harris Drive, Leesburg, FL 34748
  • Griffin Park
    105 S Lakeshore Blvd, Howey-In-The-Hills, FL 34737

Lake Beauclair

  • Trimble Park
    5802 Trimble Park Road Mt. Dora, FL 32757

Lake Eustis

  • Eustis Lake Walk
    601 Northshore Drive Eustis, FL 32726

Lake Griffin

  • Herlong Park Fishing Pier
    700 North Blvd E, Leesburg, FL 34748
  • Lake Griffin State Park
    3089 US-441, Fruitland Park, FL 34731

Lake Dora

  • Wooten Park
    100 E. Ruby Street Tavares, FL 32778
  • Gilbert/Palm Island Park
    411 S. Termain Street Mount Dora, FL 32757

Lake Apopka

  • Newton Park
    31 W Garden Ave, Winter Garden, FL 34787

Popular Species

Popular Sport Fish Species

Fish graphics by Duane Raver, Jr.

More species information is available for:

Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Redear Sunfish, Striped Bass, Channel Catfish

Other species found within the Harris Chain include:

Lake Eustis Pupfish, Atlantic needlefish, Blue Tilapia, Bluefin Killifish, Bowfin, Brown Bullhead, Brook Silverside, Bluespotted Sunfish, Chain Pickerel, Dollar Sunfish, Florida Gar, Gizzard Shad, Golden Shiner, Golden Topminnow, Inland Silverside, Lake Chubsucker, Least Killifish, Longnose Gar, Mosquitofish, Pugnose Minnow, Redbreast Sunfish, Sailfin Catfish, Swamp Darter, Nile Tilapia, Tadpole Madtom, Taillight Shiner, Threadfin Shad, Warmouth, White Catfish, and Yellow Bullhead.

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 the Harris Chain of Lakes:

Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 86

Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 16