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Harris Chain News

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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.

*Lake Griffin includes all Emeralda Marsh water bodies open to Lake Griffin, and including all points lakeward of a boundary line delineated by: County Road 44 and Burrell Lock and Dam on Haynes Creek (formerly Haines Creek); County Road 464c at Moss Bluff Lock and Dam.

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

Largemouth Bass:

The bass spawn is all but over and we move into post-spawn fishing. Try fishing at the mouths of spawning canals, connecting canals, and pinch points. In these areas you can try lipless crank baits, deep diving crank baits, small swim baits or Carolina Rigs. After the spawn, some bass will be moving out to some of their deeper haunts. The Harris Chain Lakes have numerous shell bars that bass like to hang on and can be on fire this time of year, try fishing a crankbait, big swimbaits, Carolina rig, or Texas rigged worms. Anglers can also find consistent catches during the warmer months on the FWC’s fish attractors around the Harris Chain. Locations of Harris Chain attractors can be found below under the “Fish Attractor” tab. As we get into May and June, One popular technique can be to target Bluegill beds, bass will hang around these beds and can be a good place to try and get a bite. This time a year, Bluegill beds can be found around docks, shallow brush, seawalls, canals, and near shell bars. Try throwing a jig, crankbait or Texas/Carolina rigged worms. Bass will be more active this time of year, you can try topwater baits (e.g., hollow bodied frogs, devil’s horses) for more consistent topwater action try early in the morning or late in the evening. Soft plastics are always a popular way of attracting a bite on the Harris Chain, try a Texas rigged worm (e.g., trick, speed, senko) or creature bait. Anglers can swim a speed worm or flipped a Texas rigged worm in and around vegetation, the outside edge of the knot “Kissimmee” grass is a popular place to start. There is varying water clarity around the chain, for green water trying a darker color like junebug, black/blue or redbug; but for clearer water switch to a more natural color like green pumpkin or white. Top lakes right now are Lake Beauclair and Lake Griffin (including Emeralda marsh). Don’t forget if you catch a bass over 8lbs, take a scale-to-tail (whole fish on the scale) picture/video of the fish and submit it to TrophyCatch for great prizes.

Bluegill and Redear:

Springtime is a great time to target redear (aka, shellcracker) on the Harris Chain. Popular lakes include, Griffin, Dora, Haines Creek and Dead River. As the temperature warms up in Late March and throughout April the redear will move into spawn. Some anglers swear by fishing around the full moon. Try targeting areas in protected bays or canals with lily pads. Its best to use a cane pole, bobber and jig tipped with a grass shrimp, worm or cricket. You can adjust the bobber to fish at various depths, start off fishing 6 inches off the bottom.

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 works 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 below for shore fishing options.

Harris Chain Annual Report

Harris Chain Annual Report

The Harris Chain Annual Report is now available, and includes some great information about FWC's activities benefiting both fish and anglers on the chain in the past year.

Hybrid Striped Bass in the Harris Chain

Hybrid Striped Bass in the Harris Chain

Read our brochure about hybrid striped bass stocking and fishing in the Harris Chain of Lakes!

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.


Lake: Eustis
Species: Hybrid Striped Bass
# of Fish: 52,390
Size: Fingerling

Lake: Harris
Species: Hybrid Striped Bass
# of Fish: 116,132
Size: Fingerlings


Lake: Eustis
Species: Hybrid Striped Bass
# of Fish: 56,381
Size: Fingerling

Lake: Harris
Species: Hybrid Striped Bass
# of Fish: 92,783
Size: Fingerlings


Lake: Eustis
Species: Hybrid Striped Bass
# of Fish: 34,624
Size: Fingerling

Lake: Harris
Species: Hybrid Striped Bass
# of Fish: 70,451
Size: Fingerlings


Lake: Eustis
Species: Hybrid Striped Bass
# of Fish: 101,760
Size: Fingerling

Lake: Harris
Species: Hybrid Striped Bass
# of Fish: 159,212
Size: Fingerlings


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

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


Three fwc staff on a flat boat with about 9 artificial fish attractors

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.

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, Sunshine 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.

TrophyCatch Harris Chain Leaderboard

Trophy catch

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): 148

Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 27

TrophyCatch Harris Chain Lake Leaders

Lake Date Angler Size
Apopka 02/28/2021 Earnest Thompson 11 lb 13 oz
Beaulcair 01/20/2021 Ross Tanner 11 lb 3 oz
Carlton 02/04/2018 Brandon Franks 10 lb 9 oz
Dora 02/08/2014 John Bozeman 12 lb 4 oz
Eustis 02/15/2020 Kevin Wright 10 lb 10 oz
Harris 01/01/2016 Tommy 12 lb 8 oz
Griffin 02/13/2021 Cheri Bloom 11 lb 9 oz
Yale 01/17/2020 Garry Watkins 12 lb 11 oz