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Putnam County

Rodman River

A premier largemouth bass fishery located in north Northeast Florida, covers 9,500 acres and is about 15 miles long. It is located south of Palatka off of Hwy 19. The reservoir was created in 1968 when an earthen dam was built across the Ocklawaha River. A four-gate spillway (Kirkpatrick Dam) controls the water levels of the reservoir. The reservoir from its headwaters at Eureka Dam to Paynes Landing consists of flooded woodlands. The transition section from Paynes Landing to Orange Springs consists of flooded standing timber and areas of floating vegetation. The pool section from Orange Springs to Kirkpatrick Dam, including the river channel and the Cross Florida Barge Canal, consists of floating and submersed vegetation, dead standing timber and submersed and partially submersed trees and stumps. The Barge Canal and river channel have water depths up to 30 feet deep. Drawdowns are conducted every three to four years on the reservoir for aquatic plant control and fish and wildlife habitat enhancement.

Local contact:
Gary's Tackle Box 352-372-1791.

Visit the Florida Boat Ramp Finder for ramp locations.

Note: Look out for floating logs and exercise caution when navigating.

Rodman Reservoir is known for big bass and this is the time of year to get ‘em! Generally, the biggest bass are caught in deep water along the river channel and Barge Canal in the Kenwood to Kirkpatrick Dam area. You may need to move around a bit to find them but be careful running from spot to spot because there are stumps everywhere. Deep diving crank baits and Carolina-rigged soft plastics (worms, lizards, and crawfish) are preferred in the deeper water. Texas-rigged worms, spinner baits and lipless crankbaits also work well, while golden shiners are the bait of choice for the live-bait enthusiasts. After a stronger than usual Fall bite, look to catch Black crappie/specks along the river channel and Barge Canal on live minnows with floats and plastic tailed jigs. While anglers have their preferred jig colors, chartreuse, yellow, and white seem to get the most consistent action. Bluegill, shellcracker, and redbreast sunfish fishing is best this time of year in the riverine section of the reservoir. Beetle-spins and grass shrimp work well.

Visit the Florida Boat Ramp Finder for ramp locations.

Popular Species

Popular Sport Fish Species

Fish graphics by Duane Raver, Jr.

More species information is available for:

Largemouth bass, Bluegill, Redear sunfishBlack 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 Rodman Reservoir:

Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 969

Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 202

Hall of Fame Club (13+ pounds): 5