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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. Submersed vegetation (hydrilla, coontail and eel grass) is common in the pool section of the reservoir. 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 will offer some great fishing trips for bass anglers this spring. While it is known for catches of trophy bass and will certainly produce some monster fish this year, it is the number of two to five pounders that should get the anglers attention. FWC fish biologists saw a bunch of young of the year come through five years ago and those fish have grown and are all over the reservoir and ready to tighten a line. The trick is to find the fish and it is important to be careful boating around Rodman 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 crank baits also work well, while golden shiners are the bait of choice for the live-bait enthusiasts. Black crappie can be caught along the river channel and Barge Canal on live minnows with floats and plastic tailed jigs. While anglers have their preferred colors, chartreuse, yellow, and white seem to get the most consistent action. Bluegill, redear, and redbreast sunfish fishing is best this time of year in the riverine section of the reservoir. Beetle-spins and live bait (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): 791

Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 164

Hall of Fame Club (13+ pounds): 4