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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 offered some of the best bass fishing in the area over the last year. There have been 122 Largemouth Bass weighing over 8 pounds reported to Florida’s Trophy Catch program since January 1, 2022, with 17 of those greater than 10 pounds! Carolina-rigged soft plastics and deep diving crank baits are baits of choice. Anglers may also try drifting or trolling live shiners in the stump fields on both sides of the barge canal in the pool area. Artificial lures such as spinner baits and soft jerk baits retrieved along the stumps should also provide some action. In the Orange Springs area, live shiners floated under overhanging vegetation in the river channel could produce some hefty largemouth bass. Deep diving crank baits fished along the river channel and flipping craws or lizards in the vegetation are also worth trying. Bream anglers should fish around stumps using grass shrimp, crickets and worms. Bluegills are caught throughout the reservoir; however, the Kenwood to Orange Springs area generally seems to be the best. For redbreast sunfish, fish the riverine section of the reservoir (Orange Springs to Eureka). Small beetle-spins and worms work well.

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): 953

Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 194

Hall of Fame Club (13+ pounds): 5