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Calhoun and Gulf counties

Dead Lake

This strangely beautiful 6,700-acre lake with dark tannic waters is located on the Chipola River near the town of Wewahitchka. West Arm Creek of the lake is accessible from Dead Lake State Park and Recreation Area, located off SR-71 just north of Wewahitchka. Follow Gary Rowell Road east into the park; turn right when the road splits past the pond; the boat ramp will be on the south side of the road. There is also a boat ramp located in Calhoun County which allows access to the north western portion of Dead Lake through Cypress Creek. Follow the signs on SR-71 near the intersection of SR-71 and SR-73. There are no facilities at this boat ramp. There are fish camps located around the lake. Care should be taken when operating a motorboat in this lake because it is filled with cypress snags and stumps. This lake enjoys an excellent reputation for its Bluegill (bream) and Redear Sunfish (shellcracker) fishing in the spring.


Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management, Northwest Regional Office: 850-265-3676.

Dead Lake Recreation Area (campgrounds and two smaller fishing ponds); Gary Rowell Rd off Hwy 71, Wewahitchka, FL 32465; contact Mr. W.E.: 850-258-3466.

Dead Lake Sportsman Lodge; east of Wewahitchka at site of old Dead Lake Dam (2001 Lake Grove Rd., Wewahitchka, FL 32465): 850-639-5051.

Magnolia Lodge; 345 S. Bass Dr., Wewahitchka, FL 32465; contact Laura Bush: 850-639-6760.

Off the Map Expeditions (guided kayak or pontoon tours, no boat rentals); contact Mr. Godwin: 850-819-3053.

Dead Lake Facebook page

Anglers should take caution while boating in Dead Lakes due to the many snags and stumps present. Navigation can be challenging to anglers new to this lake, so it may be worthwhile to look at google satellite maps or utilize a GPS during navigation. As water temperature rises into the 70s, bream fishing should be excellent as fish begin to congregate near stumps, snags, and along the shore during spawning season. Redear Sunfish (shellcracker) and Bluegill anglers should fish an ultra-light rod with a number 10 gold hook on the bottom with a wiggler. Spotted Sunfish (Stumpknockers) and Redbreast Sunfish can also be caught near stumps and snags with worms or beetlespins. Fishing for Largemouth Bass will also pickup in mid-March through April as bass begin to spawn. Try fishing near the bridge in West Arm Creek (accessible via the boat ramp at Dead Lakes RV Campground) and in backwater areas of 3 to 5 feet of water. Recommended baits for bass include artificial worms, lizards, spinner baits or live shiners.

Popular Species

Popular Sport Fish Species

Fish graphics by Duane Raver, Jr.

More species information is available for:

Largemouth bass, Yellow perchBluegill, Redear sunfish

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.

Be the first to submit a trophy bass from Dead Lake!