Karick Lake is a 65-acre man-made impoundment constructed in 1965, opened to fishing in 1966, and is designated as a Fish Management Area. The lake has an average depth of 7 feet with a maximum depth of 18 feet, with the deepest areas located near the dam and along the old streambed. A considerable amount of flooded timber remains, providing fish habitat. The lake has been stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish (shellcracker), and channel catfish. Karick Lake is located in northwestern Okaloosa County off County Road 189 approximately 8 miles north of Baker, FL. Concrete boat ramps with courtesy docks are located in both the north and south campgrounds. A handicapped accessible fishing pier is located adjacent to the boat ramp in the north campground. Both campgrounds are accessible from CR 189. Informational kiosks are located adjacent to each boat ramp. The south campground contains primitive campsites (no electrical or water hookups) and picnic areas. The north campground has picnic grounds and campsites are available with both electric and water hookups. Both campgrounds have restroom/bath facilities and are maintained by the Florida Forest Service. Bait, supplies, and other conveniences are available in nearby Baker and Blackmon, FL. Karick Lake is subject to the rules and regulations currently in effect for Fish Management Areas. Please refer to a current copy of Florida Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations. Gasoline boat motors are prohibited from use on Karick Lake; however, use of electric trolling motors is allowed.
For reserving campsites and cabins in Florida State Parks check the Florida State Parks Reservation Center website or call 800-326-3521.
For additional information regarding fishing opportunities at Karick Lake contact Blackwater Fisheries Center in Holt, Fl. Phone 850-957-6177.
Weather patterns will be crucial during this time of year. Cold fronts push fish into deeper water, while warmer days following these systems cause fish to seek forage in shallower areas. Anglers should look for shallow water habitats located adjacent to steep drop-offs. Such areas provide a deep-water refuge during cold snaps with easy access to forage during the subsequent, warmer days. For the most success, observe weather conditions and adjust your fishing strategies, lures, and presentations accordingly.
Largemouth bass activity should increase as cooler temperatures draw them out of deeper water. These fish can be targeted along the shoreline and around flooded timber with floater-diver type lures or dark colored plastic worms. Fish along drop-offs with medium diving crank baits or Rat-L-Traps to catch bass transitioning between deep and shallow water habitats.
Bluegill and redear sunfish (shellcracker) will be moving off their beds, but can still be targeted using traditional methods. Much like bass, these fish will be moving between shallow and deep-water areas based on changing weather patterns. Work around drop-offs with red worms, wigglers, or crickets. If you prefer to use artificial baits, it’s hard to beat a roostertail, beetle spin, or small curly-tailed jig when fishing for bream.
Catfish can be pulled from deeper water off the fishing pier or near the dam by fishing on the bottom with beef/chicken livers or earthworms. If you have trouble keeping these on the hook, try wrapping it in surgical gauze or pantyhose, but make sure you stretch the fabric to allow the odor to spread from your bait.
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 Karick Lake:
Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 1