Located just north of Tallahassee, this 4,000-acre lake has been nationally known for its largemouth bass fishery. The best bass fishing time of year is the spring through early summer (February through May). This lake has a high diversity of aquatic vegetation, but hydrilla, eelgrass, and maidencane are the best habitats to fish for bass in this lake. This lake is shallow with an average depth of about 7 feet and a maximum depth of 30 feet. After May, fishing at night becomes the norm to get away from the hot weather conditions. It is a natural sink-hole lake that periodically goes dry (about every 25 years. See an excellent article from LandandWater.com about the history of the lake and restoration efforts. There are 5 public boat ramps around the lake and one fish camp. When water levels are low, the best ramps to use on Lake Jackson are Sunset Landing and Crowder Road Landing.
The water level in Lake Jackson remains fair despite little rain in the month of May. Anglers are limited to launching small jon boats, canoes, and kayaks at Miller’s Landing and Hwy 27. Larger boats can be launched at Rhoden Cove, Sunset Landing, and Crowder Road. As for fishing, target bream using crickets, worms, or beetle-spins. During warmer months larger bream will move to the deeper areas of the lake, although they can also be seen bedding throughout the summer. To target Largemouth Bass, fish near lily pads. Topwater baits (such as frogs) work the best on Lake Jackson in the early morning or late evening. Fishing pressure has increased dramatically due to the lake being at a higher level compared to previous years, particularly on weekends during bass tournaments. For an up to date calendar of bass tournaments visit the Lake Jackson Tournament Calendar. For anglers seeking lots of action try using spinners or other shiny lures for chain pickerel (jackfish). These fish are a great way to keep new or young anglers busy while fishing. Be mindful of our alligator hunters as they will be present later in the quarter.
Lake Jackson Tournament Calendar
This Lake Jackson Tournament Calendar is a resource created on a trial basis for use by Lake Jackson anglers to coordinate tournament scheduling, streamline boat ramp access, and improve the experience of recreational users. This calendar is updated weekly on Tuesdays and may not reflect updated information as tournament exemptions may be acquired up to one day prior to an event. For further information please contact Andy Strickland (850-717-8740).
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 Lake Jackson:
Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 60
Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 12