Lake Stone in a 130-acre man-made impoundment constructed in 1967, opened to fishing in 1969 and designated as a Fish Management Area. It has an average depth of 6 feet and a maximum depth of 22 feet. Deepest areas are located near the dam and along the old streambed. A considerable amount of flooded timber remains, providing fish habitat. This lake has been stocked with Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Redear Sunfish (shellcracker), Black Crappie, and Channel Catfish. Lake Stone is located in northern Escambia County near Century, FL. Entrance to the lake is located on Lake Stone Rd off SR 4 approximately 1.5 miles west of US 29 in Century. There is one concrete boat ramp with ample parking available on the northwest end of the lake with an additional boat launching site constructed with crushed rock on the northeast side of the lake near the dam. Several earthen fishing fingers have been constructed on the lake to provide fishing opportunities for bank anglers. Bait and fishing supplies are available in nearby Century. Escambia County maintains the Lake Stone Recreation Area located on the northwest end of the lake. This area provides fee-type camping with or without electric/water hookups. Lake Stone 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 Lake Stone; however, use of electric trolling motors is allowed.For additional information regarding fishing opportunities at Lake Stone contact Blackwater Fisheries Center in Holt: 850-957-6177.
FWC biologists anticipate excellent late-winter and early-spring fishing at Lake Stone as it provides unstinting sustenance for sportfish with its diverse array of forage species. Springtime (2018) electrofishing surveys documented high numbers of quality sized largemouth bass and an abundance of black crappie.
Weather patterns will continue to be crucial this time of year. During late January and early February, look for cold fronts to push fish into deeper water, while warmer days following these systems should cause fish to seek forage in shallower areas. With water temperatures increasing from late February to early March, continue to monitor these cold fronts as they often impact feeding and spawning activity. Additionally, it is not unusual for certain areas in the lake to warm up faster than others. This can create “hot-spots” for sportfish activity so don’t be afraid to explore the entire lake perimeter. For the most success, observe weather conditions and adjust your fishing strategies, lures, and presentations accordingly. In December (2017) the FWC installed two large fish attractors composed of natural brush around bank access areas. Look for the large, white, cylindrical buoys which mark the center of these brush piles and try to fish the edges of these attractors.
Black crappie generally migrate into shallower waters to spawn as water temperatures climb into the high 50s. Start looking for these fish in some of the deeper coves along the southern shoreline of the lake or around brush piles near the fishing pier and fishing fingers from late January to mid-February. Spawning activity typically peaks when water temperatures range from 60-62 degrees. Live minnows are a reliable bait, but small roostertail spinners, crank baits, and plastic jigs can be particularly fun when targeting these fish.
Water temperatures approaching the low-mid 60s will begin to draw largemouth bass into the shallows to spawn. Look for these fish in the centers of deeper coves and between fishing fingers starting in late February and early March. Male bass move in first, building nests in 2-6 feet of water with some even venturing as deep as 10 feet. Larger female bass will then begin to pair with males at each nest site. Peak spawning activity generally occurs around water temperatures of 64-66 degrees. Dark colored plastic worms/lizards are particularly effective at generating strikes from aggressive, spawning bass. Spinnerbaits, floater-diver type lures, and rat-L-traps are also popular artificial baits this time of year. During low-light conditions (sunrise/sunset) noisy topwater lures (buzzbaits and surface plugs) can be thrilling as they generate explosive strikes at the surface.
Bluegill and redear sunfish (shellcracker) will likely still be moving between shallow and deep-water areas based on the changing weather patterns. Fish these areas with red worms, wigglers, or crickets either on the bottom with a small weight or deep below a cork. Be sure to use small hooks and light tackle to prevent these fish from recognizing your gear. Artificial baits such as beetle spins, roostertails, or curley-tailed grubs can also be effective when fished with a slower retrieve to access deeper water. Redear sunfish (shellcracker) generally begin to congregate as water temperatures approach the upper 60s with spawning activity peaking around 68-72 degrees. Use beef/chicken livers, commercial “stink-baits,” or earthworms, fished on the bottom to catch channel catfish in deeper portions of the lake.
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 Lake Stone!