Lake Victor is a 130-acre artificial impoundment constructed in 1966 and opened to fishing in 1968. It has an average depth of 8 feet and a maximum depth of 23 feet. Deepest areas are near the dam and along the old stream bed. A considerable amount of timber remains, providing fish habitat and cover. The lake has been previously stocked with sport fish include largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish (shellcrackers), and channel catfish. The lake also supports a fairly good population of black crappie which appear to peak every 5 to 7-years. The lake is located in north Holmes County, south of S.R. 2, approximately one mile west of the New Hope community. It is within easy commuting distance from Chipley, Bonifay, DeFuniak Springs, and south Alabama. There is a concrete boat ramp with ample parking located near the dam on the northeast side of the lake.There are no public upland recreational facilities or boat rentals available. Lake Victor RV Park LLC, a privately operated camping area with an unimproved (oyster shell) boat ramp is located on the southeast side of the lake. For available camp sites or fishing conditions they may be reached at 850-956-4526.
Temperatures will decline with the approaching fall and winter months. Fortunately, this provides an excellent opportunity to catch one of Lake Victor’s trophy Largemouth Bass. These fish will seek warmer water, so it can be beneficial to monitor surface temperatures and try to fish the warmest areas you can find. On clear bright days, sunlight can easily raise water temperatures stimulating bait fish and predators alike. Midday will often be the most productive time on days like this. A good place to target these fish is in deep water or along the earthen dam or along points at the entrance of the western cove, they will often suspend along steep drop-offs in about 6-7 ft of water. Standing timber in the center of the lake or any form of hard structure will also congregate fish this time of year. With the change in seasons, Largemouth Bass diets will change as well. Try to use baits that mimic sunfish, shad, or other baitfish. Suspending crank baits, rat-l-traps, or spinner baits fished with a slow retrieve could produce a trophy.
This time of year, crappie patterns are almost opposite of their spring to summer patterns. They will start out in deeper water, but as the water cools they migrate to shallow areas. In early fall, look for creek channels, ledges, humps, or standing timber in deep water. As temperatures cool from late fall to winter, start looking for this structure in shallower areas similar to what you would target in early spring. Larger baits can often be most effective this time of year. Try fishing jigs with a 2 3/8-inch body on a quarter-ounce jig head and don’t be afraid to switch up the color until you find what is working. Small crank baits and rat-l-traps can also be very effective for these fish, but it is always hard to beat live bait such as minnows or shiners.
Bluegill and Redear Sunfish can still be caught by fishing on or near the bottom in deeper water with crickets or wigglers. Use light tackle, 4-6 lb-test fishing line with small hooks. You can fasten several split-shot weights about 2-3 ft above the hook to keep your bait on the bottom. Channel Catfish can also be targeted on the bottom in deeper water and will be hard pressed to resist a juicy beef or chicken liver. 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 a nice odor to emanate 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 Lake Victor:
Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 4
Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 1