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.
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.
Anglers have reported pleasant hauls of Black Crappie while the weather is still cool. These fish generally migrate into shallower waters to spawn as water temperatures climb into the high 50s. Start looking for these fish among flooded timber in the center of the lake or off some of the deeper points and shorelines along the southern and western edges of the lake (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. 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. In late February (2016) high concentrations of spawning bass appeared to congregate along the north-western shoreline, these congregations shifted to different portions of the lake as the season progressed. Stumps and other hard structure resting in water about 3-5ft deep tend to hold nice numbers of bass while large individuals have been observed in almost 6-7ft of water off the ends of docks. 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 & 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 curly-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.
During past fall electrofishing samples, numerous Channel Catfish, with individuals approaching 10lbs were documented. These fish can be caught in deeper water near the dam or off the ends of docks. Fish earth worms or chicken/beef livers on the bottom to entice these whiskered predators. If you have trouble keeping messy livers on the hook, try wrapping it in surgical gauze or pantyhose, but make sure you stretch the fabric to allow a nice odor draw fish to your bait. As with any body of water, be sure to consult the most recent state regulation booklet for a detailed and updated description of this year’s regulations if you plan to keep any fish.
Fish graphics by Duane Raver, Jr.
More species information is available for:
Largemouth bass, Bluegill, Redear sunfish, Channel catfish, Black crappie
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