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Jackson County

Merritts Mill Pond

This is a unique 202-acre spring-fed impoundment with crystal clear waters near the city limits of Marianna. The lake is accessible off US 90 in Marianna by taking SR 71 north 1.1 miles to SR 164 for 1.8 miles and then south on Hunter Fish Camp Rd. to the ramp. Merritt's Mill Pond was historically known for its trophy redear sunfish (shellcracker) fishing. The pond currently holds the state record for redear sunfish at 4.86 pounds and until recently held the world record fish. While Merritt’s Mill Pond still produces quality redear sunfish, it also produces quality largemouth bass. Casting far from your boat, on cloudy or rainy days or when there is a ripple on the water may produce the best results when fishing in this clear water pond.

Special Regulation: Redear Sunfish (shellcracker) daily bag limit: 10.

Redear Sunfish less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately.


Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management, Northwest Regional Office: 850-265-3676.

Florida Caverns RV Resort at Merritt’s Mill Pond (full service campground with boat ramp, canoe rentals, and shoreline access located near dam); 4820 Hwy 90 East, Marianna, FL 32446; 850-482-5583; Florida Caverns RV Resort website.

Jackson Blue Springs Recreation Area operated by Jackson County Parks and Recreation (canoe rentals, swimming, open summer months only); 5461 Blue Springs Rd., Marianna, FL 32446; 850-482-2114.

Fishing around vegetation should produce bluegill, redear (shellcrackers), and spotted sunfish (stumpknockers) throughout the quarter. Use crickets or worms for the most success when targeting these fish. Remember that the minimum length limit is 10 inches with a bag limit of 10 per person for shellcracker on Merritt’s Mill Pond. Largemouth Bass are also present in this system and can be targeted near stumps, vegetation, and in deep pools. Early in the morning and at dawn provide anglers with the best opportunity to be successful. Best baits include spinner baits, crankbaits, dark plastic worms or live shiners.

Popular Species

Popular Sport Fish Species

Fish graphics by Duane Raver, Jr.

More species information is available for:

Largemouth bassBluegill, Redear sunfishBlack crappie

FWC Trophy Catch Logo

TrophyCatch Tracker

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): 7