Merritt's 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.
Fishing during the winter on Merritt’s can be challenging. Your best bet for largemouth bass is late evening when water temperatures are at their highest for the day. Try a variety of baits with light line, as the bass in the mill pond can be tough to catch. Fishing for Bluegill, Redear (shellcrackers) and Spotted Sunfish (stumpknockers) fishing should begin to pick up in March. Take a stealthy approach in the clear water. Fish crickets or worms around the eel grass beds for the best success. Remember that Redear Sunfish must be 10” to harvest.
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): 5