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Collier County

Trafford

Size: 1,500 acres

Location: Near Immokalee, Florida in Collier County

Lake Trafford is the largest south Florida lake after Lake Okeechobee. Aquatic vegetation consists of cattail, American lotus, eelgrass, and planted bulrush. Fish species present in the lake include largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, and large brown bullheads. Access to Lake Trafford is mainly by boat. However, there is a small county park located on the lake that provides some bank access. A nice public fishing pier, damaged by Hurricane Irma, has now been renovated and restored. Lake Trafford Marina and the park both have public boat ramps. Services available from the marina include boat rentals, guide service, airboat tours, and bait and tackle. Anglers wanting the most current lake conditions can contact the Lake Trafford Marina at 239-657-2401.

Lake Trafford experienced several large fish kills in the 1990s and 2000s, resulting in a major cooperative lake restoration and enhancement program by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Collier County, and the South Florida Water Management District - Big Cypress Basin. Project activities included a major dredging and muck removal operation (see photo), bass stocking, and native vegetation plantings. Lake Trafford has responded very well to these restoration efforts. One of the most telling signs of recovery have been increasingly larger bass caught in the lake, and documented by FWC's TrophyCatch bass catch-and-release program. The first TrophyCatch-eligible fish (8 pounds or larger) weighed 8 lbs. 2 oz. and was submitted in 2015, and the largest is a 10 lbs. 7 oz. bass just recently submitted in June 2017. Although the lake did not make BassMaster's Top 100 list in 2016, a very nice cap to this success story was their follow-up story "Lake 101: The little lake that could". Lake Trafford has been an outstanding example of restoration and cooperation.

Lake Trafford Marina: 239-657-2401

The crappie bite has been pretty good early this year, though the warm weather has slowed the fishing down a bit. Crappie are best targeted in shallow vegetation right now and will move into deeper areas of the lake the closer it gets to summer. Lake Trafford is one of the few lakes in Florida that anglers still find some success targeting crappie during the warmer months. Anglers may still find success trolling jigs or drifting with live minnows over the deeper open-water areas right now too. Some anglers have also had success this winter with crappie at the spatterdock fish attractor on the eastern side of the lake, which is marked by a large orange and white buoy. Bass fishing is slowing down but look to target bass around shallow vegetation until the warmer summer months. Bass are best targeted with dark colored Texas rigged soft plastics or with large jigs. The Bluegill bite is starting to pick up near the shallow sandy areas and around some of the offshore bulrush and cattails with the warmer weather. The gravel bed fish attractor installed by the fishing pier is also a great spot to target Bluegill. Both crickets and red wigglers have been excellent baits for most anglers and some anglers are reporting good catch rates on jigs as well.

Anglers can contact the Lake Trafford Marina (239-657-2401) for additional information on current lake conditions.

Popular Species

Popular Sport Fish Species

Fish graphics by Duane Raver, Jr.

More species information is available for:

Largemouth bass, Bluegill, Redear sunfish, Black 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 Trafford:

Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 16

Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 2