Lake Trafford is a 10-Tag Water!
To celebrate Season 10 of the TrophyCatch program, biologists with FWC have tagged and released 10 largemouth bass with bright pink tags in 10 different locations across the state. If caught, one tag could be worth thousands of dollars in prizes. One of these bass is swimming in Lake Trafford! For details and rules see the 10-Tag Celebration web page.
Lake Trafford, located in Collier County, encompasses approximately 1,500 acres. Aquatic vegetation consists of cattail, American lotus, and eelgrass. 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 along with a nice public fishing pier. 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.
This is a great time to get out there and fish for bass since there’s also the chance to catch one of the 10-Tag Ba$$, a pink tagged trophy bass swimming in Lake Trafford that has a prize starting at $6,000! See the TrophyCatch website for more information about the 10-tag promotion.
The crappie bite has been pretty good this year and should continue producing until the weather gets hot. Anglers are currently experiencing good catch rates with excellent days mixed in. However, expect the bite to slow as the weather gets warmer. Crappie are best targeted in shallow vegetation right now and will move into deeper areas of the lake the closer it gets to summer. Anglers may still find success trolling jigs or drifting with live minnows over the deeper open-water areas right now too. Look to start targeting bass around shallow vegetation starting now and until the warmer summer months. Bass are best targeted with dark colored Texas rigged soft plastics or with large jigs. Currently there are a lot of large bass in the lake, and it should be a good year to target TrophyCatch sized fish.
The Bluegill bite should really start picking up near the shallow sandy areas and around some of the offshore bulrush and cattails with the warmer weather. The gravel bed 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.
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