Edward Medard Reservoir
Formerly known as Pleasant Grove Reservoir, this 770-acre reclaimed phosphate mine within Edward Medard Park is located in Hillsborough County, approximately six miles east of Brandon, one mile south of State Route 60 on Turkey Creek Road. The park, maintained by the Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Department, has facilities for fishing, boating, canoe rental, picnicking, camping, hiking, and swimming. The reservoir was impounded in 1970 and is very popular, with approximately one-quarter million visitors annually. Medard Reservoir is a fertile and productive impoundment with extensive, irregular shoreline. Bottom contours of the lake are very irregular as well, with an average depth of nine feet and maximum depth of 33 feet. Kissimmee grass, bulrush (buggy whips), and cattail are the predominant vegetation. Sunshine bass (striper hybrids) are stocked on a regular basis and channel catfish are very abundant. The many ledges and bars (flats) within the main body of the reservoir are productive for all species, but key in on the shoreline grass for largemouth bass in winter and spring. Due to the convoluted nature of the reservoir there is a no wake restriction (idle speed only) on boats for safety purposes.
For more information contact the FWC Southwest Regional Office at 863-648-3200.
As temperatures begin to cool down here in Central Florida, the bite for warmwater-loving panfish like Bluegill (bream) and Redear Sunfish (shellcracker) will begin to cool down as well. As the panfish shut down for the winter, Black Crappie (specs) will begin to move shallow as they get ready for the spawn. Spec anglers can find success fishing live baits like Golden Shiners on a light jig head or suspended below a cork near shallow brush and rock piles. Anglers looking for an artificial bite can connect with fish using small jigs, bucktails, flies and small spinners in similar habitats or along the edge of vegetation lines. More information on the location of fish attractors can be found at the FWC Fish Attractor page, including an interactive fish attractor map. FWC annually stocks Sunshine Bass at Medard Reservoir, which should become increasingly active as the temperatures cool down. Sunshine bass often congregate near schools of baitfish like shad and will readily strike active lures like crankbaits, jerk baits, spoons and spinners. As an added opportunity, Sunshine Bass will often strike the same live baits used while crappie fishing. So if the spec you thought you hooked starts pulling drag, you might have hooked into a Sunshine! For anglers looking for a more relaxing day of fishing, Channel Catfish and Bullheads are plentiful in Medard Reservoir and are often caught year-round by soaking a variety of baits like chicken liver, shrimp, night crawlers or commercial stink baits on the bottom. When in doubt, the stinker the better for Catfish! Like Black Crappie, Largemouth Bass will also begin to move shallow during the colder months as they begin to get ready for the spring spawning season. Drop-offs and rocks piles can be productive habitats to target during this time of year as bass patrol the shallows looking for potential spawning sites and fattening up on forage to prepare for the stresses of spawning. Moving lures like crankbaits, chatter baits and spinnerbaits can be an angler’s best friend when searching for a pattern. These baits can cover a lot of water in no time and the flashy action can trigger a hungry largemouth into biting. Schooling bass can be caught using shad-profile jerk baits and flukes near offshore structures on colder days. During this transitional period fishing patterns may change on a day-to-day basis. Fish holding in shallow water on a warm day can easily slip back into deeper habitats during a cold snap. During the winter months adaptable anglers are often successful anglers. Good luck fishing!
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 Edward Medard Reservoir:
Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 7