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.
Bluegill (bream) fishing has slowed during the winter months. Black crappie (specks) fishing should start picking up with the cooler water temperatures. Try drifting live Missouri minnows or trolling multiple depths with Hal flies and small spinners in open water areas over humps, drop-offs, and the rock piles that were created during renovations in the main reservoir. For more information on the location of fish attractors, visit the Interactive Fish Attractor Map found on our Fish Attractor website. Sunshine bass are stocked annually in Medard Reservoir and offer anglers with a unique fishing experience. These feisty fish will become more active as the water temperatures drop, so if you’re having a slow day fishing for your targeted species, give them a try. They may shed some sunshine on an otherwise chilly day of fishing! They can be caught when drifting live Missouri minnows in open water over the humps and rock piles. Try throwing a rattle-trap or jerkbait around the dam and hang on, these fish can put up a good fight! Catfish are plentiful and can be caught using chicken livers, frozen shrimp, night crawlers, or any commercial stinkbaits fished on the bottom. As part of our TrophyCatch program evaluation, Biologists annually tag Largemouth Bass larger than 8 pounds. Be on the lookout for tagged bass. Tags are yellow and located on the back (dorsal) of the fish. If you catch a tagged fish, remember to remove the tag. You will need it to collect your $100 reward! Fish drop offs and rock piles with worms and “creature” bait style soft plastics in bright red, Junebug, or black and blue colors to find some of these big Bass. Don’t be afraid to pick up your cranking stick and fire a shad colored crankbait along these same areas to activate the schools relating to the underwater structure. Suspending shad colored jerkbaits can produce when worked slowly this time of year as well. Winter time fishing for Largemouth Bass can be slow but rewarding if you’re willing to adapt to the day on the water. Trying multiple techniques to get a bite can be your best friend during this “transition” time of year as Bass are feeding heavily to prepare themselves for the stressful spawning season of early spring. As the water temperatures begin to warm, move up to the shallow water vegetated areas with deeper water nearby. Bass will begin to move in shallow from the deeper water as they hunt for the ideal area to spawn and an easy meal. If a cold front moves through the area, these fish can easily slip back into deeper water to wait out the cold. As always, let the bass tell you what they want, and you can have a memorable day on the water! Tight lines!
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): 6