Lake Parker is a 2,272-acre Fish Management Area in North Lakeland. A canal on the northwest shore connects to Lake Crago. Both offer good largemouth bass fishing, particularly during the winter and spring. The canal can be a real hot spot for large bass. Bluegill and catfish fishing is popular all year and don't be surprised to find a black crappie at the end of your line. During low water the canal can be tough to navigate. Kissimmee grass, bulrush, and cattail are the predominant vegetation. Maximum depth is 10 feet. There are three boat ramps on Lake Parker. A city ramp and park is located off Lake Parker Avenue on the west shore, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission ramp off U.S. Route 92 on the south shore (Sertoma Park), and a county ramp on the east shore on Lake Parker Drive. Bank fishing areas can be found at both parks.
For more information call Phillips Bait and Tackle at 863-666-2248.
Bluegill (bream) are still biting on crickets and red wigglers but will slow as the water temperatures continue to fall. Many anglers have switched to black crappie (specks) for the cooler months. Specks can be caught by drifting live Missouri minnows, or trolling with Hal flies and small spinners over open water, with chartreuse, pink, and white the best colors to use. Specks can also be caught while fishing from the pier in the southeast corner of the lake by the power plant. Largemouth Bass can be taken during the cooler months on live, wild shiners. Fish for Largemouth Bass around submersed vegetation in open water when you see them feeding on shad and around any shoreline vegetation. Try flippin’ the vegetated areas with plastic worms and crawfish baits in Junebug, black and blue, and red shad colors. As water temperatures drop in the winter months use this technique in areas that the sun has been shinning on. The sun will heat up the vegetation which will then heat up the surrounding water. It may not seem like much to an angler, but to a Bass a one-degree change in temperature makes a world of difference when it comes to feeding time. Bass can usually be caught in the canals around the power plant due to warmer water temperatures than the rest of the lake. The “hourglass” on the northeast end of the lake offers deeper water with a ring of vegetation which holds fish year-round. Spawning starts as early as January, and continues through April, this will be your best chance to find lunker bass. Try flipping plastic worms in Junebug, black and blue, and red shad colors in and around cattails and bulrush (buggy whips). Be sure to make multiple casts in these areas during the spawn as the Bass may need a little extra convincing before they will eat your lure. Catfish can be caught on chicken livers and commercial stink baits. 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 Lake Parker:
Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 45
Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 4