Lake Tarpon is a 2,534-acre Fish Management Area near Tarpon Springs, in Pinellas County. Although the largemouth bass population and size structure is excellent, fishing pressure is relatively low. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) fisheries biologists regularly sample bass during electrofishing surveys on this lake. In fact, Lake Tarpon is rated one of the Top 10 bass lakes in the state of Florida by FWC fisheries biologists. Primary largemouth bass fishing areas are found among the weeds which rim the shoreline. Bulrush (buggy whips), cattail, and tape grass beds are good places to try. Offshore humps, particularly with submerged vegetation, are productive and bass will school and chase shad in open water during the summer months. Public boat ramps are located at the county parks off U.S. Route 19 and County Road 611 (also known as East Lake Road). These parks are open sunrise to sunset and also offer fishing piers.
Largemouth bass and panfish populations have been excellent in Lake Tarpon over the last few years. When targeting panfish, live bait like mealworms and red wigglers fished under a bobber will give you the best chance at success. Try fishing around visible structures like docks or near vegetation. For bass, topwater walking baits, jerkbaits, and swimbaits should be effective near vegetation and in the back of coves. Black crappie fishing should be picking up as the weather cools off. Live minnows, spider rigs, and small jigs are great choices. Try fishing in deeper water near structures.
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 Tarpon:
Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 13
Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 1