Size: 225 acres
Species focus: Largemouth bass
Partner: City of Ocoee
Target constituency: Ocoee residents
Amenities: The FWC and the City of Ocoee have partnered together to make this one of the most "angler friendly" lakes in the area. Facilities include: a two-lane boat ramp with adjacent outdoor bathrooms; an ADA accessible fishing pier (equipped with fish feeders that activate in the morning and evening); an enhanced shoreline aquascaped for bank fishing; three fish attractors marked with yellow FWC buoys; picnic tables and a fountain. For information on the Lakeshore Park call City of Ocoee Parks and Recreation at 407-905-3180.
Fishery: This Lake is known among FWC biologists as a "bass factory". However, similar to other Orlando waters (with the exception of Johns Lake) the number of trophies (greater than or equal to 24 inches) caught is relatively few. FWC biologists have tried to improve trophy numbers by protecting golden shiners (banning cast netting) and introducing lake chubsuckers in an attempt to provide larger baitfish (forage) associated with trophy bass fisheries.
Because of its amenities and potential for good bass fishing, Starke receives the highest fishing pressure of any of the Fish Orlando waters. Consequently, some fishermen have reported difficult in catching bass in this lake and catch rates in our creels hover around the state average (0.3 bass/man-hr). However, when patterned correctly this bass population can provide outstanding results with 20 - 30 bass in a half day of fishing not uncommon.
Although the management focus on Starke Lake is largemouth bass, Starke also has black crappie (speck), bluegill, redear sunfish (shellcracker), redbreast sunfish, warmouth and brown bullhead catfish. The speck population is characterized by relatively low numbers while the other panfish are abundant but generally less than 6 inches in length.
General Fishing Tips:
In winter/spring try flipping or pitching Texas-rigged craws in the Kissimmee grass and cattails. Also try running lipless crank baits or spinnerbaits along the outside edges of the submerged vegetation. In the warmer months those that keep an eye on their depth finder are the most successful.
Carolina rigged plastics, deep diving crankbaits and flukes fished over drop-offs associated with submerged vegetation will fool their fair share. FWC fish attractors are another good place to concentrate during the late spring, summer and early fall. A Texas-rigged worm is a good standby for fishing the attractors.
Regulations: There is a 14 inch minimum size on largemouth bass (5 fish bag, only 1 greater than or equal to 22 inches), 25 black crappie (no size limit), 20 panfish (no size limit); possession of cast nets is prohibited. For convenience, all the regulations have been posted in informational kiosks at the city of Ocoee boat ramp and at the fishing pier.