Levy and Citrus Counties
An impoundment of the Withlacoochee River, as part of the original Cross Florida Barge Canal project, this large lake is full of cypress trees, pennywort islands and sometimes hydrilla. Abundant cover and structure grow plenty of bluegill, redear sunfish, catfish, black crappie and largemouth bass. The deeper river channel is always good to locate and fish underwater bends. The rest of the lake is referred to as the "flats" or the backwaters.
Big Bass Village 352-447-3474, toll free 1-877-463-4742
Lake Rousseau RV Park/Fishing Resort 352-795-6336, lakerousseaurvpark.com
Dunnellon Bait and Tackle 352-465-2755
Cooling temperatures should lengthen the window of daily bass activity. For the best odds of connecting with a trophy bass, try trolling live golden shiners along the channel drop-offs. Shiners can also be free-lined or fished under a float to entice bass. With bass gearing up for the spawn as winter approaches, try fishing in closer to the shore and around aquatic vegetation with soft plastic baits. Panfish can be taken near aquatic vegetation as well, especially under mats of floating plants. Try using grass shrimp, crickets, or earthworms. Redear Sunfish can be more effectively targeted while fishing earthworms close to or on the bottom. Good numbers of catfish can still be caught by using baits fished on the bottom. Try using cut shad, shrimp, or a live bluegill (caught by legal methods). Black Crappie (speckled perch) can be caught using live minnows.
Now is a great time for largemouth bass fishing as fish become more active during the cooler weather and move into the shallows in late winter and early spring to spawn. Larger spawning fish should become more vulnerable to anglers, resulting in the possibility of some truly impressive catches. Register online with FWC’s TrophyCatch program and enter your trophy bass for a chance to win prizes. Entering fish is as simple as submitting a photo of the fish on a scale to the website above. The photo must show the entire fish and clearly show the weight on the scale.