Levy and Citrus Counties

Lake RousseauAn 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.

Local contacts:
Big Bass Village 352-447-3474, toll free 1-877-463-4742
Lake Rousseau RV Park/Fishing Resort 352-795-6336, lakerousseaurvpark.com External link
Dunnellon Bait and Tackle 352-465-2755


Popular species:

Popular fish species

Fish graphics by Duane Raver, Jr.


TrophyCatchTrophyCatch Tracker

TrophyCatch External link 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 Rousseau:

Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 89

Trophy Club (10 – 12.9 pounds): 16

Hall of Fame Club (13+ pounds): 1


Current Forecast:

Fishing has been a bit slow since Hurricane Irma, but not far below average and it is picking up. In the past, the lake has rebounded quickly after similar events. There are still plenty of fish to be had and as water temperature rises, all fish will become increasingly active. Focus your efforts in the channel and deeper areas with wild shiners that can free line under surface vegetation or dive deep. Areas around stumps are good places to flip and pitch soft plastics and jigs. Try something outside your comfort zone to target larger fish. One strategy for bigger bass might be to present larger lures. Most bass caught during this spring’s sampling were in the western half of the lake along the northern edge. Some areas in the northeast are getting thick with submersed vegetation making navigating and fishing difficult. On calm warmer days try opening up some holes in the floating vegetation with a garden tool. This will give you access to areas where panfish are holding close to cover. Shellcrackers can be more effectively targeted while fishing earthworms close to or on the bottom. Black crappie fishermen find success in the old lock area where intake vents provide vertical cover in deep water. Good numbers of catfish can still be caught by using baits fished on the bottom. Try using cut shad, shrimp, or chicken livers to entice both channel and white catfish.


FWC Facts:
The Derelict Trap and Trap Debris Removal Program enables volunteer groups to collect derelict traps and trap debris during open or closed seasons.

Learn More at AskFWC