Alachua County

FW-Orange.jpgOrange Lake is the largest lake in the North Central Region at 12,550 acres. It is designated as a Fish Management Area and is located about 20 miles southeast of Gainesville. Orange Lake averages 5.5 feet deep with a maximum depth of 12 feet. Water levels fluctuate an average of 2 feet, annually. Outflow is controlled by a fixed-crest weir located at Highway 301 (southeast portion of lake). Orange Lake receives inflow from Newnans Lake through River Styx and from Lochloosa Lake through Cross Creek. Cross Creek (1.8 miles) is navigable to most boats during normal water levels.

Orange lake has an extensive aquatic vegetation community, dominated by spatterdock (lily pads) and periodically hydrilla. Shallow marsh areas are inaccessible to anglers due to the dense growth of vegetation. Bluegill, redear sunfish, black crappie and largemouth bass are generally caught in the deeper spatterdock, emergent grasses and hydrilla.

Marion County and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission allocated funds to establish a fishing pier at Heagy-Burry Park (southwestern part of the lake). The pier is handicap-accessible. A fish attractor is located near the pier, which provides for good fishing.

For updated information please call:
South Shore Fish Camp 352-595-4241
Sportsman Cove Fish Camp 352-591-1435


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 Orange Lake:

Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 5


 Current Forecast: 

Orange Lake has produced some outstanding fishing for the past year. The water levels are up, the boat ramps are open, and your favorite fishing hole should be easily accessible. Largemouth Bass have provided some great fishing days, with numerous reports of catches of fish weighing over ten pounds and trips with anglers landing over twenty fish and most of them weighing three to five pounds. There have also been multiple tournaments with winning weights of about 30 pounds for only five fish. Also, everybody is talking about the amount of big Warmouth they are catching while fishing for bass, while these may not be the target species, they are still a lot of fun to catch. There is still some desire for increased pad coverage, but open water scattered with submersed vegetation will provide great habitat \when fishing for bass. While Black Crappie have mostly moved offshore during the warmer months, the are lots of big Bluegill and Shellcrackers that should be closer to shore and ready to bite a grass shrimp or cricket under a cork.

FWC Facts:
Sunshine bass are bred at FWC hatcheries by crossing white bass with striped bass. Approximately 1 million sunshine bass are stocked in Florida each year.

Learn More at AskFWC