Hamilton County Phosphate Pits

Scenic photo of Eagle Lake.

Hamilton County

Both of these lakes are Fish Management Areas (license is required to fish). Both are green and fertile and deeper than average north Florida lakes, but typically grow more fish per acre due to abundant forage.

Eagle Lake

Eagle Lake (200 acres) is old and very fertile. Steep sides, a maze of narrow cuts with points and sand bars and cattails in the coves characterize the lake. No concrete boat ramps exist. Largemouth bass fishing is best in spring; bluegill, redear sunfish and brown bullhead catfish are best in the summer; black crappie and stocked sunshine bass are best in fall and winter. Eagle Lake produces the fastest sunshine bass growth in this region. Fish up to 8 pounds have been reported at only 23 months of age. Trolling motors only may be operated on Eagle Lake, although gasoline motors may be attached to the boat.

Current Forecast:

Dense aquatic plants are making fishing difficult here, but if you can get to pockets of open water, try throwing spinnerbaits, rattletraps, or swimbaits for bass.  When fishing over the top of dense submerged weeds, throw unweighted jerkbaits or frogs to avoid snagging on plants.  Road conditions may make accessing this lake tricky at times.  Heavy rains can make roads muddy or wash sections out completely.  Use caution after bad weather.  For anglers looking to put in a little bit of effort, this lake could reward them with good catches of fish.

 

Lang Lake

Lang Lake Fish Management Area (86 acres) is a reclaimed pit, meaning all the islands and shoreline have been graded to create gradual slopes with deep water only in the center of cuts. The vegetated shelf thus created is a fertile fish factory with cypress trees, cattails and hydrilla out to about eight feet, dropping like a wall to 20 feet. An 18 inch minimum size provides quality largemouth bass fishing. Large bluegill are caught mostly in late spring through fall. Trolling motors only are allowed although gasoline motors may still be attached to the boat. A minimum size of 10 inches has been established for black crappie.

ANGLERS NOTE: PCS has moved the entrance road to Lang Lake to Rt. 41 north of Genoa. New brochures are available from the Lake City office.

Please note special quality regulations are in effect on Lang Lake: largemouth bass - minimum size 18 inches; black crappie - minimum size 10 inches. Note: The daily bag limits for bass - only one over 22 inches; crappie - 25 fish per day and panfish - 20 fish per day remain unchanged.

Local contact:  Powell's Bait & Tackle, White Springs 386-397-2500

 Current Forecast:

Lang Lake has similar access issues as Eagle Lake.  Heavy rains can make roads difficult to traverse.  Decent bass can be caught on weedless-rigged soft plastics and especially live golden shiners.  Fish these baits close to emergent vegetation, especially near the small island.  Also look for bass moving up into shallower areas around emergent vegetation in anticipation of the spawn.  Panfish should be available around vegetation and grass bars.  Live crickets and grass shrimp fish below a float are good bets for live bait. Try fishing these baits without a float in openings within the grass.




FWC Facts:
Atlantic stingrays can be found more than 200 miles up the St. Johns River and have been known to pup as far upstream as Lake Harney.

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