Citrus, Marion, Sumter, Levy, Hernando counties

This 157-mile stream originates in Green Swamp in Hernando County and flows north to the Gulf at Yankeetown. The stream has many limerock areas and associated swamps. Water levels fluctuate except in Lake Rousseau and the area just above the influence of Rainbow River. Water color is dark during the rainy season and clear during low water. Public ramps are located at S.R. 44 in Rutland, C.R. 470 north of Lake Panasofkee, the Outlet River west of Lake Panasofkee on C.R. 470 in Sumter County, C.R. 39 north of SR 200 in Citrus County, U.S. Highway 41 at Dunnellon and SR 40 at Yankeetown. Water levels in the river can fluctuate with seasonal conditions. Anglers can stay up to date on river levels by visiting Southwest Florida Water Management District’s web page External link.

Local contacts: Anglers Resort Dunnellon 352-489-2397.


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 the Withlacoochee River:

Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 38

Trophy Club (10 – 12.9 pounds): 5


Current Forecast:

As the days cool, look for fish to become more active in the river. Current reports (late-September) indicate a split in fishing success- the upper river (from SR44 and south) has been hot with panfish, while the lower river (Dunnellon to SR200) has been very productive for Largemouth Bass. Crickets and nightcrawlers are popular panfish baits. Fish these around edges of vegetation and over woody structures. For bass, live baits and soft plastics are working best. Fishing plastic worms through emergent vegetation has been successful for many anglers. Catfish are biting throughout the river and reported at very good sizes. Stinky baits fished on the bottom around submerged structures should lure these fish from their hiding spots.

FWC Facts:
Freshwater catfish have many external taste buds on their barbels, so they use their sense of taste more than their sight to find prey.

Learn More at AskFWC