(Indian River County):
The Lake Garcia Reservoir is a 3,149-acre section of the Blue Cypress Water Management Area (BCWMA) along the east coast of central Florida in north Indian River County. Water depths range from 1.5 to 6 feet on this impoundment, fluctuating seasonally. Boaters unfamiliar with the BCWMA are advised to operate their crafts cautiously, due to the number of navigational hazards found throughout the area. Facilities include a double lane concrete boat ramp, air boat launch site, paved parking lot, picnic pavilion and restroom. This impoundment is noted for good numbers of smaller largemouth bass, but does produce its share of trophy bass each year. Largemouth, bluegill and black crappie are the sportfish most often targeted by anglers.
For more information on daily fishing forecasts and lake conditions for Garcia Lake, call Stick Marsh Bait and Tackle Shop at 772-571-9855 and Palm Bay Fishing Outfitters at 321-952-4435.
Bass anglers should begin their fishing efforts on the flats of the northwestern section of the reservoir around hydrilla and the area around the submerged borrow pit. During the previous quarter much of the western half of the impoundment was turbid but water clarity should improve this quarter. Many of the locals who fish the lake this time of the year like using top-water baits like chuggers, propeller plugs, or sub-surface floating minnow baits. Keep switching plugs and/or retrieves until you find the combination that produces fish. Plastic worms, soft jerk baits, spinner baits, crank baits, and buzz baits are also effective when matched to the conditions. If water levels get really low due to lack of rainfall, fishing can get really hot as fish piled up in the deeper borrow pit and the C-65 canal that flows out the northwest corner of the reservoir. During these conditions navigation is generally limited to shallow draft boats using the east and north perimeter canals to reach the deeper water sites. Should the rainy season come early, look for bass to congregate where water is moving into the reservoir (southwest and northeast corners) and at the outflow (northwest corner).
Black crappie anglers may find fair numbers of fish concentrated in the submerged borrow pit on the west side of the impoundment. Anglers may also be able to locate these fish in the deeper water of the perimeter canals and the outlet canal (C-65) at the northwest corner. Drift live minnows or work small jigs using ultra-light rod/reel or jig pole. Bluegill and redear sunfish should be spawning along the edges of the pit, levees, C-65 and the shallows associated with submerged drainage ditches. Crickets, shrimp, and worms work best when targeting these two species, but don’t discount the effectiveness of an ultra-light outfitted with a small jig, ultra small spinner bait or a fly rod popping bug for targeting the bluegill.