Lake StoneEscambia County:

Lake Stone in a 130-acre man-made impoundment constructed in 1967, opened to fishing in 1969 and designated as a Fish Management Area. It has an average depth of 6 feet and a maximum depth of 22 feet. Deepest areas are located near the dam and along the old streambed. A considerable amount of flooded timber remains, providing fish habitat. This lake has been stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish (shellcracker), black crappie, and channel catfish. Lake Stone is located in northern Escambia County near Century, FL. Entrance to the lake is located on Lake Stone Rd off SR 4 approximately 1.5 miles west of US 29 in Century. There is one concrete boat ramp with ample parking available on the northwest end of the lake with an additional boat launching site constructed with crushed rock on the northeast side of the lake near the dam. Several earthen fishing fingers have been constructed on the lake to provide fishing opportunities for bank anglers. Bait and fishing supplies are available in nearby Century. Escambia County maintains the Lake Stone Recreation Area located on the northwest end of the lake. This area provides fee-type camping with or without electric/water hookups. Lake Stone is subject to the rules and regulations currently in effect for Fish Management Areas. Please refer to a current copy of Florida Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations. Gasoline boat motors are prohibited from use on Lake Stone; however, use of electric trolling motors is allowed.

For additional information regarding fishing opportunities at Lake Stone contact Blackwater Fisheries Center in Holt (850-957-6175).

 Current Forecast:

Black crappie begin moving into shallower waters to begin spawning activity as water temperatures climb into the high 50’s.  Spawning activity typically peaks when water temperatures range from 60 – 62 degrees.  Crappie can provide some early season action for anglers looking for opportunities before the bass bite picks up.  Crappie nesting activity is similar to that exhibited by largemouth bass; it just begins a little earlier.  Most years this occurs in mid to late-February, but the key is to be observant of weather patterns and water temperatures.  Drop-offs and brush piles are often prime locations to look for crappie.

In late February and early March largemouth bass will begin to move into shallow water in preparation for spawning activity.  Male bass move in first and begin to fan out nests, typically as water temperatures reach the lower 60’s.  Nests are most often constructed in water that is 2 – 6 feet in depth, but nests have been observed in water as deep as 10 feet.  As water temperatures reach the mid 60’s, peak spawning activity begins with the females moving in and pairing with the males.  While spawning can begin when water temperatures are in the lower 60’s and continue as temperatures rise into the upper 60’s, the peak of the bass spawning season normally occurs when water temperatures are in the 64 – 66 degree range.  Observing water temperatures and weather patterns during this time of year can play a big part in angler success.  Cool fronts that often move through this time of year can have a big impact on both spawning and feeding activity and can affect different areas of the lake in different ways.  It is not unusual for one area of a lake to warm-up a little earlier than another which can have a large impact on bass activity in those areas.  Water temperature, wind speed and direction, and the frequency of cool fronts moving through the area all play major roles in bass activity this time of year.  Dark colored plastic worms/lizards and floater-diver type lures are two of the more productive artificial baits used by anglers this time of year.  Rat-L-Traps are also effective according to numerous bass anglers.  Bass can often be found hanging out around clumps of maidencane grass or other types of structure found around the lake.  Redear sunfish (shellcracker) will be congregating on the oyster-shell spawning area and limerock piles located within the lake.  Readear spawning activity usually begins as water temperatures reach the upper 60’s and typically peaks when water temperatures are in the 68 – 72 deegree range.  As with largemouth bass, water temperatures and weather patterns play a large role in redear activity this time of year.  Overcast days also tend to be more productive than bright sunny days, especially when the water is very clear for both bass and bream.  Live baits such as red worms, wigglers, and crickets fished on light tackle are the best bet.  Another productive method for catching bream is to take a small Beetle Spin (1/16 or 1/32 oz.), detach the spinner and use only the little lead headed jig preferably with chartreuse colored grubs.  Bait with a cricket and fish 3 to 4 feet below a float.  For anglers without a boat, good catches of bluegill can be had by fishing off the fishing pier adjacent to the boat ramp in the north campgrounds or off the fishing fingers located in both the north and south campgrounds. Catfish activity is usually slow this time of year and picks up later in the year as water temperatures warm.  Chicken livers and earthworms are good baits to use when pursuing catfish.

 



FWC Facts:
Least killifish rarely exceed 1 inch in length and are the smallest of Florida’s freshwater fish.

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