Lake Trafford, located in Collier County, encompasses approximately 1,500 acres. Aquatic vegetation consists of cattail, American lotus, and eelgrass. Fish species present in the lake include largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, and large brown bullheads. Access to Lake Trafford is mainly by boat. However, there is a small county park located on the lake that provides some bank access along with a nice public fishing pier. Lake Trafford Marina and the park both have public boat ramps. Services available from the marina include boat rentals, guide service, airboat tours, and bait and tackle.
Anglers wanting the most current lake conditions can contact the Lake Trafford Marina at 239-657-2401.
Water levels are near normal for this time of year and should present no problems for anglers during the peak of crappie fishing. Water temperature has been struggling to get down to 68F with the limited cold front action so far this year, but it should start to trigger spawning activity in crappie by the third week of December. The bait of choice for most anglers is live minnow, but small artificial jigs should work just as well for those who know how to use them when fish can be located. As in recent years, anglers will have to cull a number of fish to get to the “keepers”, but patient anglers can take some nice crappie home. Additionally, small largemouth bass can be caught by anglers fishing for crappie so anglers should remember that there is an 18-inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass that is designed to allow young bass the opportunity to make it to spawning size. Many of the bass stocked in 2009 and 2010 are now 16-18 inches and can provide some “catch and release” activity for anglers wanting to hone their bass fishing skills. Bass seem to be holding tight to vegetation cover and anglers find the most success flipping in the openings of vegetated areas. On warmer days anglers should be able to catch good numbers of bluegill using crickets and worms by targeting the edge of vegetation such as cattail and spikerush. Catfish can be caught by fishing worms or chicken livers near the bottom. A new addition to Lake Trafford has been the recent stocking of 300 grass carp to provide additional control for hydrilla. Anglers are reminded to release any grass carp caught incidentally by hook and line or cast net.