Florida Fishing Regions
(12,700 acres) The largest lake in the northeast region, is a fish management area and is located 10 miles southeast of Gainesville. The lake offers a wide variety of fishing for black crappie, bluegill, redear, warmouth and largemouth bass. Fishing for trophy bass (those over 10 pounds) is excellent during January, February and March. The most productive baits and lures include live wild shiners, purple and black artificial worms and top water float-diving type lures fished around the hydrilla beds.
The peak black crappie fishing months are February, March and April. Live minnows and small jigs are the top producers especially when the fish move into the shoreline areas to spawn. Bluegill and redear fishing is outstanding during early summer from April through June. Live grass shrimp are by far the top producers.
(8,000 acres) Lochloosa Lake is connected to Orange Lake (above) by Cross Creek and is also a fish management area. This lake is known for its crappie fishing and also provides excellent bluegill, redear, and bass fishing. Fishing for trophy bass (those over 10 pounds) is excellent during January, February and March. The most productive baits and lures include live wild shiners, purple and black artificial worms and top water float-diving-type lures fished around the hydrilla beds.
The peak black crappie fishing months are February, March and April. Live minnows and small jigs are the top producers especially when the fish move into the shoreline areas to spawn. Bluegill and redear fishing is outstanding from April through June. Live grass shrimp are by far the top producers. There are four brush-type fish attractors in Lochloosa Lake.
(5,800 acres) Located 1-1/2 miles east of Gainesville with access provided by State Roads 20, 26 and 234. Newnans Lake provides good largemouth bass fishing during February and March, however, action slows after these peak months. Popular lures include spinner baits with a pork frog, blue and purple artificial worms and crank baits (diving lures).
Black crappie fishing is excellent and Newnans is renown for this fishery. The best fishing is during January, February and March, but good fishing can be found throughout the year. Most fish are caught with live minnows or by trolling small jigs. Bluegill and redear fishing is good during April, May, June, July and especially in years when the water level is high. Fishing should be done around the cypress tree shoreline using live grass shrimp and live crickets. There are three brush-type fish attractors in Newnans Lake.
Sunshine bass fishing is good during the winter months (November-March) with many fish being taken by crappie fisherman. The best baits for those fishing exclusively for sunshines are dead shiners fished on the bottom and deep running minnow lures.
Santa Fe Lake
(5,800 acres) Located 1-1/2 miles south of Waldo on U.S. 301 (Earlton Beach) or out of Melrose on SR 26 or 21. Santa Fe is cypress lined with extensive grass areas. The lake offers good bass fishing during early spring, however, fishing tails off after this period. Small schooling fish can be taken throughout the year. The best baits include float-diving lures, purple or black artificial worms and crank diving lures.
Crappie fishing is good during February and March when excellent catches can be taken. The most productive method is to drift live minnows in open water at a depth of four to five feet. Bluegill-redear fishing can be productive but Santa Fe is not considered a top producer. Live worms and live crickets are usually the favored baits. Santa Fe has five brush-type fish attractors and good sunshine bass fishing.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication