Florida Fishing Regions

Hillsborough County

Edward Medard Reservoir

Formally known as Pleasant Grove Reservoir, fishing pressure is heavy on this 600-acre phosphate lake. A 14-18 inch slot length limit is in effect to improve largemouth bass fishing and boats must operate under idle speed. Bluegill and catfish are caught readily and crappie fishing peaks during the winter. Sunshine bass are stocked regularly and are caught throughout the year on live or dead bait. Bank fishing is abundant and a fishing dock and footbridge provide good access to deep water. Automatic fish feeders and fish attractors have been installed to enhance fishing success. This lake is located within a park off SR 60 near Turkey Creek.

Hillsborough River

Access to this river that begins in undeveloped swampland and runs through downtown Tampa is available at six locations (Lowry Park off Sligh Avenue, Harney Road, Fowler Avenue, Morris Bridge Road, Hillsborough River State Park off US Hwy. 301). Good fishing may be found at Lowry Park. Bank and boat anglers catch bass, bream, and catfish.

Tampa Bypass Canal

This 14-mile waterway provides good fishing for largemouth bass, sunshine bass, bream, and catfish. Bank access is offered by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (1-800-423-1476) at 12 locations, primarily off Harney Road and US Hwy. 301. Boat ramps are not available; however, boats may be hand-carried and motors up to 10 HP are allowed.

Lake Thonotosassa

This 819-acre lake located off Thonotosassa Road, west of MacIntosh, is accessible through a fish camp and a public boat ramp (due to shallow depths, launching boats during low water may be difficult). Lake Thonotosassa is extremely fertile with poor water quality and has only a fair sport fishery. Bass fishing is good in this Fish Management Area during the spring. Sunshine bass are stocked regularly and are caught during the winter and spring.

Little Manatee River

This scenic river provides excellent canoeing and fishing for bass and bream. Snook are caught near the lower end ofthe river. A public boat ramp is at the end of 24th Street SW, off CR 674, east of Ruskin.

Alafia River

Boats may be launched at the end of Center Street off Kings Avenue, northeast of Riverview. Good fishing for bass and bream. Canoeing is very popular.

Urban Fishing Sites

Small lakes within Dover Park (off CR 574 and Gallagher Road), Lopez Park (on Himes Avenue, south of US Hwy. 92) and Wortham Park (on Rhodine Rd., east of US Hwy. 301) are managed to provide excellent bream and catfish angling. Special management regulations apply and are posted at each site. Fishing derbies and clinics are held. Contact the Regional Office in Lakeland at (813) 648-3202 for additional information.

Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »