Is It Florida Fishing Catfish

Daniel Brown
• Wednesday, 23 December, 2020
• 5 min read

The Choctawhatchee River boasts the Florida State record for Blue Catfish was caught in 2015, weighing in at 69.50 lbs. Ochlockonee River / Lake Alcuin (Leon, Gadsden and Liberty counties) A hot spot destination for Striped Bass, especially below the dam, as well as, a numbers' destination for Channel Catfish and Top Spot for Black Crappie fishing.

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(Source: coastalanglermag.com)


The Ochlockonee River is impounded to form Lake Alcuin reservoir located between Gadsden and Leon counties Florida approximately 10 miles west of Tallahassee. If you catch a Striped Bass, please call the telephone number on the tag to claim your prize.

Apalachicola River (Jackson, Gadsden, Calhoun, Gulf, Liberty, and Franklin counties) A Monster trophy catfish fishery for Flathead Catfish and high catch rates of pan fish, multiple species and a hot spot destination for Striped Bass. The numerous creeks and tributaries feeding into the Apalachicola offer scenic runs with deep, quiet pools.

The Apalachicola was at one time the reigning home to the Florida State record for Flathead Catfish until recently broken by a fish caught in the Yellow River. The Apalachicola is still a monster Flathead Catfish destination for anglers, as well as, an assortment of fresh and saltwater species.

The reservoir is located inside a Hillsborough County Park off Highway 60 between Plant City and Brandon, Florida along Turkey Creek Road. The reservoir has very irregular bottom contours with plenty of underwater humps and drop offs up to 30 feet deep.

Anglers fishing for large mouth bass should try two basic strategies depending on water temperatures and time of year. During late winter/early spring, bass will begin migrating towards warmer, shallow water in preparation for spawning.

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(Source: newwavetaxidermy.com)

While bass can still be caught in these areas early and late in the day during summer months, anglers should also try fishing drop offs and humps in deep water using crank baits, jigs and plastic worms. These same deep areas should also be productive for bass during winter months but anglers should definitely try fishing the rocks along the dam with crank baits and jigs.

Sunshine bass are regularly stocked and their growth rates are extremely fast in Menard due to the abundance of their preferred food supply, shad. Schooling sunshine bass are typically found in open water; however, anglers have had success catching them off the footbridge on the east side of the reservoir.

The most productive time to fish for sunshine is fall through early spring when water temperatures are cooler. Anglers should also fish the rip rap dam area in deeper waters for a good chance of encountering a large school of these scrappy predators.

Shoreline fishing can be productive for catfish anywhere anglers can find a spot to set up and cast their poles around the reservoir. Boat anglers can either anchor up over deep holes or channels or slow drift over flat areas such as shallow coves.

With thirty lakes to choose from on the property, these seven to 227-acre water bodies were created years ago by drag lines during phosphate surface mining operations. Numerous bank fishing opportunities are also present for anglers who don’t have a boat and a few lakes even have picnic pavilions and restrooms.

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(Source: blog.finandfield.com)

Anglers who fish submersed islands or sandbars off points will often find good concentrations of bass. When in operation, bass are often concentrated in areas of flowing water and can be caught using crank baits or plastic worms.

During the spring, flipping plastic worms or crawfish imitation baits in thick cover will often produce some bigger large mouth bass. Anglers should look for shorelines with an abundant supply of woody brush, tree-tops or vegetation that are perfect locations for pan fish to hide out.

Anglers should also look for signs and buoys pointing out underwater gravel beds or other fish at tractors on several Tenor lakes. Presenting natural baits (crickets, night crawlers, red wigglers, grass shrimp) under a cork and bomber or free lining them with a split shot weight on light tackle will entice a bite around structure, submerged timber, pockets in vegetation, underwater humps and deeper holes.

Fishing artificial lures (rooster tails, roadrunners, beetle spins) can also be productive in deeper areas or near any type of structure. Fishing with a piece of chicken liver, cut bait with high oil content like gizzard shad, commercial stink baits, cheese balls and night crawlers around the deeper holes and fish feeders, if available, will produce the best action at the height of the day.

Fishing with family or friends for catfish from one of the many lakes with open shorelines is a favorite pastime for many Tenor anglers. Although hurricanes removed all the drill from the water many years ago, the lake still has large areas of vegetation for anglers to target bunker size bass.

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(Source: coastalanglermag.com)

FCC biologists tag more large mouth bass over eight pounds in this lake every year than any other nearby water body. Pitching live wild shiners and flipping soft plastic baits in offshore stands of bulrush (“buggy whips”) in the northern, eastern and southern areas of the lake can be productive during the spring when bass are up shallow and spawning.

Although top water baits can catch fish throughout the year, summer months offer the best action when the bass are very aggressive. Summer is also the best time to target bass on the FCC fish at tractors using spinner baits and Carolina-rigged soft plastics.

Most anglers prefer to spend their time in open water trolling or drifting minnows, jigs and spinners for crappie. Good numbers and some quality fish are caught in deeper (10 ft) areas of the lake during the cooler months and in shoreline vegetation (bulrush, knot grass and maiden cane) during the spring spawning season.

Fish at tractors are scattered underwater over an area of about ¼ acre in size and marked with orange and white buoys. Lake Okeechobee (Palm Beach, Martin, Glades, Okeechobee, and Hendry counties) Long and frequently recognized nationally and globally as a top destination for large mouth bass fishing, even when the bass fishing isn’t at its best, it is still pretty good on “Lake O”.

The Apalachicola River offers excellent fishing for channel, Flathead, and blue catfish. Small catfish can be caught year-round, but the spring and summer months are best. For all species, anglers should try the area from the Jim Woodruff Dam south to Owl Creek.

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(Source: www.cltampa.com)

Channel catfishing is best from late May through early July and October into November, if the water remains warm. Concentrate on the Alabama line south to West Bay and around the mouth of Holmes Creek and other tributaries.

Most of the larger catfish are found in the northern portion of the river within deep bends and holes or where large woody debris is present. Savvy anglers will fish live bream on the bottom for big Flathead and stink baits or night crawlers for channel cats.

Try the hole on the north side of Buffalo Bluff Bridge, but bring plenty of hooks and weights because there are many snags. The Ochlocknee River offers excellent fishing for bullhead, channel, Flathead and white catfish.

Both channels and Flathead will continue to bite until the water turns cold in October or November. Small catfish can be readily caught throughout the year, but fishing slows down in colder months.

Catfishing is good throughout the entire river but especially in the Alcuin tail race area for whites and Flathead. The Clermont Chain of Lakes offers anglers superb opportunities for channel and white catfish. Anglers should concentrate on offshore open-water areas, particularly near drop-offs or around bottom structures.

map fishing lakeland fl sports
(Source: www.theledger.com)

Most of the larger channel catfish are landed from mid-April through June and October and November as water temperatures begin to drop. The creek between Eustis and Griffin lakes offers the best catfishing on the system, particularly below the lock and dam.

Big channel catfish experience peak spawning periods between April and June and are hungry right afterwards. Joe Bud Pond (Gadsden County), a 20-acre impoundment provides excellent channel catfishing.

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