Lake Istokpoga

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Lake Istokpoga ★★★☆☆ 3.1 6 reviews
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Lake Istokpoga FISHING

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About Lake Istokpoga Charters

The City of Lake Placid houses Lake Istokpoga, which is in Highlands County, Florida. Lake Istokpoga is one of the biggest trophy bass fishing lakes in Florida and throughout the United States. This lake is beautiful and designated as a Fish Management Area by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.

About Lake Istokpoga

What does Istokpoga mean? “People have died there,” the Seminole Indians so named it because in the early 1900s, before they became a tribe, their people tried to cross the waters of Lake Istokpoga and were swallowed up by whirlpools.

Nearly 28,000 acres, Lake Istokpoga, is one of the best fishing lakes in Central Florida. Our customers and Anglers have traveled from all over the state and nation love Istokpoga. The sunsets on Lake Istokpoga are unsurpassed.

Lake Istokpoga is 27,692 acres, the fifth largest lake in the state of Florida. The lake is generally shallow like most other Florida lakes, averaging 4 to 8 feet in depth. The significant tributaries creeks to Lake Istokpoga are Josephine Creek and Arbuckle Creek, located in the northwest and north areas of the lake.

It is discharging water from the lake through two major outlets, the Istokpoga canal that flows to the Kissimmee River and the S-68 Canal that flows through a series of channels to both Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River. A reduction of high lake levels has provided the catalyst for development around the lake’s shores, including agriculture, citrus and caladium farms, pastureland, residential and commercial establishments.

Many areas adjacent to the lake once flooded seasonally or infrequently drained. Residents treasure the lake for its recreational and scenic qualities. It is also a vital regional resource studied as part of the Kissimmee River Restoration Project.

What county is Lake Istokpoga in?

Lake Istokpoga is five miles northeast of Lake Placid, Highlands County; this lake has quality fishing and wildlife viewing. In the area, you can also enjoy Lake June, Lake Placid, and many others.

Sarasota Fishing Charters

Trip Core Details

  • Region: Florida, Sebring
  • Duration: 4, 6, 8, & 12 hrs
  • Cancellation: 12 hrs in advance
  • Weather-Related: Full refund
  • Instant Online Confirmation
  • Includes All State Taxes

What's Included:

  • All Fishing Equipment
  • Professional Captain
  • Boat & Fuel
  • Cooler & Ice
  • Bottled water
  • Photos

Targeted Species:

largemouth bassCrappieBluegill

What's NOT Included:

  • Florida Freshwater Fishing License for those ages 16+
  • Live bait if desired is also additional and is purchased the morning of the trip. (optional)
  • Food or Specialty beverages


  • Fishing Chairs
  • GPS & Fishfinder
  • Life Jackets
  • Catch and Release Allowed
  • Keep Fish Allowed within Laws

About this Tour:

  • Boat Specs: 20+ ft
  • Boat Capacity: 4 People
  • All Fishing Equipment
  • Boat & Fuel
  • Photos

Fishing Techniques:

  • Light Tackle
  • Heavy Tackle
  • Livebait
  • Fly Fishing
  • Artificial Lures

Fishing Equipment:

  • Spinning Rods
  • Baitcasting Rods
  • Left & Right Handed
  • Fly Rods (request only)
  • Braid & Mono Line

What kind of fish are in Lake Placid, Florida?

The quality fishing for black trophy bass is the choice here, although fishing for black crappie (specks), redear sunfish, bream, bluegill, shellcrackers are very productive. You will view lots of birds like the osprey, wild alligators, bald eagles, snowy egret, and others, which are on a day’s outing by most reviews. Wild insects, frogs, and ducks are also plentiful all over the area and typically seen.


Largemouth Bass Fishing

Trophycatch tracker shows bass fishing is excellent during the spring and continues through early summer. Some species information from anglers and customers catching weights for five-fish of over 30 pounds is a six-pound per fish average thanks to the trophycatch tracker. Live wild shiners work about as well as artificial lures on this lake, so if you like fishing artificial lures, this may be the lake for you. Bass generally finish spawning by the end of March to early April, then on to schooling fish. Largemouth Bass will begin schooling chasing threadfin and gizzard shad along pepper grass in the open water.

Black Crappie

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission reports, bluegill, bream, crappie, shellcracker, and redear sunfish fishing slows in the summer months, especially fishing for black crappie-specks.

The best speck fishing occurs during winter months drifting over open water, particularly in the northeast and southwest corners.

As the cooler months drop water temperatures, Black Crappie-Specks fishing will turn on. The best techniques are to drift live grass shrimp or Missouri minnows in open water. Also, try trolling using Hal Flies or Napier deer hair jigs when you find fish schooled up. Look for bulrush and cattails with sandy bottoms. These are spawning fish; use a cork with a grass shrimp for best results. Look for protective areas, like Henderson’s Cove and the north end of the lake; these areas usually produce adequate numbers of specks on the outside edge of the pads and grasses near deeper water.

Lake Istokpoga Fishing Guides

Meet the TEAM of local lake Placid fishing guides, we know the best spots, baits, and techniques to give you the greatest fishing guides.

Lake Istokpoga Reviews

What was is now gone

lake istokpoga
This lake WAS a great place to fish . Now they have sprayed it to death and all the beautiful water, submerged grass and arrowhead grass clumps are all gone. All that’s left is now dirty water, dirty bottom, fish with sores on them and tough fishing.
- Gary

Bucket mouth

lake istokpoga
Caught a few bucket mouths in this lake.
- Jake


lake istokpoga
This lake used to be a wonder for fish and waterfowl. A decade of hydrilla spraying has ended that. Long time local residents report catch rates now one fifth of what they were a decade ago. Many have complained but the spraying continues.
- Jack Jones
Review Title
Review Content

Wildlife and Habitats

Aquatic vegetation includes spatterdock (bonnets), bulrush (buggy whips), cattail, and pondweed (peppergrass). Kissimmee grass on the south end is incredibly productive when there is flow into the Istokpoga Canal. This canal, located off County Highway 621, provides excellent largemouth bass fishing from the bank when the gates are open. Arbuckle and Josephine Creek mouths are also significant areas when there is flow. The island areas and associated grass can hold bass any time of year, and the deepest portion of the lake (10 ft) is in the southwest corner.

Largemouth Bass Catch Rates

SPECIAL REGULATIONS FOR LARGEMOUTH BASS ON LAKE ISTOKPOGA. A slot limit protects quality largemouth bass by requiring that all bass between 15 and 24 inches in length be immediately released back into the lake. The daily bag limit is three fish per day. Only one of the three fish may be greater than 24 inches. This means you may keep three basses less than 15 inches, two bass less than 15 inches, and one bass greater than 24 inches. For more information on the particular regulations or tournament exemptions, contact

Current Lake Istokpoga Fishing ReportS

The Best Summer Fishing For Bass

The Best Summer Fishing For Bass

The Best Summer Fishing For BassSummertime fishing can vary greatly depending on where you are. Leaving you feeling hopeless as the fish move to deeper water and wait until the...

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Lake Istokpoga Boat Ramps & Map

Boat ramps are located on almost every corner, public boat ramps are around Lake Istokpoga. The north side, northeast, and southwest corner public boat ramp sit on shorelines off U.S. Route 98, Lake Boulevard off Cow House Road, and Highland Lake Drive off of County Route 621.

Lake Istokpoga Fish Camps

Istokpoga lake has also six fish camps-resorts on the lake with various accommodations. (See the map below) Lake Istokpoga has several marinas for your convenience, Lake Istokpoga Marina fishing camp and RV park, located on the South end of the lake. Henderson s Fish Camp is another great camp that has been around for what seems ever. Don’t forget about Cypress Isle RV Park & Marina, another location to get your fishing trip started located five miles northeast of Cow House road.

Lake Istokpoga Map

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