Ocala forest lakes bass fishing for most is not a big deal, but the Ocala National Forest with two of Florida’s top lakes for trophy bass. Lake George and Lake Kerr as well as dozens of smaller lakes to have fun in it become big to everyone who fishes in Ocala.
The Ocala National Forest in North Florida has some of Florida’s most pristine, secluded, and scenic trophy bass lakes. While most of the lakes are comparatively small in stature next to Rodman Reservoir and Orange Lake the fish caught in these famous lakes are nothing short of amazing.
Many of these lakes are secluded and see relatively little fishing pressure which can make for an old-Florida-style fishing trip. Most times not encounter another angler at these remote lakes. Some of the more notable lakes we fish are Lake Kerr, Lake Bryant, Wildcat Lake, Lake Delancey, and Lake Dorr to name a few. This small water fishing is some of my favorite fishing due to the beauty and seclusion of the setting coupled with the amount of trophy fish we land.
Ocala Lakes Wish List
Ocala, Florida is home to several lakes, some of which are popular destinations for outdoor recreation and water sports. Here are some of the notable lakes in Ocala:
- Lake Weir: Lake Weir is a large freshwater lake that spans over 5,700 acres. It is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and swimming. There are several public access points around the lake, including Carney Island Recreation and Conservation Area and Hampton Beach.
- Orange Lake: Orange Lake is another popular freshwater lake in Ocala, covering over 12,500 acres. It is home to several species of fish, including largemouth bass, bluegill, and black crappie. There are several boat ramps and fishing piers located around the lake.
- Lake Kerr: Lake Kerr is a smaller lake covering 2,830 acres. It is known for its crystal-clear waters and is a popular spot for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. The lake is surrounded by the Ocala National Forest, which offers hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities.
- Lake Bryant: Lake Bryant is a 1,200-acre lake located in the northeastern part of Ocala. It is known for its excellent bass fishing and has several boat ramps and fishing piers.
- Lake Tuscawilla: Lake Tuscawilla is a small lake covering just over 200 acres. It is a popular spot for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding, as well as fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, and catfish.
Overall, Ocala’s lakes offer a variety of recreational opportunities for visitors and locals alike, from fishing and boating to swimming and hiking.
Understanding Ocala Fl Lakes Options
Deep in the heart of central Florida, away from the bustle of Disney World and other attractions, nestled among the retirement region of Ocala National Forest. Sitting between two rivers, the mighty St. Johns River on the eastern coast and the Ocklawaha River on the west, the Ocala National Forest is the southernmost national forest in the continental Unites States east of the Mississippi River. It is also the last major Sand Pine community left in Florida.
There are three first-magnitude springs in the forest that are the sources for three crystal clear runs that provide excellent canoeing and boating in this part of the state. Major recreation facilities (camping, canoeing, hiking) are located at most of these springs, with Silver Glen being a day-use-only area.
About Ocala forest lakes
The hundreds of Ocala forest lakes and grassy ponds provide some of the state’s best opportunities, but world-renowned Rodman Reservoir is still the best bet for trophy bass fishing in the area. The Cross Florida Greenways system also runs through the area, as well as the Florida Trail.
It’s one of the area’s major tourist destinations, St. Augustine and Daytona Beach have made it a favorite vacation spot for tourists. Major commercial attractions like Silver Springs, Disney World/Orlando Attractions, Busch Gardens, Kennedy Space Center and are within a few hour’s drive from the Ocala National Forest, contributing to its popularity as a vacation spot.
Ocala forest lakes are roughly 60 minutes north of Orlando and 45 minutes west of Daytona Beach in what most call, “the heart of Florida’s horse country.” The area offers unique fishing opportunities all while offering the Old Florida charm and beauty. This region provides wonderful wildlife, including American Bald Eagles, Ospreys, and Alligators.
Almost too many aquatic plants and waterfowl to mention. The fish species list does not disappoint, from the highly hunted largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, gar, mudfish, grass carp and so much more are all far removed from the noise and traffic of a bustling city.
So whether in Orlando on business or planning a family vacation or just trying to decide on where to fish. Why not plan a trip for a truly memorable fishing experience on some of the state’s most pristine, spring-fed waters?