Puzzle Lek is a 1,300-acre maze of the St. Johns River and side channels. Boat access is available at a GFC ramp at S.R. 46. Water low, but habitat looked fairly good. Access is going to be difficult due to low water.
Puzzle Lake Specializing in Largemouth Bass, Bluegill and Black Crappie. Connects to St. Johns River.
American shad are caught during their spawning run from January through April between Puzzle Lake and Lake Monroe. Best baits are shad darts, small spoons and fly fishing with shad flies. Since there’s more shad fishing upstream, but don’t go too far. When you see the banks disappear and it looks more like a marsh than a river channel, then you’ve finally reached Puzzle Lake. There’s not much shad fishing in the lake itself, but fish are caught occasionally. At this point, shad yield to the bass.
When they say “Puzzle,” most anglers refer to the water between the actual lake, if you can find it, and the big bridge back at 46. The weedy throat of the lake itself is a popular shad hotspot. The banks are lined with cattails, so fly fishers either cast from their boats or wade. There’s good bass fishing too, if anybody cares. Anglers look for splashes near shore that signify bass, or washes in the heavy current that identify shad.