(Indian River County):
The Lake Garcia Reservoir is a 3,149-acre section of the Blue Cypress Water Management Area (BCWMA) along the east coast of central Florida in north Indian River County. Water depths range from 1.5 to 6 feet on this impoundment, fluctuating seasonally. Boaters unfamiliar with the BCWMA are advised to operate their crafts cautiously, due to the number of navigational hazards found throughout the area. Facilities include a double lane concrete boat ramp, air boat launch site, paved parking lot, picnic pavilion and restroom. This impoundment is noted for good numbers of smaller largemouth bass, but does produce its share of trophy bass each year. Largemouth, bluegill and black crappie are the sportfish most often targeted by anglers.
For more information on daily fishing forecasts and lake conditions for Garcia Lake, call Stick Marsh Bait and Tackle Shop at 772-571-9855 and Palm Bay Fishing Outfitters at 321-952-4435.
Water levels will be back up to normal for the start of the quarter. Anglers should be aware that water hyacinth mats blocking navigation along the south and north access canals has been a problem during the last year, periodically preventing boats from getting to the deeper west side of the lake.
This water management area is still inundated by a diverse mix of submerged and emergent plant communities of which can be a challenge for anglers. The northwest section of the reservoir and the area around the submerged borrow pit are always a good starting point for anglers. More than likely anglers will be fishing around topped out or submerge hydrilla within the western third of the reservoir. Therefore, most anglers use weedless lures and focus on edges where the hydrilla ends next to deep water associated with old submerged drainage canals and ditches. Another option is to seek out open water amongst the patches of hydrilla and use floating plugs like diving-minnows, chuggers, or prop baits.
Black crappie anglers should focus their efforts on the deeper waters of the borrow pit, the canal at the northwest corner of the lake, and Canal-65 exiting the lake. Anglers should not overlook the edges of water hyacinth, as fish will school up under mats of floating vegetation. Traditional tackle and techniques like those mentioned previously for the Stick Marsh/Farm 13 will work here as well, but anglers may have to use lighter line if the water is especially clear. Panfishers should be able to find a few bluegill and redear sunfish (shellcracker) on sandy bottom around submerged levees, C-65 and along the edge of the borrow pit. As usual, crickets, grass shrimp and worms are the better baits for these two species.