Farm 13

Indian River County

The St. Johns Water Management Area (SJWMA), known to most anglers as the Farm 13/Stick Marsh, is a 6,500-acre impoundment located along the east coast of central Florida in northwest Indian River County. Water depths range from 4 to 8 feet. Boaters unfamiliar with the SJWMA are advised to navigate to fishing locations with extreme caution due to the number of man-made and natural hazards present. Facilities include a double lane concrete boat ramp, air boat launch site, restroom and paved parking lot. Closest towns/cities are Melbourne, Palm Bay, Vero Beach, Sebastian and Fellsmere. No gas, food or bait available on site. Popular sportfish include largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, black crappie and several catfish species. This water body is noted for its excellent bass fishing due to the special no harvest regulation on largemouth bass. The SJWMA is one of the top 10 trophy bass spots in the state.

Anglers are reminded to exercise caution when boating due to submerged and floating timber in the Stick Marsh/Farm13 impoundment and that they are legally obligated to adhere to catch-and-release regulations for largemouth bass.

For more information on daily fishing forecasts and lake conditions for Stick Marsh/Farm 13, call Stick Marsh Bait & Tackle Shop at 772-571-9855 and Palm Bay Fishing Outfitters at 321-952-4435.

Fishhound External Website also offers a fishing forecast for Farm 13 / Stick Marsh External Website.

Current Forecast:

Except for some submerged vegetation (eelgrass, coontail and hydrilla) that has shown up in the far south end of Farm13, anglers are still going to have to use onboard electronics rather than topped-out hydrilla to orient themselves to the submerged levees and ditches that attract fish.  Without the buffering effect of submerged vegetation, wind-driven waves can still stir up sediments, causing dirty water conditions a day or two after.  Anglers should take this into consideration deciding when and where to fish on this impoundment.  Early on during the quarter there should still be concentrations of bass in the timber at the south end of Farm 13 and the western half of the Stick Marsh.  As spring becomes summer, look for bass to disperse throughout the reservoir closer to deeper water near Ditch 7, Ditch 13 and along the many secondary drainage ditches that crisscross the Farm13 pool.  Historically, bass will often school up on threadfin shad in the central region of both pools this time of the year, so keep an eye out for feeding activity on the surface. 

If the rainy season begins early, anglers can expect to find heavy feeding activity around the water control structure inflows (S-96D, S-259) and outflows (S-96B, S-258) and other areas generating current (southeast corner of the Farm 13 pool, east and west end of Ditch 7, and channelized areas at the northwest and northeast end of the Stick Marsh).  If normal dry-season conditions prevail, then flow through S-96D in the southeast corner of Farm 13 should be minimal.  Water conditions will dictate lure selection.  Golden shiners are the live bait of choice of many guides for trophy bass, followed by plastic worms (Texas or Carolina rigged) in June-bug, pumpkinseed, watermelon, tequila sunrise, and red shad), spinner baits (light colored), top water poppers and crank baits.  In recent years crank baits fished along the shallow edges of drainage ditches proved to be an effective technique especially as water temperatures get up in the 80’s.

Black crappie fishing can be good this time of year for those anglers willing to search for them.  Again, topped-out hydrilla is no longer available for finding the submerged canals and anglers should rely on modern technology.  Fish will be holding along the edge of these underwater features.  Most anglers fish with live minnows but small jigs (1/32 and 1/8 ounce) with twister-tail and tube style tails fished traditionally or vertically with jig poles will also catch fish.  Bluegill and redear sunfish activity really picks up this time of the year as these panfish move into the shallow drop offs along levees and on top of the many submerged canal berms to spawn.  Live crickets, cut shrimp, beetle spins, and small jigs are all effective baits for the various panfish species.

Anglers are reminded to exercise caution when boating due to submerged and floating timber in the Stick Marsh/Farm13 impoundment and that they are legally obligated to adhere to catch-and-release regulations for largemouth bass.

For more information on daily fishing forecasts and lake conditions for Stick Marsh/Farm 13, call Stick Marsh Bait & Tackle Shop at 772-571-9855.




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