Lakes & Marion counties
There are approximately 600 natural lakes in the Ocala National Forest with lakes Bryant, Mill Dam, Kerr, Crooked, Wildcat, Lou Echo, Grasshopper, Eaton and Quarry Fish Pond being the most popular. A booklet titles "Fishing Opportunities in the Ocala National Forest" by the Ocala National Forest Interpretive Association is available at the Visitors Welcome Center at the intersection of S.R. 40 and C.R. 315. This booklet describes sport fishing locations, with recommendations for fishing methods and accessibility, as well as a topographic map.
Note: There is a slot and special bag limit on Lake Kerr. No person shall kill or possess any largemouth bass that is 15" or more in total length and less than 24 inches in total length. No person shall take in one day more than 3 largemouth bass of which only one may be 24" or longer in total length.
Note: Lake Wildcat has a special regulation requiring all largemouth bass to be released immediately.
As we move into the spring, largemouth bass fishing in the Ocala National Forest should improve. Live baits always work well. Shiners free-lined near weed lines can be effective, as can live worms. Soft jerk baits rigged weedless are also proven. Casting such lures into the weed line, then walking the lure on the surface to about 5 feet from the weed line, then letting it slowly sink to the bottom can be effective. As the water temperatures warm in late spring, fish will become more responsive to more aggressive lures and faster presentations. A fish kill was observed on Lake Bryant in December, and the effects on the local fish population are currently unknown. Biologists will be monitoring the lake throughout the spring to determine the extent of the fish kill.