Karick Lake is a 65-acre man-made impoundment constructed in 1965, opened to fishing in 1966, and is designated as a Fish Management Area. The lake has an average depth of 7 feet with a maximum depth of 18 feet, with the deepest areas located near the dam and along the old streambed. A considerable amount of flooded timber remains, providing fish habitat. The lake has been stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish (shellcracker), and channel catfish. Karick Lake is located in northwestern Okaloosa County off County Road 189 approximately 8 miles north of Baker, FL. Concrete boat ramps with courtesy docks are located in both the north and south campgrounds. A handicapped accessible fishing pier is located adjacent to the boat ramp in the north campground. Both campgrounds are accessible from CR 189. Informational kiosks are located adjacent to each boat ramp. The south campground contains primitive campsites (no electrical or water hookups) and picnic areas. The north campground has picnic grounds and campsites are available with both electric and water hookups. Both campgrounds have restroom/bath facilities and are maintained by the Florida Forest Service. Bait, supplies, and other conveniences are available in nearby Baker and Blackmon, FL. Karick Lake is subject to the rules and regulations currently in effect for Fish Management Areas. Please refer to a current copy of Florida Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations. Gasoline boat motors are prohibited from use on Karick Lake; however, use of electric trolling motors is allowed.
Special Regulation: Effective July 1, 2006 a 12-inch minimum size limit harvest regulation for largemouth bass will replace the current catch-and-release regulation. The daily bag limit under the 12-inch minimum size limit will be 5 bass per angler per day, only one of which may be 22-inches in total length or larger. All bass less than 12-inches in total length must be released immediately.
For additional information regarding fishing opportunities at Karick Lake contact Blackwater Fisheries Center in Holt, Fl. Phone 850-957-6175.
Largemouth bass anglers should continue to be successful throughout the quarter. Bass will move from shallower habitat used during the spawn into waters 6 ft. and deeper as temperatures rise later in the quarter. As water temperatures move into the upper 70’s and higher anglers fishing during dawn and dusk can often catch fish moving into shallow water to feed. Plastic worms and lizards rigged Carolina or Texas style, along with Rat-L-Traps and crank baits can all be effective. Top-water lures can be effective if anglers locate bass actively feeding along the surface.
Redear sunfish (shellcracker) spawning will be at its peak as water temperatures reach 68 to 72 degrees. During most years anglers can expect this to occur in late-March or April. Shellcracker tend to nest in “communities”, meaning there will often be numerous nests built in the same area. Peak bluegill spawning activity occurs when water temperatures reach 75 to 80 degrees, which is during May of most years. Spawning activity will continue to a lesser degree through September. Bluegill will often use the same nesting areas previously used by shellcracker and also tend to nest in “communities”. Light tackle with earthworms, wigglers, or crickets is usually the most productive. Oyster shell and gravel bed areas located in several areas around the lake are popular spawning sites for both bluegill and shellcracker.
Anglers who enjoy fishing for channel catfish usually find the fish are most active at dawn and in the evening, with chicken livers and earthworms both being effective baits. As water temperatures warm considerably during May and June catfish tend to feed more actively.