Photo of Lake Trafford and fishing pierCollier County

Lake Trafford, located in Collier County, encompasses approximately 1,500 acres. Aquatic vegetation consists of cattail, American lotus, and eelgrass. Fish species present in the lake include largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, and large brown bullheads. Access to Lake Trafford is mainly by boat. However, there is a small county park located on the lake that provides some bank access along with a nice public fishing pier. Lake Trafford Marina and the park both have public boat ramps. Services available from the marina include boat rentals, guide service, airboat tours, and bait and tackle.

Anglers wanting the most current lake conditions can contact the Lake Trafford Marina at 239-657-2401.

 Current Forecast:

Water level on Lake Trafford is currently about 20.5ft.  This is about where it was last year at this time and should provide plenty of water to get close to the vegetated areas near shore.  Reports from the marina indicate that anglers have been catching both crappie and bluegill during the summer and expect catches should continue to improve as we head into the fall.  Most anglers use minnows for crappie and crickets for bluegill, but those experienced anglers that use artificial lures such as jigs and small beetle spins can expect to catch fish as well.  Crappie fishing should become more productive, with some increase in catches, as the first cool fronts drift south through mid October.  Recent sampling for largemouth bass by biologists, suggests that the higher water level has moved many of the bass deeper into the marsh areas of the lake. Bass anglers verify these findings as many are finding it a bit harder to catch largemouth bass recently.  There is also plenty of forage fish in the lake for bass that may make fishing for them even more challenging. Anglers need to be aware of the 18-inch minimum length limit established for largemouth bass. This regulation is designed to protect young bass that were stocked and allow for their recruitment into the spawning population.  Recent trawl samples produced an average number of crappie, with the majority of fish between 8 and 10 inches in length.  Additionally, a good number of brown bullhead catfish were collected during the sample runs. Brown bullhead can be caught using liver or red worms fished on the bottom.

FWC Facts:
American eels spend 10 to 20 years in fresh or brackish waters only to migrate hundreds of miles to spawn in saltwater in the Atlantic’s Sargasso Sea.

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