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Orange Lake

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Description: 

Orange Lake is a Lake in Alachua, Florida.

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Orange Lake is the largest lake in the North Central Region at 12,550 acres. It is designated as a Fish Management Area and is located about 20 miles southeast of Gainesville. Orange Lake averages 5.5 feet deep with a maximum depth of 12 feet. Water levels fluctuate an average of 2 feet, annually. Outflow is controlled by a fixed-crest weir located at Highway 301 (southeast portion of lake). Orange Lake receives inflow from Newnans Lake through River Styx and from Lochloosa Lake through Cross Creek. Cross Creek (1.8 miles) is navigable to most boats during normal water levels.

Fishing Description: 

Bluegills: March-September, with the bedding periods of April-June as the peak months.
Shellcrackers: April is the best month, closely followed by September.

Speckled perch (Crappie): Year-round. Peaks with spawning in December-March.

Bass: Good year-round, if the angler understand how to fish the cover. Spawning occurs December-March. Wild shiners excellent January-April.

Fishing Cover / Structure: 

Orange lake has an extensive aquatic vegetation community, dominated by spatterdock (lily pads) and periodically hydrilla. Shallow marsh areas are inaccessible to anglers due to the dense growth of vegetation. Bluegill, redear sunfish, black crappie and largemouth bass are generally caught in the deeper spatterdock, emergent grasses and hydrilla.

Fishing Tips, Tactics, How-To info: 

The largemouth bass fishery has been steady over the last year, and bass anglers currently enjoy catches of 1 to 2 pound bass around the majority of the lake shoreline. Reports of trophy-sized fish in the 8 to 10 pound range have also become quite common on Orange Lake. As the cooler months pass, largemouth bass anglers should target the perimeter of the spoil islands south of the Marjorie Rawlings boat ramp and the islands east of Sportsman’s Cove during the spawn. Spinnerbaits work well where the vegetation permits, while jerkbaits and plastic worms will be the top baits in heavily vegetated areas.

Catches of bream have also been outstanding over the last several months amongst the emergent vegetation, and more notable has been the black crappie fishery, which has shared its success with nearby Lochloosa Lake.

As the water temperature begins to drop in the months of January and February, black crappie will move to the shoreline edges. Crappie anglers should drift or troll minnows and/or jigs along vegetation edges near Red Bird Island and along Sampson’s Point. Liver and worms are your best baits for catfish, while grass shrimp, crickets and minnows are your best baits for warmouth, shellcrackers and bluegill sunfish.

Facilities and Parks: 

Marion County and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission allocated funds to establish a fishing pier at Heagy-Burry Park (southwestern part of the lake). The pier is handicap-accessible. A fish attractor is located near the pier, which provides for good fishing.

Camping: 

South Shore Fish Camp (352) 595-4241
Sportsman Cove Fish Camp (352) 591-1435
McIntosh Fish Camp (352) 591-1302

Boat Ramp: 

Numerous launch areas are present on Orange Lake and the Cross Creek connection.

Heagy-Burry Park
Single-lane ramp with unimproved parking lot capable of accommodating 28 vehicles. Bank fishing is allowed and fuel is available at nearby fish camp. Ramp Open 24 hours

Phone Number: (352) 671-8560

NW 191 Street Place
Orange Lake, FL

Directions:
Head north on U.S. Hwy 441/301 from Ocala. Bear left onto 441 when 301 forks to the right. Go 7.6 miles from the fork to NW 191st Place. Turn right and follow 0.7 mile to ramp at end of road.

Name: 
Orange Lake
Waterbody type: 
Lake
County: 
Alachua
State: 
Florida
Country: 
United States
Surface area: 
12550.00
Maximum depth: 
12ft
Average depth: 
5ft
Standard elevation: 
17
Latitude: 
29.4616
Longitude: 
-82.1737