THINGS TO DO: Top 10 Best Freshwater Fishing Spots Along Florida’s Space Coast
By Adam Young, PanfishNation.com // August 10, 2022
world-class bass, crappie and panfish opportunities at your doorstep
By Adam Young of PanfishNation.com
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Space Coast is known for its beautiful beaches and the world-famous Indian River Lagoon, but did you know it’s also home to some fantastic freshwater fishing lakes?
With world-class bass, crappie, and panfish opportunities at your doorstep it’s yet another reason why this area is so special.
Below are the top 10 freshwater fishing destinations along the Space Coast!
■ Headwaters Lake/Fellsmere Reservoir
Headwaters Lake (also known as the Fellsmere Reservoir) is at the top of my list for good reason.
This is the newest lake in the region, and its boasting incredible trophy bass fishing since its opening in 2019.
With nearly 10,000 acres of carefully cultivated and planned bass habitat, this lake has something for everyone. Deep pits, shallow flats, hydrilla, pads, and miles of cattails make it a bass haven.
If you only visit one lake in the area, make it this one. You won’t be disappointed!
■ Stick Marsh/Farm 13
The Stick Marsh/Farm 13 recreation area is right next door to the new Headwater Reservoir, and although it doesn’t pump out the quality bass it used to, it’s still one of the best lakes in the region for bass, crappie, and catfish.
Historically the south end of the lake has been the best area to focus on largemouth bass, but the many submerged canals hold fish all year long. Use caution when running on this lake, as many of the stumps and trees were left when the area was flooded in the mid-1990s.
■ Fox Lake
Fox Lake is a county park just outside of Titusville and has plenty of amenities for the whole family. The lake provides access for canoes or small motorized craft and offers some great bass fishing.
On-site restrooms, pavilions, and playgrounds make this a great spot to do some shore fishing or spend an afternoon.
■ Lake Poinsett
Lake Poinsett is one of the largest natural lakes in Brevard County, and it’s situated on the St. Johns River just west of the Rockledge/Cocoa area.
This lake is known for fantastic black crappie fishing, primarily in the winter and early spring months. However, there is excellent bass fishing along shallow grassy shorelines and in the scatterer urban canals on the eastern bank.
■ Lake Washington
Lake Washington is another large lake on the St. Johns river system, situated just west of the Melbourne/Eau Gallie area. This lake is popular with recreational boaters but has some great fishing in the fall and winter, especially when water levels are low.
Check out the north end of the lake which necks down to the main river channel, and try fishing Texas rig worms along the stump fields on the northeast shorelines.
■ Lake Lawton/Three Forks
Lake Lawton or “Three Forks” as it’s known by locals is all the way at the end of Malabar Road in SW Palm Bay. This large area has some phenomenal bass fishing, especially if you can find areas of deep flowing water among the thick vegetation.
A large modern boat ramp was put in a few years ago and is very popular with air boaters. If you like fishing Lilypad’s, this is the place to go…and the sunsets are incredible!
■ Upper St. Johns River
The upper St. Johns River refers to the stretch between Lake Hell-N-Blazes and Lake Washington. This stretch of river (with Camp Holly off highway 192 in the middle) is narrow and winds along the tall cattails and reeds for miles.
During periods of low water, fish will concentrate in this stretch, particularly at the lake mouths. I’ve had great success catching bluegill and channel catfish, as well as largemouth bass and black crappie on beetle spins, live minnows, and Senko worms.
Plenty of alligators and other wildlife frequent this area which makes it a popular spot near town for bird watchers and photographers, but you’ll need a boat or paddle craft as shore access is non-existent.
■ Kings Park
Kings park is a 240-acre recreation area run by Brevard County on Merritt Island. This rural park features boardwalks and walking trails along a freshwater impoundment and wetland area that offers some surprisingly good fishing.
No motorized access is allowed, so grab the canoe or kayak or fish from the bank. Largemouth bass, panfish, gar, and bowfin are plentiful.
■ C-54 Canal
The C-54 canal is a long and narrow canal that separates Brevard and Indian River counties. This stretch of waterway is connected to the Stick Marsh and miles of other canal networks in the area and offers some great fishing.
On windy days the C-54 canal offers a break from the wind since its dug low into the ground with high banks. Slow trolling jigs for bass and crappie is the preferred method, but don’t overlook the many catfish up to 8 pounds that call this canal home.
■ Lake Winder
Lake Winder is another large lake on the St. Johns River, just west of Viera Florida. Access to this lake is limited with only boat ramps on neighboring lakes, so be prepared for the long run. However, If you want peace and quiet, this is the lake to go to.
Fishing is good anywhere you can find a steady flow of water and deeper holes that hold fish. The southeast end of the lake has mixed vegetation and is the perfect place to throw a topwater frog on those overcast days.
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