Size: 30,800 acres.
Location: Orange and Lake Counties.
Description: Lake Apopka is the largest lake on the Harris Chain-of-Lakes, and one of the largest lakes in Central Florida. Throughout the 1940s, Lake Apopka was one of Florida's premier fishing attractions. With a reputation for being one of North America's most productive trophy bass lakes, anglers traveled across the country by train to stay at one of the many fish camps that dotted the shoreline.
Unfortunately the draining of wetlands to create muck during the turn of the century led to an influx of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, leaving Lake Apopka heavily degraded by the end of the century. But today the lake is making a comeback. Significant strides have been made to return the lake to a healthy water body through the cooperative efforts of numerous state agencies, universities, municipalities and local residents. Water quality is improving along with a resurgence in the sport fishery. In recent years habitat restoration efforts have included planting native aquatic vegetation, installing fish attractors, and stocking over a million sportfish including largemouth bass and hybrid striped bass (sunshine bass). Anglers can find good densities of quality bass, crappie, sunfish (bream) and hybrid stripers. Most of the good fishing occurs on the southern and western shorelines. Anglers should target the area around Gourdneck Springs, located in the southwest corner of the Lake. Fish along the grass lines and focus on areas where logs and tree limbs provide cover.
Although Lake Apopka is one of Florida's largest lakes, it receives relatively little fishing pressure due to a quieter reputation in recent years despite many fish to be caught. However, many savvy anglers fishing amateur and professional tournaments on the Harris Chain quietly make their way down the Apopka-Beauclair Canal to fish Lake Apopka, improving their odds of returning to the weigh-in with a trophy catch.
There are three public boat ramps located on Lake Apopka. For more information on how to access Lake Apopka and the rest of the Harris Chain of Lakes, please visit our Florida Boat Ramp Finder