Lake Rousseau Fishing Charters & Guides

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Charters Near Lake Rousseau
Apex Bowfishing
Crystal River, FL
(5.0, 1 Review)
Popular in Crystal River
Morris Aquatic Charters
Crystal River, FL
(5.0, 2 Reviews)
Mermaidtales Charter Fishing
Crystal River, FL
(5.0, 1 Review)
Popular in Crystal River
A-Lure Charters
Crystal River, FL
(5.0, 3 Reviews)
Rocky Bottom Charters
Yankeetown, FL
(5.0, 5 Reviews)
  • The average cost for a four hour trip in Lake Rousseau is $442, while the average cost for an 8 hour trip is $686. Prices can vary based on trip duration, boat size and amenities, and the type of fishing your group is looking to do. View all Lake Rousseau Charters here.

  • The following boats offer shared trips in Lake Rousseau:

    Reel Pressure
  • The most common charter boat types in Lake Rousseau are:

    Center Console

    Flats Boat Or Skiff

  • The average charter boat size in Lake Rousseau is 21 feet.

About Fishing in Lake Rousseau

Lake Rousseau, FL

It’s a lot easier to catch fish on Lake Rousseau than it is to pronounce it, or the two rivers that are part of the lake system, the Withlacoochee River and Lake Panasoffkee. See what we mean? Lake Rousseau (“Rooo-sew”) is a 3,657 acre lake that is located about 40 miles west of Ocala and 10 miles from the Florida Gulf Coast. It is fed by the Rainbow River and Lake Panasoffkee and also forms part of the Withlacoochee River. The big lake covers about 12 miles in length and is up to one mile wide. The lake is also attached to the uncompleted Cross Florida Barge Canal leading to the Gulf, a government project that never got completed and sits inactive today.

Fishing Lake Rousseau

But let’s talk fishing. Lake Rousseau is a great spot to fish for largemouth bass, crappie (also called speckled perch), bluegill, shellcrackers and other bream and catfish. If you fish on the other side of the Inglis Dam, you can even catch saltwater species. One thing you need to know about this fishing lake is to put safety first. The Withlacoochee River channel runs throughout the lake and is well marked. It is important to follow that channel and other marked boat lanes because this lake is full of stumps. In fact, it is one of only a few state lakes that is full of stumps. While they make great places for fish to hang out, they can knock the lower end off an outboard or a hole in the boat if anglers travel at fast speeds and hit one. Regulars to the lake generally refer to the lake in two sections. Here’s the best way to understand how they break the lake down. The broad portion beginning at the Inglis Dam and extending about five five miles to the east is an area called the Pig Pen area. It’s a broad area of the lake and is shown on most maps and is locally known as ‘Lake Rousseau’. The remaining section, which is totally different, is called the ’Backwaters’ and is located about seven miles away in an area called Dunnellon. The best physical dividing marker is County Road 495 or river marker AR 13, which is also shown on maps. The best bet is if you are new to this lake, ask locals for some help in navigating and fishing the two different parts. This lake produces lots of 2-4 pound bass, but more than 100 bass of 10 pounds or better have been reported. Most of those were caught and released back into the lake. The massive areas of vegetation and other natural cover make it a bass fisherman’s dream. Soft plastics, jigs, swimbaits and even topwaters around clearer areas all produce regular strikes. The ‘Backwater’ section is chocked full of aquatic vegetation and at times, open water is limited to the winding river channel. The channel is fairly deep — 14 to 17 feet — and there are some deep holes on the outside bends. Anglers like to fish the deeper holes, or the edges of the holes for largemouth bass. Some of the flat areas just off the channel are extremely shallow and while they do hold fish in the spring during the spawn, they are less productive the rest of the year. While bass get most of the attention, the fishing for shellcrackers and crappie is also good. It isn’t uncommon at all for anglers fishing for shellcrackers (redear bream) catch 20 fish that may weigh 30 pounds. There are some true monsters in this lake and they put up a great fight and make great table fare. Locals pick spring to early summer as the best time to fish for them in shallow water. Fishing with worms under a cork is the best way to catch them. The fish usually hang near the bottom in 2-4 feet of water. Because the are so popular, some of the best areas to fish for them are obvious. Just look for several boats all fishing the same spot. They are usually on a big bed or spawning area. Crappie, or speckled perch, fishing is also good here. Unlike some shallow water Florida lakes, crappie grow to be slab size here, ranging from 1/2 to 2 pounds. The crappie school in deeper water in the summer and winter, but can be found in shallow grass during the spawn in the spring. These fish also school and when you find one, fish the area well. There are probably more. Drifting with live minnows is the most productive technique.

Visiting Lake Rousseau

One bonus for fishermen here is that while many smaller Florida lakes don’t have a lot of improved facilities, the Lake Rousseau Fishing Resort offers a boat ramp, boat slips, fishing tackle and bait and more. There is also plenty to do in this area and lots of other outdoor activities. The Rainbow River in the town of Dunnellon is a favorite for kayaking and canoeing. The Crystal River has lots of options for restaurants, shopping and popular activities like Manatee tours, diving, snorkeling, boating and swimming.

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