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Lake Manatee

Manatee County, Florida.

Lake Manatee ends in Bradenton, Florida.

36 feet (11 meters)

2.97 miles (4.77 sq kilometers)

About The Lake Manatee

Lake Manatee is a Reservoir located in Manatee County, FL. Starting in the Lake Manatee has a total surface area of 1.8 miles. The Lake Manatee has an elevation of 36 feet. Find maps, fishing guides and recreation info at Guidesly.

About Lake Manatee, FL

Lake Manatee is a 2400-acre artificial lake located in Manatee County, in the state of Florida. It is featured along the Lake Manatee State Park, a 549-acre recreational area that extends for about 3 miles on the south shore of the lake. From the eastern end, the Manatee River connects into the lake and flows continuously to the west down to Tampa Bay. The lake was formed when a dam was built along the Manatee River in the 1960s, but the plans for building a reservoir here started way back in the 1950s. It was then completed on January 9, 1967, with dimensions of 50 feet high and 4,510 feet across.

The lake is also a major source of water for the Manatee and Sarasota counties, especially for Bradenton. It provides about 32 million US gallons of water per day. The state park named after the lake also features about 60 campsites along its south shore, each equipped with electricity and water. Recreational activities such as picnicking, boating, swimming, camping, and fishing are offered along the shores of the lake and the park also offers a variety of nature experiences and activities that is sure to give you a trip of a lifetime.  

Lake Manatee Fishing Description

All About Fishing in Lake Manatee, FL

Lake Manatee is one of the best fishing spots located in the region and is easily accessible for anglers in the Lakewood Ranch and east of Manatee County. The campsites near the lake also provide excellent opportunities for freshwater fishing. The most popular catches here are largemouth bass, catfish, and bluegill. You may also spot some populations of pleco, Mayan cichlid, black crappie, sunshine bass, and shell cracker in the lake. There have also been reports of anglers catching striped bass and bluefish in the area. 

Popular fishing techniques used here are spinning, fly fishing, baitcasting, and trolling. The lake can be best accessed through canoes and kayaks, and can be reached through two launching ramps: one in the Lake Manatee State Park’s fishing docks and the other one in a dirt road nearby Lake Manatee Fish Camp at 23745 State Road 64 East. Note that there is a limit on outboard engines which is only allowed at 20-horsepower, but you may also access the lake through trolling motors. The low docks along the sides of the ramps are excellent spots to have a sight of the egrets, alligators, and herons that reside on the marshes of the lake. 

Some of the best spots to target while fishing out here would be the bushes, logs, and trees around the lake. You may also try the old river channel, as some species like bluegill and speckled perch tend to hang out here. One of the best things about fishing here in Lake Manatee is that you rarely have competition, and for most days, it’s like having a private lake for you to fish in. 

Lake Manatee Seasonal & Other Description

Fishing Seasonality

The best times to fish in Lake Manatee would be in fall, winter, and spring, which means from mid-September to mid-June. The water levels during these months are not that high and fishing opportunities go from decent to excellent. Speckled perch species are great during mid-December to mid-March. The state park only opens around 8 AM, so if you want early access, you can opt to go to the Lake Manatee Fish Camp instead.

Temperature and Optimal Seasons

Fishing Seasonality

The best times to fish in Lake Manatee would be in fall, winter, and spring, which means from mid-September to mid-June. The water levels during these months are not that high and fishing opportunities go from decent to excellent. Speckled perch species are great during mid-December to mid-March. The state park only opens around 8 AM, so if you want early access, you can opt to go to the Lake Manatee Fish Camp instead.

Lake Manatee Fish Species

All About Fishing in Lake Manatee, FL

Lake Manatee is one of the best fishing spots located in the region and is easily accessible for anglers in the Lakewood Ranch and east of Manatee County. The campsites near the lake also provide excellent opportunities for freshwater fishing. The most popular catches here are largemouth bass, catfish, and bluegill. You may also spot some populations of pleco, Mayan cichlid, black crappie, sunshine bass, and shell cracker in the lake. There have also been reports of anglers catching striped bass and bluefish in the area. 

Popular fishing techniques used here are spinning, fly fishing, baitcasting, and trolling. The lake can be best accessed through canoes and kayaks, and can be reached through two launching ramps: one in the Lake Manatee State Park’s fishing docks and the other one in a dirt road nearby Lake Manatee Fish Camp at 23745 State Road 64 East. Note that there is a limit on outboard engines which is only allowed at 20-horsepower, but you may also access the lake through trolling motors. The low docks along the sides of the ramps are excellent spots to have a sight of the egrets, alligators, and herons that reside on the marshes of the lake. 

Some of the best spots to target while fishing out here would be the bushes, logs, and trees around the lake. You may also try the old river channel, as some species like bluegill and speckled perch tend to hang out here. One of the best things about fishing here in Lake Manatee is that you rarely have competition, and for most days, it’s like having a private lake for you to fish in. 

Redear Sunfish

Habitat: Lake, River, Pond, Streams

Weight: 0 - 5 Pounds

Length: 6" - 17"

Crappie

Habitat: River, Lake

Weight: 0 - 5 Pounds

Length: 4" - 19"

Largemouth Bass

Habitat: Lake, Pond, Rivers

Weight: 2 - 22 Pounds

Length: 15" - 32"

Mexican Mojarra

Habitat: Inshore, Coral Reefs, Ponds, Rivers, Lakes, Canals. Estuaries

Weight: 0 - 2 Pounds

Length: 3" - 15"