Paddle Fishing Lake Park In Tampa

No motors allowed here

Great Freshwater Fishing at Lake Park

Time to Catch Some Bass?

Lake Park, a county park in North Tampa, near the corner of Vandyke Road and Dale Mabry, while not a “number one scenic paddle” destination, is a great place to get your line wet and probably catch a bass or 5 while exploring.  There are 2 lakes joined together by a hidden passageway through cat tails in the paddle access area.  There are no houses on these lakes and tons of lily pads and bass habitat.

Renting a canoe is only 20 bucks for 4 hours, or you can launch your own kayak or canoe just for the Park’s entry fee of 5.00.

On the day son Jake and I decided to try out the canoe launch, I almost didn’t even bring a rod and reel.  Came back for it at the last minute.  I would have been so mad at myself if I hadn’t gone back.

Both lakes are small, and for a paddle experience only, would have been disappointing.  You can paddle the perimeter of both in about an hour and a half.  It’s pretty, but much is covered with lily pads, and the noise of the traffic on VanDyke does not make it a get-away-from-it-all experience.  However, for those who hunt fish, it was a revelation!

We quickly found them on the edge of the lily pads and worked the perimeter of lake one with plastic soft baits.  We  caught a lot of fish!  Then we discovered the passageway to lake two. It seemed that’s where they were on this day.   There were rats and there were big-uns, all with that heart stopping splashy fight that makes bass fishing so much fun!  The biggest chose my lure to gulp and gave me a delightful classic bass fight I hadn’t enjoyed for a long time!  Looked to be about a 5 pounder.  We stayed out the entire 4 hours and never saw another canoe or kayak until we were coming in.

When we brought back our canoe keys and gear to the Ranger Station, he seemed surprised we’d stayed out the whole time.  Apparently, many people don’t enjoy slogging through lily pads on their paddle.   We told him we could hardly wait to come back with the kayaks and he said launching was free with kayaks and come on back.

So just a heads up paddlers… head on out to Lake Park and enjoy a little bass fishing action. Bring your own boat or rent theirs, just don’t forget your fishing tackle   You’ll enjoy a great combo experience.

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