Lake Harris, located in Central Florida's Lake County is
approximately 8 miles long and 6 miles wide. Covering 15,322
acres of water, it stretches from Highway 27 in Leesburg on the west
to State Road 19 in Howey-in-the-Hills on the east. The lake
averages about 10-12 feet in depth with a deep 20-30 foot trench
running along it's southern shoreline. The lake is ringed with
Kissimmee grass, reeds and cattails. Numerous private
lakefront homes, boat docks and waterfront structures exist. A
full service Marina and public boat ramp are located in the City of
Leesburg at Venetian Gardens Park. The Mission Inn Resort
maintains a marina in Howey-in-the-Hills where boats can be rented
on a daily basis.
Where to Fish in Big
Big Lake Harris is
ringed with Kissimmee grass, pads, reeds and cattails. The depth in
the grass varies from a few inches to 5-6 feet. This shoreline
cover is prime flipping territory, especially in March and April.
Look for grass beds with at least 3 feet of water containing a
mixture of plants. The best beds are near points or small islands of
grass. If you find a bed containing a downed tree or the
remnants of an old dock, all the better. In the colder months,
the north shoreline from Johnson's Point west is a good place to
fish. The water is deeper along this shoreline and you will be
protected from hard north winds. If the wind is blowing hard
out of the north quadrant, be especially careful navigating near
Johnson's Point. Freak waves have a nasty habit of rearing up in
this area. It's sad to say, but we have lost more than one
angler on Big Lake Harris. Remember, your boat has more than
two speeds, slow down and live!
Many people are
surprised to learn that the lagoon and canals of Venetian Gardens
hold good fish. The lagoon bottom is covered in eel grass and the
entire basin is a major bass bedding area. Traveling south along the
west shoreline you soon reach the entrance to the famous 9th street
canals. This large lagoon is full of pads, downed trees and
water plants of all description. Many national and local bass
tournaments have been won out of 9th street. If you plan to
fish there in a tournament, plan on lots of company. On the
other hand, it's probably the most consistent fish holding area on
the entire lake.
Continuing west to the
southwest corner of the lake and you will find the entrance to
Helena Run. Helena run is a small creek that snakes back into
the wilderness and terminates at Lake Denham. Lake Denham and
Helena Run both contain good bass, but are extremely shallow and can
should be avoided in times of low water.
Just east of Helena Run
is the entrance to the Palatlaka River. The Palatlaka River connects
the Harris Chain with the Clermont Chain to the South. There is a
spillway on the River preventing navigation between the lakes.
The water in the creek is very clear and sight fishing can be
productive in the spring or if the current is running strong.
In Yalaha there is a
large spring at the back of a small canal between the lakefront
homes. The water in this spring is crystal clear which makes
sight bed fishing an option.
Yalaha also has some
nice offshore humps where numerous bass tournaments have been won in
the summer months. The humps are in 18 feet of water and rise to
about 6 feet. Carolina rigged worms work well along with deep
diving cranks baits. The long deep trench that runs along the Yalaha
shoreline is also prime deep crank bait territory. Locals
trolling the trench with deep diving crank baits often catch quality
The large bay in front
of the Hickory Point Park can be especially good in the spring.
Flipping the grass is productive as well as crank baiting the large
flats surrounding horseshoe island. Behind Long Island is a
another large bay that holds a lot of bass year round. Rattle
trapping and spinner baiting the eel grass catches a lot of bass as
well as working the canals leading into the Lake Harris Lodge and
the Banana Point Marinas.
Long Island itself is a
productive flipping area. The grass is deep and the bass tend
to hold there in times of high water. Running around the large
point covered with multi-million dollar homes, you will come to
Green Cove. Green Cove is very shallow, but can be especially
good in the spring. I like to spinner bait the pads in the cove and
have caught a number of big fish in this cove.
The Dead River entrance
is just beyond this cove. Many tournaments have been won at
the mouth of the Dead River. Numerous dredge holes and drop
offs dot this area and Carolina rigged worms work well. The
shoreline from the Dead River to the Leesburg Airport is a great
Rattle Trap area. Trap the open areas and flip the heavy
If you have any
questions or comments about the Big Lake Harris bass fishing, please
Where to fish in Little
Lake Harris is one the most productive big bass lakes in the Harris
Chain. The majority of my fish over 8 pounds have come from this
lake. The lake covers all the water east of the Howey Bridge
and is mostly undeveloped. The lake is ringed with Kissimmee
grass, reeds and cat tails and contains some of the largest pad
fields on the Chain. The grass beds are deeper and thicker in
this lake, making flipping an effective year round option. The water
quality in Little Lake Harris is better than most of the Chain
especially at the bottom in the Double Run area. The deepest
canals in the Chain are located in Astatula on the east side of the
lake. The Double Run area with it's huge pad fields and stickups is
a favorite of mine. Everything seems to work here, but you need to
experiment to find what the bass want on any given day. The
area can be tough to fish in the winter as the north wind blows
directly into the runs. Top water fishing can be great in the
warmer months with rattle traps and spinner baits working best in
the winter and spring.
If you have any
questions or comments about the Little Lake Harris bass fishing,
please contact me.