Crescent Lake Fishing Report – Winter 2022
Crescent Lake is located Southwest of historic St. Augustine, Florida. Situated to the East of the St. John’s River, Crescent Lake is a hidden gem for Bass, and Crappie anglers alike. Crescent Lake is fed from the St John’s River through Dunn’s Creek at the north end of the lake and is subject to slight tidal changes every 6 hours, but never more than 2’. Wind direction from the Northeast will keep the tide from retreating at the mouth of the river in Jacksonville while a Southwest wind will push the tide out faster. While Crescent Lake no longer has any submergent vegetation due to high water caused from hurricanes, the lake does have an abundance of cover for anglers from shallow water pads, reeds, Kissimmee grass, cypress trees, lay-down logs, pilings, and docks to offshore structure such as brush piles, drop offs, points, and shell beds. Crescent Lake at its deepest areas reaches 25-30 feet deep but most of the lake is less than 10 feet deep.
Since the recent passing of Hurricane Ian, the water in Crescent Lake has been higher than normal but has been receding steadily as hurricane season ends. Bass fishing can be tough but rewarding as lots of the bass are grouped up feeding on shad and other baitfish. This time of year, the predominant wind comes from the Seabreeze from the Northeast. This pushes a lot of baitfish to the western shoreline. Bass feed on those shad around any points, or steeper contour near shell beds, which are typically within 300 yards of the shoreline. These shell beds can be located with your electronics or by feeling the bottom by utilizing a short Carolina rig. These schooling bass can be seen breaking the surface fast and furious right now on Crescent Lake. In the fall white birds can be an indicator of schooling fish in the area as the bass force the bait to the surface where the birds can see and follow them. Target these schooling fish with Lipless Crankbaits, Diving Crankbaits, Jerk-baits, 3.8” soft body swimbaits, and topwater lures. After these fish quit surfacing, they can still be caught in the area by fishing a Carolina rigged black and blue worm or drop shot worm on the bottom. For the shallow water minded, focus on boat docks and pilings in 2-5’ of water as the tide falls to its lowest point. Lures such as fire-tiger or citrus colored diving crankbaits, or a Texas rigged June bug or black and blue worm will work the best. For the pilings, anglers will want to deflect crankbaits off these pilings to trigger strikes. As the tide comes back in or as the water rises, the bass will push their way shallow around isolated cypress trees and laydowns. Presentations such as a 3/8 bladed Jig or topwater lures around these shallow targets will trigger bites. Texas rigged speed worm can also be a go to on those tougher days.
For Crappie anglers, the Crappie bite is picking up as the temperatures drop. Drifting or trolling windblown shorelines near points or breaks can be highly productive with live bait such as minnows. Trolling Small diving crankbaits can also catch these Crappie. November through early January is considered the best time of year for Crappie on this lake. Anglers can also have success fishing around the shade lines on deeper docks along the western shoreline with minnows and crappie jigs. Access to deep water is very important for the Crappie during this time of year.
All these lures and more can be purchased at the 333 Fish Camp Located at 100 Grove Avenue Crescent City Florida, right here on beautiful Crescent Lake. The 333 Fish Camp also has RV sites, Tiny Homes, Efficiency Cottages, Snacks, Ice, Beer, Live Bait, Rods & Reels, Pool, Boat Ramp and Boat Parking Available. Call today 386.698.2444 or go to 333FishCamp.com to book your stay or a guided fishing trip.