Rodman Reservoir is a flooded forest. Some of the forest was not leveled prior to flooding. As a result there is plenty of underwater structure - great environment for all types of fish. The percentage of open water to that containing aquatic vegetation varies from 70/30 percent to 40/60 percent. When the aquatic vegetation covers over 50%, the level of the reservoir is lowered from 18 feet above sea level to 11 feet. This exposes over 50% of the normally covered land and renews the fishery without the use of sprayed chemicals. Aquatic plant control and fisheries enhancement drawdowns occur during the winter months once every three or four years.

Fast or large boating on Rodman is hazardous because of the underwater structures. A fourteen to twenty foot, shallow draft boat equipped with a trolling motor is most useful. Large horsepower engines are unnecessary unless you wish to enter Rodman through Buckman Lock and must travel some distance on the St. Johns River.

Both artificial and live bait (shiners) are effective in Rodman, however most people who are after "wall hangers" will use shiners. Several 16 pound bass have been caught in Rodman on wild shiners. Ten pound bass are not uncommon from Rodman. The big bass weighed in at the January 1999, three day, Florida Bassmaster Eastern Invitational Tournament launched from Palatka was from Rodman. It was caught by Georgia's Robert (Duke) McCatle and weighed 10 pounds 13 ounces. There were 139 boats entered in this tournament. Of these 139 boats 86 of them locked into Rodman to fish the first day and 95 boats the second (one day was canceled due to heavy fog).

Our bait recommendations

Here's the baits that our Pros love for this lake.