Little Manatee River


Wimauma, FL
United States United States
27.6622, -82.3862
40 Miles

The Little Manatee River begins in a swampy area near Fort Lonesome and flows almost 40 miles before emptying into Tampa Bay. The river has been designated an Outstanding Florida Water and is part of the Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve. Visitors can fish along the banks of the river or rent canoes at the ranger station. Wildlife enthusiasts can enjoy hiking a six-and-a-half mile trail through the park's northern wilderness area. For those who prefer their hikes on horseback, the park has 12 miles of equestrian trails and four equestrian campsites. Campers can spend the night in a full-facility campground or hike out to a primitive campsite along the trail. A youth/group campground accommodates up to 20 people. The scenic picnic area along the river has tables, grills, and pavilions. Pavilions can be reserved for a fee. Unreserved pavilions are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Located five miles south of Sun City, off U.S. 301 on Lightfoot Road.

The Little Manatee River is located in southeastern Hillsborough County and flows from swampy beginnings near the town of Fort Lonesome for nearly 40 miles to Tampa Bay south of Ruskin. The river is generally shallow with a white sandy bottom and numerous small beaches great for taking a quick break. The lower part of the river is influenced by the tide in Tampa Bay.


Pine scrub, oak and cypress woodlands.

Spot Access:
Boat Ramp, Parking (car/truck), Parking (boat/trailer), Picnic Area, Swimming Area, Shore fishing access, Camping, Restrooms, Wading
New Photo



Map for 27.6622, -82.3862
New Fishing Report

Fishing Reports

Little Manatee River Fishing Report 12.13.10

By FRED EVERSON       South Shore Tampa Bay fishing was particularly hot ahead of last week’s cold front. Captain Billy Jordan said he caught several limits of big grouper before the bad weather came through. He was trolling jigs on No. 2 planers between Bahia Beach and Port Manatee.     Redfish are stacked up on the flats south of Apollo Beach, but they are hard to get to with the tides so low this time of year. It’s not a problem for paddle fish...



Bass, Largemouth (Micropterus salmoides)


Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)


Catfish, Flathead (Pylodictis olivaris)


Crappie, Black (Pomoxis nigromaculatus)



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There are no lodges specified for this fishing spot.


There are no tournaments associated with this fishing spot.