Sampson Lake / Rowell Lake
This two-lake chain near Starke provides good habitat diversity. Rowell Lake (364 acres) is upstream, has a cypress border, is shallow with a mucky bottom and usually cycles from dense to moderate hydrilla growths. Largemouth bass grow large in this fertile lake. Sampson Lake (2042 acres) is connected to Rowell by a canal. This lake has a sand bottom, several 14-foot deep holes and FWC permanent plastic fish attractors. The hard sand bottom makes wade fishing enjoyable and is one of the best places in the northeast region to enjoy flyfishing and wading (also try Ocean Pond in the Osceola National Forest, Baker County if you enjoy this sport). The entire lake is ringed by a marsh of cattails, water lilies and a band of maidencane grass. The marsh is mucky and only the outer edge holds fish except during high water.
Dense to moderate hydrilla growths.
14-foot deep holes and FWC permanent plastic fish attractors.
The marsh is mucky and only the outer edge holds fish except during high water. Lake Sampson is still very productive. Bass and bream can be caught by fishing the vegetated areas around the edge of the lake. Anglers interested in catching speckled perch or sunshine bass will want to focus on the deeper, open-water areas. Anglers have recently reported catching their limits of sunshine bass in the two to three pound range. At the time of this writing, access under the railroad trestle was not a problem and small boats could easily pass through. Additionally, access to Lake Rowell was limited last summer by a tree that had fallen across the canal, creating an overhead obstruction. This obstacle has since been removed and the canal into Lake Rowell is now open.