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Lake Eustis covers 7,806 acres and is connected to Big Lake Harris through the mile long Dead River and Lake Griffin through Haines Creek. Both Haines Creek and the Dead River have excellent fishing in season. Surrounding Lake Eustis are numerous residential canals which at certain times of the year can be very productive. It is also the home of the famous “Gator Hole”, a deep sink hole at the end of a natural canal leading off the main lake. This hole produces scores of bass and can produce the fish of a lifetime if you are there at the right time. It is located off the northwest corner of the lake. For most of the year the canals will produce consistent action in Lake Eustis.
There are two public boat ramps on Lake Eustis. The popular Buzzard Beach ramp is located between Tavares and Leesburg on State Road 441. The Eustis city ramp is located on Lakeshore Drive just south of the City of Eustis.
The East Lakes Together, the East Harris Chain lakes; Dora, Beauclair and Lake Carlton cover 4,475 acres. They are connected to Lake Eustis on the north through the Dora Canal and to Lake Apopka to the South through the Apopka Beauclair Canal. During the recent drought, Game Officials and local anglers planted a considerable amount of new reeds in these lakes. These reeds are now flooded and have begun to fill in the shore line.
Lake Dora is traditionally the first to turn on in the spring and seems to hold bigger fish than the rest of the lakes. Again, Kissimmee grass, reeds and bulrushes are the predominate cover. The boat docks in this lake, especially along the north shore can be very productive during the middle of the day.
South of Lake Dora is Lake Beauclair and tiny Lake Carlton. Lake Carlton can be reached through a small inlet on the southern shore of Lake Beauclair. Both of these lakes are known for giant bass. Most of the big fish are caught by flipping and pitching the boat docks and reeds but local anglers have placed brush piles in these lakes and many tournaments are won by fishing these “secret” holes.
The Apopka Beauclair Canal system is a sizable area of clear water that holds bass year round. The entrance to these canals is located near the southwestern shore of Lake Beauclair. There is a lot of water to be fished and it is all excellent at times. The so-called “Clear Canal” is located here, which is a major sight fishing area in the bedding season. Many tournaments have been won in this area for those willing to make the long run.
There are three public boat ramps on the East Harris Chain lakes; two on Lake Dora and one in the Town of Lake Jem. The Lake Jem ramp is on the Apopka Beauclair canal.