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Lake of the Week, Nov. 6th: Worster Lake

Discussion in 'Indiana Fishing Reports' started by SC Mike, Nov 6, 2006.

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    Worster Lake, St. Joseph County

    Nearest town: North Liberty
    Surface area: 327 acres

    Maximum depth: 25 feet
    Average depth: 10 feet
    Secchi disc: 6.0 feet

    Shoreline demographics: Surrounded by state park land
    Shoreline fishing: Good
    Accessibility: Good concrete ramps on south and east shores
    Motors: Electric trolling motors onlyAccommodations: Park, fishing piers, boat rental, camping, picnicking, restrooms
    Park office: Potato Creek State Park, 25601 St. Rd. 4, P.O. Box 908, North Liberty, IN 46554; (574) 656-8186


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    FISHING INFORMATION: Worster Lake is a favorite for lots of Indiana folks. Potato Creek State Park surrounds the lake, with trails, campgrounds, rental cabins, restored prairies and wetlands. Make sure to add time to your fishing trip to get out and do some exploring.

    Another reason the lake is well-loved is the wooded, natural shoreline. There are no homes or development on the lake. Outboards are not allowed, only electric motors, which keeps the lake quiet, restful and safe for folks looking for a slower pace.

    The lake has three nice fishing piers and boat rentals to go along with the good fishing. Rowboats come with oars, or you can bring your own motor and battery to get around the lake.

    Les Farkas, owner of Bait Shop (56977 Mayflower Rd, South Bend, IN, 574-234-6823), says there have been some enormous channel cats up to 25 pounds out of Worster Lake.

    The lake is best known for its bluegill and crappie, which Farkas describes as “prolific.” The largemouth bass are also significant, and growing faster in Worster than the state average. Farkas says people pull some huge bass out of there. “They’re harder to catch than before, but there’s plenty of five and six pound bass.”

    When nearby J.C. Murphey Lake at Willow Slough Fish & Wildlife Area was drained for repairs in 2003, the largemouth bass from that lake were relocated to Worster. Many were netted and returned in 2005, but Worster is probably still benefiting from an embellished largemouth population.

    Use a tight line for perch and bobber-fishing brush and stick-ups for bluegills and crappie. The lake has a sunken road, and you may want to troll parallel to the roadbed, using crankbaits for bass. You might also want to fish the break there for crappies, using small minnows under a slip bobber.

    Gizzard shad were illegally introduced in the mid-1980s. By 1997, this species composed nearly one-third of the fish population and were competing with young gamefish for forage, retarding growth and recruitment among gamefish. Chemical control measures were initiated, but it didn’t make much of an impact. Today, the gizzard shad are dominating in less numbers and mass, but they’re still in there.

    Happily, the bluegill has rebounded and they seem to be virtually everywhere in the lake. Their growth rate is rated above average. Try hitting the points that are available all along the lakeshore. There’s lots of shore-fishing opportunities, which is a great way to keep kids busy. Get a bunch of waxies and find a shady spot. The redear sunfish are also a great bite on the lake, with individual fish up to and over 10 inches.

    The Indiana state record bullhead came out of Worster in 1994, wieghing in four pounds, nine ounces. There are plenty more where that one came from, although the record has been standing for a while now...

    Sportsman's Connection is a leading publisher of lake maps and fishing information, covering 12 states and over 4,700 lakes with more on the way. Two newly revised Indiana books, lake map downloads, lake map software are available at www.scmaps.com.
     
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