Lake Talquin, Florida: One of the Best Lakes for Fishing in the State

Lake Talquin is a reservoir located a few miles West from the city of Tallahassee – the capital of Florida – and it is considered one of the finest fishing lakes in the state. Its name originates from the fusion of the names of the two closest cities – Tallahassee and Quincy.

Lake Talquin Stats

Lake NameLake Talquin
CountryUnited States
Surface area28.870
Maximum depth12.0
Average depth6.4
Lake typeReservoir
Catchment area4429.90
InflowsOchlockonee River
OutflowsOchlockonee River
Shore length84.75
Residence time34.6
Average discharge61.902
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A Great Recreational Lake

The Jackson Bluff Dam was constructed between 1928-1929 by the Florida Power Corporation, along with a hydroelectric plant to ensure power for all the towns and cities of the surrounding area. Today it is leased and run by the City of Tallahassee, providing hydro electrical power to its residents and controlling the water level of Lake Talquin for recreational purposes.

Because it’s easily accessible, the 12,355-acre lake is a favorite among locals and outsiders alike, offering outstanding recreational opportunities for all ages. From exciting nature study trails and various sports activities to housing family gatherings and even weddings, Lake Talquin has it all.

Located in the northwestern part of Florida state, the reservoir is surrounded by green diverse forests, rolling lands with gentle slopes and deep ravines. Among the most popular trees we can enumerate the loblolly pine, life oak, laurel oak, red maple and long-leaf pine. The area is considered a paradise for fishing enthusiasts, as well as the ideal place for bird watching. Although the lake is very popular, it is not crowded at all, often offering perfect conditions to catch a glimpse of the outstanding wildlife.

Among frequently seen animals are the whitetail deer, squirrels, blue herons, wild turkeys, bald eagles, ospreys, and many other wading birds and birds of prey. In the water you can meet alligators, water snakes and water turtles. If visiting in the summertime don’t forget your bug spray at home, otherwise the many mosquitos and chiggers can easily ruin your holiday.

Holiday Activities

The area also has a lot to offer to tourists searching for a more active holiday.  Water skiing is permitted only on selected places, since there are many submerged stumps in some parts of the reservoir. Canoeing and kayaking are quite common activities as well. Before you jump in for a quick dip, remember that there are snakes and alligators in the water.

There are plenty of scenic trails around the lake for hikers, offering a stunning panorama over the surroundings. There is a 9-mile long, well-maintained bike course in the Joe Budd Wildlife Management Area, but avoid cycling on the hiking trails if you don’t want a fine. Besides cycling, this part is also open to horseback riding for about 300 days every year, with a 121-mile equestrian trail waiting for those who are interested.

The other two months of the year in the Wildlife Area are reserved for hunting. People are allowed to hunt with modern guns, center fire rifles and hogs. Hunting trips need to be scheduled up-front and include muskets, bows and arrows, which are also legal to use on the premises.


Fishing remains the most popular sport on Lake Talquin. There are public boat ramps and fishing piers waiting for devotees on both the Leon county and the Gadsden county side. The reservoir is known for having the largest specks (also called crappies) nationwide, and holds the state record with 3.83 pounds. The best time to fish for crappies is between the months of November and April.

Besides crappies, you can also encounter bluegills and redear sunfish, if you’re fishing early in the morning or late in the afternoon during Spring. In the creeks of the upper end of the lake you can catch largemouth basses with crank bait and plastic worms, and striped basses with deep-diving lures. White basses and catfish are also often caught – the latter is usually spotted around the lake piers.

Besides these large catches, the lake also gives home to smaller bait fish, such as crayfish, threadfin shads, Seminole killifish, golden shiners and sunfish. While we do encourage fishing, please remember to act responsibly and release immediately all crappies that are smaller than 10 inches and all black basses lesser than 18 inches.

For those seeking some R&R, the pristine shores offer ideal conditions for a family picnic. There are also tables and grill areas to make your stay even more comfortable. There is a Picnic Pavilion located on the waterside, with a picture-perfect view over the lake, which can be rented for special occasions such as family gatherings and even weddings, since it can seat up to 100 people.  Please note that advanced reservations are required for a private party.

Ranger-guided interpretative tours can also be arranged upfront, with the possibility of accommodating a group of 50. There are several campsites on the Southern and South-Eastern part of the lake, offering tent and RV camping, showers, restrooms, picnic areas and fishing piers.

Lake Talquin Map