Lake County, Florida got its name from the 1,400 named lakes within its borders. Of these, 8 connected lakes and one landlocked lake cover more than 75,000 acres. These lakes are known as the “Harris Chain of Lakes” or the “Ocklawaha Chain of Lakes.” The Harris Chain of Lakes is located approximately 30 miles north of Orlando. Of the 9 lakes, Lake Harris is the largest. These interlocked lakes offer boaters, kayakers, canoe enthusiasts, water skiers and fishers an amazing opportunity to explore a vast tract of Central Florida via her scenic waterways.
The Harris Chain of Lakes is a globally recognized fishing spot that has been featured on ESPN and other sporting media. Bass fishing tournaments are held weekly at the Harris Chain, a location included on the B.A.S.S. Tournament Trail. Eight of the lakes in the Harris Chain of Lakes are connected, with one, Lake Yale, landlocked. You can learn more about the Harris Chain of Lakes here.
Our Leesburg Hotel is the perfect base of operations for your Florida fishing trip. We have boat plug-ins available and can accommodate parking of large boat trailers. We are just a short distance from several lake access points and can provide maps of the local public boat launch and ramp locations. With Lake Griffin to our North, Lake Harris to our South and Lakes Eustis and Dora to our East, there is no shortage of choices for your next fishing adventure. To find out more about specific lakes, read below or follow the links.
Lake Harris & Little Lake Harris- The largest Lake in Lake County Florida is Lake Harris, a 13,788 acre body of water. Attached to Lake Harris is Little Lake Harris, which, when combined with Lake Harris, covers over 15,000 acres. A great destination for fishing, water skiing, and boating, Lake Harris occupies part of the Upper Ocklawaha River Basin and a St. Johns River sub-basin. Public launching ramps on Lake Harris include Venetian Gardens, a ramp off of Route 27, a ramp off of State Road 19, and a ramp at Hicory Point near the town of Howey-in-the-Hills.
Lakes Dora, Carlton, and Beauclair – Three lakes comprise the East Harris Chain of Lakes: Lake Carlton, Lake Dora and Lake Beauclair. Together these lakes cover more than 4,450 acres. The East Harris Chain Lakes allows access to Lake Eustis and Lake Apopka and encircles the quaint cities of Tavares and Mount Dora on Lake Dora. Beautiful Lake Dora is the location of the annual Antique Boat Show every spring. A stunning number seaplanes coming in and out of Lake Dora, giving Tavares the Nickname “The Seaplane Capital of the World.” On the shore of Lake Dora one can visit the family-friendly Wooten Park or one of the lakeside restaurants, Al’s Landing or O’Keefe’s Pub. Lake Carlton, just south of Lake Dora, is the tiniest of the East Harris Chain Lakes and is reached through Lake Beauclair.
Lake Eustis – Lake Eustis affords access to Big Lake Harris and Lake Dora and provides many canals and fertile fishing grounds. A variety of waterfront restaurants service the lake and its boaters including the original Dead River Vic’s Restaurant and Hurricane’s Dockside Grill on the Dead River. Additionally, the Eustis Lake Walk, which spans the Eastern shores of Lake Eustis, allows an amazing view of sunsets over LakeEustis.
Lake Griffin – Lake Griffin, connected to Big Lake Harris and Lake Eustis, offers the same amazing fishing, boating and sailing opportunities as other lakes within the Harris Chain with the added bonus of an attached State Park with 250-foot concrete boat ramp and a nearby extensive, protected marsh area, Emeralda Marsh. Both of these protected areas provide amazing access to Florida’s rich wildlife. Canoe and Kayak rental are available at Lake Griffin State Park.
If you are planning a fishing charter on the Harris Chain of Lakes, we recommend One Cast Away fishing guides. If you book at our hotel, you can have access to our boat plug ins located in our parking area.
By Becky Schaff