Bear Lake Campground Boat Ramp

GPS: N 30 51.729  W 086 49.935        Dual lane concrete boat ramp        $ 2.00 entry fee
Bear Lake Road S159 (off Hurricane Road) Boat Ramp

GPS:  N 30 51.853 W 086 49.696        Single unimproved concrete ramp on the east side of Bear Lake
Bear Lake Beaver Creek Road Boat Ramp

GPS: N 30 51.595  W 086 49.515        Single unimproved concrete ramp on the east side of Bear Lake
Fishing Destin Guide©

Bear Lake

A local's guide to fishing around Destin and the Florida Panhandle    

Known as the "luckiest fishing village", Destin is the home to some of the best saltwater fishing in the United States. The 100 Fathom  (600' depth) Curve of the Gulf of Mexico draws closer
to Destin than any other spot in Florida. This, along  with  Destin's close  proximity  to  the East  Pass  and  the Gulf  of Mexico, allows quick access to the Gulf of Mexico's  fishing bounty.  
The  purpose  of  this site  is  to acquaint a new fisherman  to  the Destin area  -  our local facilities, fish, waters and fishing methods. Tight lines and good fishing!

Bear Lake

This web site is updated as I have time from other things going on. As there are a 1000 + different ways to do things, this is only
my way of fishing, nothing else,  and it is not the last word in fishing the area. I am by no means an expert but if you would like my opinion on something related to fishing the area,
please email me at  It may take a few days before I get to it, so be patient. Thanks.....

© Copyright  2014 Fishing Destin Guide
All rights reserved     


Description & location:  Bear Lake is a 107 acre artificial lake
created in 1959 by an earthen dam across Bear Creek. It
was constructed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC).  It was later renovated, restocked and
reopened to fishing in 1972.

It has an average depth of 8 feet and a maximum depth of 23
feet. Deepest areas are near the dam and along the old
streambed. A considerable amount of flooded timber remains,
providing fish habitat. Most standing timber has reported to
have been cut 3 to 7 feet below normal water level to improve
boating access.

It is part of the Blackwater River State Forest. Blackwater River
State Forest is located in the Florida Panhandle northeast of
Pensacola. The forest borders the Conecuh National Forest to
the north and extends southward toward Eglin Air Force Base.
It takes around 1 1/2 hours to drive there from Destin using Hwy
85 and Hwy 4.

The headquarters for Blackwater River State Forest is 20 miles
north of the town of Milton on State Road 191 in Munson.

Controlling Agency:

The area surrounding Bear Lake, to include the campgrounds
and other recreational facilities, is part of the Blackwater River
State Forest controlled by the Florida Forest Service. The
headquarters for
Blackwater River State Forest can be found
20 miles north of the town of Milton on State Road 191 in the
community of Munson.

Florida Forest Service
Blackwater River State Forest
11650 Munson Hwy.
Milton, FL 32570-9332

(850) 957-6140
(850) 957-6143 Fax

The area has been named a Fish Management Area (FMA).
This means that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) manages and enforces the wildlife
regulations for the Bear Lake area for the Florida Forest
Service. As such, you will need to comply with the state of
Florida general fishing rules plus the specific rules for this FMA.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
Blackwater Fisheries Research and Development Center
8384 Fish Hatchery Road
Holt, Florida 32564
(850) 265-3676

Rules & Regulations:

In addition to the Florida Freshwater Fishing Regulations,
there are
specific regulations that apply to Bear Lake. As
of December, 2014, these are:

Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. (Electric OK)
Channel catfish bag limit: 6
No motor vehicles on dams, spillways and fishing fingers.

Some points to remember . . . .

As in any other waters you fish in Florida, you will need a
Florida fishing license unless you do not normally need one,
ie under 16, resident 65 and older, etc.

Limits as of Dec 2014 are:
5 Black bass, only one of which may be 22 inches or longer
in total length. Black bass less than 12 inches in total length
must be released immediately.

50 Panfish  (includes bluegill, redear sunfish (shellcracker),
flier, longear sunfish, mud sunfish, shadow bass, spotted
sunfish (stumpknocker), warmouth and redbreast sunfish,
individually or in total.

25 Crappie (speckled perch)


There is a $ 2.00 per person daily fee if you use the boat ramp
or other facilities in the camping area. It is on the honor system
and there is a pay station at the kiosk near the bathrooms
just before you get to the boat ramp area.

If you use one of the "primitive" ramps on the east side of the
lake, there is no fee. You can also camp at these sites without
paying a fee.

Fish species in Bear Lake:

Bear lake has been stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, black crappie, hybrid striped bass  and channel catfish. The FWC
publishes an online
Bear Lake Fishing Forecast that has some good recommendations. Fish attractors are placed in the lake in several
locations. The lake receives a lot of visitors in the summer, so the fish are wary.

Bait & Tackle

Mickey's Grocery & Grill
6407 Florida 189
Baker, FL 32531
(850) 537-2566

Bitco Bait & Tackle
7106 Highway 90
Milton, FL 32583
(850) 626-3688

Avalon Bait & Tackle
4400 Avalon Blvd
Milton, FL 32583
(850) 626-2151


Blackwater River
State Forest Map

Bear Lake Trail Maps

Bear Lake

You Tube Videos


Lodging &



News & Fishing Reports:
Last Updated:
December, 2014
Bear Lake Fish
Management Brochure

Boat Ramps & Launches:

A dual lane concrete boat ramp is located within the Bear Lake Campground. Ample parking, a handicapped accessible fishing pier, and an
informational kiosk are located near this ramp. The Florida Forest Service charges a $2.00/car fee to all persons entering the Bear Lake
Campground area.

Two primitive dirt boat landings are accessible from Hurricane Lake Rd. and are not currently subject to this fee


There is one improved camping area on the south west side
of the lake by the dam. Nice facility with bathrooms/showers,
electric and water hookup, etc. You can not make
reservations and it is on a first-come, first serve basis. There
is a kiosk by the bathrooms where you pay for your site using
the honor system envelopes.

As of Dec 2014, site fees are:
Electric & water hookup:        $ 20.00 a day
Electric only:                           $15.00 a day
There is a 14 day limit. There should be a volunteer camper
in one of the slots plus the rangers do come by periodically.
For more information, call (850) 957-6140.

The campground has a group dining hall with kitchen by
reservation only.

No swimming is allowed. Alligators are present. The
Sweetwater Trail, 1.3 miles in length, connects Bear Lake to
Krul Recreation Area where swimming is allowed.

Leashed Pets Allowed

Camp fires are permitted but must always be attended. You
can not cut any trees there so bring your own firewood.

There are two "primitive" camping area on the east end of the
lake. These are both grassy areas under the pine trees. I
believe they have porta-pottis but no other facilities. There is
a small boat ramp at each site. There is no charge to use
either of these sites. See the map above for locations.

Bear Lake Hurricane Road Primitive Camping area (Turn off Hurricane Lake road (paved) onto S150 (Dirt). Was marked by a yellow
concrete marker on Hurricane Road the last time I was there.

Bear Lake Beaver Creek Primitive Camping area (Turn off of Hurricane Lake road (paved) onto dirt road.

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