The most important problem of making a listing of the very best locations to fish in Florida is whittling the quite a few choices right down to a manageable group. We’re not attempting to summarize the complete state; moderately, the aim right here is to supply a consultant sampling of Sunshine State delights.
As with all lists, exclusion implies not disrespect, so save the hate mail. This roundup merely highlights a few of Florida’s extra notable locations. Look an hour or so in both path and also you’ll probably discover comparable alternatives, so it you favor a spot nearer to dwelling, e book a constitution or go solo to get pleasure from what you need to get pleasure from.
Greatest Locations to Fish in Florida: Saltwater
Beginning with the Florida Panhandle’s large Choctawhatchee Bay—a serious estuary fed by a number of rivers, creeks, and bayous—anglers discover good numbers of speckled trout, redfish, black drum, sheepshead, striped bass, and Spanish mackerel. Right here, seagrass beds, oyster mounds, sand bars, docks, the Choctawhatchee River Delta, and publicly accessible jetties provide one thing for each angler.
The place gorgeous seashores meet glowing Gulf waters, the surf/coastal zone holds pompano, mackerel, bluefish, and whiting, tarpon, cobra, and sharks. Offshore reefs, wrecks and rocks are famend for gag and pink grouper, mangrove and pink snapper, triggerfish, amberjack, kingfish, and Spanish mackerel. Run deep and also you’ll discover tuna, wahoo, dolphin, and billfish.
A mixture of inshore faves—redfish, trout, snook, pompano—inhabit the numerous rock islets and mangrove shorelines, whereas the St. Martins Keys north of the river channel provide a very distinctive inshore look (mangroves, grass flats, limestone/sea fan backside) within the offshore vary.
Coastal waters affected by rock reefs provide arm-stretching, shallow-water (10-12 ft) grouper motion, together with ample alternatives for Spanish mackerel, seabass, and sheepshead.
In the course of the summer time season, this is likely one of the hotspots for scallop diving. Culinary tip: Contemporary scallops make a effective topping for grilled or blackened redfish.
Charlotte Harbor-Pine Island Sound
This mangrove-laden estuary fed primarily by the Myakka and Peace rivers holds a bounty of the inshore all-stars—snook, trout, redfish, flounder, and respectable mangrove snapper. A number of oyster bars, mangrove creeks, and potholes outline fish-friendly habitat.
Winter’s excessive low tides create a cool situation the place fish pile into the scattered deep water troughs and holes that turn out to be reduce off by receding water. Snook, trout, and reds are straightforward pickings for waders and kayakers.
Proudly owning the title “Tarpon Capital of the World,” Boca Grande Move flows between Cayo Costa to the south and Gasparilla Island to the north. This is likely one of the finest locations to fish in Florida between Could and June, as this window creates prime-time fishing for tugging on silver giants that pack into the go previous to their offshore spawning run. All through the summer time, tarpon colleges provide tons of enjoyable on the seashores, whereas nearshore reefs abound with grouper, snapper, hogfish, and allow.
The go is a serious flushing level with tons of backside construction holding keeper gag grouper, mangrove snapper, and big Goliath Grouper (significantly on the previous phosphate docks on the north aspect). Smoker kingfish and hefty Spanish mackerel generally enterprise properly contained in the go.
You’ll discover a comparable species combine within the subsequent main estuary to the north—Tampa Bay—however you’ll additionally discover considerably extra boat site visitors and fishing stress. Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island sound are hardly a secret, however Tampa Bay’s extra developed area means extra people sharing the water.
With the St. Johns River assembly the Atlantic via Mayport Inlet, expansive inshore marshes abound with redfish, flounder, black drum, sheepshead, and seatrout, whereas Huguenot Memorial Park (north aspect of the inlet) sees critical surf fishing motion.
Coastal and offshore waters produce a few of the area’s most spectacular king mackerel motion. Transfer inside, nearer to the Jacksonville waterfront and the quite a few residential waterways and also you’ll discover a mixture of speckled trout, redfish, snook, tarpon, and striped bass maintaining firm with largemouth bass and channel catfish, relying on salinity ranges.
With its namesake inlet separating North Hutchison Island from South Hutchison island, this historic vacation spot provides entry to quite a few boating, kayaking and wade fishing hotspots in a few of the Indian River Lagoon’s prime sea trout waters. And, not simply any trout, as this space is understood for large “gator” trout within the 7- to 10-pound vary. You gotta work for it, however trophy fish stay right here, as do huge snook, pompano, and redfish.
Offshore waters see plenty of huge kingfish, African pompano, cobia, and sailfish. The latter swim right here year-round, however October-January highlights Fort Pierce’s prominence as the highest finish of Florida’s famed Sailfish Alley, which runs south to Palm Seashore.
Islamorada: Greatest Place to Fish in Florida for a Household-Pleasant Expertise
Stretching 20 miles alongside the Abroad Freeway (U.S. 1), Islamorada contains 4 inhabited keys—Plantation, Windley, Higher Matecumbe (web site of the unique Islamorada village), Decrease Matecumbe— and the offshore islands of Indian Key and Lignumvitae Key and the personal Tea Desk Key.
This South Florida gem uniquely blends family-friendly trip enjoyable with hardcore, briny-blooded angling ambiance. You received’t discover a better range of saltwater species in Florida water, and all of it comes right down to proximity.
To the north, Florida Bay and Everglades Nationwide Park maintain a treasure trove of snook, trout, redfish, and tarpon. Transferring west towards the open Gulf of Mexico brings allow, Spanish mackerel and a mixture of wreck/reef species into play.
On the “ocean aspect,” the Islamorada flats are famend bonefish territory, whereas allow, tarpon, barracuda, and sharks add to the enjoyable. Inside a mile or so of shore, the patch reefs provide a mixture of grouper, snapper, porgies, and tropicals (particularly within the fall and winter), whereas the deep blue water vary holds tuna, dolphin, wahoo, kingfish, sailfish, marlin, and swordfish.
Moreover, the Islamorada bridge fishing is a world of its personal. With the Channel 2 and Channel 5 bridges simply accessible, land-bound anglers tangle with snapper (mutton, mangrove, lane, yellowtail, and cubera), grouper (gag, Nassau, Goliath), tarpon, allow, cobia, and a bouquet of tropicals like doctorfish, parrotfish and puddingwife wrasse. When deciding the place to fish in Florida on a price range, this one’s arduous to beat.
Greatest Locations to Fish in Florida: Freshwater
Positioned simply west of Tallahassee, this 8,850-acre Ochlockonee River impoundment boasts a stellar crappie fishery that produced the state file 3.83-pounder (1992). Lean on grass, Talquin holds numerous stumps and standing timber with better depths than most Florida lakes (15-foot common, 45 max). Largemouth bass, striped bass, bluegill and redear sunfish complement the crappie.
Harris Chain of Lakes
Comprising eight lakes—Harris, Griffin, Eustis, Dora, Beauclair, Carlton, Apopka, and Yale—the chain covers roughly 75,000 acres. All however Yale hyperlink by rivers and canals.
Positioned north of Orlando, this various chain boasts all the main Florida bass habitat options, with plenty of offshore grass beds and shell bars providing key staging areas for pre- and post-spawn fish. Your entire chain holds tournament-friendly amount and high quality, however Lake Apopka traditionally yields essentially the most spectacular catches.
Notably, the Harris Chain creates the headwaters of the Ocklawaha River, which hyperlinks northward to Rodman Reservoir, the timber-strewn wonderland with its personal big-bass bona fides. Navigating via the Buckman Lock, and traversing the Rodman Canal leads into the St. Johns River, thereby providing oceanic connection from Central Florida.
Also referred to as Headwaters Lake, this 10,000-acre artifical fishery in Indian River County has turn out to be arguably the state’s prime big-bass location. Taking what was as soon as a big agricultural tract, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fee labored alongside the St. Johns River Water Administration District to reshape the realm with an expansive habitat enhancements that complement the standing timber, hydrilla, cattails, and spatterdock. After flooding the realm, the FWC stocked with almost one million Florida pressure largemouth, together with bluegill, redear sunfish and crappie.
Lake Okeechobee: Greatest Place to Fish in Florida for Huge Bass
Florida’s largest lake has skilled its share of water administration challenges, however this 730-square-mile huge bass manufacturing unit continues to crank out the standard and amount. The sheer measurement, plus its rim canal, the Kissimmee River and main creeks give fish and fishermen loads of room to unfold out. A well-liked bass event favourite, Okeechobee’s additionally recognized for its crappie motion. For those who’re looking for the very best locations to fish in Florida for bass, Okeechobee must be thought-about.