Florida is a must-visit destination for any fishing enthusiast. Florida has some of the best spots for fishing in the United States. Its vast waterways also host some of the most sought after game fish species around the world. This guide will cover everything you need about fishing Florida. From the best fishing spots to fishing gear, you’ll find it all here.
Why Florida is an Excellent Fishing Destination
Florida’s coastline is 1,350 miles long, earning it the title of “Fishing Capital of the World.” Over 30,000 freshwater lake and rivers and streams are also found in the state.
Florida’s diverse ecosystem, which includes saltwater and freshwater environments, means that fishing in the state is something for everyone. There are many exciting opportunities for saltwater or freshwater fishing. You can catch a variety game fish species including tarpons, redfish, bass, snooks, catfish and more.
The Best Fishing Spots In Florida
- Key West: Key West, located at the southernmost tip of Florida, is a hotspot when it comes to saltwater fishing. In its crystal-clear water, you can find a variety game fish species such as tarpon, permit and bonefish. Key West is one of the few places where you can catch sailfish all year round.
- Daytona Beach: Daytona Beach provides both freshwater and seawater fishing opportunities. Its beaches make it a great place for surf fishing. The Halifax River, nearby, is home to many fish species including redfish, trout, and flounder.
- Lake Okeechobee – Also known as “Big O”, Lake Okeechobee, is the largest freshwater reservoir in Florida. It’s a great place to fish for bass. The lake is home to bluegills, catfish and other freshwater species.
- Gulf of Mexico: The Gulf of Mexico is home to some of the best deep sea fishing in Florida. Offshore fishing trips can produce impressive catches of snapper, grouper, and kingfish.
- St. Johns River – The St. Johns River runs 310 miles through central and northern Florida. It is home to many bass species including largemouth, shoal and spotted bass.
Fishing Gear for Florida
- Rod and reel: Depending upon the type of fish that you’re pursuing, you will need a combo rod and reel designed for freshwater or saltwater fishing. You should choose a rod that is strong enough to handle fish weighing over 50 pounds.
- Lures and baits: Florida’s species of fish can be caught with a variety lures and baits, including topwater lures (for bass) and live shrimps (for redfish and trout).
- Make sure that your fishing line can handle the weight of fish you are targeting.
- Tackle box: Keep all your lures, fishing accessories, and bait organized in a tacklebox.
- Sunscreen and bug repellent: In Florida’s hot, humid climate, it is essential to protect yourself from sunburns and insect bites by using sunscreen and bug repellent.
Fishing in Florida: Additional Tips
- Check the local fishing regulations prior to your fishing trip.
- Know the correct techniques to catch the fish species that you are targeting.
- Take breaks and stay hydrated during Florida’s hot, humid summer months.
- Consider hiring a Florida fishing guide that is familiar with the waters of Florida and can help you catch a lot more fish.
- Take lots of photos to remember your Florida fishing trip.
Fishing in Florida is a unique experience that every fisherman should try at least one time. Florida’s diverse ecosystem of freshwater and saltwater environments, and abundance of fish species offers countless opportunities to catch the big one. With the right equipment and local knowledge, you can land a trophy in the Sunshine State. Happy fishing!