Fishing in Florida

Last updated on July 8th, 2021 at 11:42 am. Originally published on July 6th, 2021

Designated as “The Fishing Capital of the World” and home to more than 7,700 lakes, 2,276 miles of shoreline, and 10,550 miles of rivers, it’s no surprise that Florida hosts thousands of anglers every year. From the Atlantic Coast to the Mexican Gulf to the Keys, Florida boasts some of the world’s most diverse and finest fishing areas. Whether you enjoy beach fishing, pier fishing, fly fishing, or going to the deep water searching for giants, you’ll find no shortage of viable options for fishing and camping in Florida. However, to fish in this state, nonresidents aged 16 and above must have valid saltwater or freshwater fishing licenses and permits.

A cast fishing pole in a calm body of water, next to a long wooden dock. The sun sets over the horizon

Fishing Spots in Florida

Blackwater River

Situated in Florida’s Panhandle near Munson, the Blackwater River is a 58-mile waterway whose source sits in the Conecuh National Forest in Southern Alabama. It enters Florida in Okaloosa County and flows via Santa Rosa County to Blackwater Bay. Irrespective of its name, this river is transparent golden-brown against the stunning white sandbars. Although this fishing spot might become overcrowded during the peak of canoeing season, farther up the river, you can find calmer places and other landings suitable for canoes and light johnboats. Some of the fish species found in these waters include bluegill, striped bass, redear sunfish, sunshine bass, spotted bass, channel catfish, and spotted sea trout. You will find a lot of year-round camping opportunities nearby in a spectacular forest setting.

Dog Island Reef

The white sandy beaches found at Dog Island Reef attract many anglers and vacationers every year. This fishing spot is located in northwest Florida, about four miles from Dog Island, Franklin County. Fish species found here include Spanish mackerel, pompano, tarpon, and cobia. This spot is also widely known for sharks. So if you’re a bold angler, you can use cut-bait to go after these numerous fighting giants.

Lake Tohopekaliga

Situated near Orlando, Lake Tohopekaliga, or “Lake Toho,” boasts over 23,000 acres of clear blue water. This idyllic fishing spot is divided into two sections, East Lake Toho and West Lake Toho, forming a portion of the renowned Kissimmee chain of lakes. Toho is an excellent destination for family vacations. Some of the fish species that you will encounter here include black crappie, trophy-sized bass, and bluegill.

Apalachicola River

Known for being Florida’s forgotten coast, the Apalachicola River is one of the top fishing spots in Florida. The Apalachicola River, near Bristol, flows from Lake Seminole, about 106 miles south via the Panhandle, to the Gulf of Mexico. It’s Florida’s biggest river and has plenty of good fishing spots with the Upper River and Lower River being the best. Striped bass, white bass, shoal bass, black bass, redear sunfish, blue, and panfish are some of the species you can catch here.

Lake Okeechobee

If you aim to catch big largemouth bass, then Lake Okeechobee is a must-visit location. Located near Clewiston near Central Florida, Lake Okeechobee is popularly known as the best bass fishing spot in Florida. Some of the fish species you can encounter here include bluegill, largemouth bass, redear sunfish, and black crappie.

Sanibel Island

For a memorable family day out, visit Lighthouse Beach on Sanibel Island in southwest Florida to get to the Gulf of Mexico and Estero Bay’s magnificent views from the prominent Sanibel lighthouse. You’ll get numerous accommodation options on the island in case you extend your stay. Also, you’ll find plenty of fish species, including tarpon, snapper, grunts, hogfish, pompano, snook, and cobia.

Florida Keys

The Florida Keys comprises 125 miles of islands at the southern end of Florida and houses the world’s most unique fishing grounds. Be sure to try fishing in Marathon, Islamorada, and Key West — some of the favorite spots among fishers. Here, you can catch permit, tarpon, bonefish, snook, and snapper, all while standing on dry land. Going into deep offshore waters towards the Gulf, you’ll start finding big fish, including tuna, sailfish, mackerel, grouper, snapper, and marlin.

Where to Fish in Florida

Jacksonville is one of the top-rated places to go fishing in Florida. This town sits close to the St. Johns River and provides endless saltwater and freshwater opportunities. Mill Cove, Amelia Island State Park, and Nassau Sound are some of the areas to consider when deciding where to fish in Florida. Regardless of where you can go, you can rest assured you’ll have a day full of targeting redfish, cobia, king mackerel, and black drum.

You’ll also find many fishing opportunities in Destin. Designated as the world’s luckiest fishing village, Destin is one of the top fishing spots in Florida, located inconspicuously between the Gulf of Mexico and Choctawhatchee Bay. It has a perfect combination of offshore and inshore fishing, a diversity that most states lack. You can enjoy fishing in tournaments like the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic and the Destin Fishing Rodeo.

Camping and Fishing in Florida

Before you head out for camping and fishing in Florida, check on your rig to see that you have everything that you will need. Ensure that you have sufficient space for your projected catch and that your freezer is in working order. Also, double-check that you pack the right gear, including fishing gear, a cooler, an outdoor grill, portable chairs, and awning accessories to protect from that Florida sun.

Fishing in Florida is an unmatched experience. There is a wide range of freshwater and saltwater species, with year-round fishing and great weather. The well-maintained tourism and fishing industry-related infrastructure are unmatched. As you head out on your trip, you should check out our blog for all you need to know about fishing.

With an RV rental, your fishing trip will be much more comfortable! After you’ve spent a long day fishing, grill up your catch right at your campsite. Then, retire inside to enjoy all the comforts of home on board your RV. Plan your perfect fishing getaway with an RV rental from RVshare.

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