No matter what type of fishing you want to do, or where you want to do it, the fishing report is an invaluable tool. Sometimes the information provided is very basic—how the weather will be for the day, how the fish are biting, how crowded it is—but sometimes it offers information that is critical not only to successful fishing, but to angler safety and ensuring you are aware of the most up-to-date rules. This is especially true during hurricane season or severe drought, when the fishing report will offer continually updated information on weather conditions.
There are many ways to access fishing reports. All guides and charter captains check fishing reports several times a day. When weather is an issue, many will maintain constant contact with fishing condition updates. If anglers are not using a guide or charter captain, they can check local fishing reports on a radio station, newspaper website or with many weather apps available for smartphones.
There are dozens of websites that offer fishing reports for every region in the state; almost all of them are commercial sites. Two that offer good overall information areFish 4 Fun, a site that offers general fishing information for all of Florida, and Florida Sportsman, an online sporting magazine. It is not necessary to subscribe to access the fishing reports. In addition, anglers may want to visit TakeMeFishing.org one of the most prolific sites with fishing maps, smart phone applications, tips, fish identification information and more.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) offers quarterly regional reports for freshwater fishing. They feature a map of the regions that makes it easy to find any local area’s quarterly predictions, as well as contacts with local marinas, guides or audio fishing reports that can provide even more timely updates. The FWC offers a monthly “Hot Sheet” on its saltwater site that provides reports on the most pressing current issues affecting saltwater fishing.
To make a fishing outing more fun and more productive, an angler’s first step should always be to obtain a good fishing report.