Florida Fishing 

    Florida is home to some of the best fishing in the world. From deep sea fishing off the Florida Keys to the Gulf Coast, Everglades and beyond, come snag the best catch of your life in Florida.

    Florida fishing

    Fishing on Lake Okeechobee (Peter W. Cross photo)

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    Fish in Florida

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    If America has a favorite fishing spot, it's Florida. 

    That's only natural, considering it has 1,350 miles of saltwater coastline, or roughly 500 more miles than California and exactly 1,350 miles more than Kansas. Add to this 7,700 freshwater lake and 10,550 miles of rivers. Add one more fact: More world-record fish are caught in Florida waters than anywhere else in the world. 

    Just how popular is Florida fishing? 

    Well, Florida is probably the only state in America where a fishing bridge is a state park (the George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park near Jacksonville), where an interstate mullet toss is one of the most highly-anticipated events of the year (Flora-Bama Lounge & Oyster Bar near Pensacola), and where a unique method of finding fish worms has generated international attention (worm gruntin' in Sopchoppy). 

    Fishing in Florida can be adrenaline-filled or calming. Off the coast, landing the catch of the day could be the challenge of a lifetime. On an island creek, catching a fish is often secondary to releasing stress. The reasons for fishing are as varied as the methods. Travel the state and you'll find folks dropping a line from boats and bridges and docks, casting for their catch in the rolling surf, boarding charters for the deep waters, or lazing in the pine-shade beside a quiet stream. 

    If you took a walk along the Florida coast, you'll find some of the world's most popular fishing piers extending into the sea from Pensacola, Destin, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne, Flagler Beach, St. Pete and other coastal communities. If there's not a pier, there may be a jetty that puts those fishing in Florida closer to the action. Look for those at Port Canaveral's Jetty Park, Sebastian Inlet, Fort Pierce, or Fort Lauderdale

    But sometimes you don't even need a pier, a bridge, or a jetty. In the mudflats of Florida's Big Bend area, folks simply wade into the Gulf of Mexico, fill their bags with scallops, and walk out again ready to start dinner. 

    But when you're in Florida it's not just where you cast, it's what you catch

    Something's Fishy 

    Set sail on the sea's blue waters and, whether for their challenge or their flavor, among the most sought-after gamefish are tarpon, sailfish, speckled trout, redfish, and several species of 'panfish,' including sunfish, bluegill, redbreast sunfish, redear sunfish, and warmouth. 

    But this just scratches the surface of what's below the surface and available on a Florida fishing adventure. Off the coast and also in bays and estuaries is a spectacular array of saltwater fish including spearfish, marlin, swordfish, bonefish, dolphin, drum, kingfish, perch, pompano, amberjack, and mackeral. There are bass and shark and shad and several species of grouper (Warsaw, Nassau, black, gag, goliath, red, scamp, yellowfin, yellowmouth) as well as several species of snapper (cubera, dog, gray, lane, mahogany, mutton, queen, red, schoolmater, silk, vermilion, yellowtail). And there's snook. And wahoo. 

    In Florida's lakes, the king of the freshwater fish is the largemouth bass, which was named Florida's official freshwater fish in 1975, partly due to its fearsome reputation and partly because for decades anglers from around the world have traveled here in hopes of landing one while fishing in Florida. 

    In Florida's fresh waters you'll also find the largemouth's cousins shoal bass, spotted bass, striped bass, sunshine bass, white bass, and Suwannee bass. And there are other challenging Florida fishing catches such as shad, crappie, catfish, bluegill, bowfin, bullhead, pickerel, and gar. 

    So what are you waiting for? Come to Florida and drop a line. 

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