Salt or freshwater? From a boat or a pier? Gamefish or dinner? Charter a boat or take your own? Whatever you desire in a place to go fishing, Florida has it.
HOW TO DO FLORIDA
LOBSTERING IN THE KEYS
Chad Crawford shares the legal requirements, the diver's tools and smart fishing techniques for catching spiny lobster.
FISH IN FLORIDA
If the world has a favorite fishing spot, it's Florida. We are the Fishing Capital of the World.
Florida’s 1,350 miles of saltwater coastline sports diverse fish habitats that support more well-managed fish species than you could probably catch in a lifetime. Anglers catch hundreds of brawny, beautiful and delicious species in teeming estuaries, off gorgeous beaches and in the deep blue oceans surrounding the Florida peninsula. At least 7,700 freshwater lakes and 10,550 miles of rivers also serve up world-class freshwater fishing. It’s no wonder that more world-record fish are caught in Florida waters than anywhere else in the world.
The reasons for fishing are as varied as the species and the methods of catching them. But to name a few . . .
In no time, you may find yourself offshore bailing in mahi after acrobatic mahi off Islamorada, or casting a fly to a tarpon bigger than you are - in a foot of water minutes from Miami.
Cast a line off a dock or pier and take a seat. Many cities maintain beautiful pier-fishing facilities, including Lake Worth, Pensacola Beach, Destin, Panama City Beach, Cocoa Beach and Flagler Beach.
Florida fishing brings you close to nature, so close you shake off a primordial shiver as an alligator bellows on a sunny bank near Kissimmee or Gainesville. So close that you giggle as a pod of dolphins plays in your bow wave in the Indian River Lagoon, near Stuart, Sebastian or Titusville. Their sense of fun is contagious.
Our Florida fishing ecosystems are unique and magnificent. Paddle under a canopy of cypress and oaks in backwater creeks such Fisheating Creek near Labelle, Moore Haven and Lake Wales. There’s a bass or bream around just about every mysterious cypress knee. Or, catch bass species that thrive only in North Florida rivers such as the magnificent Suwannee, where class III rapids add serious excitement to a fishing trip on the river between White Springs and the Town of Suwannee, where the river passes through the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge, pouring out into the Gulf of Mexico.
Whether it’s a red snapper caught off Destin, speckled trout from Tampa Bay, or a mess of crappie from Tallahassee’s Lake Talquin, there’s not much more satisfying or delicious than eating fish you caught yourself. Most places you can find a restaurant that will cook your catch to order. Or, gather your crew around the grill or deep fryer.
Florida’s the place to fire up a young angler’s inner fishing fanatic. Spring break or summer vacation are both great times for feisty, delicious easy-to-catch fish. Go for grunts and yellowtails caught off Marathon. Or, pan out on pan fish in ponds, lakes and rivers near Okeechobee, Ocala and Fellsmere.
More world records have come from Florida fishing than any other place in the world. The biggest sea trout on record came from Fort Pierce. A lady angler landed a 112-pound amberjack off Islamorada. And the Gulf of Mexico produced a 126-pound cobia, off Destin, aka the cobia capital of the world.
Naturally, it’s time for you to come wet a line in Florida. Florida fishing has it all.