Florida Sport Fishing
Florida Keys
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Destin
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Clearwater
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Tampa Bay
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Naples
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Mosquito Lagoon
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Fort Lauderdale
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Biscayne Bay
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Sarasota
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Ten Thousand Islands
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Charlotte Harbor
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Everglades
Top Florida lakes
Lake Okeechobee
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Lake Kissimmee
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Lake Toho
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Lake George
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Kissimmee Chain of Lakes
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Lake Talquin
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Lake Istokpoga
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Lake Harris
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Lake Seminole
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Crescent Lake
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Lake Walk In Water
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Deer Point Lake
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Lake Apopka
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Rodman Reservoir
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East Lake Toho
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Lake Monroe
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Harris Chain of Lakes
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Lake Panasoffkee
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Blue Cypress Lake
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Lake Poinsett
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Farm 13/Stick Marsh
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Lake Tarpon
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Lake Tsala Apopka
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Lochloosa Lake
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Lake Harney
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Lake Eustis
Florida rivers
Indian River
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Suwannee River
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St. Johns River
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Escambia River
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Apalachicola River
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Ocklawaha River
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Withlacoochee River
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Ochlockonee River
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Choctawhatchee River
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Peace River

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Fishing Florida

Florida Fishing Trips

With year-round warm weather and thousands of miles of navigable waters, it is no surprise Florida is the indisputable fishing and boating capital of the world. Fishing in Florida is a pastime loved by locals and tourists alike. There are thousands of beautiful Lakes, miles of scenic rivers and streams, and your never too far from the Ocean. Florida is known as an outstanding fishing trip destination thanks to great bass fishing in the local lakes and rivers and trophy sport fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. FloridaFishingTrips.org is your source for detailed information on Florida Fishing Trips, the Top Florida Bass Fishing Lakes, Florida Sport Fishing Destinations, and Florida River Fishing. You can also find information on the Top Florida Fishing Charters, Fishing Resorts, Marinas, Campgrounds, Fish Camps, and Fishing Boats For Sale.

Florida Fishing

Florida Bass Fishing

 

Bass anglers flock to Florida with one thing in mind; catching a trophy bass. Largemouth Bass can tolerate a wider range of water clarity, fertility, and temperature than any other gamefish and prefer warm, shallow, and weedy lakes which are abundant in Florida. Slow-moving Florida rivers and streams with weeds, brush, or fallen trees for cover often have excellent Largemouth Bass populations as well. The Florida State Record catch for Largemouth Bass is 17.27 lbs. caught in 1986. You can also catch Spotted Bass, Striped Bass, Suwannee Bass, Sunshine Bass, and White Bass in Florida waters.

 

Top Florida Bass Fishing Lakes

Lake Okeechobee

Lake Toho

Lake Kissimmee

Lake Istokpoga

Rodman Reservoir

Lake George

Lake Talquin

Deer Point Lake

 

Florida Striper Fishing

Striped Bass fishing in Florida is popular in many lakes and rivers. Here are the best times for successful Florida Striper fishing.

Morning Fishing

Stripers are low light feeders, so it's critical to be on the water at dawn when they will be prowling for forage. Shallow is the operative word now as hungry stripers will herd baitfish onto skinny shoals, points, and bars, which will become a feeding frenzy. Big topwater plugs worked along shallow structure will trigger strikes. Start at dawn with noisy poppers, chuggers, and prop baits. As the sun creeps higher, switch to quieter baits like stickbaits and surface minnows.

Nighttime Fishing

Once darkness falls, stripers will slide into deep, snaggy holes and swirling eddies. Anchor upstream of your target, thread vertically sliced sections of shad or herring onto a big bait hook, and fish it on the bottom.

 

Top Florida Striper Fishing Waters

Apalachicola River

Lake Seminole

Ochlockonee River

Lake Talquin

St. Johns River

Escambia River

Choctawhatchee River

 

Florida Black Crappie Fishing

Black Crappie are a popular catch for Florida anglers and are also known as speckled perch or specks. You can find black crappie in most Florida Lakes and they tend to bite best in the cooler months around weed beds, in coves, around rocks, and among sunken trees.

 

Top Florida Black Crappie Lakes

Crescent Lake

Rodman Reservoir

Lake Talquin

Lake Walk In Water

Lake Toho

Lake Monroe

Lake Kissimmee

 

 

Florida Keys Fishing

 


The Florida Keys features several very well-known fishing areas, including the Everglades, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine, and Key West. The famous backcountry flats of the Florida Keys is where big bonefish, tarpon, permit, and snook are caught. Farther out to sea other species such as; marlin, sailfish, shark, tuna, cobia, and dorado, are found in abundance. Saltwater fly-fishing for bonefish, tarpon, and permit is very popular in the Keys, and is one of the few places where a fishing "Grand Slam" can be achieved.

 

Florida Shark Fishing

 

Sharks are the most efficient predators in the sea, and fishing for them in Florida waters is very exciting. When targeting sharks you must use powerful rods and reels. You will need a minimum rod rating of 30 lbs. and must load your rod with plenty of extra line for long runs. When shark fishing in the Florida Keys the trick is to put enticing smells and scents into the water to attract the sharks to you.

 

Florida Offshore Fishing Tips

 

The Florida Ocean is a very large and often intimidating place to fish, here are a few of the best places to look for trophy game fish.

 

Wrecks & Reefs

 

Offshore Buoys

 

Seamounts or Ridges

 

Offshore Rips

 

Weeds & Slicks

 

Deep-Water Oil-Drilling Platforms

 

Color or Temperature Breaks

 

Underwater Structure

 

Pine Island Sound Fishing

 

 

Situated along the southwest coast of Florida, Pine Island Sound is one of the state's most critically acclaimed estuarine ecosystems. One of 5 estuary preserves within the Charlotte Harbor watershed, this shallow water habitat supports an incredible diversity of game fish associated with the Gulf of Mexico. With nutrient rich waters, Pine Island Sound's brackish basin and associated waterways are a shallow water angler's paradise. Snook and Redfish are the area's most popular game fish and the brackish ecosystem provides ideal conditions for both species to flourish.

 

Florida Snapper Fishing

 

 

Schooling by nature, mangrove snapper must be competitive in the fish-eat-fish world as they grow and mature deep in the roots of mangrove-encrusted shorelines. As the snappers continue to grow along Florida's Gulf Coast, they head west in search of more rewarding meals. Along the way many take up temporary residence along any sort of submerged debris they can find. Jetties and concrete bridge abutments offer a short stop before relocating to wrecks, reefs, and rock piles where they feed on crustaceans and finfish.

 

 

Florida Bass Fishing

 

The Largemouth Bass is the most popular freshwater game fish in Florida with its fast growth rate, fighting nature, and excellent taste. Florida's largemouth bass normally spawn in early spring in the shallow waters of lakes, ponds, and streams. After the spawning season, largemouth bass prefer the cool early morning or late evening to feed in the grassy shallows. Grassy areas also offer cover to the bass during non-feeding periods. Other places bass like to hide out include; around submerged trees, depressions, docks, rock piles, bridges, and almost any type of underwater structure. Like people in Florida, bass seek shade and cooler temperatures when the weather gets hot. They head for cooler deeper water, shaded docks or grass cover. Night fishing can be especially productive during the hot summer months. Here are some of the top bait options for successful Florida Bass Fishing:

 

Live Bait

 

Live shiners are responsible for catching more lunker bass than any other bait - live or artificial. Florida anglers serious about going after the real heavyweights use native shiners that can either be found in your chosen lake or area bait shops.

 

Spinners

 

Florida Lake fishing with spinners requires considerable thought and patience. Weedless spinners with a bucktail or pork rind are excellent to use in brushy shallows for bass. One of the most effective methods of fishing a spinner is casting it into deep water and letting it settle to the bottom, then slowly retrieving it up the side of a drop-off or a gravel bar.

 

Plastic Lures

 

The plastic worm is the most popular plastic lure in Florida Lakes and Rivers along with the plastic eel. Whether you plan to use a plastic worm or eel, the most popular rig is the Texas rig. Some fishermen cover the lures with various scents to help attract the bass. Work plastic lures slowly, casting them into weeds, and around docks or other structures. Let them sink to the bottom and sit for a few seconds before lifting your rod tip and letting the worm come up and then settle back to the bottom.

 

Crankbaits and Surface Lures

 

Casting surface lures such as the Devils Horse, Rapala, and Bass Slayer along a grassy shoreline early in the morning is likely to bring good results. Don't rush the retrieve as the bass will often strike the lure while it's lying motionless. Many lures, such as the Rapala and the Shad Rap, lie on the surface until you start the retrieve. The faster you reel it in, the deeper the lure runs. Other effective bass catchers on Florida waters are spoons. You can put a pork rind on the spoon to make it even more tantalizing to a largemouth bass.

 

 

Other Popular Florida Fishing Species

 

 

Striped Bass and Sunshine Bass

 

Two of Florida's scrappiest fish are the Striped Bass and the Sunshine Bass. Stripers and Sunshine Bass are cool-water fish by nature. Warm water makes them lethargic to the point that they refuse to exert the energy it takes to chase their prey. During the Florida summer months, Striped and Sunshine Bass move into deeper water where it's cooler. Colder air temperatures and cool surface waters bring the Stripers and Sunshine Bass back up. Fishing activity for these two fighters really picks up when water temperatures drop to 65-70 degrees. These bass are open-water, roaming predators that like to hunt in groups. Once on the move, they feed mainly on shad and other forage fish that don't move as fast in colder temperatures. Schools of shad will incite a feeding frenzy. Florida fishermen seeking Striped and Sunshine Bass should look for diving birds feeding on the schooling shad. Live shad are the best baits for catching these fish, but lures such as the Shad Rap are effective also.

 

Speckled Perch (Crappie)

 

Specks, as Floridians call them, are a favorite cold-weather gamefish. They also have a reputation as the best-tasting freshwater fish in Florida lakes and rivers. Speckled perch are caught almost exclusively during the spawning season. They begin congregating during the first cold weather and remain concentrated for spawning until the early spring. The most popular method for taking crappie is to drift with Missouri minnows or small shiners floating from a small, cone-shaped cork. Experienced Florida fishermen also get good results with jigs and spinnerbaits. Speckled perch usually start spawning by early January and continue through March or early April. Action usually picks up just before, during and just after the full moon each month. Look for them in shallow water around shoreline vegetation; grass, lily pads, and brush are favorite places. Search for specks in several inches to several feet of water. Keep dropping your minnow along the cattails, grass, or lily pads until you find them.

 

Bluegills

 

The bluegill is one of the most abundant fish in Florida lakes and rivers. From late spring to early fall, male bluegills go to the shallow water where they congregate with other males to sweep shallow beds around the sandy areas. These beds usually are in a cluster and may be seen in clear water as a honeycomb of white spots on the lake bottom. Bluegill will hit throughout the year, but tend to hit best during the spawning months, especially around full-moon time each month. During the winter months, bluegills usually go to deeper water and are harder to locate.

 

Shellcrackers

 

Another panfish favorite in Florida lakes and rivers is the shellcracker or redear sunfish. The name "shellcracker" comes from the hard palate used to crush small snails and mussels. Bottom-fishing with live redworms along mussel beds is a good way to locate shellcrackers. In Florida waters shellcracker spawn much like bluegills, but they usually spawn earlier in the spring and this is the best time to catch them with live worms.

 

Redbreast Sunfish

 

The redbreast sunfish is found in many Florida lakes and rivers. It is readily identified by the bright red spot on its breast. The best time to catch the redbreast is during the spring with crickets, earthworms, spinnerbaits, or artificial popping bugs.

 

Chain Pickerel

 

The chain pickerel is a cousin of the northern pike and can be found in many Florida lakes. The chain pickerel get their name because of the chainlike markings on its body. They will go for an occasional shiner or flashy spoon and like to frequent weedy areas of lakes.

 

Catfish

 

Florida's catfish are primarily channel cats, white cats, and spotted catfish. They will hit live baits, shiners, Missouri minnows, redworms, cut shad, and blood bait. They also will go for chicken necks and liver.

 

 

 

Florida Sport Fishing

 

 

Sailfish

 

The sailfish was selected in 1975 by the Florida Legislature as the state's official saltwater fish. The dream of many Florida Sport Fishing anglers is to catch a sailfish. They swim so fast and streak through the air in such a blur, that it can be nearly impossible to keep the slack up in the line. Sailfish are often found near the Gulf Stream, but they are also found throughout Florida's coastal waters. Most sailfish weigh less than 55 pounds, however they can be found over 100 pounds. Studies have shown that the best time to fish for sailfish is during and after cold fronts.

 

Blue Marlin

 

The blue marlin is a great trophy catch for Florida Sport Fishing anglers. However, considering the number of anglers who fish the offshore reefs and Gulf Stream in search of the heavyweight, very few anglers are fortunate enough to hook a big blue. Although the blue marlin generally is found in the blue depths in or near the Gulf Stream, the big billfish often cruises in close to shore. An adult blue marlin often weighs over 250 pounds in Florida waters. Many charter captains and offshore anglers use live bait for blue marlin including; blue runners, mullet, pilchards and other live baits. If you hook a blue marlin, you should drop back when the fish hits. Release the reel and let the fish run for several seconds before clicking the reel back into action and setting the hook.

 

Barracuda

 

Found throughout Florida's coastal waters, the barracuda is more prevalent along the lower regions, especially in the Florida Keys. Anglers who have trolled Florida's offshore waters surely have known barracuda to cut off balao, mullet and strip bait.

 

Dolphin

 

Often called the dorado or mahi-mahi, the dolphin is always a popular catch with Florida Sport Fishing anglers. Large numbers of these speedy, scrappy fish often hang around floating lines of sargasso weeds. Dolphin will go for live bait, cut bait, squid, trolled balao and skirt combinations and sometimes strip bait. A Sea Witch-balao combination can be productive.

 

Amberjack

 

Anyone who has ever fought a big amberjack knows what a tiring experience it can be. These game fighters like to hang around offshore wrecks and reefs and will readily take a live baitfish offered them.

 

Sharks

 

Although sharks usually swim unhurriedly throughout Florida waters, they have been clocked at almost 30 miles per hour going after trolled bait. Makos and other sharks can offer a battle akin to any gamefish and nightime is considered the best time to go after these nocturnal creatures. The Ten Thousand Islands area of the Everglades is a popular spot for some good shark fishing. Whole dead fish and chunks of bloody cut bait is a productive offering.

 

Bluefish

 

Bluefish are scrappy gamefish predators that roam Florida's coastal waters in schools and can often be found in a feeding frenzy ripping into schools of baitfish. When bluefish are feeding they will hit spoons, plugs, and live bait such as shrimp and finger mullet. However, one of their favorite baits is fresh mullet cut into chunks and fished on the bottom. Bluefish average from 1-3 pounds, but many in the 5-15 pound class are caught in Florida waters, especially during the cooler months of the year.

 

Bonefish

 

Bonefish are found mostly in the Florida Keys as anglers pole along the flats and sight fish which can sometimes be spotted feeding and stirring up the bottom. Anglers must cast their shrimp, artificial fly or other lures used for bonefish just right so as not to spook the fish and send it scurrying to deeper water. Bonefish vary from 3-10 pounds and can weigh as much as 20 pounds.

 

Tarpon

 

These silver kings can be found year-round in the Ten Thousand Islands and the Florida Keys, plus throughout Florida's waters as they migrate up and down the coast. The tarpon is a large fish and can be found well over 150 pounds. They will hit many types of baits and lures including; flies, live pinfish, cut bait, whole dead or live mullet, and many types of lures.

 

Redfish

 

Redfish migrate throughout Florida's coastal waters feeding on small crustaceans. Look for them in the surf, the bays, intracoastal waterways and inlets. You can find the year-round in the Chokoloskee-Everglades City area and in the Florida Keys. Artificial lures such as Sea Dudes, Trout Touts and other grubs, spoons and other lures are good for catching redfish. So are live shrimp, small crabs, fingerling mullet and pinfish.

 

Snook

 

Snook are found mostly in the lower half of Florida's waters in both the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. They can be found around inlets, in the surf, around bridges, warm water at power plants during cold weather and around oyster bars and rocks. They feed during the day, but are also very active at night. They will hit live shrimp and many different types of artificial lures. They also will hit live pinfish, finger mullet, shrimp, and ladyfish fished on the bottom.

 

Wahoo

 

This streamlined fish streaks through the water like a torpedo when hooked and can rip off most of the line on a deep-sea fishing reel on its initial deep-water run. The wahoo is somewhat of a loner as it doesn't school and is usually found in deep water. However, the wahoo will go for strip bait when trolled or for deboned mullet and balao.

 

 

 

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