Given that the state is a peninsula of course it has excellent coastal fishing! Florida’s freshwater fishing is great, too, though few people realize that. With an abundance of unspoiled natural habitats and year round good weather Florida makes for a perfect destination.
Florida’s coastal fishing opportunities are so lengthy that they could fill a book and still have room for a sequel! A few of the most popular sport fish of the sea are snook, sea bass, red snapper, tarpon, drum, and many more. If you elect to fish in the Gulf Stream you are likely to catch kingfish, swordfish, marlin, wahoo, and humongous tuna.
Out of all the Florida Keys the most noteworthy for fishing is Islamorada, although every Florida fisherman has his favorite. Islamorada has great amberjack, tuna, snapper, swordfish, grouper fishing, and many others. Currently Islamorada holds Florida’s record goliath grouper, amberjack, spearfish, and mackerel. No wonder it is so popular for catching trophies!
An excellent option for fine fishing and convention location is Biscayne Bay, within a half hour’s drive of Miami International Airport. Snook, grouper, tarpon, barracuda, and even shark swim in Biscayne’s waters. The state record fly fishing bonefish was also caught from Biscayne Key.
Florida has one of the most active artificial reef programs in the country. Oriskany Reef is the most popular, though more so with divers than anglers. The Oriskany Reef is home to amberjack, tuna, wahoo, grouper, and others.
For more adventure try shark fishing. Florida is home to tiger, hammerhead, white, spinner, mako, and more. Two state shark records bypass a thousand pounds! Deep water charters are the safest option given their experience and equipment.
Florida fishing is all about endless good choices. You can catch a bonito in Boca Raton or a white marlin off Miami beach. Or tell your friends that after lounging on a white sandy beach in Key West you caught trophy mackerel and barracuda. No matter where you go you are liable to bring home many unforgettable memories!
Despite being best known for its saltwater fishing Florida has excellent inland fishing as well. This state is full of lakes, bayous, and channels. The best freshwater fishing is usually for bass, and Florida’s bass species are diverse! From largemouth to spotted, right down to the rarer sunshine bass, Florida has great inland fishing.
Some argue that it is the best lake in the state, but Lake George is an excellent bass fishery. Though its primary attraction is bass Lake George, the second largest lake in Florida, is also full of catfish, crappie, and bluegill.
Lake Kissimmee is also popular for sizable bass. Crappie fishing there is quite good too. There are several islands to explore or picnic on. Given its location in central Florida, it is perfect for an angler to escape to while the rest of the family goes to Disney.
Apalachicola River is renown for its bass, particularly striped, white, and sunshine bass. No other river in the state has more records; Apalachicola River holds the striped, spotted, shoal, and white bass records. No wonder people flock to it for trophies!
Sunshine bass make a change from the usual bass species, and are excellent proof of Florida’s successful stocking. Half a million of these hybrid of white and striped bass not found in nature are stocked annually. Other unusual Florida bass include the peacock and Suwannee bass. Suwannee bass can be found in the Ochlockonee River, and of course the Suwannee River.
The Florida Everglades is a unique, beautiful angling location. The most attractive species there is largemouth bass, and three or four pounders are not uncommon catches. Peak season is during spring. There are also chain pickerel, black crappie, oscar, warmouth, and Florida gar.
The Florida gar is a noteworthy species of this state. This prehistoric fish can be pulled from the Ochlockonee River, and any other low-oxygen rivers.
Anyone sixteen or older needs a license to fish in Florida. There are many kinds of licenses suitable to different purposes – such as the shoreline saltwater license – so think about what you need in a license before you buy. Freshwater and saltwater fishing requires individual licensure.
Residents and non-residents are both welcome to annual licenses. Residents enjoy the benefits of annual youth licenses and five year licenses. Lifetime licenses are only available to residents. Non-residents can brighten their vacation with a three or seven day license. Acceptable proof of residency includes a state driver’s license or state ID (required for online purchases). If one is a member of the military then their military orders will suffice. No minimum length of residency. Social security numbers are necessary.
There are many free fishing days; Florida has some for fresh and some for saltwater!
Whenever you head out fishing to a new place, it's always best to speak to local anglers. Use fishing forums to ask questions and learn about the most accurate and up to date conditions.