Every year, millions of visitors flock to our state to try their hand at sport fishing, one of Florida’s most popular pastimes. Those of us lucky enough to live here can take advantage year-round.
Before you cast your line, the most significant decision is—fresh or saltwater fishing? On the ocean side, deep-sea charters leave frequently from our most popular Atlantic Coast beaches, including Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral and Daytona Beach. These are just a short drive from Orlando, so even Floridians who live in the city have access. If you live closer to the Gulf Coast, similar charters leave from Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Sarasota.
Once on the water, the big game fish are there for the taking—Kingfish, Barracuda, Mahi Mahi, Bonita, Grouper, AmberJack, Spanish Mackerel, Tuna and Marlin. Assuming, of course, that you can reel them in.
And, if deep-sea swells and salt spray aren’t your thing. Or if it’s all just too much for the kids, Kissimmee, just south of Orlando, is home to over 50 fresh water lakes. In fact, the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes is one of the best bass fisheries anywhere on the planet. Plus, this region tends to be more quiet and nature-oriented and is home to a collection of state and national parks and wilderness lands. So while you’re on the water, you’re also likely to see herons, ibis, hawks, falcons, quail and even once-rare bald eagles.
Because fishing is so popular with tourists and locals alike, you can’t go far without finding bait and tackle shops, boat rental outfits and charter companies. So pack a picnic, grab your rods and reels, and head out to the water. If you’re lucky, you might just catch what’s for dinner tonight.