For the avid fisher (or any fisher), there are few better places to throw out a line than the Sunshine State. Saltwater or freshwater, the thousands upon thousands of miles of lakes, mean that there are fantastic opportunities all around. If it’s your first time getting out on the water, you don’t have to feel intimidated. Here are tips to help you make the most of your adventure.
1. Plan Ahead
This one applies to fishing expeditions everywhere, but you can save yourself a lot of time—and keep your eye on the prize—by rigging your lures, tackle, and bait the night before your trip. This way, you’re less likely to miss a prime opportunity to reel in a great catch because you’re trying to rig everything up.
2. Choose Your Territory
Florida’s diverse landscape allows you to take your pick between freshwater and saltwater, each of which offer something different in terms of fish. You’ll find swordfish, marlin, flounder, grouper, and tuna—among many others in saltwater, while catfish, bass, and tilapia make their homes in freshwater. Some favorite spots across the state include Destin, the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee, St. Augustine, and Fort Lauderdale, but there are numerous smaller lakes, rivers, and bays to choose from.
3. When You Get a Bite, Keep Going
So, you got a bite. Great! While the temptation might be strong to reel in what you have, resist it. Fish tend to swim together, so there’s likely more (and possibly bigger) catches where the first one came from. Try and cast a wide net, literally, by zig-zagging a spinnerbait or lipless crankbait across the area to see what else you may be able to snag. Patience and persistence is key!
4. Go Easy on Yourself
Sure, everyone wants the chance to catch a photo-worthy fish. However, especially for beginners, it’s not always that easy. Don’t fret if you fall short if you return empty-handed from your first (or second, or third) outing. You’ll be a Florida fishing pro—with an Instagram-worthy catch to show for it—in no time.
Once you’ve tackled Florida fishing, be sure to check out our post: 6 Unbeatable Fishing Trips for Every Angler