The Sunshine State may be just as celebrated for its world-class fishing as it is for its world-class theme parks, hotels, and resorts. Here are some of the best places in Florida to reel in a delicious (or just photo-worthy) catch.
No, it’s not on the ocean. But, Orlando has a surprising amount of lakes that offer excellent opportunities to cast a line. For families looking for some fun at Disney World beyond the rides and characters, there are actually a number of charters and guides that set sail right from Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon. Bass are the big catch here, and the best time to find them is in February. Plus, you’ll enjoy cooler and more comfortable temperatures!
2. St. Augustine
Not only is St. Augustine a great place to fish, but it’s also a beautiful and historic town to explore when you want to take a break for sightseeing. Charters abound, and if you plan on staying for a few days, there are even “fish camp resorts” with all of the amenities you’ll need for an outdoorsy adventure.
This artsy city on the west coast of the state provides access to the Gulf of Mexico. It has numerous fishing charters and tours. Popular catches include redfish, trout, and snook. As a bonus, Sarasota is home to Siesta Key, a trendy beach that hosts festivals and activities all year round.
Way up on the panhandle, also on the Gulf of Mexico, Destin is home to the largest fishing fleet in all of Florida. In fact, it’s garnered numerous awards that name it as a top fishing destination nationally. One look at the gorgeous emerald green waters and you’ll see why. Plus, there are all types of fishing here—you can opt for the flats and shallows, or go deep sea.
5. Key West
The southernmost point in the United States also has the distinction of being one of the best places to fish in the state. Marlin, sailfish, tuna, tarpon, and bonefish all swim the waters here, meaning there’s an excellent chance you’ll catch something any time of the year.
6. Fort Lauderdale
Sun, sand, and … snapper? With its numerous canals and waterways, Fort Lauderdale is a major draw for boaters and anglers alike. Grouper, swordfish, sharks, and wahoo are just some of the various fish that you can hope to catch more than a glimpse of.