Are you planning on visiting the Sunshine State for your next fishing trip? We’re here to help you choose the best destination, with our guide to fishing in Florida.
You’re probably already excited for the new catches like peacock bass, tarpon, and sea trout. It doesn’t matter if it’s flats, mangroves, or reefs, the catch is to find the spots where the locals go to make the most out of your trip.
Everyone knows the Sunshine State has it all — salt and freshwater fishing, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic, you name it. In this article, I picked out our favorite fishing spots in the state and made a comprehensive list just for you.
Stay tuned, next up are our top 10 best fishing spots in Florida.
Our Top 10 Catches for the Best Fishing in Florida
After a thorough examination and a lot of fishing, I managed to put together a list of the 10 best locations for fishing in the Sunshine State.
1. Peace River
Paynes Creek Historic State Park offers so much to choose from. You and your family can enjoy historic sites, museum trotting, outdoor activities, hiking, bicycling, and most importantly, any kind of water sport. Through the state park flows the Peace River, which joins it in a waterway with the upstream Peace River State Forest.
Both of these locations offer fun for the whole family:
- From canoeing, swimming to our favorite- fishing
- Located near the seashore, west of Port Charlotte
Consider fishing anywhere on the Peace River, but be mindful of fishing regulations. If you are planning an RV adventure, both parks are located near the and Craig’s RV Park.
2. St. Johns River
The St. Johns River is a gem in the hearts of fishing enthusiasts all over the world. I couldn’t make this list without considering it.
When visiting the river, choose the mouth in Mayport, Jacksonville for the best fishing experience or Lake George. Expect a cityscape with the Atlantic on one side and a beautiful river on the other. The highlights include:
- Bass, catfish, bluegill, and shellcrackers
- Fishing by boat, fishing charters, kayak, or foot
- Make sure to purchase your fishing license
If you’re heading down to Florida with your trusty RV, River’s End Campground, one of the most popular camps in the area, is just around the corner.
When one says Naples, all they can think about is the Sunshine State’s Paradise Coast. Naples screams luxury, culture, and fine dining. But that’s not all, it’s a dream come true for many fishing enthusiasts. Here’s why:
- Naples Beach is a must-go family destination
- Popular fishing spot with charters and other types of transportation to choose from
- Fish like tuna and grouper can be caught here
Naples has numerous fishing spots to choose from, like Tigertail Beach, Naples Pier and Boca Grande Pass. These locations make Naples and its coast one of the havens for the best fishing in Florida.
4. Kissimmee Chain of Lakes
Are you a bass enthusiast? The chain of Kissimmee lakes counts as one of the biggest in the state. Between them is Lake Tohopekaliga or West Lake. Here is why you should consider this destination for your next fishing trip:
- Amazing fishing possibilities by charter, party boat or kayak
- Bass is the most popular catch, with the lakes holding 7 records in bass catching
It’s all about that bass here, since national and state fishing competitions are held on Kissimmee Lake. On the other hand, I recommend lake Toho because it offers an array of different fishing styles, from fishing on foot to charters and a big plus is that it isn’t on the beaten path. Sherwood Forest RV Resort in Kissimmee is one of the most popular Florida’s RV parks.
5. Lake Okeechobee
The Big O offers you everything you need if freshwater fishing is your go-to. Okeechobee means “big water”, with the title of Florida’s biggest lake. The lake allows you to catch fish, like:
- Bass, crappie, and panfish
- Great for families and outdoor activities
- 110 miles of beaches and creeks and rivers that feed into the lake
They say that a big lake means a big catch, why wouldn’t you try that out for yourself? Before getting your best rods and gear, make sure you know which locations to target: Okeechobee City is the most popular location to fish from. As a popular site for outdoor sports, Okeechobee lake is home to a few of the best campgrounds in the state, scenic trails, and some protected wildlife too.
6. Cape Coral
Cape Coral, just like its neighbor Fort Myers, are fishing spots in Southwest Florida that offer activities like hiking, camping, bicycling, bird watching, and fishing. This fishing destination provides:
- Shore, kayak, and charter fishing options
- Snook, seatrout, and redfish are the species most caught here
- Fishing possibilities include the Caloosahatchee River and the Matlacha Pass
Cape Coral appeals to everyone, it offers sandy beaches, hot temperatures, and sunny days. But anglers seem to be more interested in the 400 miles of canals that allow them to get their catch of a lifetime.
7. Daytona Beach
Our favorite spot for beach or saltwater fishing in Florida is the popular Daytona Beach.
Specifically, I love Mosquito Lagoon, since it offers:
- A variety of fish including sheepshead and largemouth bass
- Amenities designed for fishing, some of the best in the state
- Oceanside and charter fishing
Anglers can also find a spot on the city’s fishing pier.
8. Everglades National Park
Marshes so far as the eye can see, that’s the best way to describe the Everglades. This national park is a haven for anglers of all ages and backgrounds. Where else can you find both salt, fresh and brackish water in a setting perfect for fishing? It gives us:
- Mangrove, marsh, and wetland fishing
- Popular fish like bass, tarpon, and snook but also peacock bass
- Florida Bay, Pine Glades Lake, Whitewater Bay, and Ten Thousand Islands to choose from
Different fishing tournaments and events happening all year show how popular this fishing destination is. Our favorite fishing spot is Pine Glades Lake, located in the heart of the park.
But this isn’t the only reason to visit, you and your family can go bicycling, bird watching, boating, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, and even slogging.
9. Florida Keys
If you’re planning a vacation to these beautiful islands, don’t forget to bring your fishing gear too.
The Keys, known as a haven for anglers, located in crystal clear water offer pros like:
- Picturesque catches out on the sea, with 800 islands to choose from
- Inshore and offshore fish like snapper, mahi-mahi, and billfish
- Locations like Islamorada, Marathon, and Key Largo for a charter or party boat, and kayak fishing
Not to mention that this makes a perfect family vacation idea. If you’re considering RV camping in Marathon, Grassy Key RV Park and Resort is one of the most popular RV stops along the way. In the Keys, one thing is for sure: It’s always the season for catching something, but before packing your bags make sure you own a fresh or saltwater fishing license.
Named the luckiest fishing destination, the small town of Destin is an angler’s Mecca. Located between the Choctawhatchee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, its location is what makes it so popular.
This town is one of the best fishing spots in Florida. Why? Here are the reasons:
- Perfect fishing destination, everything is made for fishing enthusiasts
- Fun for everyone in the family- It includes historic sites, outdoor activities, and camping accommodations
This really is a fishing paradise. You can choose angling locations like Okaloosa Island Pier, Navarre Beach Pier, and 100-Fathom Curve. But our favorite so far has been The Edge or the continental shelf, where the big catches come in.
The Line on Florida Fishing
After we’ve reviewed all the 10 best fishing destinations in the Sunshine State, it would be fitting to give you a final verdict on this theme.
Our no.1 choice, or best fishing destination in Florida, is the small town of Destin. It isn’t the Everglades or the Florida Keys, but it offers fishing-oriented tours, sightseeing, charters, and rentals. On top of that, everything in and around Destin just screams fishing, it’s even known as the luckiest place to fish. Therefore, I have chosen the no. 1 fishing destination in Florida to be Destin.
Next time you’re thinking about planning a trip to the Sunshine State, be sure to squeeze in some time for fishing.