Guide To Popular Freshwater Fishing In Florida
All about fishing in the Sunshine State
The state is known as "The Fishing Capital of The World", and for good reason. It is virtually dotted with lakes, ponds, streams and rivers and it is surrounded almost entirely by ocean. Many of these lakes offer fishing boats for rent.
Florida offers a diverse array of fishing opportunities across its vast network of ponds, lakes, and rivers. The state is renowned for its warm water fisheries, with a variety of species that thrive in the subtropical climate and abundant waterways.
Warm water fisheries in Florida are home to an impressive range of species, including largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, sunfish, chain pickerel, and gar. Largemouth bass, in particular, reigns supreme as the most sought-after game fish in the state. Anglers flock to renowned bass fishing destinations like Lake Okeechobee, where they can test their skills against trophy-sized bass.
Florida's warm water fisheries also offer excellent opportunities for panfish anglers. Crappie, sunfish, and perch are abundant in many lakes and ponds, providing fun and accessible fishing experiences for anglers of all ages and skill levels. The warm waters and plentiful forage contribute to the rapid growth and impressive sizes of these panfish species.
In addition to warm water fisheries, Florida also boasts a few notable cold water fisheries. These fisheries are found in select lakes and rivers where cooler water temperatures support species such as striped bass, hybrid stripers, and black crappie. While these fisheries are less common, they offer unique angling experiences for those seeking a change of pace from the warm water fisheries.
Florida's ponds, lakes, and rivers provide endless opportunities for anglers to explore. From the vast expanses of Lake Okeechobee to the hidden gems of smaller ponds and creeks, there is a fishing spot for everyone. The diverse habitats, including marshes, swamps, and river systems, create a rich ecosystem that supports a wide variety of fish species.
Whether you prefer casting for bass in a serene lake, fly fishing in a clear river, or dropping a line in a secluded pond, Florida's fishing opportunities are boundless. Anglers can enjoy a year-round fishing season, thanks to the state's favorable climate. However, it's important to note that certain species may have specific seasons or size limits, so it's essential to stay informed about the fishing regulations set by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Overall, Florida's fishing scene is a haven for anglers seeking diverse species, warm water fisheries, and breathtaking natural landscapes. With its abundant ponds, lakes, and rivers, the Sunshine State offers endless possibilities for anglers to indulge in their passion for fishing and create unforgettable fishing memories.
Here, you can fish for largemouth bass, spotted bass, shoal bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue catfish, white catfish, black crappie, bluegill, flier sunfish, redbreast sunfish, redear sunfish, spotted sunfish, warmouth, white bass, stripers, alligator gar, bowfin, chain pickerel and longnose gar in local lakes, rivers, ponds and/or streams. Plenty of saltwater fishing is also available, however this website is focused on fresh water fishing.
Major Florida Lakes & Species
Lake & Fish Chart
This chart shows the major angling destinations, cross referencing these waters with the major species to be found in each of the lakes or impoundments.
For a detailed list of primary fish species in FL, plus state fish records, see the list below.
Fishing lake sizes and locations in the state.
Blue Cypress Lake is a 6,500-acre lake located in the eastern-central part of Florida, 20 miles east of Vero Beach.
Crescent Lake is a 16,000-acre lake located in the northeast part of the state at Crescent City.
Crooked Lake is a 5,500-acre lake located in the central part of the state, 15 miles southeast of Winter Haven.
Deer Point Lake is a 5,000-acre lake located in the northwest part of the state, 5 miles north of Panama City.
Doctors Lake is a 8,300-acre lake in northeast Florida, 10 miles south of Jacksonville.
East Lake Tohopekaliga is a 12,000-acre lake located in the central part of the state, 4 miles east of Kissimmee.
Lake Apopka is a 30,700-acre lake located in the central part of the state, at Winter Garden, FL - 10 miles west of Orlando.
Lake Conlin is a 6,300-acre lake located in the eastern-central part of the state, 10 miles east of St. Cloud.
Lake Eustis is a 7,800-acre lake located in central Florida, 5 miles east of Leesburg.
Lake George is a 46,000-acre lake located in the central part of the state, 8 miles west of Crescent City.
Lake Griffin is a 16,500-acre lake located in the central part of the state, immediately north of Leesburg.
Lake Harris is a 13,800-acre lake located in the central part of the state, immediately south of Leesburg.
Lake Harney is a 6,000-acre lake located in the north-central part of the state, 5 miles east of Geneva.
Lake Hatchineha is a 6,600-acre lake located in the central part of the state, 15 miles south of Kissimmee.
Lake Istokpoga is a 27,700-acre lake located in the central-southern part of the state, 5 miles east of Lake Placid.
Lake Jackson is a 9,200-acre lake in central Florida, at Sebring.
Lake Jessup is a 10,000-acre lake located in the north central part of the state, at Winter Springs.
Lake Kissimmee is a 34,900-acre lake located in the central part of the state, 25 miles south of Kissimmee.
Lake Marian is a 5,700-acre lake located in the central part of the state, 15 miles southwest of Kissimmee.
Lake Miccosukee is a 6,200-acre lake located in the northern-central part of the state, 10 miles west of Monticello.
Lake Monroe is a 9,400-acre lake located in the eastern-central part of the state, at Deltona.
Lake Okeechobee is a 448,000-acre lake located in the southern-central part of the state, at Okeechobee.
Lake Santa Fe is a 5,800-acre lake in northeast Florida, at Melrose.
Lake Seminole, aka Jim Woodruff Reservoir, is a 37,500-acre lake located in the northwest part of the state on the Florida-Georgia border, at Chattahoochie.
Lake Talquin is a 9,800-acre lake located in the northwest part of the state, 10 miles west of Tallahassee.
Lake Tohopekaliga is a 18,800-acre lake located in the central part of Florida, on the southern edge of Kissimmee.
Lake Weir is a 5,700-acre lake located in the middle-western part of the state, at Ocklawaha.
Lake Weohyakapka is a 7,500-acre lake located in the central part of the state, 20 miles southeast of Winter Haven.
Lochloosa Lake is a 5,700-acre lake located in the northeast part of the state, 5 miles south of Hawthorne.
Newnans Lake is a 7,500-acre lake located in northeast Florida, on the eastern outskirts of Gainesville.
Orange Lake is a 12,700-acre lake located in the northeast part of the state, 10 miles south of Hawthorne.
Rodman Reservoir aka Lake Ocklawaha is a 13,000-acre lake in northeast Florida, 1 mile east of Orange Springs.
The St. John's River is a 60-mile long impoundment that runs north and south in the northeast corner of the state, between Jacksonville and Palatka,FL.
Tsala Apopka Lake is a 19,100-acre lake located in the northern part of the peninsula on the western edge, at Hernando.
Fish Species & State Records in Florida
World record: 22 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 17.27 lbs
(also unofficial 20.13 lbs)
World record: 9 lbs 8 oz
State Record: 3.75 lbs
World record: 7 lbs 8 oz
State Record: 5.95 lbs
World record: 8 lbs 12 oz
State Record: 7.83 lbs
World record: 58 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 45.5 lbs
World record: 123 lbs 9 oz
State Record: 69.9 lbs
World record: 143 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 69.5 lbs
World record: 22 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 18.88 lbs
World record: 6 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 3.83 lbs
World record: 4 lbs 12 oz
State Record: 2.95 lbs
World record: 1 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 1.35 lbs
World record: 2 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 2.08 lbs
World record: 5.4 lbs
State Record: 4.86 lbs
World record: N/A
State Record: 0.83 lbs
World record: 2.4 lbs
State Record: 2.44 lbs
World record: 6.8 lbs
State Record: 4.69 lbs
World record: 81 lbs 14 oz
State Record: 42 lbs 2 oz
World record: 27 lbs 5 oz
State Record: 16.31 lbs
World record: 279 lbs
State Record: 123 lbs
World record: 21 lbs 8 oz
State Record: 19 lbs 0 oz
World record: 9 lbs 6 oz
State Record: 6 lbs 15 oz
World record: 50 lbs 5 oz
State Record: 41 lbs 0 oz
Click the images and links above for species details.
A big Florida bass by Tim Fey from FL Bass Fishing Guide Service.
Visit AA-Boats-Boating.com to find information about fishing boats in Florida and other boating information.
All About Fishing wishes you the very best with your fishing endeavors in the great state of Florida.
Many outdoor enthusiasts are taking up the game of pickleball. Click here to find places to play pickleball in Florida!
Florida Fishing Lakes - Info & Maps
Fish for big bass
Big bass are the primary target of Florida anglers. The state also offers good crappie fishing, catfish, stripers and many species of sunfish, like bluegill and redear sunfish.
State of FL Fishing Information
Click here for an online Florida Fishing License. You can also obtain a fishing license at Walmart. While fishing in the area be sure to take the family to Orlando for the vacation of a lifetime. Visit the FL Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission website for rules and regulations on fishing in Florida.
Fishing in all states