Florida is overflowing with the best locations to fish, because of its wide range of inland fishing destinations and over 1,000 miles of shoreline opening access to deeper marine waters.Each of the state’s popular places to go fishing offers a unique opportunity to catch one or more of the hundreds of shellfish, freshwater and saltwater fish that live in – or frequently visit – Florida’s waterways. Fishing places in FL include streams, swamps, marshes, ponds, beaches and hundreds of lakes.

Most of where to fish in FL is managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), which enforces regulations and limits that help preserve Florida’s unique fishing experiences. Keep reading to learn additional information about good places to fish located throughout the state, and find out where to go fishing if you seek a specific species.

Lake George

Also known as Lake Welaka, Lake George is one of Florida’s fishing places that is filled with brackish water and ample quantities of blue crab. This broad and shallow lake is located on the St. Johns River, and has a maximum depth of 8 feet. Only Lake Okeechobee offers a bigger location of where to go crabbing in a Florida lake. This is one of Florida’s good places to fish and enjoy other types of native wildlife from your boat, including alligators and migratory water birds. Lake George is where to fish for:

  • Mullet
  • Striped bass
  • Atlantic stingray
  • Blue crabs

Access Lake George through boat ramps in Salt Springs and Welaka, where there are also marinas and access to camping and RV sites.

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Escambia River

Fishing places abound along the 54 miles of the Escambia River that run through Florida’s panhandle. Rated one of Florida’s best locations for fishing, it offers the largest variety of North American freshwater fish of any FL river, despite only being the fourth-largest river in the state. The Escambia River is where to go fishing if you like variety, as it boasts 85 native freshwater species, including bluegill, sunfish, crappie, shellcracker and many species of both catfish and bass. Access the Escambia River’s good places to fish through several access points along its banks, including boat landings in Century, Bluff Springs, Molino and Pace. Find fishing spots along the lower river, as it empties into Escambia Bay, where saltwater fish, including redfish, spotted sea trout and sheepshead, frequent.

The Florida Keys

The 125-mile-long stretch of the Florida Keys isone of the world’s best locations to fish for big game fish, as it boasts more saltwater world fishing records than any other fishing destination on the globe. It is where to fish if you dream of reeling in a trophy game fish from a deep-sea fishing charter, especially along the outer curve of Florida Bay, where marlin, sailfish and swordfish abound. The inner curve of Florida Bay is where to fish in shallow waters for tarpon, permit, bonefish, snook and red drum.

The Keys offer good places for fishing year-round, but if you would like to catch a dolphin fish (also called mahi-mahi and dorado) you should visit during the summer months. Long Key State Park offers fishing places for bonefishing, fly fishing and kayak fishing, and 60, full-facility oceanfront campsites that must be booked well in advance of your trip. Long Key State Park is where to go fishing if you use a wheelchair, as it offers accessible restrooms and showers, a handicap ramp through the mangroves and beach wheelchair service.

Disney World

Disney World might not come to mind when you think of spots to go fishing in Florida, but anglers will appreciate how easy and fun it is to incorporate fishing for largemouth bass into a Disney vacation. Disney World fishing places include a dockside casting-rod fishing outing from the Fishin’ Hole at Old Man Island at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. Other Disney fishing places are reached by guided fishing excursions on a 21-foot pontoon boat or a two-seater, tournament-style bass fishing boat. Deciding where to fish at Disney will be your only concern, as Disney provides rod and reel, tackle, artificial or live bait, non-alcoholic beverages and an experienced fishing guide. Angling at Disney fishing places is catch-and-release only.

Anglins Fishing Pier

This is one of the best places to fish from a pier in the Fort Lauderdale area, offering sand and reef or rock fishing. Where to fish for which species changes as you walk along Anglins Pier, with:

  • Croaker, grunts and mangrove snapper along the beginning stretch.
  • Snook, pompano, snapper, cobia, bluefish and mackerel around the middle house.
  • Larger mackerel, snapper, cobia, kingfish and big jacks at the far end.

Whether Anglins Pier is where to go fishing for certain species depends on the season. As in many South Florida fishing spots, snapper, snook, croakers and blue runners are available all year. Anglins Pier is where to fish for cobia, bluefish and pompano in the spring and fall, while winter also brings in bluefish. One of the fishing places damaged by Hurricane Wilma in 2006, the pier is now fully reconstructed and open 24 hours a day for day or night angling.