Millions of people choose to take up fishing and boating as a way to get outdoors, get fresh air, and spend time with loved ones. Whether you’re new to fishing or consider yourself a pro, finding new fishing spots is one of the greatest joys of this popular hobby.
The south boasts countless freshwater lakes teeming with fish for you to catch, with plenty of them in sunny, palm-studded Florida. In fact, Florida’s freshwater fisheries comprise 3 million acres of lakes, ponds, and reservoirs according to the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation.
Check out some of our favorites and add these to your itinerary!
Lake OkeechobeeIt's hard to talk about freshwater lakes in the south for fishing without mentioning "the Big O." Lake Okeechobee boasts the best bass fishing in the world, but you can also catch what the locals call “panfish” or crappie.
This lake is the Sunshine State’s largest, covering a whopping 730 square miles and is well-known for producing the largest quantity and best quality of bass. An added bonus is that this lake is surrounded by stunning scenery and a seemingly endless horizon, giving you that escape to nature your soul has been searching for.
Lake TalquinJust 11 miles from Florida’s state capital of Tallahassee, Lake Talquin boasts over 40 miles of pristine and mostly undeveloped shortline, making it a prime fishing destination. Though it’s known as one of the best black bass lakes in the winter, it holds great populations of crappie, bluegill, and catfish as well. Fishing can be enjoyed year round at this watering hole, but swimmers beware! This lake is a wildlife habitat that includes alligators and snakes. Don’t tip the canoe!
Near Orlando, you’ll find a chain of eight lakes (Apopka, Harris, Griffin, Eustis, Dora, Beauclair, Carlton, and Yale), totaling about 76,000 acres. The largest populations of fish in these lakes include largemouth bass, black crappie, and bream. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has completed numerous restorations including improving habitat, fish populations, and water quality throughout the chain, making this a pristine fishing spot.
Harris Chain has also been considered to be the number one trophy bass fishing destination in Florida, so this is one you can’t miss if you’re in it to win it!
A premier largemouth bass fishery located in north Florida, the Rodman Reservoir covers over 9,000 acres and is over 15 miles long. This reservoir is legendary for the number of fish species it produces, including trophy bass, redbreast sunfish, and channel catfish.
This vastly underdeveloped and scenic waterway also boasts alligators, turtles, Bald Eagles, and more. You’re sure to soak in some rich wildlife and marine life at this stop.
It’s safe to say the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes is a freshwater angler’s dream come true, particularly for those in search of their next big bass. Covering more than 80,000 acres of water, this chain has become every local fisherman’s favorite spot.
The Kissimmee Chain comprises eight lakes total, including Lake Kissimmee, Lake Tohopekaliga “Lake Toho”), East Lake Tohopekaliga (“East Toho”), Lake Hatchineha, Lake Marion, Lake Cypress, Lake Gentry, and Lake Jackson. This array of lakes lends itself to all levels of fishing experience, making it a stunning first stop and one you’ll come back to again and again.
Butler ChainMade up of 11 interconnected lakes, the Butler Chain covers 4,720 fish-populated acres. Areas of this chain reach depths of 50 feet or more, making this one of the deepest lake chains in Florida. And if you’re a namedropper as well as a pro angler, you’ll be excited to learn that such notables as Shaquille O’Neal, Ken Griffey Jr., and Tiger Woods have called the Butler Chain of Lakes home.
We can’t think of a better place to catch some fish and rub elbows with some big shots.
Florida isn’t known as the “Bass Fishing Capital of the World” for nothing. We’re astounded at the amount of watering holes there are in the Sunshine State, but in our eyes, it means one thing. No end to the adventure that’s waiting for you.
You can go ahead and put “Gone Fishin’” on your Out of Office. We understand.
Groove Life®. Ready for Adventure™.