As one of the most popular fishing destinations in the country, Florida’s waters offer multitudes of fishing opportunities for beginners and seasoned anglers alike. Plentiful beaches and lakes with year-round sunshine make this a perfect choice for your next fishing trip.
Whether you’re a Florida local looking for a new place to fish or visiting the area and looking for a quiet spot to drop your line, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve curated a guide to all the best fishing the Sunshine State has to offer to help you find the perfect place to catch your favorite fish!
PRO TIP: As you venture out on your Florida fishing trip, please be aware that everyone over the age of 16 is required to have a fishing license to fish in Florida. If you don’t have a Florida fishing license, going out on a fishing charter might be a better fit as the charter company or captain carries the license for all those aboard their vessel.
As home to Walt Disney World®, Orlando is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country but it offers some top-notch opportunities for fishing as well. Because of the area’s warm climate, fishing is a year-round sport in Orlando, FL so there’s never a bad time to go fishing.
Beginner and advanced fishermen alike can try their hand at a variety of fishing styles including guided fishing tours, chartered fishing trips, kayak fishing, and other inshore fishing. If you’re a seasoned angler looking to show off your skills, Orlando is the perfect place to do it. This city is home to regular sportfishing tournaments including the Bassmaster and Florida Bass Federation tournament series.
A few of the most popular spots in Orlando are Lake Tohopekaliga, Butler Chain, and even select waterways on the Disney World® property!
Fish species commonly found in Orlando include:
- Largemouth Bass
- Crappie (Speckled Perch)
Fishing in Tampa, FL offers a wide variety of diverse environments to choose from. The city borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico and has plenty of lakes and rivers a little further inland. From flats to reefs to pier fishing, there’s something in Tampa for every angler.
Tampa is well-known for its flats fishing at Wheedon Island Flats and Fort de Soto Flats. There are also plentiful opportunities for reef fishing at the inshore reefs on Pinellas Beach and offshore at Clearwater Reef and St. Pete’s Beach Reef. Or, if you’re looking for a unique experience, you can take a trip to the Tampa Sunshine Skyway Bridge and drop a line directly off of the bridge!
Fish species commonly found in Tampa include:
Miami, FL is home to a variety of attractions, festivals, and exhibits as well as two popular types of fishing for devoted anglers - flats fishing and deep sea fishing. Bordering the Atlantic Ocean, there are plenty of opportunities for deep-sea fishing trips. Biscayne Bay, on the other hand, is a perfect place to go flats fishing in its shallow waters.
If you aren’t familiar with the area, Miami’s fishing guides and charters have you covered. There are hundreds of charter boats available for whatever fishing experience you’re looking for. From small private charters to larger “party-style” boats, there’s an option perfect for every fishing trip.
If you don’t have access to a boat or would prefer to fish from land, there are plenty of inshore fishing opportunities as well. Grab your rod and tackle box and head over to South Pointe Park Pier, Pelican Harbor Marina, or Oleta River State Park for a great day of fishing.
Fish species commonly found in Miami include:
Made up of over 800 islands about 15 miles off the coast of Miami, there’s no shortage of fishing opportunities in the Florida Keys. And with its location and climate, this archipelago offers year-round fishing without any off-season. The Florida Keys are perfect for those who love charter fishing, kayak fishing, and surf fishing.
Three of the most popular fishing destinations in the keys are Key West, Key Largo, and Islamorada (known as the “Sportfishing Capital of the World”), although there isn’t a bad spot to drop a line in all 800 islands.
Fish species commonly found in the Florida Keys include:
- Yellowtail Snapper
Positioned between the St. John’s River and the Atlantic Ocean, Jacksonville offers unlimited opportunities for both fresh and saltwater fishing. Fishing takes place year-round in Jacksonville, although depending on the type of fish you’re hoping to catch you might be better suited for a particular season.
The most popular fishing spots in Jacksonville can be found along the St. John’s River where no boat is required. There are plenty of waterfront parks and reserves where you can drop a line from the bank and enjoy a day by the water. If you’re looking for an on-the-water fishing experience, you can go out into Gulf Stream waters or venture into the marshes and wetlands of the Intercoastal Waterway. Alternatively, you can fish from the beach or off a pier along Jacksonville Beach.
Fish species commonly found in Jacksonville include:
Destin, FL has truly earned its reputation as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” No two fishing trips in Destin look exactly the same thanks to the wide variety of places to fish as well as the fish species to be caught.
Nestled between the Gulf of Mexico and Choctawhatchee Bay, Destin is a fisherman’s paradise. Rent a boat and head out on the bay or charter a deep-sea fishing boat with a captain who can take you out into the gulf with a group. There are even plentiful opportunities to go kayak fishing in the bay or fish off of the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier which extends nearly 1,300 feet into the Gulf of Mexico and has a bait shop on-site.
Fish species commonly found in Destin include:
Daytona Beach’s subtropical climate makes it a perfect destination for fishing all year round. From inlets to rivers to the Atlantic Ocean, Daytona is full of opportunities for beginner and season anglers alike.
If you’re looking for a hidden gem or a local favorite, head out to Halifax River on Ponce Inlet Jetty to cast your line. Or, for a more popular tourist destination, the Daytona Beach Pier is the place to go. Unlike many places in the state of Florida, licenses are not required for fishing from this pier so it’s a perfect place for those who are just getting started fishing.
Fish species commonly found in Daytona include:
- Largemouth Bass
Fort Myers, FL is a quiet town with a rich history and abundant waterways perfect for a day of fishing. From its sunny, year-round fishing season to its diverse fishing locations, there is truly something for every angler in Fort Myers.
Relax and drop a line from the shore at the docks along the Caloosahatchee River or charter a fishing boat with a professional guide who can take you to all the best fishing holes. For an even more immersive experience, rent a kayak and spend a day on the river paddling, casting, and enjoying nature. No matter what kind of fishing experience you’re looking for, Fort Myers is a great place to find it.
Fish species commonly found in Fort Myers include:
The fishing possibilities in Panama City, FL are almost limitless with easy access to both the St. Andrews Bay, the Emerald Coast, and the Gulf of Mexico. Over 3,000 wildlife species can be found in the bay alone so there’s no shortage of opportunities to catch whatever your heart desires.
Surf fishermen will love fishing along the 27 miles of shoreline that Panama City Beach offers. There’s also a pier on the beach that extends out into the Gulf of Mexico, creating a perfect space for catching popular inshore fish. To get the most out of your Panama City fishing trip though, you’ll want to consider a deep-sea fishing charter with a professional guide to help you reel in those trophy fish.
Fish species commonly found in Panama City include:
- Red Snapper
With both inshore and offshore fishing available, Sarasota is an excellent fishing destination. Inshore, you’ll find the beaches of Siesta Key and Lido Key to be excellent places to fish early in the morning or late in the evening when swimmers are scarce. There are a variety of docks and bridges that make perfect inshore fishing spots as well!
For anglers looking for a more daring adventure, there are plenty of offshore fishing opportunities as well. The Sarasota Bay offers excellent flats fishing while the Big Sarasota Pass and New Pass are great for bottom fishing near structures. You can even book one of Sarasota’s fishing charters to go out with a professional guide to show you the best tips, tricks, and fishing spots.
Fish species commonly found in Sarasota include:
- Speckled Trout
- Spanish Mackerel
- Jack Crevalle
Still not sure where to drop your line? Whether you’re looking for a fishing spot in Florida or another area of the US, use our Where to Fish map to find the perfect fishing hole near you.