Florida is truly the Fishing Capital of the World providing our residents and visitors a vast variety of incredible fishing opportunities. Your choices are limitless; from thousands of freshwater lakes, rivers, and ponds, to coastal and offshore fishing for a wide variety of saltwater species.
The lure of fishing lies deep in our culture and consciousness. When we get on the water or beside a pond or creek, the soothing and relaxing effects of Nature provide a healthy outlet for our busy lives. Think about the last time you were on the water and experienced the magic of daybreak or a spectacular sunset. Whether it be a bass attacking your top water plug or the feisty tug of a panfish, few things generate that kind of excitement and leave us with lifelong memories. While fishing alone lets us recharge and reflect, inviting our family, friends, and co-workers creates special memories and deepens relationships. Many anglers have experienced the special privilege of helping someone catch their very first fish. Not only will you help create one of the most unforgettable experiences of their lives, you enable them to appreciate Nature and support conservation of our fish and wildlife.
Within this guide you can learn all about how to enjoy Florida’s awesome freshwater fishing opportunities. From license requirements and regulations to fishing tips and recommended access points, this guide is a good place to start. For more information please go to MyFWC.com/Fishing/Freshwater. Over the first weekend of April and the second weekend of June, anyone can fish for Florida’s freshwater fish with no license required. These weekends are great opportunities to invite a non-angler with you to introduce them to our great sport.
Please learn about our special program to reward anglers for catching really big fish! TrophyCatch (TrophyCatchFlorida.com) provides gift cards, shirts, and other valuable rewards for largemouth bass caught, photo documented, and released. Anglers submitting their trophy bass catches are providing our biologists with valuable data that help us manage and conserve Florida’s freshwater fish and wildlife and their habitat.
We all live busy lives and far too often we don’t take enough time to enjoy the outdoors. Nearly everyone in Florida lives close to a lake, pond, river, stream or canal. Find a few convenient spots near you that offer public access and make it a habit to stop for a few casts. Your mind and soul will thank you and who knows, maybe you will catch that “fish of a lifetime.”
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.