Welcome to 2022-23 Florida Freshwater Fishing
Familiar Spots or Uncharted Waters, Fishing Opportunities are Everywhere
By Chairman Rodney Barreto
Exciting times are ahead for Florida anglers! Building on the State’s legacy as the Bass Fishing Capital of the World, FWC biologists continue to work towards improving fishing on existing waters while creating new opportunities on others. The Fellsmere Reservoir boat ramp facility opened in late 2020 following $1.35 million dollars of enhancement projects on 2,000 acres of habitat and stocking of nearly 2 million sport fish. Today, the site has matured into one of the most popular regional fisheries with more than 120 approved TrophyCatch submissions, affirming the success of restoration efforts at this location. Expanding on that accomplishment, Fellsmere Reservoir has been included in a small group of waters that will be specially managed to produce even bigger fish as part of the Florida Trophy Bass Project. Suwannee Lake, Lake Victor, and Shop Lake (within Tenoroc Fish Management Area) also have innovative new management regulations, along with complementary management strategies, tailored to put more trophy bass in front of anglers, while TrophyCatch continues to document and promote these catches.
The FWC’s Quarterly Fishing Forecasts (https://MyFWC.com/fishing/freshwater/sites-forecasts/) and a brand-new Florida Top Fishing Spots map premiering in this issue highlight Florida’s best freshwater fishing locations. Here you can explore your region’s major fishing areas to keep tabs on your favorite spot. But Florida’s 8,000 named lakes and 12,000 miles of rivers also means that even for longtime anglers, new adventure always awaits. Whether you enjoy pond-hopping for panfish, sampling Florida’s big-name waters for trophy largemouths, or drifting a scenic river for our state’s other bass species, there’s always a new location to explore or a new species to pursue.
You don’t always need to venture out on a road trip across the state for a fun day of fishing — small ponds can be a great place to catch sunfish and catfish. Think about your favorite local park and freshwater fishing opportunities that may be closer than you think. Head out for a picnic with the family and bring along your rod and reel. Fishing themed birthday parties get kids excited to connect with nature and fosters some healthy competition. Spending time outdoors making meaningful memories together is a great joy to share, whether you are a new angler or a pro. The FWC hosts some great community fishing events to share this love for the outdoors statewide. Visit MyFWC.com/Calendar to find an upcoming opportunity near you.
Freshwater Rule Changes
- Fellsmere Water Management Area (Indian River County): New site and regulations added.
- Suwannee Lake FMA (Suwannee County): New black bass regulations added.
- Lake Victor FMA (Holmes County): New black bass regulations added.
- Tenoroc FMA (Polk County), Shop Lake: New site and regulations added.
For the latest rules, always visit FLRules.org. FWC rules are in chapter 68.