Best Place For Freshwater & Saltwater Fishing In Florida
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Picking the Best Time and Place for Freshwater and Saltwater Fishing in Florida

Picking the Best Time and Place for Freshwater and Saltwater Fishing in Florida

Picking the Best Time and Place for Freshwater and Saltwater Fishing in Florida

Florida is one of the top vacation hotspots in the United States due to its warm climate. People who want to escape the cold winter go to Florida. However, aside from being a top tourist and retirement destination, Florida is also known as a fishing hotspot for freshwater and saltwater fishing adventures.

Let’s look at Florida’s best fishing places and fishing seasons to fully enjoy your next fishing adventure in the Sunshine State.

Florida Keys

Considered as the sportfishing capital of the world, Florida Keys will surely satisfy your tropical fishing experience. Going to the Florida Keys is an ideal trip for recreational fishing or just for viewing. The Florida Keys can give you the billfish and the hard-to-catch bonefish.

BEST TIME TO GO: It’s best to fish in the Florida Keys from April to October. It is during this time when you can pick the species of fish you plan to catch.

South Florida

South Florida’s fishing scene is a mix of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico waters. Moreover, in case you want some freshwater catch, South Florida is also a hotspot for inland freshwater fishing adventures due to its abundant lakes. You can catch marlins and wahoos offshore the coast of South Florida.

BEST TIME TO GO: Summer is the best time to fish in these waters. Some species of fish migrate here during the summer.

Atlantic Coast

Miles away from the Atlantic Coast is the Atlantic Gulf Stream. The waters here are warm, making it a large fish basket of saltwater species. More so, fish coming from St. John’s River also contributes to the rich biodiversity of this area.

BEST TIME TO GO: Fall is the prime time for Atlantic fishing and will peak again during spring. For freshwater fishing near the Atlantic Coast, the summer months are the peak season. You get to rest during winter and resume once spring kicks in.

Gulf Coast

In terms of popularity, the Gulf Coast is the region you’d want to visit. Regions like Pensacola, Destin, and Panama City are famous names for recreational fishing. Moreover, these towns are tourist magnets as well.

BEST TIME TO GO: Summer is the season for fishing in this area. However, fishing in the Gulf Coast is all year round, depending on the species you want to catch. Snappers, triggerfish, seatrout, and bass are common.

Central West

Central West Florida is another fishing hotspot worth considering. Visit Tampa, Tarpon Springs, and Sarasota for fishing. These regions are famous in the Central West part of Florida. Most fish species are relatively abundant all year round.

If you’re looking to catch some bass (sunshine), crappie (black), sailfish, snapper (red), and tuna, these species are only active less than five months in a year.

BEST TIME TO GO: Though Central West Florida is available for all-year-round fishing, you should try going from April to September.

Florida’s Freshwater Lakes

Estimates say that there are around 7,800 lakes in Florida. There’s literally no reason for you not to wet the hook. However, there are lakes worth going around Florida for a fresh catch of freshwater bass. Here are some lakes you should take note of:

  • Lake Tohopekaliga
  • Lake Okeechobee (the biggest lake in Florida)
  • Lake Harris
  • Orange Lake
  • Lake Lochloosa

Fish Species in Florida

Fishing is something that most people and tourists like about Florida. It’s not only the entertainment value it gives but the different kinds of fish species one could catch. However, fish species are seasonal. For people with no particular species to see, any time of the year is fine. But if you’re into sports fishing, you should pay attention to the seasons of fish.

Let’s look at the famous fish species in Florida:


The best time to catch sailfish in Florida is during the winter months. These fish migrate north when the climate starts to change. You can catch many sailfishes during November. This is the time when the cold front hits. Sailfish will start migrating north and pass through the Florida Keys. Moreover, you can also catch sailfish on the Atlantic Coast or in the Gulf.


Famous tuna species in Florida are yellowfin, blackfin, and skipjack, but at least eight different tuna species are in Florida’s waters. Fishing tuna is at its peak during May and August. The Atlantic Coast is the best fishing ground for Tuna since the deeper waters are close to the shore. However, you can still catch some in the Florida Keys.


August and October are the best months to catch marlins. Usually, they appear during late spring and early fall. However, you can catch a lot of marlin during the summer since it is their primetime. The Florida Keys is a famous fishing spot for marlins. Marlin migrates to warmer waters when winter arrives.


One of the most sought-after species by anglers is the bonefish. It’s hard to catch but definitely fun. Anglers can take up the extra challenge from April to October and are abundant during these months in the Florida Keys. Hence, get your hooks ready for some exhilarating fishing adventure. Best of luck in catching a bonefish!


Florida waters aren’t strangers to wahoo. It’s common, and anglers always encounter wahoos during fishing adventures. They are usually available all year round, but they’re abundant during the summer months of July and August. Tidal swings affect the abundance of wahoo, and it is during July and August when tidal swings favor anglers.

The Florida Keys and South Florida are the best fishing grounds for wahoo. However, the waters might get crowded. Come as early as you can to get the best catch.

Discover Florida Beyond Fishing

Beyond fishing adventures, whether freshwater or saltwater, Florida is more. There are a lot of tourist and recreational attractions in the state that you’ll surely enjoy alongside fishing.

To know more about Florida’s beauty, You Discover Florida offers a listing of the best places to see, as well as a list of the latest events and places to go in the Sunshine State. Check out categories and directories of the best businesses, restaurants, resorts, inland and water adventures, and many more.

Discover Florida’s beauty with just a click. Start your adventure now at

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