Florida Fishing and Boating Guide

Northeast Florida

Banana River (Brevard)
Anglers can expect to find shallow seagrass and mangrove-based ecosystems at Banana River. The northern part is an important spring habitat for the east coast population of manatees. Activities such as sail boarding, kayaking, duck hunting and bird watching are year-round.

Clermont Chain (Lake)
Eleven lakes make up this Fish Management Area; most of the lakes have dark water, but Lake Minneola is relatively clear. Bluegill and redear sunfish hang around the shallow water near vegetation. Worms, crickets and grass shrimp should be productive as bait. Catfish and bass are also popular catches, using chicken liver and plastic worms as bait, respectively. Black crappie isn't as plentiful, but still a good catch. Use minnows as bait around deep grassy areas.
A boat ramp on Lake Minneola charges a use fee, so the ramp north of Lake Louisa might be an easier choice. Lake Minneola's fishing pier is another option.

Crescent Beach (St. Johns)
Crescent Beach, short distance from St. Augustine's Anastasia Island and Vilano Beach, is a great spot for coastal angling. Redfish, flounder, mahi, sea trout and marlin are all popular catches. Fish from the pier or take a deep sea charter for the larger sport fish.

Flagler Beach (Flagler)
Nestled between the Intracoastal and the Atlantic, the deep channel of Flagler Beach offers an abundance of snapper, tarpon, snook, redfish and whiting. Blue crab is a potential catch when lured with raw chicken.
Boat access is available from the county dock or through Gamble Rogers Memorial State Park. Boatless anglers can fish from the Flagler Beach Pier.

Indian River Lagoon (Brevard, Indian River & St. Lucie)
This 155-mile stretch of water is extremely fertile, offering more than 1,300 plant species, 300 bird species and 700 fish species, both fresh and saltwater varieties. Crevalle jack is plentiful in the lagoon and feeds on baitfish close to the surface. The eight-pound sheepshead is another popular catch.
Stick to seawalls, oyster bars and inshore tidal creeks, as these are good congregating spots.

Kenansville Lake (Indian River)
Once a cattle pasture, this 2,500-acre area has been flooded into a shallow pond. Averaging a 3-foot depth, fishing is often plentiful. Bluegill and redear are prolific during spawning; try the areas near the levees for the best catches.
Black crappie can be found in the deeper waters using a jig pole. Experiment with jigs to get a successful color. Bass fishing is catch-and-release only.
Due to the low water level and the submerged posts, boaters should be especially careful. There is a boat ramp on-site and the nearby town of Kenansville supplies gas and bait.

Lake Blue Cypress (Indian River)
Cypress and water lilies line the shoreline of this 6,555-acre area, and easily marked fish attractors offer the easiest angling. Bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie and catfish are all popular catches.
Boaters can access the lake by the boat ramp. A fishing pier, restroom facilities and picnic tables are available, and fishing is permitted from the pier and bank. A nearby marina offers fuel.

Lake Crescent (Flagler & Putnam)
A tributary of the St. Johns River, this 15,960-acre lake offers the best fishing in early spring. Bass and crappie spawn in the lake, and sometimes inhabit the vegetation into the spring and summer. Bluegill and shellcracker spawning should yield productive catches through the summer.
A boat ramp with small parking lot is available, and fishing is allowed from the bank.

Lake Conway (Orange)
The hard, sandy bottom and vegetation of this 1,800-acre chain is a great place to catch bass. Try jig spoons, spinnerbaits, topwater lures and soft jerk baits. Jigs and beetle spins should bring in a good catch of crappie.

Lake Garcia Reservoir (Indian River)
A 3,149-acre section of the Blue Cypress Water Management Area, the reservoir's shallow waters harbor bass, bluegill and black crappie. If water levels stay high, bass fishers should try chuggers or floating minnows in the northwest section. Fishing with live minnows as bait on the west side should yield plenty of black crappie.
A boat ramp, parking lot, picnic area and restrooms are located on-site. Boaters who are unfamiliar with this area should pay close attention to navigational hazards.

Lake George (Volusia & Putnam)
The vast amounts of vegetation in Lake George make for excellent fish habitation. There are jetties on the south end of the lake, which can yield good bass harvests. Live shiners and crankbaits will work best, but feel free to try floating worms or live minnows near the eelgrass beds. Bluegill and redear are best caught with crickets and worms, respectively.
A small boat ramp is open to the public. Pine Island Fish Camp and Georgetown Marina & Lodge offer private access. The water level stays at about 9 feet, but large boats will have no problem navigating the channel.

Lake Harris (Lake)
This 13,788-acre lake offers decent largemouth bass with plastic worms, crankbaits or live shiners as bait. Stick to the areas around the S.R. 19 bridge and the grassy shoreline. The full moon should produce a good amount of bluegill and redear spawning. Try grass shrimp, crickets and worms as bait.
Singletary Park on Highway 27 offers access to the lake, as does a public boat ramp in Leesburg's Venetian Gardens. Florida Avenue in Astatula provides another ramp. Hickory Point recreational area's boat ramp has a usage fee. Lake Harris Lodge (a fish camp) is another option.

Lake Ivanhoe (Orange)
Wacky-rigged plastics or fluke juniors help lure bass near the lake's many drop-offs. Aerator diffusers, easily located by bubbles, may draw schooling activity.

Lake Jessup (Seminole)
One of the top fishing areas in this section of the St. Johns River, this massive lake is a great spot for bluegill, redear sunfish and black crappie, which prefer minnows and spinners.

Lake Kissimmee (Osceola)
The vegetation in Lake Kissimmee should be home to plenty of largemouth bass. Spinnerbaits will act as the prime artificial lure here, as will soft jerkbaits and plastic worms. Full moon should induce bluegill spawning, providing the best fishing opportunities. Live bait with a split-shot sinker about 5 inches above the bait will work best in areas with a clean, sandy bottom.

Lake Monroe (Seminole & Volusia)
A 9,406-acre lake in the middle of the St. Johns River, Lake Monroe should provide excellent opportunities in the bulrushes, as long as the water level remains high. The bulrushes on the west side have seen plenty of bass and redear. Bluegill and crappie harvests will be spotty, but a combination of full moon, deep water and vegetation won't disappoint.
The intersection of US 17/92 and I-4 features a public boat ramp, as does the Monroe Harbor Marina in Sanford. The lake's north side has a ramp off Enterprise Road.

Lake Panasoffkee (Sumter)
Shallow, spring-fed and more than 4,000 acres large, Lake Panasoffkee offers a good amount of bass, bluegill and redear. Bass will be prolific around grassy areas both early and late in the day; try topwater lures and plastic worms as bait. Redear and bluegill will flee when they see a boat through the clear water, but patience will
be rewarded. A public boat ramp is available on C.R. 470 on the Outlet River.

Lake Tohopekaliga (Osceola)
Known to locals as Lake Toho, the 18,810-acre lake offers fish attractors for successful fishing. Largemouth bass are often found near Goblets Cove, Lanier Point, Brown's Point, and Little Grassy Island. Live and artificial bait should yield good catches, especially golden shiners and dark-colored plastic worms. Bluegill are especially prolific during the full moon. Sandy, vegetated areas pocked with small holes are signs of bedding; try live bait or small jigs.
A large, six-lane boat ramp with floating courtesy dock is available on Lakeshore Boulevard. A parking lot accommodates 84 cars, and restroom and picnic facilities are located on-site. Fishing from the pier and the bank
are permitted.

Lake Washington (Brevard)
At 4,362 acres, Washington is Brevard County's largest lake. Largemouth bass make up a good number of prime fishing; stick with crankbaits, spinnerbaits and live worms. Black crappie respond best to minnows and small jigs.

Lake Yale (Lake)
Largemouth bass fishing should be decent around vegetation; shiners, plastic worms, topwater plugs and spinnerbaits work well as bait. Bluegill and redear sunfish will be plentiful as spawning continues. Using worms, grass shrimp and crickets as bait near shoreline vegetation should bring in a good haul.
Boat ramps are available in Marsh Memorial Park and the north side of the lake. Marsh Memorial Park permits bank fishing.

Ocala Forest Lakes (Lake & Marion)
The 600 or so lakes in the Ocala National Forest should provide ample fishing opportunities. Bluegill and redear should spawn in shallow water near vegetation. Look for a honeycomb-like pattern of holes on the lake bottom. Worms and crickets work best as bait. Several restrictions exist for largemouth bass possession, so double-check with park rangers to avoid a violation.
There are a number of boat ramps in the forest, but low water levels may keep larger vessels from launching.

Oklawaha River (Lake, Marion & Putnam)
Oklawaha begins in Lake County and flows to the St. Johns River. Black crappie fishing will become slower as warm weather sets in, while bluegill, redear and catfish should be plentiful year-round. Try grass shrimp and worms to bait the redear; catfish will respond to chicken livers. The shallower, clearer waters of the lower portion harbor largemouth bass and spotted and redear sunfish. Drift shiners in holes along the riverbank for bass; try live worms and grass shrimp for the sunfish.

Rodman Reservoir (Putnam)
This 9,500-acre reservoir is a prime location for largemouth bass. Stick to the deeper areas during warmer weather and try deep-diving crankbaits. Bream, redbreast sunfish, warmouth and bluegill are also common catches.
Boaters should take caution around floating logs.

Sebastian Inlet (Brevard)
The prime fishing hotspot on the East Coast, this gem of a beach harbors blue marlin, grouper, amberjack, wahoo and dolphin in its warm waters. Spotted sea trout are another common catch, especially around grassy areas in the summer. In colder weather, follow them to the deeper open water. Snook, redfish, bluefish and Spanish mackerel should be plentiful, as well.

Starke Lake (Orange)
To catch some of the plentiful largemouth bass, stick close to fish attractors, which are marked with yellow buoys. Texas-rigged plastic worms usually bait well. If temperatures are below 80 degrees, try submerged eel grass and peppergrass below 5-10 feet of water.

Stick Marsh (Indian River)
This 6,500-acre impoundment of the St. Johns Water Management Area is a perfect spot for catching bass, bluegill, redear, crappie and several species of catfish. The "no harvest" regulation prohibits the harvesting of largemouth bass—something catch-and-release anglers will appreciate.
The marsh offers a double-lane boat ramp, air boat launch site, restrooms and parking lot. Boaters should be careful of the navigational hazards throughout the area.

Turkey Lake (Orange)
Using lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits, largemouth bass may be pulled out of deeper pads and grassy bottlenecks, where they are commonly found. Although public boat access is restricted, anglers can choose to participate in a Boat Loaner Program for a small fee.

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