Florida : Fishing Capital of the World

November 9, 2011 by

Florida is the “Fishing Capital of the World” because of its great resources and responsible management. The diversity of sport fishes, habitats, great weather, year-round fishing and superb tourism and fishing industry-related infrastructure are unsurpassed.

South Florida is the center of the state’s bountiful saltwater and freshwater fishing. Nowhere else can you catch a tarpon, snook, largemouth, and peacock bass — in the same day on the same lake — or head out to the Atlantic for catch-and-release sailfish and 400-pound swordfish.

When is the Best Time to Go Fishing in Florida?

Anytime that you can get out on the water safely (let’s avoid lightning storms and hurricanes). However, as you gain experience you will see that some times are more likely to be productive than others. The following bullet points provide some basic tips.

Time of Day: Typically, for freshwater fishes especially, dawn and dusk tend to be more active feeding periods and also allow some escape from the heat. However, anytime of day you can expect to catch fish, if you know where to find them and are patient.

Lunar Cycle: Yes, the phases of the moon also play a role in how aggressive fish are and how they congregate, especially around spawning time. The Solunar Theory helps provide some insights into peak fishing periods based on this information–but remember local variables may play an even more important role.

Weather Patterns: Many species of fish tend to fish actively just before a front passes through and then shut down somewhat during the sudden barometric changes associated with the storm front itself. If the front lasts for a prolonged period, the aftermath can again bring enhanced fishing conditions. One good source of weather information is Wunderground; others are listed below.

Spawning Cycles: Each fish species is prone to spawn at a certain time(s) of year. Part of this is programmed into their genes, but much of it is triggered by water temperature, lunar phase and their nutrition as well.

EventsFree Fishing Weekend occurs during the first full weekend in April each year. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission sponsors numerous events around the state to encourage parents and other responsible adults to “take a kid fishing” and see what they mean when they say “Water Works Wonders.” The first full week in June is National Fishing and Boating Week and is a time when businesses around the state and our Division of Marine Fisheries concentrate many of their clinics. Watch the agency event schedule for other special opportunities.

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