Fresh Water Fishing in Florida: What Should You Expect?

Freshwater fishing can be so much fun. But can you freshwater fish in Florida? The simple answer is yes, you sure can! We have tons of lakes and bodies of fresh and brackish water, that host a variety of fresh water fish. Truth be told there are roughly around 100 species of freshwater fish in South Florida alone!

According to the Florida Wildlife Commission, Florida is the fishing capital of the World.  Florida houses 3 million acres of lakes, ponds and other water reservoirs, and roughly 12,000 miles of fishable rivers, streams and canals; all with no closed seasons.

This alone is enough to cause freshwater anglers to get excited about that Florida vacation. With 3 million acres of lakes, ponds and canals, that means no matter where you decide to plan your Florida vacation, that freshwater angler in your life can enjoy some fun Florida fishing!

If freshwater fishing in Florida is on your to-do list while on vacation, don’t worry! Florida Wildlife Commission offers non-resident permits!  Non-residents can buy a freshwater permit for 3-days for $17.00, a 7-day permit for $30.00, and an annual permit for $47.00. You can look at the options and purchase online here at:

I am personally not an avid freshwater angler myself, but my husband is. Fishing is probably his favorite hobby. Florida always has tournaments happening all over especially for largemouth bass. In fact, every May, my husband and I do a couples fishing tournament to benefit a non-profit, on the St. Johns River in Palakta, Florida.

One of the things about freshwater fishing in Florida, are the things you have to be on the lookout for when your fishing. Fishing in Florida is fun, but comes with some risks. Alligators and venomous snakes are some of the biggest risks that you have to worry about when freshwater fishing in Florida. Alligators roam in any and every body of freshwater in Florida. That is why you have to be so careful when fishing in or around a body of water. You want to make sure you are watching for potential threats, so that a gator doesn’t sneak up on you while you are fishing.

Snakes are another concern. While rattlesnakes may be a concern in the woods, water moccasins are water snakes and they are very venomous, and can be very aggressive. In fact, one day when my husband and father in law were out fishing in a lake, on a their boat, a water moccasin dropped down out of the trees and into their boat! You can imagine the alarm they experienced over that one. But that is just one way a venomous snake can become a serious threat out of the blue. When you are out on or near the water, you have to be constantly looking for wildlife, like gators and snakes to ensure your safety.

With all that said, don’t let the dangerous wildlife deter you from experiencing freshwater fishing in the Florida. While you do have to maintain a level of observation for your own safety, freshwater fishing in Florida is a great experience.  Freshwater fishing is a great way to enjoy a relaxing day, taking in the beauty of Florida, and all of its wildlife.

While some of the wildlife here may be scary, that doesn’t mean all of it is. Watching the birds, and other animals, like turtles, shows you exactly why so many people call Florida paradise.

So when you are visiting our great state, grab a non-resident permit, a fishing pole, and enjoy some fun in the sun, like the natives do.