Flyfishers Guide to Freshwater Florida

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While it's fun catching them on crickets and worms, watching a bluegill track and attack a top-water lure is great entertainment. Crappie are also a panfish and, though catchable on most any small lure or bait, represent a favorite target of fly fishers.

Key West Fishing Charters and Saltwater Fly Fishing

They rise to take a pattern resembling a bug and on light fly gear will thrash and fight very well. Here's a review of lakes, rivers and canals in addition to Lake Okeechobee that are worthy of a visit for freshwater fishing in Florida:. Paralleling the Tamiami Trail US 41 starting just west of Miami to Naples, this canal has been the scene of hand-to-fin combat for three generations. Cane poles, fly rods and spin gear can reach across most areas of the canal - just watch out for alligators and water moccasins. The canals built for hurricane control in Miami hold good quantities of bass, as do many residential ponds.

Off US Hwy. Try "flipping," which involves dropping your bait within the length of your rod where you see the water or foliage moving in hopes it's a bass lying there waiting to slurp up your plastic worm.


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It's not far from Auburndale and close to I-4, but of late it's produced some of the biggest bass in the state, with many pound-plus lunkers reaching boat side. Yes, you read that right.

Disney's two big lakes contain a huge population of bass that have learned to live with boat noise and crowds. You can't go on your own but two-hour excursions aboard pontoon boats with a guide are available - and it's all catch and release. Just west of Tallahassee, this stump-strewn lake is the perfect environs for healthy bass.

About This Item

Go with heavier line than usual to deter the abrasion. A collection of short fly fishing videos from our area that help to showcase the incredible fishery that we have here in Florida.

Bestselling Series

The freshwater sources of the bay are distributed among over a hundred small tributaries, rather than a single river. The bay bottom is silty and sandy, with an average water depth of only about 12 feet. More than species of fish are found in the waters of the bay, which provides some incredible fly fishing opportunities for species such as Tarpon, Snook, Redfish, Cobia, and Sea Trout, to name a few.

The Nature Coast consists of the area from St. Along this stretch of coastline, crystal clear spring fed rivers flow into beautiful salt marshes dotted with mangroves. This area also has many wildlife refuges that hold an abundance of fish and bird species. The southern parts of this pristine unspoiled coast, including Tarpon Springs, Chassahowitzka, and Homosassa, are only about a 40 minute drive from the bustling city of Tampa. The Northern area can be accessed from Gainsville or Ocala. This area is a wonderful place to escape the busy, urban areas and visit old Florida. Since vegetation accumulates around the knots of hand-tied leaders, knotless versions are recommended instead.

Regardless of whether a pattern is fished above or below the surface, a slow retrieve will usually draw the most strikes around plant cover.

Fly Fishing Near Orlando Florida

School Bass: Of course, there are notable exceptions to largemouth bass feeding outside the littoral zone. In Florida, one of the most electrifying occurrences, and my favorite, is when they gather in schools to attack pods of bait swimming near the surface. The water boils with excitement as baitfish scatter in every direction to avoid the voracious bass.


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When concentrations of fish are feeding indiscriminately in open water, almost any fly is productive as long as it lands in the middle of the fracas; however, the bass may become increasingly selective as they continue to feed during the course of several hours. In those instances, a match-the-hatch approach becomes necessary.

These melees generally last only a few seconds, after which another attack may take place in a different location, usually within close proximity of the previous one. Unless the fly is delivered during the feeding frenzy, the chances of a hook-up drop significantly. Consequently, a quick presentation is critical to success in these situations.