Fishing in Ocala Fl
Ocala is a city located in North Central Florida in Marion County United States.
This city has a southern vibe with lots of nearby tourist attractions, but it is best known for its incredible fishing, specifically its lakes for trophy bass fishing.
Trophy Bass Lakes
The 110-mile (180 km) long Ocklawaha River flows north from Central Florida until it joins the St. Johns River near Palatka, Florida. It has two major rivers and several large streams flowing through the Ocala National Forest loaded with largemouth bass. Whether in the Orlando area on business or planning a family vacation, or just trying to decide where to fish. This area contains some of the best fisheries for big bass including, St Johns River, Orange Lake, Rodman Reservoir, and Harris Chain of Lakes. Why not plan a truly memorable fishing trip for an experience on some of the state’s most pristine, spring-fed waters.
Ocala, Fl bass fishing, black crappie, and more
The Ocala National Forest in North Florida has some of Florida’s most pristine, secluded, and scenic trophy bass lakes. Many species are caught in these waters, including largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegills, black crappies, and sunfish.
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Saltwater fishing near Ocala, Fl
Ocala is under an hour to the west coast and about an hour and a half to Daytona. Both worth the drive for some inshore or offshore saltwater fishing. Fish vary more in the coastal waters depending on area and season.
Inshore fish could include:
Redfish, Snook, Spotted Sea Trout, Sharks, Jack Crevalle, Mangrove Snapper, Scamp Grouper, Flounder, Black Drum, Sheepshead, Tarpon.
Offshore fish species could include:
Many different kinds of grouper, Spanish mackerel, larger jacks, hammerhead, and tiger sharks.
Top Targeted Ocala Fish Species
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Ocala National Forest Lakes & Wildlife
Ocala forest lakes and doe lake recreation area is roughly 60 minutes north of Orlando and 45 minutes west of Daytona Beach in what most call “the heart of Florida’s horse country.” The forest sits between two rivers, the mighty St. Johns River on the eastern coast and the Ocklawaha River on the west. This is the southernmost national forest in the continental Unites States east of the Mississippi River. It is also the last significant Sand Pine community left in Florida.
Many of these lakes are secluded and see relatively little fishing pressure and can make for an old-Florida style fishing trip. Most times, not encountering another angler at these remote lakes. Some of the more notable lakes are Lake Kerr, Lake Bryant, Wildcat Lake, Lake Delancey, and Lake Dorr, to name a few.
The area offers unique fishing opportunities, all while providing the Old-Florida charm and beauty. This region offers incredible wildlife, American Bald Eagles, Ospreys, Alligators, and too many aquatic waterfowl and fish species to list here, far removed from a bustling city’s noise and traffic. It includes the state’s largest population of black bears along with scrub -jays, red-cockaded woodpeckers, Sherman’s fox squirrel, and the sand skink.
Local Ocala Fl Bass Fishing Guides
Hiring a local expert
Though Central Florida is known for its big bass lakes and proximity to incredible saltwater fishing experiences, it still takes knowing where to go and the best techniques to catch these fish. Even for the avid fisherman, fishing with a guide who knows these waters like the back of his hand could get you on track for a personal best catch. Fishing with a guide is a great family or solo activity.
The captains will provide the most productive experience while still taking in the area’s natural beauty. By the end of the charter, you’ll find yourself being an even better angler with knowledge of the area’s local waters and species.
Things to do near Ocala, Fl
Three first-magnitude springs in the forest in Marion County are the sources for the crystal clear runs that provide excellent canoeing and boating in this part of the state. Major recreation facilities (camping, canoeing, hiking) are located at most of these springs, with Silver Glen being a day-use-only area.
The Cross Florida Greenways system also runs through the area and the Florida Trail. It’s one of the area’s major tourist destinations; St. Augustine and Daytona Beach have made it a tourist’s favorite vacation spot. Major commercial attractions like Silver Springs, Disney World/Orlando Attractions, Busch Gardens, and Kennedy Space Center are within a few hour’s drive from the Ocala National Forest, contributing to its popularity as a great vacation; check the best fishing spots near Ocala.
Boat ramps in Ocala, FL (Marion County)
- Ray Wayside Park (Ocala Boat Basin)
- Eureka West and West Boat Ramps
- Carney Island Recreation & Conservation Area boat ramps and restrooms only; Lake Weir
- Heagy-Burry boat ramp; Orange Lake
- Moorhead boat ramp and onsite restrooms only; Lake Kerr
- Moss Bluff North boat ramps and onsite restrooms only; Ocklawaha River
- Moss Bluff South boat ramps and onsite restrooms; Ocklawaha River
- Ray Wayside Park boat ramp and restrooms only; Ocklawaha and Silver rivers
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