Camping In The Everglades

Camping In The Everglades

Camping In The Everglades

Are you a nature lover? Do you enjoy exploring and being in the great outdoors and going on camping trips? Then we highly recommend camping in the Florida Everglades! 

Explore any part of the Ten Thousand Islands, and you will feel more connected with the natural world than ever before.

If you love spending time in the natural world and the thought of camping for at least one night amid Florida’s most diverse ecosystem, then Everglades camping will satisfy your outdoor soul. But of course, we would suggest that you stay more than overnight because of the many activities you can do while you are there. You will need a minimum of two days to try most of them.

Everglades Is US’ Largest Subtropical Wilderness

The best Everglades camping lies south of Alligator Alley in Everglades National Park and Big Cypress Preserve. Because of its vastness and the wildlife it houses, the Everglades has been recognized as a World Heritage Site, a Wetland of National Importance, and an International Biosphere Reserve.

Everglades National Park is located in the southern tip of Florida and is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. It’s a prominent spot but only one part of a massive ecosystem that begins near Orlando in the Kissimmee River watershed and reaches 175 miles south of Florida Bay.

Everglades as we know today is the product of years worth of evolution and mother nature’s craftmanship. The Everglades were formed from the water that flowed freely over the low-lying lands that created ponds, sloughs, and marshes. As a result, the diversity of living organisms developed a delicately balanced ecosystem.

camping in the everglades national park-flamingo campground Florida

Everglades National Park Is A Conservation Measure

The nomads-turned-settlers discovered the area and saw the land as potential farmland. So they began transforming the wetlands to be a source of livelihood, but it came with devastating effects on the natural environment. Hence in 1947, Everglades National Park was created to conserve 1.5 million acres of wildlife.

Fun fact, fugitives, pirates, and smugglers have also once made Everglades their homes in the past. Today, you would be surprised to know that some still reside in the area. But most are situated out of the public eye and are in the backcountry swamps accessible only by airboats or swamp buggies and oft-flooded unpaved roads.

Everglades National Park Vs. Big Cypress National Preserve

Today, camping in Everglades National Park will make you feel like going back in time. The richness of flora and fauna distributed across an enormous area seems surreal, like the ones you only see on TV. The bodies of water and landforms home to many animals will surely entice you to go camping in the Everglades for a weekend.

In the extensive land area of Everglades National Park, there are two options of developed campgrounds you can choose from. Meanwhile, the nearby Big Cypress has a half-dozen more campgrounds. This excludes the primitive backcountry sites accessible only by boat or a strenuous hike through often wet and swamping trails. Visitors can book Big Cypress at four campgrounds: Monument Lake Campground, Burns Lake Campground, Pinecrest (group camping only), and Midway campground. 

Between the two, if you want a complete front-country camping experience, staying in the Everglades National Park is the way to go. As mentioned, it has two campground options, the Long Pine Key Campground and Flamingo Campground. Be reminded that the Long Pine Key Campground is closed during the summer months.

It is discouraged to visit in the summer because of the scorching heat and humid conditions. But it turns into a wonderland for observing wildlife as the humidity lifts in winter. You will be able to spot more than 300 species of birds here that will settle down from winter’s invasion.

Guests at wilderness campsites must have a wilderness camping permit which is issued at Flamingo or the Gulf Coast Vistors Centers the day before or the day of your trip.

camping in the Everglades national park wilderness permits

The Long Pine Key Campground

Going to Long Pine Key Campground is a short drive from Everglades National Park entrance and close to the Homestead Visitor Center. Because of this close starting point, it saves campers miles and gas from driving to Flamingo Campground while still getting enough dose of the Everglades. There are no hookups for RV campsites in the area, but each site is provided with a fire ring and picnic tables.

The best thing about going to Long Pine is that it is only a few miles from the Anhinga Trail at Royal Palm. The Anhinga Trail will let you experience something only campers at Long Pine Key can have. This is where campers can observe how the alligators behave after dark using their flashlights; the alligators’ eyes glow red when shone.

Other nearby attractions are the scenic Long Pine Key Lake and the 7-mile-long Long Pine Key trail. The latter is a favorite among fat-tire cyclists, while the former has been a crowd favorite in general because it gets everyone mesmerized every time by its wonderful sight.

It is worth noting for first-time campers that the area only offers cold showers, there are no hot showers in the area, but the bathrooms are clean and convenient to use. Also, do not expect to get a great cellphone signal anywhere; there is hardly any. Finally, you cannot buy firewood once you get there, but you can always forage for dead wood and kindling.

Amenities at the campsites include restrooms, cold showers, dump stations, and freshwater fill-ups. All tent site spaces are on a first-come, first-serve, and campsite fees are $25 for regular campsites and $35 for group sites.

camping in everglades national park flamingo campground

The Flamingo Campground

Now we discuss the more comfortable campground option in the Everglade National Park, The Flamingo Campground. The Flamingo campsite is located at the end of the road when you enter the gates of Everglades National Park. So, approximately, it will take you 40 miles south to get to the Flamingo Campground. But the long drive is so worth it when you arrive at the location.

The Flamingo Campground can accommodate both tents and RV camping in its 234 drive-up sites. Reservations are unnecessary but will come in handy if you want campsites with electric hookups that are $20 per night, while campsites with no electric hookups are $30 per night.

Many of the campsites have a scenic view of Florida Bay because it is situated in the southernmost of Florida. Unlike in the Long Pine Key campground, the summertime is an excellent time to go camping in this part of Everdale National Park, especially if you prefer fewer people around. It’s highly recommended to bring bug spray and jackets to enjoy the Park, especially during the summer. Visitors can purchase all essential items such as the bug spray at the Marina store.

Camping Options

Flamingo has tons of spaces for tent camping but also offers some glamping opportunities. Drive-through campsites in A Loop (no hookups) and T Loop (electric only) are available.

The campground sites at the T loop campground include some limited electrical hookups and a pull-through parking area. There is no water at the 30A-20A-50A pedestals. There are filling stations next to the dump station.

Glamping

Flamingo offers incredible glamping opportunities that allow visitors to experience the beautiful Everglades and the Florida Bay view with added comfort. The eco tents with furnishing are available from November through mid-April only. The eco tent camping platforms are elevated to keep visitors away from the mud, water, and critters.

Things To Do in the Everglades National Park

The two campgrounds of Everglades National Park collectively comprise the third largest Park in the lower 48 states. It spans 2,400 square miles in total. With this land area, there is an activity for individuals, groups, or families to enjoy. 

The diverse landscapes let you enjoy various adventures while camping in the ultimate wilderness ranging from canoeing, hiking, biking, kayaking, fresh and saltwater fishing. Everglades National Park is a large open field with strong breezes coming off the bay. The Flamingo area, in particular, has lots of hiking and canoe trails.

Aside from the activities mentioned above, you can also try other things on your visit. For example, birdwatching is one of the most rewarding activities in the Everglades. The vast skies allow for easy spotting of great blue herons or an entire flock of roseate spoonbills.

A very unique and satisfactory use of the massive space is to do Geocaching. Geocaching is like an outdoor treasure hunt. The game’s objective is for players to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and share their experiences online. 

Fishing and Boat Tours

Visitors can explore the Everglades through the many boat rentals available. Most people, when looking to explore the mangroves, opt for kayaks and canoes. Pontoons and skiff boat rentals are also available.

While visiting the Everglades, everyone should experience fishing at the fantastic national parks. Enjoy breathtaking views and wildlife while catching the most popular shallow water sport fish on a guided fishing trip.

The National Parks campgrounds are very close to Homestead, which provides some incredible peacock bass fishing trips.

Florida Atlantic beach camping trip

Final Thoughts

Everyone should experience a day camping in the Everglades, whether at RV campsites, Tent Sites, Chickee Huts, or Eco tents. However, get the most out of Florida camping in the Everglades by going boating and fishing. Since most of the National Park is only accessible by crossing bodies of water, boating is a popular way to experience the whole of Everglades. So make sure to bring your boat or take one of the tours that leave from Flamingo and the Gulf Coast to explore the Park’s wild wonders fully.
To maximize the camping experience in the Everglades, there is no better way than to go on a comprehensive tour. It may sound simple, but a guided tour through the Park can make your explorations more meaningful. In addition, the local naturalist tour guide can take you on exciting sightseeing programs that you will only experience if you go with the experts.

How To Catch Bigger Bass

How To Catch Bigger Bass

How To Catch Bigger Bass

Bass fishing, in general, is relatively beginner-friendly and a great way to get newbies hooked on the sport. But this article is for those who are ready to take their skills to the next level and track down big bass consistently. It’s one thing to stumble upon a large bass once in a while, but the goal is to find bigger fish consistently and intentionally.

Catching big bass involves knowing where to look, which equipment to use, and how to find them in any body of water.

How To Catch Big Bass

Where To Find Big Fish

Bass anglers know to look for a fishing spot that provides all the things a bass would look for, such as structure, cover, vegetation, and baitfish. The same rule applies to the biggest bass in the fishery, except they generally will find their spot deeper or in a hard-to-reach area. Therefore, the main difference between catching big bass and a smaller bass is the water depth or strategy. To start, an angler’s best bet is to look around 10 feet in depth for the giant bass, but this can vary. Generally, the shallow fish are the smaller males, and the fish at the deepest parts are too lethargic to chase, so the perfect targets are the fish at about 8-12 for depths. An important note is that a big bass of ten pounds can also be found in the same spots or depths as two pounders; the difference, in this case, would be the equipment and strategy used.

Fish near vegetation, banks, and dams like normal but use a bigger lure that will mainly attract big bass since the small ones typically won’t mess with it.

big bait for reaction strike to catch big bass
Fish Difficult Spots

One of the best big bass fishing techniques is to simply look for the hard-to-reach spots. Duck under trees, go through bushes, and anything else in the way, whether on land or a boat, to reach spots likely holding a huge bass. Big largemouth bass tend to lurk the dirtiest looking sections of water rather than the clear open water.

Big bass drive many anglers crazy because they will hide out in the middle of thick cover, not along the edge like some one to two-pounders. Therefore, anglers can’t be afraid to cast deep into the thick cover and vegetation to hook a larger fish. Anglers should throw a slow-moving lure when casting into dense coverage.

Your next trophy bass is likely hiding in the heavy vegetation near the edge of the pond or lake where most anglers don’t dare to go.

Location and Water Depth

Although anglers may catch larger bass in deep water, they are also commonly caught in the shallower water of your small local pond. A weedy, mucky pond in the middle of nowhere is probably holding some quality largemouth bass. Underfished areas leave plenty of time for fish to grow large throughout the year; this means the exact water depth won’t always be crucial. Overall, when trying to catch giant bass in your home waters, the location is the last thing to change. The first things to adjust are equipment and strategy to get a bite. That being said, some fisheries have all the right stuff for largemouth bass to grow large in good numbers and make for excellent fishing vacation destinations.

Trophy Bass Fishing Equipment

When trying to catch big bass and only hooking small ones, the gear is likely too small. There are times when the bigger bass will strike smaller baits, but using big bass baits will produce more consistently. This is often because big largemouth bass are wise enough to know that they should only waste their energy on baitfish that are worth it; in other words, they don’t want to expend more energy than they will take in. Anglers need to have the right lure, reel, and line size if they plan on catching their next trophy.

Lures

Best lures to use to catch big bass: Topwater frogs, plastic worms, crankbaits, jigs

The same techniques apply to bigger bass as they do for the smaller fish; the only difference is a larger lure. Using a larger lure means you will scare away the smaller fish. The little bass will leave the big bait alone because they know they can’t match up with it. When finesse fishing, most anglers use smaller lures to avoid spooking the fish, but in this case, anglers should use a larger bait to spook the smaller fish and target the bigger bass.

When fishing the dense vegetation, anglers will want to use a topwater frog or Texas-rigged worm, which are weedless and won’t get caught or drag too much in the cover. Using a big jig or crankbait and dragging it is the most consistent way to catch big bass.

The general rule of thumb, use a larger lure to catch larger fish. Big fish want to get a full meal if they are going to use their energy.

Rods and Reels

Anglers will likely have a tough time landing a big largemouth bass on a spinning reel since they won’t be able to size up the line enough. For this reason, a casting rod and reel are recommended when targeting largemouth bass over five pounds. This rig allows for a larger line and a better drag. Though, it’s important to note that most snapped lines or a broken rod tip are caused by human error. Regardless of your setup, make sure your drag is set correctly and not panic when you feel a nice fish at the end of your line.

Line

When targeting big bass, it’s best to use a heavier line; however, it’s essential not to aimlessly size up and use a line that will only lead to frustration. The best strategy is to focus on line quality and maintenance. In most cases, anglers shouldn’t need a line heavier than a 10lb test when fishing for bass. Most professional guides will recommend using a monofilament line since it has a bit of flex and makes for a better hookset. A proper hook set is essential when dealing with big largemouth bass. Braided lines will usually work too, but may have an issue with visibility since they are denser. In general, most anglers should try whatever they will be able to fish confidently.

Other Pro Tips

Fish During The Day

One of the most known statements when it comes to fishing is anglers should fish during the early morning or evening. But fishing during these times may not be the best strategy when targeting the big bass. Some of the best professional bass anglers suggest fishing near the middle of the day. This isn’t a proven habit but is a hunch that larger bass tend to strike during the day while the smaller fish are most active during the early morning and evening. Since every fishery can have different outcomes and fish feeding at different times of day, it’s best to sample any time that works for you to get a feel for the area.

Slow down Your Presentation

Largemouth bass are opportunistic feeders who will sit back and wait for the right opportunity to strike bait fish. Also, big bass are not as fast and are in control, meaning they don’t have to take every opportunity to feed that comes their way.

For best results, it’s best to stay away from fast-moving baits such as spinners and opt for more in control and slower lures such as crankbaits, frogs, and heavy jigs.

Slowing down your presentation allows the bass more time to feel out the situation. Using big baits with a slow presentation is a recipe for success that draws strikes from big fish. However, that doesn’t mean fast-moving lures won’t ever produce a reaction strike from a quality-sized bass.

set the hook on big bass

Key Points To Land Your Biggest Bass

  • Use larger lures and present them slower than usual. You’ll generally want to avoid spinnerbaits and swimbaits and go with topwater frogs, worms, crankbaits, or jigs.
  • Anglers may have success in their usual spots using big baits and a slow presentation to attract the bigger fish in the area.
  • Don’t be afraid to go in the hard-to-reach areas, thick vegetation spots, or murky-looking water.
glide baits and big swimbaits for big bass

Best Places To Catch Bigger Bass

3. Lake Fork

Lake Fork is the most known lake in Texas, and for a good reason. Records show that a majority of the top 50 biggest bass in Texas come from this lake. This is a great reservoir that provides a thriving habitat for bass to grow large.

2. Lake Okeechobee

The Big O is the most known big bass body of water and provides fishermen from around the world with a top-notch fishing experience throughout the year. The size of this lake can be overwhelming for those unfamiliar, but it is a place every bass fisherman should experience. The quality and quantity of fish produced here are legendary.

1. Lake Toho

Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Florida, offers some of the best trophy bass fishing in the country. This lake is known for its consistency and producing more big bass than any other fishing lake. According to Bassmaster magazine, Lake Toho is “the most consistent lake in the country for producing both numbers and size of largemouths.”

Florida-strain largemouth bass generally grow larger than their counterparts in the north. Check out the complete list of top Big Bass lakes in Florida for a fishing adventure of a lifetime.

big baits for big bass-gizzard shad
Kissimmee Lake State Park

Kissimmee Lake State Park

Kissimmee Lake State Park

Lake Kissimmee State Park is the perfect place to take the family or explore the abundant plant life and wildlife inhabiting the area through its numerous hiking trails and lakes. There’s also a shaded picnic area with a pavilion and picnic tables. Visitors can get the full experience by spending the night at Lake Kissimmee State Park, which offers both primitive campsites and full-facility campsites. There are tons of stuff to keep the family entertained in the State Park and nearby in the Lake Wales area.

About

Lake Kissimmee State Park is a scenic state park located 15 miles east of Lake Wales in Central Florida. The state park covers 5,930 acres and contains tons of wild flora and fauna, creating a thriving ecosystem. Lake Kissimmee State Park surrounds Lake Kissimmee, Lake Rosalie, and Tiger Lake. 

The Central Florida state park is known for its vast floodplain, prairie, forest, hammock, and Pine Flatwoods. In addition to the plants, numerous animals such as white-tailed deer, incredible birds, bobcats, and more call Lake Kissimmee State Park home. Visitors can enjoy countless outdoor activities such as boating and fishing in the picturesque lakes in the state park.

What To Do At Lake Kissimmee State Park

Lake Kissimmee State Park provides visitors with the ultimate outdoor experience. It’s the perfect place to go boating, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing in the nearby Lake Rosalie, Lake Tiger, and Lake Kissimmee.

Enjoy over 13 miles of hiking trails and bike trails winding around freshwater marshes and pine forests for beautiful wildlife viewing. Lake Kissimmee State Park also has six miles of equestrian trails.

Interesting and entertaining living history demonstrations take place on the weekends at Lake Kissimmee State Park.

Lake Kissimmee State Park showcase white tailed deer
Lake Kissimmee Cow Hunters Camp

The Lake Kissimmee Cow Camp is open during the fall and spring and involves and cracker cow hunter, as the pioneers were called, who stays in character while giving a tour of his campground and answering questions. The cow hunter has a pot of coffee over an open fire, an outfitted wagon, and a herd of cracker cattle. The cracker cattle are descendants of the cattle first brought to Florida by the Spanish in the 1500s and are a fun sight for visitors with their big Texas-style horns.

Lake Kissimmee State Park cow camp
Kayaking and Canoeing

Lake Kissimmee State Park makes it easy for visitors to rent canoes or kayaks and paddle along the shoreline of the nearby lakes. Kissimmee State park also has a challenging 11-mile paddle, known as the Buster Loop Trail, which combines a canal, two creeks, and three lakes all in a loop.

Fishing Kissimmee State Park

Lake Kissimmee State Park is on the shores of the beautiful Lakes Kissimmee, Tiger, and Rosalie, offering some of the best bass fishing in the state. A boat ramp in Lake Kissimmee State Park provides direct access to the famous Lake Kissimmee. Anglers can catch all of the most popular fish species in Central Florida here, including largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, catfish, and chain pickerel.

Lake Kissimmee State Park two loop trails

Lake Kissimmee

Lake Kissimmee is surrounded by the beautiful Lake Kissimmee State Park and is the fourth lake of the Kissimmee Chain. Central Florida is known by anglers around the world for its incredible bass fishing, and Lake Kissimmee doesn’t disappoint. Lake Kissimmee has a strong reputation for its trophy largemouth bass due to its expanse of thriving vegetation. Lake Kissimmee and other lakes in the Kissimmee Chain attract visitors worldwide to experience its incredible fishing on a charter with a professional captain throughout the year.

Florida Fishing Kissimmee

Tiger Lake and Lake Rosalie

Tiger Lake covers 2086 acres and has three main trails which provide access to pine Flatwoods, oak scrub, sandhill, and hardwood swamp. The lake has plenty of healthy vegetation holding fish and a loop trail to explore. Tiger and Rosalie lakes both specialize in largemouth bass, black crappie, and bluegill.

Lake Rosalie is a hidden gem covering 4,578 acres with excellent cover. This lake has its fair share of trophy bass and has relatively little fishing pressure adding to its incredible fishing opportunities. The area is known for its excellent bass fishing in the spring and top-notch crappie fishing in the winter.

Chris Davy

Bank Fishing

Visitors without a boat can still enjoy the same fishing opportunities of Lake Kissimmee State Park through its numerous canal banks, dam, and marina.

Techniques and Tips

Look around bridge pilings for largemouth bass using deep diving crankbaits or plastic worms. When crappie fishing, look for deep cool water, especially when the temperatures are warmer, using minnows or jigs. During the bass spawning season in the late winter and spring, anglers often have luck in the shallows with plastic worms, spinnerbaits, jerk baits, or craws.

Wildlife

This Central Florida area is a favorite state park for many reasons, and its abundant wildlife is undoubtedly one of those reasons. The site has so much wildlife thriving in its natural habitat for the family to experience. Visitors may come across bald eagles, sandhill cranes, white-tailed deer, turkeys, snail kites, crested caracara, and even bobcats in Lake Kissimmee State Park. Lake Kissimmee State Park has 12 natural communities holding over 30 listed species of fauna and flora. Some of the botanical bounties in Kissimmee state park include butterfly orchids, sawgrass, delicate mosses, fetterbush, gallberry, colorful fields of lotus, and pickleweed.

Things To Do Near Lake Wales

After exploring all there is to do and see in Lake Kissimmee State Park, visitors can experience some of the other adventures the Lake Wales area has to offer nearby. Lake Wales is close to both coasts for its beaches and is nearby the Central Florida theme parks. Some of the less known but exciting things to do in the Lake Wales area include visiting Bok Tower Gardens, Spook Hill, Hollis Garden, Wonder House, and the Polk Theatre. Lake Wales has something for everyone with tons of golf courses, museums, and outdoor parks to explore.

Camping At Lake Kissimmee State Park

Lake Kissimmee State Park provides some of the best camping in Florida. All campsites in Lake Kissimmee State Park are shaded by oak hammocks and separated by vegetation for privacy.

The sprawling live oak trees provide perfect shade and shelter to the campsites, and its secluded location also offers beautiful starry skies.

Full Facility Camping

Lake Kissimmee State Park has 60 campsites with electric and water hookups. Sewage hookups are not provided, but there is a dump station nearby. The full-facility campsites are located in the area with the oak hammock, making it one of the most scenic camping areas in any of the Florida state parks.

Primitive Camping Facility

Lake Kissimmee State Park has two campsites that are a part of the primitive camping facility. These campsites are located along the 13 miles of hiking trails in the state park. Those who prefer primitive tent camping need to backpack everything in, including water.

RV Camping

There are beautiful campgrounds within Lake Kissimmee State Park with electricity, water, and shade. Most of these sites are surrounded by natural buffers in the state park for a bit of seclusion. There are no septic hookups, but there is a dump station at the entrance of the campground.

Youth Camping Area

Lake Kissimmee State Park offers a youth camping area that can accommodate up to 50 people. There are two primitive campsites, both holding 25 people for youth camping at Lake Kissimmee State Park. Most of the camping areas are shaded by beautiful live oaks off the beaten path. The camping area has restrooms, cold showers, and a fire pit.

visitors enjoy boating and so many trails Lake Kissimmee State Park
Lake Kissimmee State Park  cow camp and cow hunters
lake wales park entrance and lakes kissimmee

Kissimmee State Park History

The Europeans arrived in Florida in the 1500s but didn’t have their presence felt until the 1800s. During the Civil War, the park area was used for raising cattle which were traded with Cuba for supplies or shipped to the Confederate Army. The cattle became the primary industry after the war, which has continued to the present day. The state of Florida purchases the 5030 acres of land in 1969 to use as a State Park. Lake Kissimmee State Park became open to the public in August 1977. In 1997 an additional 900 acres of the park was purchased and added to the western boundary.

Lake Kissimmee State Park sandhill cranes
Lake Kissimmee State Park dark skies and oak hammock
Best Family Fishing Vacations

Best Family Fishing Vacations

The Best Family Fishing Vacations

There’s no better way to spend time with family than a peaceful day on the water enjoying the great outdoors. Not to mention the added excitement on your loved one’s faces when they feel the hard pull of a fish at the end of their line.

After many years in the industry and visiting numerous places around the United States, it has currently come down to Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas for offering the best family fishing vacation opportunities. The best family fishing vacation spots offer top-notch fishing opportunities and plenty for the family to do nearby while not on a fishing trip.

Family fishing vacations are a great way to escape the usual chaotic tourist attractions and spend quality time together while relaxing in the sun and hooking into some exciting catches.

This article will break down everything you need to know to plan the ultimate family vacation for both freshwater and saltwater anglers.

Wild west town fishing trips
bear creek lake park fishing trips
wild west town
Best Family Vacation Freshwater Fishing Spots

Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Florida

Presque Isle Bay in Erie, PA

Oil Creek in Oil City, PA

Lake Fork in Texas

Best Family Vacation Saltwater Fishing Spots

Cape Canaveral, Florida

Galveston, Texas

yellow perch family vacay
third best fishing town
family fish vacations dolphin cruises
lake trout family fish vacations

Florida Family Fishing Vacation

Florida is often one of the first spots that comes to mind when someone thinks of fishing or vacation. This tropical paradise and “fishing capital of the world” is undoubtedly at the top of the list of best family fishing destinations. Florida fishing is ideal for every style, age, and skill level because it has endless fishing opportunities available all year. Whether you want a shot at catching a monster trophy bass, a Florida tarpon, or a huge sailfish, there is a fishing charter available for you and your family.

Booking a family trip on the water is a refreshing change of pace compared to the hectic theme parks and other tourist spots.

The best part about Florida is it’s basically a fishing playground. You can choose almost any city in Florida, and there will be some kind of fishing trip available in that area, whether it be freshwater, inshore, or offshore.

fishing license ahead family trip

Best FL Freshwater Family Fishing Spot

Lake Toho

Targeted Species: Largemouth bass, Black Crappie

Lake Tohopekaliga, commonly known as Lake Toho, is a 22,700-acre lake in Kissimmee, Fl. It is among the most famous trophy bass lake in the country because of its consistency in size and numbers.

Lake Toho is an extremely scenic lake providing great wildlife spottings and birdwatching.

Lake Toho has hosted numerous bass tournaments, the most known being when Elite Bassmaster Pro, Dean Rokas, caught the record for heaviest five-bass limit ever right here on West Lake Toho. Largemouth bass are the most commonly targeted fish on this lake and attract anglers worldwide, but the black crappie fishing is a close second. Other panfish commonly targeted here are bluegill and redear sunfish.

Families Over 4 People

There another reason why Lake Toho is a unique destination for your family fishing vacation. Toho is one of the only bass fishing lakes in the area that provides private charters for larger groups. The average bass fishing charter can fit 3 or 4 passengers max, causing families over 4 to split into two or more boats. Bassonline now offers pontoon trips that allow you to comfortably fish with your family of over four people on a private boat catered just to you.

Fishing Seasons

Another great thing about Florida is that it’s a year-round fishery! Anglers can catch excellent Florida bass all over the state during any month of the year, and Lake Toho is one of the most consistent lakes around with its year-round fishing. However, the best time will be during the spring months for those going after a giant trophy spawning bass. Central Florida is an exceptional bass fishing town where some locals swear the winter is an excellent time to go. Even during the peak of summer, anglers can catch bass here. Though it’s advised to book a morning fishing adventure in the summer due to the heat, and the bite may slow down as the temperature rises throughout the day.

The best time for black crappie on Toho is in February. Usually, the best time for bluegill, chain pickerel, and redear sunfish is from May and June during their spawn.

Area Things To Do

This fishery makes for a top-notch family fishing trip with constant excitement during the trip and an exciting surrounding area for in-between fishing adventures. Lake Toho park at the north end of the lake offers hiking trails, picnic areas, grills, restrooms, and a splash pad playground for children. Some popular attractions nearby the lake include Gatorland, Wild Florida safari Drive-Thru Park, Kissimmee Lakefront Park, and Airboat Tours.

The theme parks in Orlando are within 20 minutes from Toho, making it close enough to tie that into your trip if desired but far enough to experience a true outdoor adventure away from the crowds.

family vacay florida fishing vacation

Saltwater Fishing

Cape Canaveral

Inshore Targeted Species: Snook, Tarpon, Redfish, Spotted Seatrout

Cape Canaveral, located on the East coast of Florida about an hour from Lake Toho, is undoubtedly among the top on the list of best spots for a family fishing vacation in Florida if your goal is to include some saltwater action to your itinerary.

Your family fishing trip in Cape Canaveral can mean exploring the shallow mangrove flats in the Banana River or the Indian River Lagoon targeting Florida’s top saltwater gamefish. There is a diverse amount of aquatic life in the coastal waters of Cape Canaveral, but the most commonly targeted fish include tarpon, snook, redfish, and spotted sea trout. The Banana River is a shallow waterway that provides optimal sight fishing conditions for an authentic inshore fishing experience. Your kids will never forget seeing a redfish tailing for the first time.

Another favorite for anglers on a family fishing adventure is the spotted seatrout which is often hooked in the Indian River Lagoon system throughout the year. Trout are often a favorite target for families because of the abundance of this fish and its good taste. Seatrout are typically a good starter fish for little anglers or novices.

The fish that often has the family reminiscing on at the dinner table are the hard-fighting snook and tarpon. These fish will always give you a run for your money, taking off as soon as they are hooked and doing everything they can to getaway. Tarpon especially are a fun sight as they make their extreme acrobatic leaps. Summer and Fall are generally prime times for tarpon in Cape Canaveral.

Offshore Targeted Species: Grouper, Snapper, Mahi Mahi

Head offshore a few miles, and you’ll reach the reefs and wrecks full of tasty fish such as grouper and snapper. Anglers can catch numerous different snapper species nearshore, including Mangrove, Lane, Mutton, and Yellowtail, all of which taste great and make for an exciting moment. Where you find snapper, you will likely find grouper, which grow to massive sizes here! You may encounter different grouper species, including Gag, Snowy, Scamp, and Red. Other nearshore species include Cobia, King Mackerel, Tilefish, and some sharks.

Travel further away from the coastline into the open ocean for a shot at a giant Florida pelagic. This area is a playground for huge game fish such as Mahi Mahi, Blackfin Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Swordfish, Blue Marlin, White Marlin, and Sailfish.

Area Things To Do

Cape Canaveral offers tons of outdoor experiences, from fishing tours to dolphin cruises. However, Kennedy Space Center is usually the go-to thing for families to experience while visiting the Space Coast. Visitors will get behind-the-scenes access and plenty of interactive exhibits at the space center. Items on display at Kennedy Space Center include moon rocks, equipment, space suits, photos, and accounts from those who have worked in the program.

There’s also plenty more to see between fishing adventures, such as the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse, the Exploration Tower, Manatee Sanctuary Park, Banana River Aquatic Preserve, and Brevard Zoo.

The area has many restaurants and cafes to check out, such as Cafe Monte Carlo, Tropic Ice Cream, and more in the Historic Cocoa Village.

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Pennsylvania Family Fishing Vacation

Pennsylvania has more than 85,000 miles of streams and rivers, 4,000 inland lakes, and the world-famous Lake Erie, which covers 470,000 acres. One of the best parts of Pennsylvania is the wide variety of popular game fish it supports. The streams and creeks are home to rainbow trout, brook trout, and brown trout. The rivers are home to smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, yellow perch, catfish, pike, and bluegill. This means that Pennsylvania has something to offer every type of angler and is perfect for all skill levels to experience. There is also tons of fun stuff to do, making PA one of the best family fishing vacation spots around.

With the endless bodies of water across the state, it’s hard to find a place where you can’t fish. However, due to its variety of species and annual consistency, Lake Erie at Presque Isle Park has earned the number one spot for bass and walleye fishing in PA.

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Best PA Freshwater Family Fishing Spot

Presque Isle Park, Lake Erie

Targeted Species: Smallmouth bass, Walleye, Largemouth bass, Steelhead, Yellow Perch, Lake Trout

Lake Erie, PA, supports various healthy fish populations, including smallmouth bass, walleye, steelhead, salmon, crappie, yellow perch, bluegill, sunfish, pike, muskie, and jumbo lake trout. All of these fish species thrive in both quality and quantity in Lake Erie.

Lake Erie is most known for its incredible smallmouth bass fishing charters. Giant smallmouth bass are attracted to Presque Isle Bay which has become their premier spawning grounds. The amount of panfish in these waters makes this a highly young kid-friendly fishery.

Fishing Seasons

If you are trying to plan your fishing vacation around the smallmouth bass spawn, then late April through August would be the best time when the lake begins to warm. This is generally when the sport fishing season would occur, targeting the popular game fish such as smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, lake trout, steelhead, and walleye. Walleye trips are the next most popular after smallmouth trips. The best months for walleye sport fishing on Lake Erie are June, July, August, and September. Fishing for jumbo lake trout heats up in April but is best in May. Finally, steelhead fishing on Lake Erie is best during the fall months when they gather at the creek’s mouth when the water temperatures cool down.

Area Things To Do

Various attractions and waterfront dining surround Lake Erie, PA. In Erie, PA, Presque Isle Bay is one of the best spots for family fishing vacations because of its lively, fun atmosphere around the lake during the fishing season. Presque State Park is a 3,200-acre park with beautiful beaches, hiking trails, swimming, and marinas. Presque Park is also a great spot to take in the beautiful vibes of the natural world and is perfect for birdwatchers. Some popular attractions near Erie include the Erie Zoo, the Maritime Museum, Splash Lagoon, and Tom Ridge Environmental Center.

catching huge fish on family fishing vacations

Oil Creek Trout Fishing Near Oil City

Erie won the title for best PA family fishing vacation spot overall. Still, it’s necessary to mention the incredible trout fishing spots in Pennsylvania that offer just as excellent fishing vacations. There are numerous creeks and streams to go trout fishing in the state, including Neshannock Creek, Slippery Rock Creek, and Youghiogheny River. But the best is Oil Creek, near Oil City. Trout fishing is unique because of the techniques used and the opportunity for wading trips.

Anglers can enjoy fishing this beautiful freshwater creek with the jaw-dropping mountain scenery surrounding them. According to experts, the best fishing happens below Pine Creek, downstream towards Allegheny River. The delayed harvest sections of the creek starting at the bridge of the Petroleum Center are open all year, but the spring and Fall are usually the best times for a family trip to Oil Creek.

Area Things To Do

Oil Creek State Park has a lot to explore within itself. The tranquil, scenic park is among the most historic state parks in PA. Some of the most popular things to do in the state park are the Petroleum Center, Miller Falls, Drake Well Museum, the Gerard Trail, Pioneer Falls, Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad, and Coal Oil Johnny House.

There are also numerous authentic places to eat and explore outside of the state park in Oil City. The nearby town is full of quaint shops, eateries, and places to learn about the area’s rich history in the oil industry. Oil City, Pa is a small but beautiful upcoming tourist attraction that is certainly worth a visit if you choose PA for your family vacation.

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Texas Family Fishing Vacation

Texas is known for many things, and excellent bass fishing is undoubtedly high on the list. There are tons of fantastic bass fishing lakes to choose from in Texas, but the top of our list is Lake Fork.

Texas is also home to the Guadalupe River, the only year-round trout fishery in the state stocked with brown trout and rainbow trout.

This great state also offers top-notch saltwater fishing opportunities for anglers of all ages. The Texas Coast has coastal inlets, protected bays, nearshore reefs, and the deep Gulf of Mexico for your family to experience catching the most sought-after saltwater game fish in Texas.

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Best TX Freshwater Family Fishing Spot

Lake Fork

Targeted Species: Largemouth bass, White bass, Catfish, Crappie, and Sunfish.

Lake Fork is the most known reservoir in Texas and attracts many visiting anglers every year for a shot at its trophy bass. Lake Fork is most famous for its largemouth bass fishing, but anglers can also catch white bass, catfish, crappie, and sunfish such as bluegill. 

Over 65% of the Top 50 largest bass in Texas and over half of the fish entered in the Toyota ShareLunker Program came from Lake Fork. In addition, this fishery holds 15 of the top 20 state record bass ever caught, making this the perfect place for a shot at your next personal best trophy bass on the local charter boats.

Crappie fishing is the next most targeted species and is generally good, especially under the lake’s bridges and in standing timber. Lake Fork is one of the top family fishing destinations because of its endless fun fishing opportunities for all ages.

Fishing Seasons

In general, Texas is a year-round bass fishing destination, but December through February is often the slowest time due to cold water temperatures. Largemouths are easier to catch early in the year in Texas when spawning brings them to the shallow waters—making spring the best time of year for your annual fishing trip in Texas. March is usually the best month for anglers to catch a trophy-size largemouth bass while on Texas bass fishing charters. Mid to late Fall will still offer excellent bass fishing, too. But come June, most of the bass will have started moving into deeper water. However, the summertime doesn’t mean the fishing season is over; in fact, it’s considered an excellent time by any experts. The warm water conditions increase the fish’s metabolism causing them to feed more often. Local charter boats are certainly still catching fish during the summer, but they usually have to fish deeper water areas.

Area Things To Do

Lake Fork is a well-maintained reservoir offering four public boat ramps for anybody who brings their boat or uses local boat rentals. Local lake accommodations include motels, cabins, RV sites, and tent camping. Also, there are local tackle shops, gas pumps, convenience stores, and restaurants all nearby. The area also has fishing piers to enjoy the endless fishing opportunities all day, every day.

Other local attractions include the Texas Zoo and Gator Park, Grand Saline Salt Palace, Mineola Historical Museum, and Coleman Park.

striped bass family fishing adventure

Best Saltwater Fishing Spot

Galveston

Inshore Targeted Species: Speckled Trout, Redfish, and Flounder

The Texas Coast is among the best inshore fishing spots in the country, with its numerous bays and jetties. Specifically, among the best family fishing vacation spots to enjoy Texan saltwater fishing is Galveston, Texas. This area is full of salt marshes holding Speckled Trout, Redfish, Flounder, and much more of your favorite fresh gulf seafood. As the Texas temperatures start to drop in the Fall, most popular inshore fish species begin to school up along the Texas coast. East Bay and Trinity Bay are two areas north of Galveston that offer incredible inshore fishing all year, but especially in the Fall. Anglers can have a shot at Speckled Trout and Redfish during any time of the year here.

Offshore Targeted Species: Cobia, Kingfish, Mahi Mahi, Sharks, Blackfin Tuna

Galveston is also one of the best spots to launch big sport fishing boats heading out for a nearshore or offshore fishing trip. Nearshore fishing adventures usually take you several miles into the Gulf with land still in sight. While on a nearshore fishing trip, you and your family can catch fish species such as Cobia, Kingfish, Spanish Mackerel, Wahoo, Sharks, and Mahi Mahi near artificial reefs and shipwrecks.

Offshore fishing generally takes you between 60 and 100 miles out at sea to go after the largest sea predators. While on an offshore fishing trip, anglers can catch fish species such as Blackfin Tuna, Ling, giant Jacks, and Mahi Mahi.

Area Things To Do

Galveston, Texas, is covered with beautiful beaches and has a historic downtown that’s fun to explore. Galveston offers tons of sightseeing, fishing, birdwatching, water sports, excellent food, and interesting museums. Some popular attractions include Bishops Palace, Moody Gardens and Aquarium Pyramid, Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, Texas Seaport Museum, and The Bryan Museum. The Moody Mansion is another “must-see” that is registered on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s a 28,000-square foot home built in 1895 with incredible interior features and a host to many local events and programs.

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Planning A Fishing Vacation

Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas all offer multiple spots that would make for an excellent family vacation that involves incredible fishing and tons of other fun activities. When planning the fishing portion of your vacation, it’s best to consider the ages and interests of kids and others to help decide which trip is best. 

Freshwater fishing is fun for all ages and skill levels. It’s a great place for kids and beginners to start, and it’s an excellent place for experienced anglers to catch their personal best or experience a new area. Inshore fishing is still suitable for all ages and skill levels who want to experience a saltwater trip. Inshore fishing offers plenty of action to keep most non-avid anglers interested but usually not as much as a bass fishing trip. Offshore fishing is usually best for more experienced anglers and not always best for kids since it involves longer trips and less action. Though, it could be an excellent trip for those who simply want to relax and spend time on the water. Offshore trips are not recommended for those prone to seasickness either.

Overall, there are plenty of options in each of these states, and every Bassonline trip can be catered to your wants and needs. Your local fishing expert will be able to take you to all the best spots and tailor your trip to your interests. Most importantly, a vacation that involves fishing with your loved ones is a great bonding experience that will create lifetime memories for everyone

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Best Fishing Holes for Anglers in Lake Erie

Best Fishing Holes for Anglers in Lake Erie

If you’re a fan of freshwater fishing, there is no better place to be than Lake Erie. Many consider North America’s fourth-largest lake to be Walleye Central, rich also with perch fish, smallmouth bass, and more. 

If you’re looking to score an award-winning catch on Lake Erie’s rich waters, here are three Ohio fishing hotspots you’ll want to visit. Don’t forget to pocket these must-know tips if you’re fly fishing for the first time!

Beaty Landing & Recreation Park

Beaty Landing and Recreation Park rest along the Grand River, which flows seamlessly into Lake Erie. Playfully dubbed the “steelhead alley,” Beaty Landing is home to 3,300 feet of river frontage abundant in steelhead trout. 

If you love a good challenge, these sporting fish will surely give you a run for your money! Don’t worry about running dry either—every year, the Ohio Division of Wildlife releases over 100,000 steelheads to satisfy avid anglers. 

If you’re planning a trip in the fall, note that steelheads typically migrate upstream to deposit their spawn, heading back into the lake during the springtime.

Cleveland Lakefront Metro Parks

Lake Erie Charter

Just a short drive from Avon Lake, the Cleveland Lakefront is one of the best locations to experience Erie’s stunning waters. For fans of pier fishing, anglers can get their rods on all sorts of bass, as well as salmon and carp, without having to venture out into the open lake. 

If you’re low on live and artificial bait, you can fill your tackle box with products from the lakefront’s concession stand. 

For anglers looking to sport on a private charter, the East 55th Street Marina is home to a 1,200-foot fishing pier where anglers can take advantage of a professional guide. 

Can’t quite stay away from the lure of steelhead trout? You can take on the thrill of sport fishing on the Rocky River. 

Headlands Beach State Park 

If you’re bunking in a Painesville inn, the Headlands Beach State Park is just 30 minutes east of Cleveland. Here, you’ll find the federal break wall if you head east, where you can game for all sorts of bass, salmon, carp, and yellow perch. Of course, you’ll also come across some record walleye sizes. 

Anglers who want to hire a private Lake Erie charter can make their way to the Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve and Marina. When fishing with a Lake Erie guide, here is what you can expect. 

Best Fishing Holes for Anglers in Lake Erie

Sandusky River

Considered a significant fishing resource in Ohio, the Sandusky River flows 150 miles into Lake Erie and is home to abundant freshwater game fish

White bass fishing enthusiasts will want to plan their trip to the Sandusky in May, achieving record-breaking catches of up to 100 fish in a single day! Perch anglers can expect to see this less athletic species thriving throughout September and October. 

Those keen on lucrative Walleye catches should pack along live worms and minnows—a river crowd favorite. Curly-tail grubs are foolproof for shore fishing and angling from a canoe. 

East Harbor State Park

Fishing on Lake Erie

Unlike its predecessors, the East Harbor State Park is a well-kept secret among veteran anglers. Along its rocky shorelines, you’ll find a profusion of largemouth bass, among other species. Look farther into the weed beds, and you’re likely to come across some bluegill, too.  

Despite its low-key status amid walleye fans, East Harbor State Park is also home to youth-only ponds where young anglers can hone their craft over time. Families will enjoy an angling day out at this hotspot, especially during the summer. 

Tips for Fishing in Lake Erie

Now that you know where to aim for a prize-worthy catch in Lake Erie, it’s time to put your skills into practice. Make the most of your time in this fish-abundant lake by keeping these tips in mind: 

  • Hire a Professional: Though rich, Lake Erie’s waters are just as tricky. A professional might be able to help you navigate this massive body of water. 
  • Try Shore Fishing: Sometimes, the best catch is just along the shoreline. You can cast your line from a public beach or pier. 
  • Know the Rules and Regulations: When fishing on Lake Erie, take on the responsibility of securing the permits you need. Those on the hunt for trout will require a Trout Stamp, while those bordering Canadian waters will have to take along a Canadian Outdoors Card.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to fishing along Lake Erie, there is nothing else like it. In recent years, the angling favorite has welcomed new and unorthodox fishing methods by anglers who can’t get enough of its abundant waters.

Bank Fishing For Bass

Bank Fishing For Bass

Top Tips To Catch More Bass

Fishing from the bank

Bank fishing can provide those who love fishing or are learning to fish with an easy way to catch bass any day without a boat. In addition, bank fishing has many benefits that often get overlooked, such as accessing some hard-to-reach and less-fished areas. You can also reach the shallow areas that boats wouldn’t be able to enter and sneak up on those fish without worrying about the motor or other boat sounds spooking it.

Best Seasons To Catch Bass From the Bank

Anglers can enjoy bank fishing throughout the year, especially in Florida. However, fishing in the Fall and Spring generally are the best seasons for bass fishing from the shore since the bass are more likely to migrate into the shallow water near the shoreline to feed or spawn.

The spring is typically the best sight fishing season for bass. So when you find bass in the water, you can enjoy the fact that you don’t have to worry about lining up the bass boat or keeping a reasonable distance before working the fish.

The Fall is usually the best time to walk quietly along the bank, looking for schools of bait fish in the back of canals and creeks.

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how to catch bass when fishing from the bank

Best Spots For Bank Bass Fishing

There are endless spots to catch bass from land in Florida, but there are a few rules of thumb to help you spend more time catching and less time blind casting and praying for a bite. The central concept that increases bass fishing success is to focus on spots that may otherwise not come to mind first. Think of the places that most people may not know about or may not want to take the extra steps to access. Usually, the smallest ponds and canals or private lakes make for the best bass fishing and often hold the biggest fish. Overall, there are many good places to fish from the bank, including any public access areas, spillways, and old gravel roads.

Top Areas

Look for brush piles that will likely be holding bass all year. The best spots have brush piles planted in shallow water and others in deeper water. It’s usually best to start fishing at the shallowest areas that could be holding active fish. The dams are also a top spot for bank fishing, especially in the summer or mid-day fishing. Boat ramps are another excellent spot for catching bass. The ramps often have algae growing on their concrete which attracts baitfish and will ultimately attract bass. The boat ramp bass will often hide in the blowholes created by boats powering up on trailers to ambush the bait.

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Where To Cast When Fishing From The Bank

A common mistake that anglers can make when bank fishing is only focusing on a far casting distance. It is helpful to visualize the internal structure of the area you are fishing for drop-offs and scope the external for channels or structures that may be holding fish. Fishing in the middle of a deep canal or lake when the drop-off edges may be closer to you won’t often be productive. If the water clarity of the area is good, look for deep drop-offs that will likely have bass concentrated. Otherwise, any vegetation above and below the surface are good casting points when bank fishing for bass.

Bass Fishing Small Bodies Of Water

Small lakes and canals often make for excellent bass fishing spots since the fish are confined to a smaller area. Small, low pressured areas will often produce bass in good numbers and sometimes big bass. It usually seems that waterbodies will have average-sized bass in good numbers or big bass in lower quantities. There are often cues from these areas that tell you whether there are likely to be big bass or not.

A cue to look for is colored water and runoff; these areas will sometimes hold the biggest bass. Another sign of big bass potentially thriving in this body of water is the amount of bait and vegetation that provide an optimal environment for bass to grow large. The size of the fishery doesn’t have much impact on whether there will be big bass or not. Some tiny lakes will still hold quality bass in the five-pound range, but usually, the lakes over 10-acres will better sustain a big bass population.

fishing for bass from the bank

Top Bank Fishing Lures

It’s best to carry various lures when bank fishing to catch even the pickiest of fish. Some of the best options for pre-spawn bass are medium-diving crankbaits, jigs, spinnerbaits, and topwater lures such as poppers or walkers. During the summer, the best lures to use when bank fishing include deep-diving crankbaits and various plastic worms ranging from six to ten inches. When the bass move into the shallows in the Fall, load up on topwater plugs, spinnerbaits, buzz baits, and squarebill crankbaits. Lipless crankbaits are also a great option to have with you when bank fishing in the spring and Fall. Lipless crankbaits are highly effective because they allow you to control the depth and catch more bass easily. The spawning months will generally call for reaction baits such as loud topwater plugs, lipless crankbait, or a spinnerbait. These bass fishing rigs are great for getting reaction strikes from nesting bass. Having a swimbait on hand is also ideal for imitating baitfish schooling or foraging near the shoreline.

Our Favorite Lures

When in doubt, start with stick worms. These finesse lures have likely caught more largemouth bass in any water system than any other lure. The most known stick worms are the Senko, but any similar stick style version of soft plastic worms will work. These lures can be fished on a wacky rig, on Texas Rigs, Ned rigged, or Carolina rigged.

Creature-style soft plastics are the next go-to fishing lure to have on hand to catch fish when bank fishing. Creature baits can mimic bottom-dwelling forage such as crayfish that are often living near the shore. Creature baits are best fished on heavy terminal tackle such as a large jig head. A Texas rig with creature bait and a tungsten weight is an excellent method to catch more bass in deeper waters.

Colors

There are numerous color options for fishing lures, but it’s best to keep it natural and simple. Keep your bank fishing tackle box light with a few of the most productive color selections. The top colors that will work just about anywhere are black and blue, white shad, and green pumpkin. If you have a specific lure or color, you can fish confidentially then throw it in your bank fishing tackle box. Every spot and day can vary, so having the bank fishing lures you feel confident in is essential.

Bank fishing drop shot

Bass Fishing From The bank Takeaways

Overall, bank fishing is an excellent way to catch bass any day easily. It allows you to cover more ground and sneak into the hard-to-reach places and land a big bass that boats wouldn’t be able to reach. However, catching bass from the bank requires a bit of stealth and determination to find the best spots without spooking fish in shallow areas. Limit your rigs and lures to keep your tackle bag light. Instead, have a few different types of fishing lures with you to be ready for any occasion, like some swimbaits, crankbaits, and topwater lures.

As you get more familiar with a particular area, you will notice which lures work to attract more bass than other lures. Try to take a lap and scout out the canal or lake to increase your odds by spending more time on spots most likely to hold fish.

Okeechobee Lake Water Levels

Okeechobee Lake Water Levels

Lake Okeechobee Water Levels 2021

Lake Okeechobee

The Big O

Lake Okeechobee provides a natural habitat for fish, wading birds, and other wildlife. It’s also a primary component of flood control systems and the water supply for South Florida. Okeechobee attracts boating and recreation enthusiasts every year from around the world. It is also home to a number of sport and commercial fisheries.

This famous body of water offers incredible bass fishing, a beautiful ecosystem, and scenic natural views. But more importantly, Lake Okeechobee and its wetlands center a much larger watershed that stretches from the Kissimmee River through the Florida Everglades into Florida Bay. Lake Okeechobee is the heart of the Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades system.

Lake Okeechobee Lake Levels

The water levels on Lake Okeechobee are primarily dependent on rain and the Kissimmee River Basin, the main water supply for Lake O. The water level conditions on Lake Okeechobee will fluctuate about 3 to 5 feet per year.

Falling Water Level

The Big O water levels range from 14 to 16 feet above sea level during the winter. The water level during the winter on Okeechobee will consistently fall from January to June. Farming and evaporation are the main reasons for the changes in depth during the dryer time of year.

Lake Okeechobee Water Rising

The water levels of Lake Okeechobee during the summer ranges from 12 to 15 feet above sea level. Due to afternoon rain showers and hurricanes, the summer months are when the Lake Okeechobee water levels rise the quickest. The runoff caused by rain in the Kissimmee Valley, the land area between Orlando and Okeechobee, is the main reason for rising water levels in Okeechobee.

Click to see the live feed showing the current Okeechobee lake levels on the US Army Corp of Engineers Website.

This feed is provided via satellite pump and water flows, including all depth changes. It shows the current water levels in Lake Okeechobee, as it is constantly updating with autocratic water level conditions.

Lake Okeechobee water levels

Herbert Hoover Dike

The lake provides flood protection with the Herbert Hoover Dike (HHD), a 143-mile earthen dam surrounding the lake. The dike reduces impacts from flooding caused by high lake levels for most areas of South Florida.

water levels in Okeechobee

Okeechobee Health and Estuaries

In recent decades, the lake’s health was threatened by excessive nutrients from agricultural and urban activities in the lake’s watershed, by harmful high and low water levels, and with the spread of exotic vegetation. When levels have gotten high especially after past hurricanes, it was lowered via coastal estuaries. The lake’s discharges are very damaging to the estuaries.

Today, Lake O is used to store water from a 4,000-square-mile basin north of the lake. Historically, there were much more natural storage areas in central and south Florida. Today, most of these wetlands have been developed, leaving fewer places to store rain. Because of this, it is stored in Okeechobee. The Hoover Dike allows for additional water storage. But, this extra water is harmful to the lake’s ecology.

Big O fish habitat and rain level
August Lake Okeechobee Fishing 2
Best Lake Okeechobee Boat Rentals

Best Lake Okeechobee Boat Rentals

Famous Lake Okeechobee in South Central Florida offers anglers the opportunity at a freshwater fishing adventure of a lifetime. Nothing is better than bass fishing in the largest lake in Florida, known for its trophy fish.

Lake Okeechobee is full of fishing guides that come with their bass boats, gear, and tackle. But luckily for anglers who are ready to venture in a different way, the giant lake also has the option for anglers to rent a boat large enough to fit a group but small enough to cruise this peaceful lake with fishing success.

Lake Okeechobee has numerous access points and not many places to rent a boat; here’s the breakdown of the best options around southern Lake O. And for those closer to the northern end of the lake, its less than an hour drive to the south end where all the boat rental action currently takes place.

South florida rental boats

Rent A Boat On Okeechobee

South florida rental boatsBassonline Boat Rentals

Nothing tops a bass fishing adventure with a big family or larger groups; unfortunately, bass boats cannot take more than three or four people at one time. Luckily, aside from being a professional charter service with fishing guides and bass boats, Bassonline now offers pontoon boat rentals in Belle Glade, the southeast end of Lake Okeechobee. The Bassonline pontoon boats typically fit up to ten people, making it possible for the whole family and your entire group of friends to enjoy a fun fishing excursion together. Belle Glade is conveniently located to West Palm Beach and within an hour to Okeechobee, Fl. Belle Glade is the closest launch point location for anybody coming from south Florida areas such as Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

fishing guides lake o More Information

Pontoon rental boats on Lake Okeechobee come with an experienced mate and high-quality gear and tackle, everything your group needs for a productive day of fishing this great Florida lake. All Bassonline boat rentals have a bimini top for shade and comfort during your fishing adventure. Anglers can rent a boat on famous Lake O for 4, 6, or 8 hours. When booking your trip online, there will be default start times, which can easily be changed at your request for a time that works best for you and your group.

lake okeechobee boat rentals-jon boatsFishing Lake O On Your Pontoon Boats

Lake Okeechobee is the second-largest freshwater body in the contiguous United States. It covers 450,000 acres and has endless spots for largemouth bass and panfish to be hiding. The most efficient way to get accustomed to this giant lake with success is to go with an expert. Your local mate can answer any questions about the area and provide insider recommendations on restaurants, accommodations, water depth, and especially on learning the habits of the giant Okeechobee bass. Whenever you are visiting South or Central Florida with a group of friends and family, pontoon rental boats will be ready for you to explore this famous lake and experience its incredible fishing.

 

Florida Boat rentals

Clewiston

Jolly Roger Marina

Jolly Roger Marina offers boat rentals out of Clewiston, the southwest end of Lake Okeechobee. The Marina has pontoon boats, Trolling Motor Boats, and Skiffs to rent and cruise the big O.

Central Florida boat rentals

Roland Martin Marina

This Clewiston marina offers V-bottom rental boats, Pontoon boats, and Strato Bass boats to rent out of the southwest end of Lak Okeechobee in Clewiston.

South Florida Boat rentals

North Okeechobee

At this time, there are no boat rentals in Okeechobee, Fl. Luckily it’s only a short drive from Okeechobee City on the North to Belle Glade on the south end. There are a few airboat tours available in Okeechobee. A couple of the places that do airboat tours are Eagly Bay and Okeechobee Airboat Rides.

fl pontoon boats

Experience Lake Okeechobee

However you decide to fish and cruise on the famous Lake Okeechobee, it will be an experience to remember. The Big O has endless adventures waiting for you between its incredible fishing, scenic views, and beautiful wildlife. While fishing Lake Okeechobee on your boat rental, you will have the opportunity to catch famous Florida trophy bass, Bluegill, Crappie, Gar, and Catfish. Visit the largest lake in Florida, the second-largest in the United States, with your whole group for the chance at a true freshwater fishing adventure creating the ultimate bonding moment!

fl boat rentals Lake Okeechobee fishing guides

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