Florida has hundreds of lakes and rivers full of fish, but some consistently produce good quality and quantities of bass, earning them a spot on the list of best bass fishing lakes in Florida.
The best bass fishing lakes in North Florida are Rodman Reservoir, Orange Lake, The St John’s River, Lake George, and The Harris Chain of Lakes.
The best bass fishing lakes in Central Florida are Lake Tarpon, Stick Marsh, Fellsmere Reservoir, Lake Toho, The Butler Chain, Lake Kissimmee, Lake Istokpoga, and Lake Okeechobee.
The best bass fishing lakes in South Florida are The Golden Gate Canal, Lake Ida an Osborne, The Everglades, and Miami Airport Lakes.
All of these offer incredible fishing opportunities but also have something unique to offer.
Florida weather and healthy vegetation have promoted incredible fisheries throughout Florida all year. They range from North to South with exceptional bass fishing that is worthwhile to experience. Our adventure through the state will start in the North and move further South. Each stop along the way will provide you with a new perspective of what the sunshine state can offer you.
Whether your goals are to catch big bass or large quantities, there is a Florida fishery for you.
If you are coming to Florida and are looking strictly for a trophy largemouth bass, North Florida is the place to visit. Cooler water temperatures promote a slower metabolism for the bass, allowing them to grow larger. The Rodman Reservoir in Putnam County covers 9,500 acres and has been one of the most productive fishing destinations in the state for big bass. It is a consistent fishery that promotes daily catches of over 8 pounds. Rodman has registered 348 trophycatch fish to date. If you are looking to fish atop-ranked lake in the country, the Rodman Reservoir would be an excellent choice.Experience this 19 miles long lake while enjoying the wild nature of North Florida near Gainesville with high chances of landing your dream largemouth bass.
Orange Lake is in the southeast of Gainesville designated fish management area with 20 miles of shoreline. Orange Lake has extensive aquatic vegetation of lily pads and hydrilla, providing prime bass habitats. The thriving habitat allowed Orange Lake to get on the list of many bass anglers for having the best trophy largemouth bass fishing in Florida. Along with its big bass, Orange Lake holds black crappie, redear sunfish, and bluegill in good size and numbers. The only public boat ramps are located at Heagy-Burry.
The St John’s River
The St. Johns River is a unique waterway with some of the best largemouth bass fishing in Florida. The river begins in Vero beach and winds through 12 Central Florida counties before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. The St. Johns River is known for consistently holding trophy largemouth bass. The best big bass fishing here is done by wild shiner fishing. Along with its big bass, the St. Johns River is also known for its top-notch pan fishing for crappie and bluegill. The river consists of three basins that all offer some unique angling opportunities. The upper basin of the river is the most unpredictable and becomes best after widening up near Titusville. The middle basin is the shortest and is more navigable. This basin has access to Lakes Monroe, Harney, and Jesup, which all thrive as excellent bass fishing lakes. The lower basin starts before Lake George and runs north through Jacksonville before reaching the Atlantic. This basin is home to both freshwater and saltwater fish species.
Lake George is the secondlargest lake in Florida after Lake Okeechobee. The lake spans 46,000 acres and stretches 6 miles at its widest point. This fishery is relatively shallow with an average depth of eight feet and is very brackish for a lake in this part of Florida. The lake is best known for its big bass, striped bass, and sunfish.
Lake George does not have vegetation along its shoreline or on the bottom, making it more difficult to find fish than the other heavily vegetated Florida lakes. Despite the lack of foliage, there are still plenty of spots to catch big Florida bass, including the remnants of an old bombing range throughout the lake. There is also a sunken ship in the middle of the water that will be the home of a large panfish population.
The Harris Chain of Lakes
The Harris Chain of Lakes is one of the most prolific bass lakes in the state. The Harris Chain is nutrient-rich and filled with large shad, bluegills, and golden shiners to feed the enormous trophy fish. The Chain of Lakes consists of nine lakes and covers about 76,000 acres. The Chain of Lakes used to host several bass tournaments twenty years ago. The bass fishing declined and got a bad reputation for several years; however, the fishing is back and stronger than ever. Numerous big bass are caught on the Chain of lakes every day while on a fishing charter.
Today, the Harris Chain of lakes is exceptionally fertile with mostly dark stained water. This freshwater lake is primarily covered in Kissimmee grass, lily pads, eelgrass, and bulrushes. Fishing the Chain requires stout tackle and power techniques for its robust and healthy bass population.
Lake Tarpon is located about 10 miles west of Tampa in Tarpon Springs, Florida, United States. The lake covers 2,500 acres and stretches almost nine miles long. Its surrounded by houses and resorts with tons of fishing opportunities.
This fishery offers some of the best big bass fishing in Florida on the west coast. Lake Tarpon is renowned for its trophy-size bass and supports a healthy population of crappie, bluegill, blue tilapia, sunfish, and catfish.
The lake’s bottom has deep-water holes and shallow edges with grass beds for the thriving populations of various fish species. Two county parks border the lake with boat ramps, east John Chestnut Park and west A.L Anderson Park. Because of its location, Lake Tarpon hosts numerous bass tournaments.
Stick Marsh (Farm 13)
Stick Marsh, also known as Farm 13, is a 6,500-acre impoundment a part of the St Johns Water Management Area. Stick Marsh lies near the Treasure Coast of Florida and is one of the nation’s most abundant and natural big bass fisheries.
The Farm 13 water depths average 4 to 8 feet, but navigating the area can be difficult with its numerous underwater stumps. Stick Marsh holds prime waters for trophy bass, with many catches being in close to double digits. Live bait is the most effective method for catching trophies, but artificial lures can often produce as well. It’s best for an angler new to the area to fish with an experienced local captain to safely and efficiently get the full experience of this trophy bass lake.
Fellsmere Reservoir, also known as Lake Eden, Headwaters Lake, and Lake Headwaters, is a world-class human-made lake in Indian River County, covering 10,000 acres. Fellsmere borders Stick Marsh, Blue Cypress, and Lake Garcia.
The underwater features and structural habitat of Fellsmere lake provide an exceptional experience for a visiting bass fisherman. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation stocked nearly 1,000,000 sport fish in the reservoir along with bluegill, crappie, and redear sunfish. Fellsmere is one of the lakes a visiting angler must experience when freshwater fishing in Florida.
Lake Tohopekaliga (Lake Toho)
Lake Toho in Central Florida is an 18,810-acre bass fishery southeast of Kissimmee and is the uppermost lake in the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes.
Lake Toho is full of vegetation, including lily pads, cattails, weed mats, bulrush, and Kissimmee grass, all supporting a healthy bass population. In addition to its vegetation, Fish management practices improved the bottom of Lake Toho by allowing extreme drawdowns to its water level. During the drawdowns, deposits of muck are removed by bulldozers from the shoreline areas imitating a natural drought, making the shoreline of Lake Toho prime for bass spawning success.
Lake Toho is home to numerous annual bass fishing tournaments, including Bassmaster opens. Lake Toho also supports healthy populations of bluegill, crappie, redear sunfish, pickerel, gar, and catfish.
The Butler Chain
As we travel further south into Central Florida, you land yourself through a maze of a chain of lakes. There is one particular Chain that stands out from the rest: The Butler Chain of Lakes. This interconnected Chain of 11 lakes promotes one of the most unique Florida bass experiences. It is considered relatively deep for a Florida lake with 20 to 40-foot holes. One of the most incredible aspects is its deep vegetation structures in some of the clearest fresh water in Florida that the bass love.
Bass fishing on this lake can get very exciting. It has a large quantity of largemouth bass that causes them to school regularly, making Butler best known for its numbers rather than size. This allows for some of the best action you can explore here in Florida. As you are fishing these schools, enjoy catching quality 4 to 5-pound bass throwing artificial topwater bait fish. Springtime is when the bass truly begins to school up and produce what you are searching for. Explore the R.D. Keene Park for a great trophy bass adventure.
Lake Kissimmee is the southernmost lake in the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes. It covers 34,948 acres and is located 18 miles east of Lake Wales and 40 miles south of Orlando. Lake Kissimmee is a fertile environment making it a top trophy bass fishery. Lake Kissimmee has produced over 497 TrophyCatch fish, including 1 Hall of Famer, 87 Trophy Club, and 409 Lunker Club. The fertile soil of Lake Kissimmee creates a healthy abundance of food sources such as zooplankton, insects, and forage fish. The rich food sources allow the Lake Kissimmee bass to grow fast. Along with the food abundance, Lake Kissimmee has an excellent habitat consisting of a diverse combination of emergent and submerged vegetation ideal for bass spawning.
Lake Istokpoga in Highlands County is located five miles northeast of Lake Placid and is the fifth-largest natural lake in Florida, covering 27,692 acres. It has numerous boat ramps on the North, Northeast, and Southwest sides of the lake.
Since a significant restoration effort in the 2000’s, Lake Istokpoga has consistently cranked out quality-sized bass. Lake Istokpoga had 329 trophycatch fish.
Lake Istokpoga has an average depth of 6 feet, offering a vast amount of shallow vegetation, including spatterdock, hydrilla, Kissimmee grass, bulrush, lily pads, eelgrass, and cattails. According to Bassmaster Elite Bobby Lane, bass anglers will likely get 10-15 quality bites a day any time of year when fishing on Lake Istokpoga.
Moving further on our Florida Bass Fishing Tour, Lake Okeechobee is our next stop. Okeechobee is an enormous 730 plus square-mile freshwater lake in Florida known for its legendary largemouth fishing throughout the year. Spring Bass Fishing has been truly heating up every year, especially in the southern destinations on the lake. You can experience fantastic fishing across the whole lake, but the South has been producing the best. Clewiston and Belle Glade will be the best locations to fish this spring. Anglers can experience big numbers and great-quality largemouth bass this time of year as the bass are still in their spawning process.
Lake Okeechobee has one of the most vibrant and abundant largemouth bass populations in the state of Florida. You can fish there your whole life and never see the same fish twice. One of the best parts about fishing Lake Okeechobee is that wherever you are traveling from, there is a destination near you. If you are coming from Miami or Fort Lauderdale, Belle Glade or the southeast side of the lake would be your best bet. If Fort Myers or Naples is the vacation or home destination, Clewiston would be the best location. When coming from Central Florida, make sure you experience Okeechobee City to provide you with a truly unique perspective on the lake.
The Golden Gate Canal is centrally located between Naples-Marco Island’s beaches and The Everglades National Park, Big Cypress Preserve, and Collier-Seminole State Park.
Popular exotic fish such as the peacock bass and Oscars have found their way into southwest Florida from Miami. These fish are now extremely abundant here, making the Golden Gate a top peacock fishinglake in the state. The fishing is excellent year-round for peacock bass, largemouth bass, and panfish. The big bass are most often caught during the colder months when they are actively feeding during their peak spawning time. In addition to these popular freshwater fish, anglers can also catch snook and tarpon in these canals.
Lake Ida and Lake Osborne
The Lake Ida Chain of Lakes starts in Boynton Beach and ends in Delray Beach. The lake to the North in Boynton is Lake Osborne, while to the South in Delray is Lake Ida. Lake Ida and Osborne both offer some of the best south Florida lakes for largemouth and peacock fishing. The lakes have some good-size largemouth and peacock bass, sunshine bass, bluegills, Mayan cichlids, and other exotic fish species like the clown knife fish.
These Florida lakes in Palm Beach are the furthest North in the sunshine state that an angler can experience a peacock bass fishing charter. The Chain of Lakes has convenient access points allowing anglers to start searching for big bad and beautiful peacock bass within minutes.
The endless canals of the Chain of lakes provide the high opportunity to catch peacock bass in good numbers. The numerous structures, including docks, bridges, cuts, and seawalls, are good focus points for largemouth and peacock bass.
Enjoy your fishing experience while listening to the birds, alligators and many other inhabitants create a song before you. We would also recommend this location for young kids and family members that love to be in the outdoors and have not yet experienced what Florida fishing is all about. Come enjoy catching 100-200 largemouth bass in a trip for memories we genuinely believe you will not forget.
Miami Airport Lakes
This Miami destination stands out from the rest. It is a location that you can experience the total abundance of Florida exotics and largemouth fishing to its fullest. The Miami Airport Lakes is an excellent location to catch the hardest fighting bass in the state, the peacock bass. Blue Lagoon or Airport Lakes is home to the Florida Peacock Bass and some quality largemouth bass fish. It was one of the first locations they stocked this incredible species of bass. When it comes to fishing for peacock bass, domestic shiners are most productive, however artificial lures especially topwater lures can often produce. Your Bassonline fishing guide comes with all artificial fishing tackle needed for success. One of the significant aspects of fishing the Miami Airport system is the ability to catch saltwater species.
When the locks open to release water, many species, including snook, tarpon, and jack crevalle, travel through and get trapped in when they close them. These species can live in this water which provides you ample opportunities to hook one as well. Don’t count out catching some quality largemouth bass along with your adventures in the heart of Miami.
Best Time For Bass Fishing
Bass fishing in Florida is incredible throughout the year, contributing to it being the “Fishing Capital of the World.” However, the springtime is when largemouths spawn and provide anglers with their best opportunity to catch a double-digit trophy. Typically the spawn starts when water temperature becomes optimal as early as December and goes into June, varying slightly throughout the state.
Springtime here in Florida is the perfect time to take a vacation. As the northern states are still experiencing cold fronts, Florida is beginning to warm up. The characteristics of this spring have been considerably different than the many before it. Colder weather throughout the whole United States has made for exciting fishing conditions.
One of the main reasons our fishing has been so fantastic here in Florida is the extreme weather. The cold fronts that have pushed through changed the water temperatures dramatically throughout our season. As temperatures change, the Florida largemouths pushed off spawns that they are now engaging in. During these new moon phases, our professional captains and experts have been catching largemouth bass filled with eggs and preparing for their spawning process. April will most likely be the last time they spawn, but it will also be one of the best months to catch excellent bass at all our top Florida bass destinations.
Florida Fishing Experience
Don’t miss out on our Top Florida largemouth Fishing Destinations across the whole state. Action will be consistent all year long. Each month will provide new challenges, different techniques, and great fishing. Florida is the best destination to catch that big largemouth bass or peacock you are looking for. We would love to create a memory worth a lifetime while you reel in that fish that will make you smile!
If you enjoyed this post about our Top Florida Bass Destinations, you might also enjoy this fishing report from the same area.
We’ve all heard of panfishing and any angler has used to term “panfish” to describe something they’ve caught. These are usually the fish we catch when we’re out there trying to catch bass because we’re using lightweight lures and fast action applications along the shoreline.
Every now and then, a bluegill or crappie will take hold and we’ll end up with one of these at the end of the line.
But, do we actually understand what a panfish is and how to catch one? Panfishing in Florida is popular because not only are these fish plentiful, they’re delicious and simple to cook.
This guide to Florida panfishing will help you better understand these fish and how to catch them.
What are Panfish?
Panfish is not actually a scientific term at all, it’s more so “angler slang.” That doesn’t mean that it’s not a correct way to describe these fish, it just means that you won’t find the word panfish in any fishing encyclopedias.
The word panfish actually refers to the fact that you can fit the entire fish in one single pan and they’ll never grow larger than the size of a pan.
For example, if you caught a six-pound largemouth bass, you wouldn’t be able to fit that in a pan. A one pound crappie, will fit in a pan.
Simple enough right?
What Fish Are Considered Panfish?
The term describes a fish that is always small enough to fit in a pan. So, which fish does that include? It will include species such as bluegill, crappie, and sunfish because they’re never going to grow larger than a pan.
Panfish are also fish that when filleted, are small enough to fit in some of the tiniest pans. Keep in mind that no matter how small a bass or walleye is, it’s still not going to ever be a panfish.
This is where things get confusing because we said “a fish small enough to fit in a pan.” Following that logic, a small bass would be a panfish.
Generally speaking, bluegill, crappie, sunfish, perch, pumpkinseed, and even rock bass are the only fish that we would label as a “panfish.”
Panfishing in Florida: The Basics
Now let’s get a little more specific. This is a Florida fishing guide after all. Let’s talk about some of the panfish you can expect to find when fishing the canals and ponds throughout Florida. There’s a large assortment of panfish here and this section of the guide will break it down for you.
Contrary to what we think we know about panfish, these guys spend some time offshore feeding on smaller fish so they grow much larger in Florida than they do in other states up north. Fishing with small minnows and grass shrimp are one of the best ways to find crappie.
Many anglers also attribute a lot of their success to night fishing. Keeping a lantern or boat light can draw a lot of attention from insects forcing the fish to come closer to the surface for pitching action.
Fishing for Bluegill
Bluegill fishing is the most common panfish in Florida because they thrive in a lot of situations across many of the lakes and ponds throughout the state. They have a large population in rivers as well with most anglers targeting them at the base of dams. They eat larvae and insects but live worms are considered the best bait for most bluegill anglers.
They spawn throughout the late spring and summer and it’s not uncommon to find as many as 30 or 40 of them in the same location. They’re pretty easy to catch with lightweight tackle, finesse techniques, and fast action rods and reels.
Ultralight is the best way to go because feeling every little nibble is essential. These guys don’t strike hard like bass do so you’ll need to feel everything otherwise they’ll eat your bait without you even knowing it.
Sunfish Fishing in Florida
These guys are known as shellcrackers around here and they eat a variety of live bait ranging from worms to clams and snails. March and April is their prime spawning season and they spend most of their time around hard bottoms near rocky dams. They grow a little bit larger than most bluegill and it’s not uncommon to find sunfish larger than one pound.
Lightweight tackle and ultralight applications are best here as well. Be alert and pay attention to every little nibble you feel.
Top Panfishing Techniques
We’ve talked about the baits and lures we should use but let’s speak more specifically about the fishing techniques you should use for panfishing in Florida. We know that fishing near rocks and dams is the best strategy but how should we present our bait?
Slow Rolling – Slow rolling jigs is one of my favorite methods. It involves casting long-distance beyond your target area and returning back to that area with a slow and steady retrieval. It’s one of the simplest methods of casting but it allows you to pass right over your target.
Vertical Jigging – If you’re fishing around the structure you’ll want to try vertical jigging. This involves pitching or dropping the bait near the boat and jigging it with the tip of the rod. Being able to identify shoreline structure is key so having a fish finder like the Lowrance HDS will help you locate fish that are holding to structure.
Dabbling – This technique works best when fishing the area of a river that dumps into a larger body of water. You’ll cast out right where the river feeds in and use the water movement to keep the lure in place. This action creates a natural movement of the lure and works great with live bait.
Where to Find Panfish in FL?
The best part about panfishing in Florida is that you can find them almost anywhere. If you’re targeting them for cooking or to introduce your kids to fishing, this is a great place to start. Most panfish start spawning season in the spring with their best fishing around April. All the canals surrounding the Everglades, Lake Okeechobee, Orlando, and Kissimmee are great places to find most panfish.
To Charter or Not to Charter?
If you’re traveling to the area, we always recommend taking advantage of a panfish fishing guide. Going out on the water with a guide is the best way to introduce yourself and your family to the sport of fishing and if you’re bringing kids along with you, it’s even better.
Many guides guarantee that you’ll catch something and they turn a fishing trip into a complete experience. They’ll show you exactly where you need to go, what gear to use, and how to fish the right techniques to catch as many fish as possible during your trip.
At this point, you should understand what panfishing is and know all about the most popular panfish in Florida. These fish are a great introduction to fishing for children, they’re tasty, and fun to chase.
If you’re in need of a unique and exciting day of fishing, panfishing offers a lot more of a thrill than you think. Good luck out there!
Friday, Nov. 15th was the 16th annual Hot Rods & Reels Charity Fishing Tournament to help find a cure or “put the brakes” on paralysis. This fishing tournament is a fantastic opportunity to experience not only Florida outdoors but also getting the chance to meet top-level NASCAR drivers. The 2019 NASCAR Charity Fishing Tournament was about to begin!
At Hot Rods & Reels, NASCAR drivers team up with NHRA Hall of Fame drag racer Darrell Gwynn to raise awareness of spinal cord injury research and people living with paralysis, and to donate a custom wheelchair. Each wheelchair is presented and donated to a recipient in dire need. After careful selection, our recipient was a great candidate for this year’s wheelchair.
Every November, for the past 16 years, NASCAR’s final race of the year was in sunny South Florida. Each race weekend opens with our NASCAR charity fishing tournament in Homestead-Miami, FL. There is no better way to start your weekend than in the great outdoors catching fish.
Hot Rods & Reels Fishing Tournament:
Friday morning brought about some beautiful weather in Homestead, FL. During the early morning hours, captains, guides, and fishermen were lining up for registration. As the sun came up, everyone was getting excited about what the morning had to offer. The peacock bass in Homestead-Miami Speedway’s lake was the main target for this incredible charity event.
As the captains drove their trucks and boats onto the track and into the infield, the energy was rising. You can almost feel that something magical was going to happen. Even though this is all for charity, competition always fuels the event. The question was what driver, owner, NASCAR affiliate, was going to get their name on the Hot Rods & Reels Charity Fishing trophy?
After a nice lake-side breakfast, courtesy of Homestead Hospital, the fishing event was about to begin. Before the fishing could begin though, the most important part of this whole day had to happen: the Wheelchair Presentation.
One of the main reasons why Darrell and his Chapter puts on this event is to present/donate a very expensive wheelchair to a recipient that has been recently paralyzed. This year’s Done was someone special and in great need of an upgraded chair. His name was Jean Saint-Ange!
Meet Jean Saint-Ange:
“On August 25, 2018, Jean Saint-Ange was in a devastating accident when he sustained a fall while trimming a tree in his family’s backyard. As a result, he suffered from several fractures and underwent several surgeries to his lower extremities and his spinal column. He was in critical condition at the trauma center, fighting for his life for four months. This accident ultimately changed his life forever, leaving him completely paralyzed from the chest down and confined to a wheelchair. He currently needs around the clock care and resides in a long-term care facility. Since his injury, he has been doing extensive therapy in hopes of regaining the use of both of his hands and to walk again.
Prior to his accident, Jean was a full-time head chef at a local Caribbean restaurant and fulfilled the role as the sole provider for his family. This hard worker is determined to regain his independence and be a prominent figure in his family once again. This wheelchair will not only help him physically but mentally as well. He is beyond thankful to the Darrell Gwynn Chapter of The Buoniconti Fund for making this gift possible.”
Tournament Details & Rules:
The Hot Rods & Reels Fishing Tournament is very unique in the manner that before the activity or event starts, you know why and what the event was for. Jean was very excited and beyond
thankful for this life-altering donation. Everything was changing rapidly for this young man. Jean even had the ability to get out on the water with Darrell Gwynn on Captain David Rhoden’s
pontoon fishing vessel, which made for a great addition to the tournament.
So as the NASCAR drivers, sponsors, guests, and captains boarded the fishing vessels, they were all fired up to get this event started. South Florida’s finest freshwater captain guides were there to donate their time to such an amazing cause. They had 1 hour and 30 minutes to catch the biggest 3 bass limit. Everyone cruised to their fishing spot and in just seconds, fish were making their way to the boats.
The Miami-Homestead Speedway has a 7-acre spring-fed lake that holds some great fishing for exotic bass fishing. During this event, you can get the chance to catch a Florida peacock bass along with largemouth bass, cichlids, catfish, and more. At each event we get to see catches of all sizes, especially this one in 2019.
Hot Rods & Reels Fishing Tournament Results
As the horn blasts, it is a sign that the tournament has concluded. Everyone makes their way back to the beach where the weigh-in stage is located. The crowds congregate and everyone is getting excited to see what fish were weighed in.
Each driver and fishing team slowly started weighing in fish from their time on the water. We started to see some bigger bags and bass coming in. Anglers and drivers were also bringing in big catfish that were caught.
Bass Online’s Captain Wayne Fellows took over holding the bag open. They pulled out a smaller peacock bass along with a giant catfish. Once confirming that the catfish was not allowed to be weighed, all of a sudden a second bag was brought to the stage.
The first fish pulled out of the bag was a gorgeous peacock bass weighing in at 3.5 pounds. It was the biggest bass of the tournament so far. As everyone was still excited for the last fish, the angler reached into the bag and pulled out a GIANT Crowd shocking peacock bass.
Everyone in the crowd uproared with amazement and excitement after landing their eyes on this fish. It weighed in at 7.7 pounds and it was the biggest peacock bass ever caught on this lake. Richard Childress along with Bass Pro Shop’s guest anglers took home the trophy with a combined score of 12.84 pounds for their 3 bass limit.
Huk Presents the Million Dollar Challenge:
As well, they cashed in on the big fish of the tournament. This meant that they solidified their chances at ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Huk, a presenting sponsor of this tournament does a challenge where you pick an envelope from a collection of them. Inside, you can win one million dollars in the Huk Million Dollar Challenge.
The angler that caught the big fish in this tournament gets awarded to select an envelope. Unfortunately, the envelope that was selected did not have the million-dollar ticket in it.
Overall, everyone on the water had a great time and caught a lot of fish. The size may not have been there but that is what fishing is all about. Now, all anglers and drivers will be fired up to come back to Homestead Speedway to chase down the giant of the deep.
Hot Rods & Reels Charity Fishing Tournament in 2020:
Everything is changing next year. NASCAR changed its schedule around and is now going to have this tournament in March. It will be right after the Daytona 500, the first race of the season. As a result, you will get more interaction with drivers and sponsors as all of them will be in Florida already.
We are looking forward to seeing what 2020 brings, especially for the upcoming NASCAR Charity Fishing Tournaments. If you are interested in participating in this event as a sponsor, feel free to reach out to the Quality of Life Chapter. They can provide you all the information that you will need to make this event happen for you. We would love to get you on the boat and we would love for you to be part of finding a cure for paralysis.
Are you a freshwater angler? If so, have you heard about the peacock bass? Peacock bass, besides the largemouth, happens to be one of the most interesting and exciting species to catch. One of the main reasons is all its exotic features from the explosive fights to the beautiful colors, each experience is something unique. Travelers come to Central Florida in hopes to catch peacock bass. Unfortunately, these exotic characteristics make it only reside in South Florida and there is no peacock bass in Orlando Florida.
Why no peacock bass Orlando Florida?
Many people ask “Is there Peacock Bass in Orlando Florida?” There is NO peacock bass in Orlando, Florida. Peacock bass resides in South Florida, where the weather and water temperatures are warm. South Florida provides the most exotic environment for the bass. In just a short drive, you can access some of the BEST fisheries for Florida peacock bass.
Peacock bass are very fragile when it comes to cooler water temperatures. Since they originate from South America, when water temperatures get too cold, they die. As a result, this explosive, aggressive, and colorful species only resides in south Florida.
Peacock bass are exotic species that originated from the Amazon. Many years ago, FWC introduced the peacock bass to South Florida. The main reason for doing so was to manage the population of other exotic species. As a result, an explosive growth of peacock bass began.
Interesting enough, peacock bass spread rapidly throughout South Florida. Whether it was through the vast canal systems or anglers relocating fish, you can almost find a peacock bass in every freshwater system.
Now, whether from a boat or bank, every angler has a chance to enjoy this wonderful freshwater species.
Where can you catch peacock bass in Florida?
Are you wondering “where can I catch peacock bass in Florida?” Several locations are incredibly productive almost all year round for catching peacock bass in Florida.
Palm Beach County Bass Fishing
The furthest north, especially if you were traveling from Orlando, FL would the best Lake Osborne-Ida Chain of Lakes in Palm Beach County near Boynton Beach, FL. This location is 182 miles or 2 hours, 40 minutes away from Orlando, FL.
This urban fishery provides exceptional bass fishing. Peacock Bass is the most dominant species to catch when traveling to this location. As well, you have several other great species to explore and experience including the clown knife fish and largemouth bass.
The best peacock bass fishing resides in Miami-Dade County. Miami, FL is home to some of the most aggressive and largest peacock bass in the nation. Anglers of all ages can come to enjoy catching fish of all sizes. If you are looking for a trophy Florida peacock bass, Miami, FL is the place to visit.
This location is 236 miles or 3 hours, 45 minutes away from Orlando, FL.
Trophy peacock bass in Florida is characterized by a fish over 5 pounds. Any fish over this weight is considered a trophy and is quite a large fish. You have the chance to catch a peacock bass of this size at all the Florida locations but Miami happens to be the strongest and most consistent destination for them.
Two main locations are prominent when it comes to peacock bass in Miami: Miami Airport Lakes and Miami’s Falls Mall Canal System. Both of these locations are urban fisheries holding some giant peacock bass.
The Miami Airport Lakes is perfect for the traveler looking to fly in and fly out. Anglers fly into Miami International Airport every month to come to explore what peacock bass in Florida has to offer. This would be the perfect location for you giving you chances at catching trophy peacock bass with our local experts.
Another fantastic location with a quieter and remote atmosphere is the Falls Mall Canal System. This system is located in Miami, FL, in the heart of the action. Hop on board and fish and experience something you never knew was there. The abundance of scenery, wildlife, and incredible catches make fishing there something special. Enjoy reeling in some of the biggest peacock bass of your life with our local experts.
This location is 193 miles or 3 hours, 45 minutes away from Orlando, FL.
The hottest and best location to catch peacock bass is the Golden Gate Canal System. This is an urban fishery that can get you on some beautiful peacock bass. Since there is very little bank access, getting out with a local expert is the best way to experience bass fishing.
Deepwater canals also call for a different technique our local experts locked in on to land some big bass. Enjoy fishing behind some beautiful homes catching peacock bass, largemouth bass, and so much more.
When can you catch peacock bass in Florida?
When it comes to bass fishing, whether peacock bass or largemouth bass, the best fishing comes around their spawn. Peacock bass spawn during April-May and September-October. This will give you the best chance at catching a trophy peacock bass.
Otherwise, the summer months when the weather is warm are always a great time to catch peacock bass. As the sun penetrates the water and the surface warms, the peacock bass becomes active.
The warmer the temperatures, the better the peacock bass fishing will be. Always come ready if you are going to come during our warmer months of the year. Fishing for peacock bass can get hot. Always stay hydrated and wear protective clothing when embarking on peacock bass fishing charters.
All the top locations mentioned above get fired up and are exciting to explore. Each adventure and location will give you an experience that is unique to itself.
How to catch peacock bass in Florida?
Knowledge and experience are everything when it comes to catching peacock bass. Even though there is no peacock bass in Orlando, you can enjoy catching fish in south Florida. Most of the canal and freshwater systems in this region hold exceptional bass fishing.
You have two options when it comes to catching peacock bass: you can fish for them by boat or by land. The urban canals are perfect areas to go fishing with a rod, reel, and bait. If you are looking for the best experience, by boat, and with a local expert is the best way to go.
Years of knowledge and time on the water has led them to know exactly where, when, and how to land peacock bass.
Live bait is the best way to catch peacock bass in Florida. Whether free-lining or on a bobber, you can really enjoy a great fishing adventure. For the more seasoned angler, artificial bait can also be effective. We always suggest throwing either a loud topwater bait or jerk bait in exotic colors.
Feel free to reach out and we can get you in contact with a local expert that can help give you further guidance on how to catch peacock bass in Florida.
Updated Florida Peacock Bass Fishing Report:
Miami-Dade County – Falls Canal Fishing
Meet Don, his daughter Martha, and his son-in-law Josh. They were traveling from Georgia looking to explore the Miami Falls Canal System. It was a two-day fishing adventure that landed them several beautiful peacock bass. Captain Robert Miley had the pleasure of fishing with this family.
Luckily, the conditions paired up for some incredible fishing and non-stop action. After two days of fishing, they caught over 60 Florida peacock bass. Most of the fish weighed in at 2-4 pounds. The biggest fish caught was right at 5 pounds on live bait.
Don, Martha, and Josh had a fantastic time on the water and are looking forward to coming back soon!
Palm Beach County- Lake Ida-Osborne Chain of Lakes Fishing
Meet Dave and his two sons. They were traveling from Chattanooga, Tennessee looking to cash in on some peacock bass fishing action. Captain Robert Miley had the pleasure of fishing with them as well.
Air temperatures were warm sitting at 92 degrees with a nice breeze on the water. Dave and his sons enjoyed the weather along with catching 10 quality peacock bass on this fishing trip. They also caught an elusive clown knife fish, which was a great addition to their fishing trip.
After moving around and getting to see the urban fishery of Palm Beach County, they finished their fishing trip strong. They caught several peacock bass in the 4-5 pound range.
Dave and his sons really enjoyed their tour and journey through this canal system. Captain Miley is looking forward to getting the opportunity to catch more big bass in South Florida.
Broward County – Markham Park & Everglades Fishing
Broward County is another great option to explore when looking to go peacock bass fishing. Since peacock bass is an exotic species, they are sensitive to temperature changes. Broward County doesn’t have as many lakes with deeper water making it the first destination to have a slower bite.
Markham Park is a productive fishery for big numbers of bass. You can catch 20-40 fish on one fishing trip. It is not known for very large bass but a great place to be introduced to peacock bass fishing. You can also enjoy catching largemouth bass, exotic snakeheads, cichlids, and so much more!
Another fantastic location near Broward County is the Florida Everglades. Deeper water canals make this fishery perfect for both peacock bass and largemouth bass. If you are looking to get the true outdoor experience with an abundance of wildlife including birds, alligators, and large numbers of bass, this is your destination.
All year long the peacock bass bite on Alligator Alley. Each stop will yield a different result. Make sure to explore this long-stretch of canals with our local experts for the best trip possible.
Collier County – Golden Gate Canal Fishing
Meet Steve and his significant other. They were traveling from Nevada looking to explore something new. Peacock bass fishing was something they never did before. Captain Mark Rogers had the pleasure of fishing with them on this fishing trip.
This couple really enjoyed sitting back and using live bait. They caught fish all trip long, especially with cloudy, rainy, and windy conditions. Captain Mark adjusted and helped them bring peacock bass and largemouth bass to the boat.
Steve and his significant other caught peacock bass and largemouth bass in the 4-pound range. It was a full day of great fishing and everyone on board had a lot of fun. One of the most rewarding experiences for a captain or guide is getting a client on their first fish of any species.
Captain Mark is looking forward to seeing them back out on the water soon!
So if there is NO peacock bass in Orlando, where do I go?
Since there is no peacock bass in Orlando, traveling to the nearest location would be the best bet for you. How far you want to travel is solely up to your vacation plans. One thing we can say is that making that journey to catch peacock bass in Florida will be worth it.
Utilize our knowledge and expertise in order to maximize your time. We would not want you to travel to one of the additional destinations and you do not have the best time possible. Our local experts are beyond exceptional and are the best at what they do.
We hope you use this information to guide you in the right direction. Feel free to reach out to us at any time to gain more knowledge about your upcoming fishing trips. We are always here to help and assist you.
Did you know that Florida has Peacock Bass? The exotic peacock bass is one of the most magical species to catch in South Florida. South Florida is the only destination that has these exotic species. When traveling to this destination, explore what an outdoor adventure can provide you. You will get the chance to explore the backwater and freshwater systems of urban Miami, FL and we are sure that it will amaze you.
As you traverse through the long-stretches of canals, enjoy not only the views but the abundance of nature present. Your main goal might be to catch a Florida peacock bass but you will always get so much more. Every fishing adventure and experience is unique and can be tailored to your needs. When our local experts give you call the evening before your trip, make sure to discuss any interests and needs.
If you are looking to maximize your time and get on some really beautiful and large fish, a local expert is essential. The number of years that they put in allow for a translation of knowledge to occur. When this happens, you get the chance to catch the biggest fish of your life. Our local experts work hard at accomplishing your goals. When you are blessed to spend most of your time on the water, you key in on all the tactics to put fish in the boat. The gentle words and instructions from your Florida peacock bass fishing guides will help provide you with a fishing adventure you surely won’t forget.
Introduction to the Florida Peacock Bass:
As many travelers and visitors know, South Florida is a destination to immerse themselves into a tropical environment. Beautiful warm weather all year round creates an ecosystem that supports a wide variety of species. As time went on, this ecosystem started to bolster and flourish with exotic species including Oscars, Midas Cichlids, and Spotted Tilapia. This resulted in rapid growth and overpopulation of exotic species in our freshwater systems here in South Florida.
In 1984, the exotic, aggressive, colorful Butterfly Peacock Bass was introduced to South Florida and as a result, something incredible happened. After 10 years of research and studies, Fish and Game decided to introduce two species of exotic peacock bass to Florida. The butterfly and speckled peacock bass were both introduced but only one thrived. The butterfly peacock bass was the one that came on top and is now provide awesome sportfishing opportunities for travelers and anglers.
Peacock Bass are extremely temperature-sensitive. When planning your trip to South Florida to catch a peacock bass, plan your trip from April – October when the weather and waters are warm. This species loves the warm environment that South Florida produces during these times. Please contact us or our local experts to get more information on this fishing during your vacation time.
What is the Best Time to Catch Spawning Peacock Bass?
The Florida peacock bass spawn happens multiple times a year. One of the main reasons for this is that South Florida provides warm water temperatures that trigger the spawn. The first spawns begin once the waters begin to warm up after our “winter” months. April and May are prime months to hit the spawn during the springtime. As the water temperatures begin to rise, get out during the full moon and look around for signs of spawning.
After the springtime spawn, you can also catch peacock bass spawning all throughout our summer months. It may not be as strong or in the numbers, the springtime spawn is but it continues to occur. Conditions are perfect for the spawn throughout these times. Focus on those full moons and you will be able to find some spawning pairs. Bass or fish, in general, are creatures of habit and will continue to go back to the same spots to spawn. Make sure to note these locations and revisit to help you catch more fish in the future!
The last big spawn for peacock bass is during the months of September- October. We are experiencing the spawn right now and some giant peacock bass have been caught. Our local experts know exactly where all the prime fishing spots are to land that big fish. After these months, weather and fishing conditions gradually change but that won’t stop the large peacock bass from being caught. Even though you can continually catch them shallow, they will most likely be done with spawning until the spring.
What should you look for when trying to locate spawning fish?
When you are out on the water looking for exotic spawning peacock bass, keep your eyes peeled for several things. Firstly, you want to focus in on shallow or even deep water structure. A deep structure like bridges may pose difficulties for spotting the fish but during their spawn, they do post up along bridges. Culverts, the canal turns and bends, tunnels, and flat shallow surfaces are all key structure peacock bass gravitate toward.
If you have never witnessed what a spawning bass bed looks like, let us describe it. When you are slowly cruising down the canal or freshwater system, you may see a white empty spot. It looks like a round circle. Bass tend to use their tail to clear away any debris in the spot in which they wish to spawn. When you come across a bed, you can’t miss it. Most of the time, you will spot the bed and shortly after you will find the male or female peacock guarding it.
Your first catch with any spawning fish you target will most likely be the male. After that, you will get the chance to target the larger female. Make sure that you quickly catch and release these spawning fish as you never want to harm their process. In order for you to come back and catch more next year, the spawn must be successful and fish must protect their fry and beds.
Another sign of peacock bass spawning near or on their bed is a school of orange fry. If you get the chance to see this that means that the bass have already spawned. A pair of peacock bass will be around to make sure the safety of their young is stable. Most of these fish won’t commit but if you aggravate them enough you can entice a bite.
What are the best locations to catch spawning peacock bass?
Peacock bass are located in South Florida and Southwest Florida. If you live in South Florida and you have a freshwater system nearby, it most likely holds peacock bass. Peacock bass are located strongly in Broward County, Miami-Dade County, along with Palm Beach County. The size of the fish will vary in each location and if you want the best chance at catching a trophy-sized fish, Miami-Dade County is the destination for you.
Miami, FL by far has the BEST peacock bass fishing in the United States. Two prime locations stand out from the rest: Falls Mall Canal System and Miami’s Airport Lakes. Both of these locations have a unique feel with one thing in common: Trophy Peacock Bass.
The Falls Mall Canal System is a truly unique fishery in that you are submersed in a remote but urban feel. You get the opportunity to soak in the scenery and fishing environment that will entice you to come back for more. Once you step aboard, your adventure begins. Enjoy the slow cruise through these residential canals to your first fishing spot. From your first cast to your last, always be ready for something incredible and the fight of your life.
Miami’s Airport Lakes is the best location for travelers that are staying relatively close to Miami’s International Airport. Within minutes of stepping off your plane, you can be aboard a freshwater fishing vessel with a local expert. They will take you through hidden canals and lakes that hold some incredible fishing for peacock bass. Enjoy this city urban feel while reeling in some beautiful and large peacock bass.
If you are not staying in Miami, you have multiple other options to catch peacock bass. Broward County offers fisheries that have productive fishing for peacock bass along with other exotic species including the snakehead. Markham Park is a prime location in Fort Lauderdale, FL that can get you on some nice fish. You may not catch a giant but you can have fun catching fish all trip long.
As you travel further north, you come to Palm Beach County. In this destination, you can find the Lake Ida Chain of Lakes. This chain of lakes includes Lake Ida along with a long-stretch of canals going north to Lake Osborne. Both of these fisheries are great for exotic peacock bass, clown knife fish, and largemouth bass. Throughout this chain, you can encounter some bigger fish depending on the weather conditions. If the weather stays warm, the Lake Ida Chain can be a great fishery for the whole family to cash in on some big fish.
All South Florida locations are showing great signs that the spawning process has begun for peacock bass at these locations. Now is the time to come catch the trophy peacock bass you desire. We can guarantee, it will be a trip you will never forget.
Current Peacock Bass Fishing Spawn Report:
Caitlin and her significant other Quintin were traveling to South Florida from Missouri. The main goal for this vacation was to catch a trophy peacock bass. Luckily, they came at the right time and hit the full moon. This caused the peacock bass to begin to spawn and the big trophy female peacock bass to get active.
Weather conditions paired up just right for a really productive day on the water. Water temperatures were at 84 degrees and the winds were blowing about 5-10 mph. When you have medium winds like such, focus on points and culverts that can corral fish and bait. If you key in on these structures and find beds, you can have a blast landing some nice fish.
All the fish caught on this fishing trip were in spawning colors. Quintin was ecstatic at catching peacock bass on his birthday. After getting several fish under his belt, Quintin hooked into something rather large. He almost thought it was a rock or log until it started to peel drag off the reel. His excitement and facial expressions said it all. After multiple minutes of fighting and hard-pulling runs, the peacock bass made it to the boat. Captain Robert Miley netted the beautiful fish and everyone on board burst out with joy.
Quintin could not believe his eyes when he saw what was in the net. It was a trophy, vibrant Florida peacock bass. After taking pictures, Captain Miley put it on the scale. It weighed in at 6.5 pounds. This peacock bass was a female and was rather monstrous. Generally, you don’t get the chance to catch a fish of this size. Quintin could not have been more excited to do it on such a special day for him.
Caitlin was also so happy that her plan came together and he got on the fish he was after. Miami, FL can bless you in so many ways, you just have to be open to the possibilities. Freshwater peacock bass fishing can be a great, new way to experience more of what Florida has to offer. Any angler or visitor of any age can come enjoy a day on the water. Our local experts will guide you and teach you all the necessary skills to entice that bass of a lifetime to bite.
Captain Miley is looking forward to having Quintin and Caitlin back on the boat in the near future. These moments and fishing charters are the one every guide looks for. Every day they wake up and go fishing is another day to create everlasting memories for the anglers that embark on an adventure.
Miami Airport Lakes is a fantastic fishery to catch peacock bass. You can as well catch largemouth bass, cichlids, freshwater Snook, Jack Crevalle, Tarpon, and Snapper. This system is interconnected with saltwater allowing for these diverse species to acclimate to fresh water. Airport Lakes approximately to not only the Airport but also Downtown Miami has drawn people to its destination every month of the year!
How Do I Book a Peacock Bass Fishing Charter with Bass Online?
Luckily we have made it easier than ever to set up your next fishing tour and adventure. When you want to embark on a fishing trip with our local experts, you can conveniently book online 24/7. If you do not trust the online platform, don’t you worry. 7 days a week our phones are always open to help you plan your next trip. Feel free to call us at 1-888-629-2277.
When booking your reservation and looking to lock in a particular Captain, make a note before submitting and we will make sure to get you out with your request. Also, we can get you in touch directly with our local experts if you are looking for an updated fishing report for the date of your trip.
We hope to get the chance to see you on the water next time holding up the biggest bass of your life. Our local experts will work hard at getting you on the fish you are after. All you have to do is step aboard and set the hook! Until then, tight lines…
BASS ONLINE EARNS 2018 TRIPADVISOR CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE
Florida – 30, May, 2018 – Bass Online announced today that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence. Now in its eighth year, the achievement celebrates businesses that have earned great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year. Certificate of Excellence recipients include attractions, restaurants and accommodations located all over the world that have continually delivered a quality customer experience.
“We are excited to announce that Bass Online has received the 2018 Certificate of Excellence award, which honours experiences and business that consistently received strong praise and ratings on the world’s largest travel site. We thank all those that have helped us achieve this amazing award as we strive to make our service the most professional and exemplary in the years to come. We believe in standing apart and providing a service of higher value on a daily basis. Our customer’s feedback is highly important in exceeding our standards and providing an even more exceptional service in the future.” – Todd Kersey, CEO
The Certificate of Excellence accounts for the quality, quantity and recency of reviews submitted by travelers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.
About iOutdoor Fishing Adventures:
Bass Online is the largest provider in Fishing and Outdoor Activities in the state of Florida. We service the state’s freshwater fisheries, with over 100 different locations. We also have a variety of other services that we can offer to help you enjoy the great outdoors while visiting the sunshine state, like sunset cruises and sandbar tours. Bass Online strives to make your experience personal with a high attention to detail, state of the art equipment and safety for the most successful and memorable fishing excursion. Each and every customer is valuable to us and we work for 100% satisfaction on every trip. When booking with us, don’t worry about a thing, hop on board and enjoy an adventure of a lifetime.