Indian River Fishing: Complete Guide and Fishing Report

Indian River Fishing: Complete Guide and Fishing Report

The Indian River is 121 miles long and it runs throughout the Indian River Lagoon system in East Florida. The river system runs right along the coast and it forms the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Its name came from the Rio de Ais Indian tribe and along the river, you’ll find dozens of incredibly historic Florida towns.

So, what draws people here? Why would it be worth it for you to leave your cozy little sleepy town to visit Florida for a river?

If you stick around long enough, you just might find out. Indian River fishing is some of the best in Florida. There’s a large variety of species, really healthy water, plenty of access points, and great opportunities to fish brackish inshore water.

Indian River Inlet Fishing

The Indian River Lagoon is minutes away from the Orlando International Airport and it stretches for 121 miles from New Smyrna Beach down to Vero Beach. On the way, it passes through other highly desirable areas such as Cocoa Beach and Sebastian. This river is one of the top destinations in the world for record spotted sea trout and redfish. Not to mention a majority of state records set in the state of Florida happened on the river.

The Northern stretch of the Indian River at Cape Canaveral houses the Kennedy Space Station so if that’s your cup of tea, millions have sat along the shorelines to watch NASA rocket launches over the years.

On the Eastern portion of the river is where you’ll find the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Here you can see acres upon acres of alligators, dolphins, birds, otters, and manatees.
Indian River fishing is so much more than fishing, it’s great fun and wonderful activities for the whole family even if you’re visiting with a crew that isn’t as into fishing as you are. There are plenty of things for everyone to see.

Indian River Inlet Fishing Report: Top Catches

Beautiful Redfish near Vero Beach

Alright, enough about all of that; let’s talk fishing. If you’re visiting the Indian River to snag some picture-worthy catches then you’ll want to know what you can expect to find. The Indian River is well known for having a large number of fish and plenty of different species. 

Redfish

Redfish are the number one catch throughout the Indian River Lagoon system and when you think of a true Florida fishing experience, this is where your mind goes. There are plenty of grassy shallow waters throughout the riverbanks so it’s the perfect habitat for redfish. 

One thing that redfish are known for is having a heavy appetite and they’ll feast on everything that comes their way. They’re attracted to a lot of different lures and live baits so you really don’t have to think about it too much. Most locals recommend going with soft plastic and sight fishing along with the shallow parts of the river. 

Spinning gear is the tackle of choice and it’s a great choice if you don’t have a lot of experience. Interestingly enough, most of the record size redfish caught in this river have actually been caught with flies. So, you have your choice. 

I’d suggest bringing a large variety of lures with you and making your choice based on the situation that day. Pay attention to the weather, take a look at your surroundings, and talk with other anglers and anyone else you come in contact with when you reach the river. 

Speckled Trout 

This is a world-famous destination for speckled trout and it’s no surprise. The state record for speckled trout was caught here and weighed in at more than 17 pounds. The best part about fishing for specks here is the fact that there is a large quantity of fish in this size range. It’s not uncommon for someone to simply stumble upon one without even chasing it down. 

The reason for this is the ecosystem. It’s prime territory for speckled trout because of the grassy beds and mangroves that attract tons of shrimp and mullet which is exactly what the speckled trout want to feed on. It makes it really easy to blend in and with the right presentation and lure you should have no problem being able to attract them to you too. 

Locals suggest getting to the river early or right before dusk when you have an overcast sky. These are the ideal trout fishing conditions. They recommend light spinning tackle here as well and prepare for a fight when you hook one. 

Tarpon 

This wouldn’t be a Florida fishing guide without talking about Tarpon. This river is like a tarpon highway and they just fly up and down the river. The silver king is a hard-fighting, challenging, and acrobatic fish that inhabits the water year-round so you don’t have to time your trip that carefully if this is the species you’re after.

The locals recommend fishing Ponce Inlet during the summer months though if you’re really after some Tarpon. You might want to size up your tackle a little bit because tarpon put up quite a fight and they’re not the easiest fish to get into the boat unless you’ve got the right line and rod on your side.

Top Indian River Fishing Spots

Indian River fishing near New Smyrna Beach

Now that you have an idea of what kind of fish you’ll catch, you’ll need to get a little more specific on where you want to fish. Keep in mind that this river is huge so don’t expect to drop in on very many of these locations because the river stretches down a large portion of the east coast of Florida. 

New Smyrna Beach 

If you want to start at the top and attempt to work your way down, New Smyrna Beach is where you’ll start. It’s the northernmost section of the river and there are plenty of ways for you to access it. Here you’ll find some of the largest redfish and plenty of sea trout as well. If you’re looking for a New Smyrna Beach fishing charter, this is where you’ll want to look as well.

Titusville 

Working our way down, the next stop on the river is Titusville. It’s the ideal shallow water location and it’s right across the way from the Kennedy Space Center. If you find the Causeway Bridge you know you’ve found the best place on the water for Tarpon and Snook. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to catch a rocket launch, plan accordingly! 

Melbourne 

Melbourne is home to great Indian River Lagoon fishing because it offers great shallow water opportunities for kayak anglers. There are plenty of locations to rent a kayak from if you didn’t bring your own as well. Not to mention the fact that the water is saturated with huge redfish and speckled trout. If you’re looking for the spot with the highest concentration of large fish, Melbourne is the stop you won’t want to miss. 

Sebastian 

If you’re planning a trip around the fall, Sebastian is the place you want to go. The mullet run happens between September and October and it’s a beautiful thing to see. Not to mention the fact that the snook and redfish will be chasing down the mullet so it brings upon some excellent fishing opportunities as well. 

Vero Beach 

Fly anglers, hold onto your hat because Vero Beach is the spot for you. There are hundreds of places for you to wade and find incredibly productive snook and redfish angling. There are not quite as many places to launch a boat if that’s your game but MacWilliam Park is one of them and there are many great activities for the whole family here.

Indian River Fishing: How to Do It

Chartering a boat for Indian river fishing

The last choice you have to make is how you plan to tackle these brackish waters. You’ve got a few choices but we always recommend one for certain. 

Charter a Boat 

We suggest chartering whenever you can, especially if you’re not familiar with the area. There are great Florida fishing charters dotted up and down the Indian River in places like New Smyrna Beach, Melbourne, Cocoa Beach, and more. 

Fishing alongside a captain is always a great way to go because you don’t have to worry about bringing gear, you can piggyback off their knowledge, and they’ll make sure you catch something. In fact, many fishing charters have a “catch” guarantee otherwise you get a portion or all of your money back. If you’re really looking to create a unique experience, we highly suggest chartering a boat. 

Wading 

Few things in this world compare to the feeling of wade fishing on the Indian River. It allows you to get up close and personal with the ecosystem and target exactly where you want to fish. The big advantage is that you don’t need anything other than your rod and reel. If you’re traveling light or roughing it “nomad style” all you need to do is grab your waders and get in the river. 

Most of the places that local anglers recommend are around bridges that run over the river. These are ideal locations but you’ll want to look out for overhanging trees, mangroves, and tall grassy areas as well. Just be careful and watch out for private property signs. 

Kayaking 

This is the epitome of Indian River Florida fishing. If you want to immerse yourself in the wildlife, kayaking is a great way to do so. It allows you to navigate the water gently so you don’t scare the fish away but you also get to target specific locations because a kayak will permit access to much shallower water than most boats. 

If you’ve kayak fished before, this won’t be as challenging for you but you’ll want to make sure you have a plan before hitting the water. If you’re new to it, you might want to look for a kayak guided fishing trip because kayak fishing requires a lot more strength, conditioning, and experience than you think. 

Final Thoughts 

If the trophy-sized redfish and exceptional ecosystem didn’t sell you, you’ll want to try Indian River fishing simply for the beautiful and majestic scenery. They don’t call this area the Treasure Coast for nothing. The Indian River offers some of the greatest fishing on the East Coast and we think it should be on every serious angler’s bucket list.

Fishing The Florida Everglades: 2021 Travel Guide

Fishing The Florida Everglades: 2021 Travel Guide

Fishing the Everglades offers an ecosystem quite like any other. People from all over the world travel here to experience some of the most exciting, thrilling, and mind-boggling fishing available. Florida houses one of the only two everglades on the planet and if this is a destination on your bucket list, it’s time to make that dream a reality.

Types of Fish in the Everglades

The Everglades houses a variety of different habitats with fresh, salt, and brackish water. The result is a large number of different species available depending on where you go. The sheer number of fish that you can catch here is enough to draw people from all over.

Whether you’re trying to fish the wetlands, waterways, canals, marshes, or mangroves, you’re sure to create a ton of amazing memories fishing the Florida Everglades.

Tarpon

Tarpon is a highly desirable fish in this area and the Everglades has plenty of them. It’s not uncommon for some anglers to find Tarpon as big as 150 pounds on a regular basis. Best of all, these silver giants put up an incredible fight and that’s one of the primary reasons why we find Tarpon on most anglers’ bucket lists.

Redfish

If you’re fishing the shallow waters you’ll find Redfish scattered about. These fish prefer the marshland and they’re plentiful year-round. For this reason, Redfish is a common target for many travelers fishing inshore because they know it’s something they can find pretty easily. Don’t let that mistake you thought. Redfish put up quite a fish and they’re a delicious bite.

Snook

Snook are part of what makes Florida one of the top fishing destinations in the world. First, Snook is a delicious catch and a fish that tastes quite unlike any other. Second, the size of these fish is unbelievable.

The Everglades ecosystem is rich with Snook because they’re not the easiest to catch down here. As a result, they tend to grow to larger sizes than you would find elsewhere in more open waters.

Largemouth Bass

Bass aren’t the official freshwater fish of Florida for nothing, right? There are few things that compare to the thrill and excitement of battling a largemouth bass in the lakes, creeks, and canals that are littered throughout the Everglades.

Fishing for bass in the Everglades is a unique treat as well because they grow like weeds around here. The average size of each largemouth bass caught is five pounds so expect them to put up a fight.

Peacock Bass

As one of the most beautiful game fish in the world, the peacock bass is in high demand around here. They put up a tremendous fight, they’re a joy to chase, and they’ve found a nice home in the Everglades so they’re not as hard to find as you think. You can expect to find peacock bass all throughout the Everglades in places like Alligator Alley and Holiday Park.

How to Fish the Everglades

Man with peacock bass in South Florida

When it comes to fishing the incredible 1.5 million acres of land that makes up the Everglades, the opportunities seem endless. It might seem a bit overwhelming but if you plan accordingly, you’ll have no reason to feel uneasy about the trip. We recommend having a plan drawn out for how you intend on fishing and where you want to go as well.
Let’s talk about how you plan to fish in the Florida Everglades:

From the Shore

You could always fish from the shore. This strategy has the lowest barrier of entry, doesn’t require a lot of gear, and doesn’t require any special preparation if you just want to show up and wet some lines.

If shore fishing sounds like your thing, you’ll want to check out Everglades National Park. There are plenty of places here where you can fish from the shore, enjoy a picnic, spend time with family, and still experience some of the best fishing anywhere in the world.

Close to the park’s entrance are a variety of small lakes and ponds but if you head a little deeper in you’ll start to introduce yourself to the more brackish waters.

From the Kayak

There’s something primitive and unique about kayak fishing and personally, we love kayakers on the Everglades. It allows you to get up close and personal with everything that’s going on in this incredible ecosystem. When you’re in a kayak, you can make your way through the many waterways and canals while taking in the sights and sounds of true marshland wilderness.

Where else in the world can you drop a line and catch some of the greatest game fish out there while paddling past alligators and manatees?

We suggest being extra careful about dropping a kayak and we recommend renting one in Everglades City if you choose to do so. The guides there will be able to help you stay safe on the water and they’ll tell you where you should and shouldn’t go.

From the Charter

Chartering a boat is really the best way to take in everything that fishing in the Everglades has to offer. This wild habitat requires a lot of knowledge and experience and that’s best left for the professionals.

Taking a charter will allow you to cover more ground and you’ll also have the versatility and time to not have to worry so much about where you’re going. You can sit back, relax, and let the guide take care of all the work. Best of all, they’ll share secrets with you and bring you to the best spots that no one else knows.

Where to Fish in the Everglades

Fan boat fishing on the Everglades

The Everglades is a massive area that covers an assortment of smaller areas. Within these are hundreds of lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, mangroves, and marshes. All of these places house incredible fishing but you need to know where you want to go before hitting the water. Here are some of our top recommendations for the best places to fish in the Everglades.

Holiday ParkHoliday Park is a great bass fishing destination. You’ll be able to access the L67A canal which is considered the top bass spot in the Everglades. The canal runs to Tamiami Trail which is slower-paced, easier to fish and less pressure.
Ten Thousand Islands – A portion of these islands makes up the Everglades National Park so you know there are plenty of great fishing opportunities here. You’ll find Redfish, Snook, Tarpon, and more here. There is also an assortment of fishing charters operating on this part of the Everglades.

Alligator AlleyAlligator Alley produces some of the best bass fishing in the state according to all the local captains. The water is high here which creates a lot of space to fish and they’re low-pressure because this area is only accessible by boat. It’s located off I-75 near the Big Cypress Swamp Wilderness of Water Conservation Area 3.
Sawgrass Recreation ParkSawgrass allows you to really get up close and personal with the best that the Everglades has to offer. It’s a unique subtropic ecosystem rich with wildlife and plenty of great fishing. Largemouth bass and panfish are the desired catch here. Most catches are between four and seven pounds.

Florida Bay – Florida Bay is the southernmost tip of mainland Florida before the land starts extending out to the Keys. Again, like everywhere else there are plenty of Tarpon, Redfish, and Snook here. If you’re interested in more open water fishing and fewer marshes and canals, this is an ideal destination.

Pine Glades Lake – If you’re seeking plenty of shore fishing opportunities and something to do with the whole family, Pine Glades is a nice spot. Here you’ll find easy shore fishing access and plenty of panfish like Crappie and Bluegill. It makes for a relaxing and easy fishing experience for those who aren’t as serious about hooking a big one.

Snake Bight – One specific area on the Florida Bay that draws a lot of attention is Snake Bight. The Snook cruise throughout the mangroves here and there are plenty of access points for kayaks, boats, and even shore fishing. It’s one of the easiest and most productive locations to fish in the Everglades so we recommend getting here early because it’s usually pretty crowded.

Fishing the Everglades Canals

Canals are plentiful around here and they offer the best bass fishing in the Everglades. Some of the most popular canals are the L67, Big 67, 67C, and L28. All the local charters recommend checking out Alligator Alley as well. This area is nice if you’re launching your own boat because there are plenty of ramps with a lot of different access points. It’s recommended that you hit these spots in the early morning and late afternoon.

Best Everglades Fishing Charters

Fishing the Everglades is really an experience that no one ever forgets. As you traverse through the canals you’ll almost feel as if you stepped into a different world. All around you is nothing but wildlife and fish just waiting for you to drop your bait.

We highly recommend recruiting the assistance of a fishing charter for your trip to the Everglades. It will help enhance the experience and you catch a lot more fish this way. Local Captains are able to introduce you to the best spots on the Everglades and you can even charter a boat based on what you’re trying to catch.

If South Florida has been sitting on your bucket list, it’s time to cross it off with a trip to the beautiful and simply breathtaking, Everglades.

Peacock Bass Fishing in Florida: Local Travel Guide

Peacock Bass Fishing in Florida: Local Travel Guide

Every location has that one fish that brings tons of people to the area and for South Florida, it’s peacock bass. Peacock bass fishing is attractive because of the eye-catching color of the fish and the brash and aggressive nature of the fish. 

If you’re traveling to Miami, Naples, or anywhere in South Florida, you’ll want to continue reading to learn more about peacock bass and why they should be on your list of “fish to catch in my lifetime.” 

Understanding Peacock Bass 

The first thing you should understand is that peacock bass aren’t actually bass, they’re Cichlids. In fact, there are a ton of huge differences between these guys and bass. This is the reason why a lot of anglers come to Florida confused by the fact that they don’t behave the same way as largemouth bass

First of all, there are actually 16 different species of peacock bass. The problem is you can’t catch most of them off the coast of the United States. The fish originated in the Amazon and that’s where most of the species still live. 

So, that begs the question; how did they get here? According to the FWC, they were brought into Florida by the WC in 1984 and it’s also believed that they were imported from Guyana, Peru, and Brazil as well. 

Why Target Peacock Bass

Another question is why would we come to Florida to fish canals and waterways when there are so many brilliant opportunities in offshore fishing? You can catch things like sailfish, snapper, group, and tarpon; why would we go after these? 

While there’s no right or wrong answer to this, we think it has a lot to do with their appearance and the fight they give for a smaller canal fish. They’re finicky about what they eat but once they decide on something, they’re highly aggressive and will not give in easily. You better be prepared for a fight if getting a picture with a peacock bass is on your bucket list. 

When you’re traveling and fishing the urban canals, portability is key so you’ll want to make sure you’re only traveling with the amount of gear necessary to get the job done. Telescopic rods are nice but I don’t recommend them due to the lack of durability and strength. 

Where you can save a little space and weight is through using an inflatable kayak. These are highly portable and you’d be surprised by how much abuse they can take. 

Best Lures for Peacock Bass Fishing

Stick bait for peacock bass fishing

Peacock bass are a bit finicky so you want to choose the right lures and stick to them. Once you understand what lures to use you’ll have no problem bringing in a lot of peacock bass and when they bite, get ready because it’s like someone dropped a 20 lb rock on top of your hook. 

Here are some of my top choices for peacock bass lures: 

Rip Roller Stick Baits 

Rip Rollers are some of the most popular lures for peacock bass because of their noisy presentation and larger size. You don’t have to get this specific type but you want something with a few treble hooks and the propellor on the back. 5.5-inches is around the size you’ll find most of these and they’re usually made of solid wood to create topwater buoyancy. 

When it comes to color, you want to mimic something that the peacock bass are used to eating so I’d go with a perch color or something else that’s orange and bright. These are deadly in the warm water months. 

Yo-Zuri Crankbaits 

Next, we have a 5-inch crankbait that creates a little less noise for the days when the fish aren’t biting. Keep in mind that if you’re fishing in South Florida, you’re fishing highly trekked waters. Peacock bass are used to people fishing this area to death so sometimes a bit loud presentation doesn’t work. 

This is a spook type crankbait, it’s big, durable, and comes with heavy treble hooks that can handle this type of power. It also has an internal rattle so it’s not completely silent. Go with the redhead on overcast days and a brighter bronze color on sunny days. 

Yo-Zuri Minnows 

Bear in mind that a lot of peacock bass feed below the surface so topwaters won’t always work. Yo-Zuri is a great saltwater lure brand and their minnows allow you to walk the dog, jerk erratically, and create the presentation of a wounded baitfish. 

This is especially helpful if you’re not having any luck. The area you’re fishing may simply be overdone and the bass are very timid. This method is a great way to get them biting again. 

Bucktail Extended Jigs 

The last piece of peacock bass fishing tackle I’ll give you are extended tail jigs. These are growing in popularity amongst peacock bass anglers for a few reasons. 

One, you can work them in heavily vegetated areas because the tail helps you cruise over stumps and dense brush. 

Second, you can troll with them if you’re trying to cover a lot of water. You can fish them by working through the vegetation with erratic short jerks followed by lull periods of trolling but make sure to keep it moving quickly. If you slow down the presentation too much you’ll attract black bass. 

Third, they’re a dime a dozen and you’ll lose a lot in the water because most fish take a liking to these. You don’t have to spend $25 on one lure and you can pair up a variety of color combinations. 

Lures To Stay Away From 

It’s not often that we tell you lures to avoid but as mentioned, peacock bass are finicky so you want to stick to what works and avoid what doesn’t like the plague. Soft plastics are generally the worst-performing lures for peacock bass fish. They just don’t like them. 

Another reason we don’t recommend soft plastics are because every other fish in the water will chew up all your time. You’re not out here targeting black bass and panfish right now, we’re looking for the bright and beautiful peacock so let’s not waste any time. It’s like they say in business, “if you try to win every one, you win no one.” Focus on the species you’re targeting and leave the rest for another day. 

We also highly suggest against using live bait. A lot of people will tell you that live bait is the best way to go for peacock bass but as local guides and experts, we recommend you don’t use lie bait, and here’s why. 

Peacock bass like to swallow live bait which will result in a deep hook down in the throat or gills. These are a pain to remove and almost always ends with a dead fish. We practice catch and release with peacock bass and we suggest you do the same. Fishing live bait is frowned upon for this reason.

Top Peacock Bass Fishing Locations

Peacock bass fishing outside Miami

We’re separating this part of the guide into three sections. These are the “big 3” when it comes to peacock bass fishing in Florida. If you’re tracking peacock, you want to catch some, and you’re on your own without a guide. These are the three places you’ll want to go. 

Best Peacock Bass Fishing in West Palm Beach 

Urban canal fishing in Palm Beach county is incredibly popular and it brings a lot of people to the area. If you’re looking in this area, expect to fish around Delray Beach and Boynton Beach. Lake Osborne and Lake Ida Park are part of the Lake Ida chain of lakes and they house some of the best peacock bass fishing in the world. 

Best Peacock Bass Fishing in Miami 

There are many different locations in Miami and Dade county but there’s one that always seems to exceed expectations. Miami Airport Lakes is the number one destination for peacock bass so you’ll want to check it out especially around Anthony Marcelo Park. Falls Mall Canal is another big one and it’s located near 13145 SW 89 PL. It’s a canal that runs behind the “Falls Mall” in Miami but this is a convenient access point with plenty of parking. 

Best Peacock Bass Fishing in Naples

They don’t call Naples, “Paradise Coast” for nothing. There are a ton of things to do here for the whole family and some of the greatest peacock bass fishing you could imagine. The urban canal systems bring about a great population of peacocks and the fight that they put up is next to nothing. 

The Golden Gate canal system is where you’ll find the most peacock bass as well as plenty of other saltwater species. Warm water fishing is the best way to go here and as mentioned, the fun doesn’t have to stop once you get off the boat.

Peacock Bass Fishing Charters in Florida

Fishing charter in South Florida

There are great fishing charters all over South Florida and each of them specializes in a specific area and species so be sure to choose wisely. 

For example, Captain Mark Rogers has the biggest boat in the fleet that they call the “Big O” on Lake Okeechobee. He does most of his fishing near his home in Naples, Florida so if you have a larger party and want to fish Naples for peacock bass, you might want to talk to Captain Mark

Either way, we highly recommend fishing with a charter if you come to Florida. Of course, fishing inshore canals and waterways is easy to do on your own compared to braving the offshore waters but to get the full experience, a charter is the way to go.

 

Best Lake Erie Fishing Charters: A Complete Guide

Best Lake Erie Fishing Charters: A Complete Guide

The best Lake Erie fishing charters aren’t just there to take you out on the water; they’re responsible for providing you with an experience. They should offer Lake Erie fishing reports, all the gear you need, and the guidance you want to catch more fish. That’s what you’re paying for.

We’re breaking down the best charters on the Lake from Ohio to New York in this guide. By the end, you’ll understand what to catch, how to catch it, and what charters you should consider looking into this year.

Fishing Lake Erie

If you’re considering a fishing trip to Lake Erie, one of the first things that should come to your mind is what you can expect to catch there. The good news is, Lake Erie is a popular destination for smallmouth bass anglers of all skill levels, and if you’ve never considered it, you should add it to your bucket list.

One of the reasons it’s so popular is that it’s an affordable fishing destination compared to offshore chartering or some of the other great lakes.

Lake Erie has experienced its share of hardship over the years. Throughout the 1960s and for many years after, Lake Erie was a perfect example of water pollution from factories, sewer systems, and pesticides from farms. The water was so polluted that you could actually stick your hand in and pull out a handful of algae.

Even today, fertilizer and manure runoff runs into the streams and rivers that flow into Lake Erie, which is why the lake has such large algae bloom compared to all of the other Great Lakes.

All of that aside, anglers still have a ton of success on the lake and consider it some of the best smallmouth, steelhead, and walleye fishing in the country.

What Can You Catch

Let’s break it down a little more and talk about each species you can expect to find when you charter a boat on Lake Erie. It’s known as the “Walleye Capital of the World” for a reason. You’ll find dozens of crazy stories around anglers bragging over their walleye “catch of a lifetime.” Even if you’ve never fished for walleye before, as long as you get there during the right time (which we’ll talk about), you can expect to fill your well with plenty of fish.

The lake is broken up into three sections. You’ve got:

  • The Deep Eastern Basin
  • Flat-Bottom Central Basin
  • Shallow Western Basin

Each of these basins contains its own unique challenges, conditions, and characteristics, so you’ll want to understand each before requesting a charter in any of these three sections.

The shallow western basin houses the smallmouth bass population. These feisty little fish put up quite a fight, and you can expect to find them along drop-offs and ledges in the shallow waters.

The deeper eastern basin is where you’ll find most of the walleye. Some of the best walleye fishing in the country happens here. Walleye travel a large distance every year, so you’ll have to play the lake by season. During the summer months, expect to find them in the east in New York. In the winter/fall, you can find them a bit further south.

Lake Erie: By Season

It’s crucial to understand the seasons and how they impact the fishing on Lake Erie. Taking a look at each of these will help you learn what you can catch to decide when you’d like to charter a boat.

Spring

Springtime is a hit or miss when it comes to temperature. Sometimes it’s frigid and cold, and most of the water is still frozen, and other times, the water doesn’t freeze at all. Lake Erie is more shallow than the other Great Lakes, so it tends to freeze over faster.
Fishing in the spring is great for perch, smallmouth, and rock bass, while fishing for walleye is a bit slow this time of year.

One interesting opportunity is shore fishing for walleye at night. It seems like local anglers know that the fingerling population comes out at night during the spring and the walleye chase them along the shore. This factor creates an interesting opportunity for the angler who understands what they’re doing.

Summer

Summer is when fishing on Lake Erie heats up, and this is when most anglers will charter a boat. It’s prime walleye season from July to September, and most of the best fishing for walleye happens as far to the east or west as possible.

Fall

After September, the lake loses some of its lusters, but there are still plenty of great fishing opportunities, especially when chartering a boat. Boat charters allow you to get to places other anglers can’t, and schools of walleye are still mulling around the waters through October.

Best Lake Erie Fishing Charters

Now that you understand what to expect when fishing the lake, now let’s take a look at the best Lake Erie fishing charters, so you know who to call when it’s time to plan that trip. These charters are the most recommended by locals and online authorities, so be sure to take these recommendations.

1. Mark Rose Fishing (Bass Fishing Lake Erie)

Erie, Pennsylvania 

Mark Rose offers an exceptional fishing experience on Lake Erie for smallmouth bass. He recommends doing so between the months of May and October if you plan on getting the most out of your trip.

One thing that seems a little different about Mark than some of the other charters is his guiding seems a bit more intimate where it’s done on a one-on-one basis. Mark will guide you through fishing on Lake Erie and really stick by you to help ensure you understand how to catch smallies and so you’ll have the best time possible.

2. Tom Goodrich (iOutdoors Adventures)

Erie, Pennsylvania

If you’re looking to take your Lake Erie fishing to a whole new level of enjoyment, comfort, and style, iOutdoor Adventures offers a great experience. Captain Tom Goodrich is a U.S Coast Guard Certified Boat Master Captain and has over 20 years of experience fishing these waters.

The team is professional, courteous, and helpful when working with children and anglers of all skill levels. Their goal is to keep you safe and ensure you have a great experience. Expect to catch walleye, steelhead, lake trout, and perch when fishing with iOutdoor Adventures.

One thing we like most about this charter is that the package you purchase is generally targeted to a specific species of fish. For example, you can do a four-hour trip specifically for Walleye for $399.99 You can also do a “mix bag,” which can be anything for six hours.

Walleye-Fishing-on-Lake-Erie

3. Erie Angler LLC 

Oak Harbor, Ohio

Captain Jim Mitchell leads the team at Erie Angler LLC in Ohio. They provide a great charter experience for both kids and adults. The charter has a 30-foot Baha Cruiser capable of taking six people out on the water, and the boat comes with full safety features, navigational equipment, fishfinder, and more.

You always want to look for a charter with a fish finder because that will give you the edge and ensure you have a great experience.

The Captain says you can expect to catch walleye, yellow perch, and smallmouth bass, which is right up our alley. They provide all high-quality equipment, including Berkley, Daiwa, Okuma, and Pflueger brands. You need to have an active license to cast from the boat.

4. Pacifictime Sportfishing 

Erie, Pennsylvania

Pacific time Sportfishing operates a large assortment of fishing charters across the country. It’s no wonder they included Lake Erie on their list. Captain Todd Pavilk encourages anglers of all ages and skill levels to come aboard a charter to not only learn more about fishing but to have a great time as well.

The Captain has a 30-foot Pursuit offshore boat powered by twin 265HP Crusader engines, and the boat accommodates up to five guests with plenty of room.

Walleye, yellow perch, and steelhead are the fish of choice here, and trolling is the method that the Captain uses most frequently. All equipment is included in your price, but you’re required to supply your own fishing license.

Lake-Erie-Walleye-Fishing-Charter

5. Erie Doghouse Charters 

Fairview, Pennsylvania

Rod-bending walleye is the promise of Erie Doghouse Charters in Pennsylvania. This team has a Carolina Classic 25-foot boat designed to handle the ocean-like conditions of rocky Lake Erie. Expect to find the gamut of species, including walleye, lake trout, perch, and steelhead with Captain Tony.

As with all fishing charters in Pennsylvania, you need to possess a license to fish, and you can get a one day pass if you’re just in the area for the charter. You’re able to keep up to six walleye, 30 perch, and three steelheads per person, and the first mate will clean your fish for you.

6. Midtown Fishing Charters 

Cleveland, Ohio

If you’re looking for something a little different, you can travel to downtown Cleveland and hit the lake’s western basin. Captain Daniel McDonnell offers exceptional walleye fishing and 25 years of experience tracking them down.

He recommends that you book a spring walleye fishing trip because that’s when they migrate back to the western basin, and you’ll be able to find them near Port Clinton and Oak Harbor. The shallow water is where you can expect to find them, and jigging around the reefs will yield a great result.

Lake Erie has something for everyone, a true outdoor adventure that has to be experienced to truly experience the thrill!

Fishing Enthusiasts Flock to Fellsmere Fl

Fishing Enthusiasts Flock to Fellsmere Fl

What brings people to Fellsmere Florida? It’s not white sand beaches or vibrant nightlife. Yeah, none of that. Fishing in Fellsmere has now become a large commodity for many, and you may feel the same way? Whether you venture to the Indian River or explore the Space Coast for Redfish, you’ll find a fishing culture throughout the lands.

As a smaller city in Indian River County, Fellsmere has proven itself to be one of the best places to visit for outdoor activities! Fellsmere is an oasis for nature lovers and fishing enthusiasts alike. With lots of prime fishing locations available, anglers are sure to not go home disappointed. Try a cast on one of the many beautiful freshwater lakes without disappointment. Fish for trophy bass in one of the local reservoirs, its a lot more wind and weatherproof than the saltwater seas on the coast, and with little to no chance of seasickness.

It’s a place to bring the entire family for fun in the sun and possibly a vacation they will not forget any time soon. Let the kids get lost in the outdoors with a “Set the Hook”, show them the waters, wildlife and how to enjoy outdoor activities again. Teach them to catch a fish, they will fish the rest of there lives! There is certainly something for everyone in Fellsmere. And the comfort of home is closer than you think in Palm Bay, Sebastian, and Vero beach only miles away. Fellsmere Fl is the Anglers get-a-way!

Fellsmere Reservoir in Fellsmere Florida

What Can You Catch in Fellsmere Fl?

If you’re unfamiliar with fishing in Fellsmere, you might be unsure of what to expect when you throw your line out or even where to go. You’ll be happy to know that Fellsmere is full of amazing fishing. Just as Fellsmere’s culture is bustling with diverse things to do, the waters are much of the same. There is no shortage of great places when fishing Fellsmere, so let’s talk about specifics. When you visit, where are you going? Let’s check out the top fishing spots of Fellsmere Florida.

Fellsmere Reservoir (New)

NEW to the area and a one of a kind location, while there really is no way to describe it completely. It is a Reservoir that should be experienced by anyone that loves the outdoors.  With a modest 10,000 acres and over 7,500 of that designed for fishing. A group of Florida aquatic biologists puts together a masterpiece for trophy Florida bass fishing in Fellsmere. Because of the location, the size, the design, and aquatic vegetation. Many are saying, there is no other opportunity like this anywhere in the world.

A concept that begins in a conversation in the early 2oth century, now the current lake is a reservoir and partnership of government management groups.  While the fishery is clearly part of Florida’s bigger water management program, the fishery is also surrounded by natural beauty for outdoor sportsmen.

Now with 21st-century lake management ideas implemented, the fishing opportunities have come to fruition. Now it’s nearly unbelievable to every angler that visits. Millions of dollars were invested to create a reservoir, it’s living up to the hype. It’s performing at extreme levels and has an important function, at the same time providing a local tourism boost. Can the FWC keep out politics and manage this property for the future? Who knows, but at this point, we recommend one and all to come experience this place while it’s on top!

It’s big and a navigation hazard as most good fisheries are, we recommend chartering a boat and recruiting the help of local experts if this is your plan because they know the best fishing spots in Fellsmere Reservoir.

Stick Marsh

Created in 1987, the Stick Marsh or also known as Farm 13 is also a Reservoir. Only known as a true trophy bass lake, it has seen its up and downs. While if measuring performance, the Stick Marsh is on a real comeback and producing quality bass again and with some luck will be a real contender for trophy bass fishing. This 6,500 acre Fellsmere reservoir is in Fellsmere Fl, only down the street from the new Fellsmere Reservoir.

Located just west of Sabastian Fl an equal distance from Palm Bay and Vero Beach. Stick Marsh is still one of the hottest bass lakes in the country for almost a decade. Stick Marsh opened to the public in 1991, as a joint effort by the St. Johns River Water Management District and FWC to filter the farmland runoff before it entered the St. Johns River. Today is has a great boat ramp facility and restrooms which has created an additionally needed tourism attraction to the area.

Fellsmere Fl home of headwaters lake

 

Blue Cypress Lake

This rural wonderland of Fellsmere Florida offers a surprising number of eco-friendly and unique fishing experiences. And one of those is Blue Cypress Lake, one of the world’s largest osprey nesting sites, and boasts one of the top fishing spots in the world for crappie.

Blue Cypress Lake is located in Indian River County, Fl. Blue Cypress Lake is the largest lake on the Treasure Coast. Again like the others above, it is the origin of the St. John’s River and gets its name from the cypress trees. They appear blue from the water’s reflection in the morning sun. The lake is picturesque, the birds, water, and cypress trees paint a picture unlike anywhere else in Florida.

Lake Garcia

Lake Garcia is also a Reservoir, it is a 3,149-acre section of the Blue Cypress Water Management Area which is backed up to Stick Marsh, Blue Cypress Lake, and Fellsmere Reservoir. Like the others, it sits along the east coast of central Florida in north Indian River County. Water depths range from 1.5 to 6 feet on this impoundment, fluctuating seasonally.

This impoundment is noted for good numbers of largemouth bass with great action and produces its share of trophy bass each year. Largemouth, bluegill, and black crappie are the sportfish most often targeted by anglers. If you decided to head down to Lake Garcia Reservoir in Fellsmere. We recommend fishing the South end, as it is easiest to navigate but completely provides everything a bass angler would be looking for in a day of fishing.

Traveling a few extra miles to Lake Garcia brings upon new challenges. Anglers on the internet draw hundreds if not thousands of people to Fellsmere each year to take on one of these great fishing challenges, it’s almost unimaginable what the are would do without it.

Top Things to do in Fellsmere Fl 

There is no shortage of great things to do when fishing Fellsmere, so let’s talk about specifics. When you visit, where are you going?

Fellsmere Trailhead Preserve & Welcome Center

Where else to start than the Fellsmere Trailhead Preserve & Welcome Center which is conveniently located off Interstate I95.Visitors interested in getting a unique overview of the area and its attractions, they’re the perfect places to start.

Like many, this welcome center includes historical exhibits and lots of travel maps, brochures, and magazines that are free for the taking. Many of them include valuable coupons on things like dining and lodging.

The preserve section of the facility includes nearly 90 acres of natural land crisscrossed by well-marked trails that are open to bikers and hikers if you find the need to stretch your legs. Additionally, primitive campsites are available as well.

Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival

While many in today’s society visit places for uniquely different reasons, legless frogs may not be looked at as the trendy thing to do. It’s hard to explain to many, but visitors flock in droves to the annual Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival, which takes place in January. Truckloads of frog legs are the stars of the show, but there are lots of other unique culinary treats available as well.

The festival includes live entertainment, small carnival-style rides, and is very family-friendly. It’s spread over four days when the majority of the time Florida’s weather a blessing to many. Tickets are inexpensive, and many visitors make an annual pilgrimage. During the festival, area hotels fill up quickly, so plan accordingly.

Fellsmere has been proclaimed Frog Leg Capital of the World and the Frog Leg Festival holds two Guinness Book World Records, for the most frog legs served in the course of one business day and the largest frog leg festival in the world.

ShrimpFest & Craft Brew Hullabaloo

Few things go together as well as draft beer and fresh shrimp. For lovers of either or both, the annual Shrimpfest & Craft Brew Hullabaloo should be a top priority. It all takes place over three days in mid-March and includes mountains of succulent seafood prepared in a variety of ways. The perfect addition to your winter fishing trip.

Tons of live entertainment and family-oriented activities are staples too, and a significant portion of the proceeds are donated to local charities dedicated to preventing child abuse. The event is held in Sebastian’s Riverview Park and coincides with the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration, so consider wearing green tights or a derby hat.

Similar The St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park offers 60 miles of picturesque, untouched nature. The park protects the West Indian manatee, red-cockaded woodpecker, and Florida scrub jay. Music lovers will enjoy some of the best bluegrass bands in the state hosted at Marsh Landing Restaurant, an iconic landmark in its own right.

Stick Marsh Bait Tackle Shop

It’s a great little shop, it’s the only bait and tackle in the area that sells live bait. They are right in the middle of town, just east of  N Broadway St and Southside of Pennsylvania Ave. The bait usually refers to live minnows, real worms, domestic shiners, and wild shiners. Stick marsh Bait & Tackle established more than 15 years ago, it the closest to Fellsmere reservoir an honest, affordable, and quality bait and tackle. Our expert guides can provide you with the tips, tools, and techniques you need to catch crappie, bluegill, catfish, and of course largemouth bass. Come check out the inventory to see for yourself!

STICK MARSH BAIT AND TACKLE
16 N Oleander St Fellsmere, FL 32948
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How to Charter a Boat in Fellsmere Florida

If you haven’t realized it by now, we’ll clear it up for you. Fishing in Fellsmere Reservoir is amazing, and there’s no shortage of other fantastic fishing opportunities for people of all ages. The best way to get the whole experience is through using a guided fishing charter. The local captains will help ensure you get a full taste of what the area has to offer.

Best of all, chartering a boat in Fellsmere isn’t as expensive as you think. You can take your whole family on the water. The guides will take their years of experience fishing these waters and put you on the best fishing spots in Fellsmere Fl surrounding area.

They’ll take you right where the fish are. Hook you up with the necessary gear and tackle, and many even guarantee you catch something before heading back to the dock.

With the diversity of fish, abundant opportunities, and jet blue sky. It’s no wonder why fishing enthusiasts flock to Fellsmere Fl for fishing!!!

Saltwater Fellsmere Fishing Charters

Harris Chain Fishing Update in Central Florida

Harris Chain Fishing Update in Central Florida

Harris Chain of Lakes Fishing Update

The Harris Chain of Lakes is still open for fishing. We are open but are not urging anglers to embark on our fishing trips. We just wanted to share some of the recent catches from our customers. The bass fishing has been fantastic across the whole chain. As we still urge everyone to take precautions, getting in the outdoors can be a good way to keep your sanity. This Harris Chain fishing update can help put a smile on your face!

Utilize this time to learn more about the local lakes and plan your next outdoor adventure when social interactions are allowed again. We hope you enjoy this fishing update with our local experts and professional fishing guides.

Fishing with Captain Gino Losi

Harris-Chain-Fishing-UpdateOne of the most exciting ways to catch bass here in Florida is sight-fishing. Spotting a fish in shallow water and pitching bait to them, watching them eat, and then setting the hook is a thrill you will never forget. Never worry, all fish are handled properly and released quickly after a photo.

“It was awesome to get the chance to explore the Harris Chain of Lakes with Alex and his son. Leesburg, Florida is a wonderful destination to land some giant largemouth bass. Each trip can be so uniquely different as you can get the opportunity to fish a variety of different lakes.

Alex and his son spent their day on the water at Lake Griffin. It has been a productive lake this time of year. We started out fishing in the canals and catching bass on beds. Once the day warmed up, we moved to some offshore structure.

The bass were in both pre and post-spawn patterns. Targeting fish in deep water hydrilla was a blast for these guys. When it comes to fishing offshore grass, catching bass on lipless crankbaits is the most effective pattern. Slow move the bait through the grass and hold on as you rip that bait through the grass.

Alex and his son had an absolute blast catching over 30 largemouth bass on their fishing trip. Breezy and sunny conditions promoted a strong bite they surely capitalized on. Tight lines until next time!”

Second trip of this update:

Harris-Chain-Fishing-Update“The Harris Chain continues to be a great place to catch large numbers of bass all trip long. It was fun to fish with Adam and his good friend. While they were here in North Central Florida, the Harris Chain always intrigued them. It showed them a great time with plenty of action with artificial lures.

Just like the last trip, the fish were pre and post-spawning patterns. We focused mainly on the fish in post-spawn patterns. Adam and his friend enjoyed catching fish on the mouth of the canals on Lake Griffin.

When it comes to fishing these areas, you can target bass either with a slow presentation or moving. Most of the bites came yet again from a lipless crankbait. The Harris Chain is notorious for its offshore structure and we explore it as the day heated up.

It was awesome to see Adam and his good friend double up on several occasions. Most of the fish caught were in the 1-2 pound range with some quality mixed in. They caught over 30 fish on this trip and are looking forward to coming back soon to cash in on some bigger bass!” – Captain Gino Losi

Explore these waters soon!

We hope you stay safe during this time and hope this update puts a smile on your face. When looking to plan your next adventure, we hope you keep us in mind. Fishing is what we love to do and we want to share that with you once we can. I hope to see you on the water soon and you enjoyed this Harris Chain fishing update!

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