The Best Summer Fishing For Bass

The Best Summer Fishing For Bass

The Best Summer Fishing For Bass

Summertime fishing can vary greatly depending on where you are, leaving you feeling hopeless as the fish move to deeper water and wait until the weather cools down. But a few anglers are out there still catching big bass while many anglers wait until the fall or spring. The warmer months make for dramatic changes in the bass behavior; some lakes are on fire while others are ghost towns. So in order to catch bass in the summer, it all comes down to where to go.

The Best Summer Bass Fishing Lakes

Florida: Lake Toho, Headwaters Lake, The Everglades, The Golden Gate Canal, and The Falls Canal System

Pennsylvania: Lake Erie

The late summer is an excellent time to gather the family and travel to some of the best bass fishing destinations because you’ll get the ultimate fishing experience without the crowd!

summer bass fishing drop shot

Where To Catch Bass In Summer

Almost every angler has found themselves asking where are the bass in the summer? Despite the number of big baits or reaction baits you have or how long you keep the bait in a suspected strike zone, some lakes are going to be better than others during the summer season.

The main factor that tends to affect the consistency of a fishery throughout the year, even during the hot times, is vegetation. Of course, many factors can supplement whether a waterway will produce during the summer. Still, it seems to always come back to the quality and quantity of vegetation and the presence of non-deep structures.

If the fish have to rely on going into deep water to find comfort, it is challenging for anglers to know where to cast as the open water is harder to read. But the fisheries that have a lot of structure, whether it be floating vegetation, grass, stumps, or submerged trees, will provide excellent insight on how to spend your day. These structures provide adequate shade and a comfortable ambush point for bass to hide and wait for bait regardless of the outside heat. Below is a list of all the best summer bass fishing spots for anglers of all ages and skill levels to experience.

early summer deep diving crankbait

Best Summer Fishing Spots


The best summertime bass fishing in Florida from north to south is at Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Headwaters Lake in Fellsmere, The Everglades, The Goldengate Canal in Naples, and The Falls Canal System in Miami. 

Lake Toho

Lake Tohopekaliga, commonly known as Lake Toho, is located in Kissimme, about 30 minutes from the theme parks. Its central location makes it perfect for the ultimate summer family vacation to experience the best of Central Florida fishing and other tourist attractions. The fishery itself is also very family and child-friendly as it has walking trails, grills, picnic areas, restrooms, and a splash pad with a playground.

When it comes to catching big fish, Lake Toho is always one of the lakes that comes to mind for our professional guides. This spot is known for constantly producing more big bass than any other fishing lake. It’s no mistake that pro Dean Rojas names Lake Toho “the most consistent lake in the country for producing both numbers and trophy bass” in Bassmaster magazine’s issue of top 100 lakes.

Tips and Techniques

Lake Toho has relatively shallow water, with a max depth of about 13 feet. It is filled with vegetation and holding spots to catch big bass or numbers throughout the year. The area has all the essentials, including shallow grass flats, maidencane, natural bullrush, and hydrilla.

It’s always a good time for a bass fishing trip here; however, it’s essential to know where to go as the summer bass are usually in different spots than other times of the year. Some of the best summer bass fishing areas are Browns Point, Big Grassy, and Lanier Point. The north shore is another excellent spot to catch fish as it’s packed with tall grasses that often conceal big bass.

how to catch big bass in hot months

Headwaters Lake (Fellsmere Reservoir)

Whether you call it Fellsmere Reservoir, Headwaters Lake, Lake Eden, or Lake Headwaters, it all means hot summer bass fishing for big largemouths! This fishery is a 10,000-acre man-made lake in Indian River county that borders Stick Marsh, Farm 13, Blue Cypress, and Lake Garcia. Its numerous underwater features create ideal spots for summertime bass to hide, which means more fish in arms reach for summer anglers!

The average depth of this reservoir is about 6 feet deep, with some parts reaching over 30 feet deep. However, since these aggressive bass have so many spots that provide shade and shelter, they don’t have as much need to hide in deep water where they are hard to find or get to eat.

Tips and Techniques

The thousands of acres of submerged trees, underwater vegetation, and quality hydrilla make it optimal to find bass in the summer. However, this fishery looks so good that it’s sometimes hard to know where to start. Typically it’s best to find an area with healthy-looking emerging vegetation, such as spatterdock pads or cattails, and cast near those.

There’s a spot for every type of angler to use their favorite bait, whether your preference is hitting the shoreline, casting under lily pads, targeting submerged trees, or slow-rolling swimbaits through the grass. There are so many fishy-looking spots that this is one of those destinations that needs multiple days to be adequately fished and experienced.

Headwaters has continued to prove to be one of the most consistent bass fishing lakes around. While most spots have strong highs and lows, Fellsmere has continued to produce. Even on the days where there aren’t trophies, there are still good numbers and decent-sized fish around to catch throughout the year.

heavy cover and keep in strike zone longer

The Everglades

Summer bass fishing in the Everglades is the ultimate Florida experience. This fishery, located in southeast Florida, has not slowed down as the warmer months have approached. Instead, the bite has been on fire since early summer and has continued through late summer, likely because of the beautiful area’s heavy cover and thriving ecosystem.

The Everglades covers a large area. Your fishing guide will always recommend the best location to launch based on conditions; however, the most popular spots for summer bass fishing trips are Holiday Park, Sawgrass, and Alligator Alley. Summertime fishing in the Everglades means incredible sightseeing and wildlife viewing by boat while catching Florida’s favorite species, including largemouth and peacock bass.

This fishery is not as much known for having big bass, but it is undoubtedly known for its numbers with many quality-sized fish to hook. An 8-pounder is relatively common while fishing here and considered large for this spot.

Tips and Techniques

An effective fishing method is to use floating lures with braided lines near vegetation or structure such as sunken trees or lily pads. Plastic lures are usually the most effective to catch fish here, especially in the form of a lizard, Senko, or swimbait. The experts generally suggest starting the early morning off with a topwater frog, spinnerbaits, or chatter baits when the wind is blowing harder. Plastic worms will always be a go-to, especially on the hot, calm summer days.

glide bait and wacky rig

The Golden Gate Canal

The Golden Gate Canal in Southwest Florida is conveniently located between Naples and Marco Island, near its pristine beaches and Everglades National Park. It’s a top-notch fishery that provides excellent fishing opportunities to catch largemouth bass, peacocks, and panfish all in one trip. The summertime fishing here has not disappointed; anglers are catching numerous summer bass on every trip, even in the middle of the hottest months. In fact, the summer heat is precisely what the peacock bass love. Some popular saltwater species like snook and tarpon also commonly make their way into this canal system to add to the excitement.

Tips and Techniques

The summer bass fishing is consistent for all species, with peacock bass being the most active and commonly caught during this time. The spring and winter seasons are generally when bigger largemouths will be caught. In general, this fishery is best for its consistency and constant action rather than size, with 5 to 6 pounds being typical for the largemouth bass.

If going after the panfish like bluegills and redear sunfish, anglers can almost always get a bite on a cricket, earthworm, or small minnow throughout the year. A mix of live baits and artificial lures is used on the Gold Gate, with shiners usually the most successful bait for summer fishing, especially for the peacocks.

texas rig and brush pile

The Falls Canal

The Falls Canal System in Miami is the most productive peacock bass fishery in the state. It totals 13.5 miles of navigatable waters, comprising of four sections. The system is home to lots of South Florida wildlife and is the best place to go if your goal is to hook a trophy peacock bass fish. On your summer bass fishing trip at the Falls, you can expect to catch peacocks of good size, along with largemouth bass, the Mayan cichlid, snook, and tarpon. In addition, the various types of fish and other wildlife that call this topical area home dramatically adds to the adventure of being on this scenic waterway.

Tips and Techniques

The Falls is full of coral rocks, which is where the peacock bass usually hold to. The average depth is 12 feet, with many canals having vertical drops and edges reaching up to 30 feet. Many of the lakes found in the system have sand bottoms about 10 feet deep. The thriving environment here makes for a happy, healthy fishery throughout the year.

Live bait is usually the most way to hook a peacock, especially shiners. However, crankbaits, spoons, and topwater plugs are generally the best artificial lures to land a feisty peacock. A topwater lure or hard jerk bait will often produce a solid reaction strike from these colorful fish. It’s best to focus on rocky areas near structures using topwaters, minnow-like crankbaits, or small shiners.

steady retrieve baits and lures


Lake Erie

Lake Erie, Pennsylvania, is a breathtaking fishery covering 57 miles at its widest point. Erie contains an abundance of our favorite gamefish, allowing anglers to catch over 15 million fish every year. In addition, the warmer temperatures and shallow water of Erie make it the most biologically productive of all other Great Lakes. As a result, field and Stream chose Erie as one of the top-20 family fishing spots in the nation.

The northern shore of Erie is the international border with Canada, its eastern shores are in New York, and the southern and western boundaries are in Michigan and Ohio. However, its become apparent that the most productive fishing spots are on the Pennsylvania side of Erie.

The fishery is famous for its quality-sized sport fish species like walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, yellow perch, crappie, bluegill, and steelhead. Because of its relatively shallow water, the lake warms up quickly in the spring and summer for its prime fishing season.

Tips and Techniques

While summer fishing in PA, anglers can troll the open water to hook walleye or stick to fishing spots closer to shore. Our favorite spot is Presque Isle, where its warm waters are filled with game fish. The western and central basins often hold some of the larger fish. The baits that attract the most strikes are trolling crankbaits or spinnerbaits with bottom bouncers. This Pennsylvania area really comes alive in the summer, providing anglers with the ultimate summer bass fishing adventure.

deep diving crankbait and glide bait

Planning Your Summer Bass Fishing Adventure

Almost every bass angler longs for the perfect summer vacation that mixes a once-in-a-lifetime fishing experience with memorable visits to new places with their loved ones. There is no better summer vacation spot than almost any part of Florida or Presque Isle Bay, Pennsylvania. These spots all offer something unique and are producing quality summertime fishing trips. These fisheries can be challenging to navigate or know where to start and best practices to use, but your professional guide is here to support you the whole way while on your private charter. Targeting summertime bass is a challenge that will improve any angler’s ability to read the water and learn where and how to land game fish during any time of the year.

Explore Your Bass Fishing Opportunities here, or check out our pontoon fishing trips for your big group!

Message us or call 888-629-2277 to plan the ultimate summer bass fishing adventure in the world’s top destinations!

drop shot texas rig  summertime bass

Polk County Freshwater Fishing Report

Polk County Freshwater Fishing Report

Polk County Freshwater Fishing

 Around Lakeland, bass up to 25 inches this week at Tenoroc, about 8-9 pounds, in lakes 4, Fish Hook and Tern on Junebug worms and spinnerbaits, reports Brian Fleming. Several limits of bluegill and shellcracker in lakes 2, C and Hydrilla at Tenoroc on crickets and red worms. Anglers wading along cattails at Lake Parker catching 10-15 hand-sized bluegill, reports Stacy Roberts at Phillips Bait and Tackle at Saddle Creek Park. Bluegill bite slowed down at Saddle Creek. Speckled catfish biting after rains at Saddle Creek. And lakes 4, B, and Legs producing catfish at Tenoroc.


Limits of bluegill and shellcracker were commonplace over the weekend. Crickets and red worms were hot sellers. “I’m about out of crickets. They’re catching limits of bluegill just about everywhere,” said Ron Schelfo at Ron’s Tackle Box. “Pick your favorite lake.”

TRENTON BENNETT of Fort Meade, 4, reeled in this 12-pound, 4-ounce bass fishing with his grandfather, Joe Bennett, on Lake Kissimmee on July 12. Joe, from Camp Lester, hooked up with a topwater plug and handed the rod to Trenton. “Joe said he had to hold the back of his life jacket to keep him from going out of the boat,” said Joanne Cosce at Camp Lester. PRO BASS FISHERMEN and top local anglers are switching to fluorocarbon lines for casting soft plastics – worms, Flukes, and Senkos. Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon is a popular choice in 10-, 12-, 15- and 20-pound strengths, said Brent Howlett at Stone’s Outhouse. Fluorocarbon sinks, unlike monofilament.

Central Florida Hot Lakes

At Auburndale, super week for bluegill and shellcracker just about everywhere reports Ron Schelfo at Ron’s Tackle Box in Lake Alfred. Shellcracker bite continues on Lake Rochelle, where bank anglers using half-ounce egg sinkers to cast red worms over the ledge in spots where there’s no shoreline grass near the boat ramp. “There’s been hundreds of people going down there. It’s been great,” Schelfo said. Also, limits of shellcracker on red worms and grass shrimp in lily pads at Lake Mariana, reports Stacy Roberts. Easy limits of bluegill at lakes Haines, Alfred, and Ariana, said Schelfo. Bass was very tough this week, but Telly Smith boated 7 1/2-pounder to win Ron’s evening tournament on Lake Alfred last Thursday with teammate Alex Holmes.

In Winter Haven, bluegill creating some excitement on small city lakes and south chain, with lots of limits on crickets. Lily pads in south end of Lake Eloise one hot spot. Bass action tapered off with high heat and break in thundershowers.

Lake Hamilton, bluegill, and shellcracker “absolutely great” over the weekend with red worms and crickets, reports Gary Parramore at Chain O’ Lakes Bait and Tackle in Dundee. But only small boats can launch at public ramps. Bass up to 4-6 pounds perked up on medium-large wild shiners (6-7 inches long) on area lakes.

As well, as Lake Marion near Haines City, limits of bedding shellcracker and bluegill drew a crowd over the weekend with full moon on Friday, reports Ray Chase at Bannon’s Camp. He said 21 boats launched Saturday. Shellcracker moving back to deep shell bars between new and full moons. Lily pads “thick” with panfish, which are hitting grass shrimp, red worms, and crickets.

Lake Pierce, daily limits of bluegill and shellcracker in lily pads on red worms and crickets at North Cove and around islands near the fish camp, reports Jennings Camp. Bass decent, especially when it rains every day.

Even Lake Hatchineha, a couple of shellcracker beds located over the weekend with a full moon, and anglers pulled in limits on red worms.

Old Reliables

Big Lake Toho, giving up big stringers in tournaments on Saturday, but Sunday as bad as Saturday was good. Took about 24 pounds to win the Xtreme Series tournament. Fishermen casting topwater lures (chrome/black Boy Howdy or Devil’s Horse) around crisp hydrilla patches until the sun comes up, said Brent Howlett at Stone’s Outhouse. Water level up 8-10 inches in the past week, and anglers struggling for bites this week.

Always Lake Kissimmee, bluegill carried the weekend, although bass made good showing Saturday. There were two or three stringers over 20 pounds in tournaments on Saturday, but on Sunday, bass took a “nosedive,” said Leo Cosce at Camp Lester. Took just 13 pounds to win on Sunday. Cosce said there’s a lot of bass being caught on crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps. Trenton Bennett of Fort Meade, who’s 4, landed a 12-pound, 4-ounce bass fishing with his grandfather, Joe Bennett of Camp Lester, on July 13. Joe got the bite on a surface lure and handed the rod to Trenton. “That’s kid’s going to be hooked for life now. It’s great when you see that happen,” said Cosce. Limits of bluegill mixed with shellcracker around full moon in lily pads at Gobbler Ridge, Philadelphia Point, Lemon Point, and Brahma Island. But panfish bite tapered off since Sunday with half-limits at best, Cosce said. Early risers catching 20-25 specks in North Cove with jigs (chartreuse/white, white/white) along hydrilla edges. Water level up 4 inches in the past week, but off-colored.

Unforgotten Lake Walk-in-the-Water, the lake is usually overlooked for bluegill, but panfish have been active in lily pads. Bass is not worth the trip.

Crooked Lake at Babson Park, extra-large speckled perch cranked up last week and still going at night on minnows in open water, reports Cindy Ritchison at Bob’s Landing. “Some of my anglers said they were catching ‘hellaciously’ big specks they said had to be a pound and a half or 2 pounds, easy,” Ritchison said. Mark Collier and his crew bringing in 20-25 per trip, as is Gary Earnst of Plant City. Bass up to 2-3 pounds more common.

Frostproof, panfish anglers loading up on bluegill at Lake Reedy, reports Ron Schelfo. Lake Arbuckle is also good for bluegill in lily pads.

In the phosphate pits south of Mulberry and Bartow, things are about as quiet as they get with dog days setting in.

From Staff and Wire Reports

888-629-BASS (2277)
Florida Peacock Bass

Kissimmee Lake State Park

Kissimmee Lake State Park

Kissimmee Lake State Park

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


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

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

What To Do At Lake Kissimmee State Park

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

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

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

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

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

Lake Kissimmee State Park cow camp
Kayaking and Canoeing

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

Fishing Kissimmee State Park

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

Lake Kissimmee State Park two loop trails

Lake Kissimmee

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

Florida Fishing Kissimmee

Tiger Lake and Lake Rosalie

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

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

Chris Davy

Bank Fishing

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

Techniques and Tips

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


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

Things To Do Near Lake Wales

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

Camping At Lake Kissimmee State Park

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

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

Full Facility Camping

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

Primitive Camping Facility

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

RV Camping

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

Youth Camping Area

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

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

Kissimmee State Park History

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

Lake Kissimmee State Park sandhill cranes
Lake Kissimmee State Park dark skies and oak hammock

Best Family Fishing Vacations

Best Family Fishing Vacations

The Best Family Fishing Vacations

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

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

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

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

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

Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Florida

Presque Isle Bay in Erie, PA

Oil Creek in Oil City, PA

Lake Fork in Texas

Best Family Vacation Saltwater Fishing Spots

Cape Canaveral, Florida

Galveston, Texas

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

Florida Family Fishing Vacation

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

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

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

fishing license ahead family trip

Best FL Freshwater Family Fishing Spot

Lake Toho

Targeted Species: Largemouth bass, Black Crappie

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

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

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

Families Over 4 People

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

Fishing Seasons

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

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

Area Things To Do

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

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

family vacay florida fishing vacation

Saltwater Fishing

Cape Canaveral

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

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

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

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

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

Offshore Targeted Species: Grouper, Snapper, Mahi Mahi

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

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

Area Things To Do

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

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

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

Orange beach fishing vacation spots
fishing vacation visiting anglers
antique boat museum fishing vacation spot
orange beach fishing vacation
family vacation rental boats
rental boats for family fishing vacation

Pennsylvania Family Fishing Vacation

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

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

king salmon capital family fishing vacations

Best PA Freshwater Family Fishing Spot

Presque Isle Park, Lake Erie

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

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

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

Fishing Seasons

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

Area Things To Do

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

catching huge fish on family fishing vacations

Oil Creek Trout Fishing Near Oil City

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

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

Area Things To Do

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

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

fancy boats for family fishing vacations
stalk speckled trout family fishing trip
brown trout family fishing vacation
everglades city family fishing
everglades city family trip
striped bass family fishing

Texas Family Fishing Vacation

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

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

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

fishing vacation rentals

Best TX Freshwater Family Fishing Spot

Lake Fork

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

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

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

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

Fishing Seasons

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

Area Things To Do

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

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

striped bass family fishing adventure

Best Saltwater Fishing Spot


Inshore Targeted Species: Speckled Trout, Redfish, and Flounder

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

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

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

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

Area Things To Do

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

huge fish on family trip
trolling lures offshore family fishing
annual fishing trip
sport fishing boats
fishing options range for family
Everglades city family adventure

Planning A Fishing Vacation

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

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

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

Lake Ontario family fishing
Lake Ontario Lake Erie fishing
Niagara River trout trips
niagara river
minute chasing fish
 everglades city

Best Florida Bass Fishing Destinations for 2021

Best Florida Bass Fishing Destinations for 2021

Florida Bass Fishing

Top Florida Bass Destinations

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.

  • Considered 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. 
  • Look at as best bass fishing lakes in South Florida are The Golden Gate Canal, Lake Ida an Osborne, The Everglades, and Miami Airport Lakes.
Florida big bass 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.

Here are the details on your Top Florida Bass Destinations to experience and explore while visiting the tropical state of Florida.

Florida trophy largemouth bass fishing

North Florida

The Rodman Reservoir

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 a top-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.

Rodman reservoir big largemouth bass fishing

Orange Lake

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.

Florida fish management area

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.

Bass fishing in Florida

Lake George

Lake George is the second largest 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.

Great Bass fishing lakes - Lake George

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.

Florida chain of lakes bass fishing

West Central

Lake Tarpon

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.

Central Florida lakes

East Central

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.

Stick Marsh Bass Fishing - Fishing In Melbourne Fl - Central Florida

Fellsmere Reservoir

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.

Fl trophy fish

Central 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.

Lake Toho trophy fish - lake tohopekaliga

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.

Central Florida big bass fishing lakes

Lake Kissimmee

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 Kissimmee bass - central florida

Lake Istokpoga

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.

Lake Istokpoga great bass fishing lakes - Lake Placid

South Central

Lake Okeechobee

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.

Lake Okeechobee fishing


Golden Gate

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 fishing lake 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.

Sunshine state bass


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.

Boynton Beach peacock bass & Clown Knife

The Florida Everglades

When you think of Florida Bass Fishing, the Florida Everglades or “the river of grass” should hopefully ring clear. Cruise through the miles of canal systems that dominate South Florida while uncovering untouched waters pristine for largemouth fishing. If you are looking for extreme numbers of largemouth bass and some peacock bass, the Florida Everglades is the place to explore. The Everglades covers a large area with many access points; some of the more popular areas are Everglades Holiday Park, Sawgrass Rec Center, and Mile Marker 35 and 41. Every cast can yield a fish during these fantastic spring conditions. Another unbelievable feature of this incredible fishing destination is the abundance of wildlife.

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.

Everglades - the river of grass bass - frog fishing

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.

South Florida best peacock bass
bass fishing lakes florida

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.

Freshwater fishing in Florida often gets overlooked, but has really heated up with the warming trends.

Late Spawns at our Top Florida Bass Destinations

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.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

Review Title
Review Content

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!

Pin It on Pinterest