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Top Fishing Charters in Orlando

Fishing in Orlando

It might come as a surprise, but believe us when we tell you that Orlando fishing is just about as good as any theme park. While it might be known best as the entertainment capital of Florida, Orlando's anglers know that the real magic starts at the docks. And with over 60 000 acres of freshwater in the Orlando urban area, it’s easy to see why.

St. Johns River flows north and east of town, a whole network of lakes splays out across the area, and some of Florida’s finest saltwater fishing is less than an hour’s drive away. Safe to say, Orlando fishing charters are just as much of an attraction as anything else the area has in store. So tear yourself away from the rollercoasters and get the family on a boat. We bet they’ll enjoy getting hooked up as much as you do.

Where to go fishing in Orlando

These waters are super fertile, and have a lot of variety in terms of fish species. We’re not just talking Crappie, Catfish, and Sunfish (called ‘Shellcrackers’ in these parts), we’re talking a variety of species of exotics. And — wait for it — one of the best populations of Largemouth Bass in Florida. You heard us. Orlando Bass fishing attracts anglers from across the state, who flock to local lakes in search of a record-breaker.

This is all thanks to the expansive Kissimmee Chain of lakes, which covers more than 80 000 acres of land. Home to enough Bass fishing tournaments to keep you on your toes all year, these waters are an important part of the map for any central Floridian angler. Number one in our book is Lake Tohopekaliga - Lake Toho, for short.

If you’re looking to escape the Disney crowds, Lake Toho fishing is your answer. These waters are less than a half hour drive from the resorts, but they seem to be a world away. Full of lush vegetation, the lake’s hydrilla beds, cattails, and native grasses make the perfect breeding ground for big Florida strain Black Bass. And with a network of man-made fish attractors dotted around the lake, this is a fishery that can more than withstand the not-too-serious fishing pressure it comes under.

But it’s not all about Lake Toho, and the best Orlando fishing guides know it. Depending on the bite, they will take you to anywhere from big Bass haunt of Lake Blue Cyress to the serene paradise of Lake Panasoffkee. And if you just can’t wait to dip a line, you can even go fishing at Disney World, in the Bay Lake and Seven seas Lagoon.

Is Bass not enough to convince you? Well how about this: it takes less than an hour to get to some of the best saltwater fishing in the Sunshine State. Deep sea fishing Orlando, four words that describe having the Gulf Stream at your doorstep. Drop in at Port Canaveral on the Space Coast and you could be hooking up on Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi, Sailfish, Grouper… the list goes on. A little north up the coast, and you’re in the Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon. Widely considered to be the only place in the world to have a year-round inshore Redfish population, this is only a 45 minute drive from "The City Beautiful." If you thought fishing near Orlando was uninspiring, think again.

Rules & Regulations

All licensed saltwater fishing guides in Florida cover fishing permits for everyone on their boat, and charters near Orlando are no exception. But when it comes to freshwater fishing, you will need to purchase your own. Head to Florida Wildlife Commission’s website or ask at any local tackle shop.

If you want to fish the beautiful Merritt Island Reserve, you will need to do so with one of the only 70 guides who have a permit to fish these waters. They will introduce you to this sanctuary in a way you could never experience on your own.

Types of Fishing

The sunshine state is famous for its use of live Shiners when fishing, and it’s claimed that Orlando Bass fishing is behind this. Whether that’s true or not, there’s no denying that Florida’s state freshwater fish can hardly resist them. Hook them up to some light line (we’re talking 8 lb tackle here), pin them under a bobber, and you will be in for some great fishing. Ask your Orlando Bass fishing guide how to do it, and you will have learned a skill for life.

If you believe that there’s more to life than Bass, go after exotics and Sunfish with worms, crickets and cut shrimp on 2 - 4 lb test line. While away the hours as the sun sets and you’ll not only be in for a great fight, but also an amazing meal.

Head to the salt water, and you’ll want to beef up your tackle. Most fishing charters near Orlando will either take you inshore fishing for Trout and Redfish, which you will target with bait or lures like jigs and spoons, or you will go trolling or bottom fishing offshore for big game fish.

Orlando
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Orlando Fishing Seasons

The new year usually begins with the Largemouth Bass spawning season in Orlando. Look for large male and female Bass guarding their eggs - but make sure you release them once you've caught them!

The Bass spawning picks up and will usually peak from the end of the month through early April. Feeling salty? The Mosquito Lagoon is beautiful in winter, with crystal clear waters making sightfishing for Redfish a winner. 

The weather is perfect so get out on the water. Orlando Bass fishing is about as good as it gets, while the nearby saltwater flats are exploding with life. Watch fish attack your topwater lures: everything is visible in these waters.

The weather warms up, with the inland waters beginning to get above the 80 degree mark. That means the end of the Largemouth Bass spawning season, but only the beginning of top notch fishing in salt and fresh waters.

Things start to heat up. Make the trip to the space coast for some exciting offshore action, with Mahi, Wahoo, and Tuna all biting. Hone your skills and watch the pros at the CFOA tournament in Port Canaveral.

It's hot. But guess what - so is the fishing. The Florida Sport Fishing Association Annual Offshore Slam and the Port Canaveral Mac Attack are the talk of the town. Inshore, look for Tarpon, Snook, Bass - it's all biting.

You may have heard that Florida Bass fishing is best in the winter, but don't let that put you off. Record breaking Bass are usually caught in the summer months, so if you're after quality over quantity, this is the time to fish.

The weather is hot hot hot, with a lot of Orlando fishing guides recommending early morning trips to beat the heat and afternoon storms. In saltwater, look for Tarpon, Shark, and Tuna to name but a few.

 

In salt waters, fall means only one thing: the Mullet run. As these baitfish gather to move south, the big bruisers of inshore fishing go on the attack. This is your chance for the best Redfish, Tarpon, and Snook fishing.

The weather begins to cool, with occasional cold fronts changing up the fishing. Largemouth Bass are feeding aggressively in the rivers and lakes, while Redfish and Seatrout are also feeding up like crazy in salt water.

Bass are still piling on the pounds and attacking whatever is thrown at them. They're getting ready for the spawning season - this is one of the best times to explore everything that fishing in Orlando has to offer.

The Bass fishing continues to be on top form, with live shiners being a particularly effective way to target them. The weather is usually changeable this time of the year - just look out for cold fronts and bring a sweater.

 

Orlando Fishing Calendar

What People Are Saying About Orlando

"Great captain, cool lake and Bass/Pickerel"

Vukan Simic fished with Go Castaway Fishing Charters on July 9, 2018

Good destination for freshwater fishing when you're in Disney World with the family, and just a short drive away from world-class saltwater fishing on Florida's East and West coasts.

"Awesome Fishing Trip with an Excellent Guide"

Jared Speciale fished with Flataddicted - Orlando FL on May 19, 2018

Go with Captain Tom. He will put you on the fish.

"Full day with Capt J Moss"

fished with Go Castaway Fishing Charters on January 20, 2018

Technically fished Mosquito Lagooon but expect somewhat tougher conditions based on the weather.

"red fish on the fly at sunrise"

fished with Go Castaway Fishing Charters on December 2, 2017

go east, mosquito lagoon is about an hour from Orlando

Top Fishing Techniques in Orlando

  1. Deep Sea Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Orlando

Snook

Black Drum

Redfish

Jack Crevalle

Nearby Fishing Destinations