If you’re looking for great fishing around Orlando, you’ll have no shortage of options. This tropical hot spot has several great lakes that deliver an abundance of sizable fish. Here are our top picks for the best fishing spots in the Central Florida area.
Lake Tohopekaliga is easily the best fishing spot in the Orlando area. Tohopekaliga comes from the Seminole Indians who originally lived here and means “we will gather here.” However, locals simply refer to the spot as Lake Toho. This lake spans 18,810 acres, and the Florida Wildlife Commission estimates that there’s one bass weighing over 10 pounds in every 10 acres of the lake.
Allowing extreme drawdowns to the water level of Lake Toho has created a prime environment for baitfish and bass. During the drawdowns, bulldozers removed much from the shorelines, making it an ideal spot for bass to spawn. Vegetation thrives in the lake, with hydrilla, maidencane, and bullrush in shallow flats. In addition to record-breaking largemouth bass, the lake is also home to large populations of bluegill, black crappie, and redear sunfish. You may catch catfish, pickerel, and gar as well.
December through March is the best time to fish for bass. Black Crappie become more abundant as the temperatures cool as well. Goblets Cove, North Steer Beach, and Little Grassy Island are the best spots for bass fishing. When the flow is strong, drifting live minnows draw fish to the mouth of Shingle Creek.
Lake Toho has 42 miles of shoreline and a fishing pier if you prefer to fish from land. The lake is also an ideal spot for fishing from a boat, kayak, or canoe. If you’re interested in competitive fishing, Lake Toho is the location of the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Tournament Series and the Professional Bass Tournament of the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW).
Butler Chain of Lakes
The Butler Chain of Lakes was formed by a series of sinkholes. Some of the lakes reach a depth of up to 50 feet. The chain encompasses 11 lakes in total, covering 1,700 acres. The waters are extremely clear, with visibility to 25 feet in some places. Largemouth bass are the most popular catch in the lakes, followed by bowfin and chain pickerel. You can also find bluegill and crappie.
In these lakes, it’s often best to fish at the lower depths. The unique topography here has fish floating near the steep edges and drop offs. Once you find the ideal depth in a particular part of the lake, catches are usually abundant. Most of the docks and ramps for this chain of lakes are private, however there is a public boat ramp in RD Keene Park.
Conway Chain of Lakes
The Conway Chain of Lakes includes Lake Conway, Little Lake Conway, and four pools of water known as the Middle, East, West, and South Pools. Across the chain, there are around 1,800 acres of water. Hydrilla, peppergrass, and eelgrass beds thrive around the shoreline. The Conway chain is best known for delivering bass in high quantities. It’s typical to catch at least 20 bass in a day, and many charters report catches of up to 50 bass in a day.
Bass are most active in the Conway chain in the winter months, but the numbers here are so large that you can catch bass any time of the year. In warmer months, look for surface activity or follow the diving birds to locate schooling bass in the lakes and pools. In the summer months, you can also find crappie stacked up along the cool bottoms of the lake. The Conway chain has a good population of bluegill, shad, bream, catfish, and chain pickerel as well.
The waters here are shockingly clear, leading down to a packed sand lake bottom. Shore fishing is primarily restricted to private docks. The Conway Chain of Lakes has two public boat ramps. However, there is no parking at the Venetian boat ramp and only limited parking at the Randolph Avenue ramp. Fishing charters are abundant in the area if you prefer a guided excursion.
Harris Chain of Lakes
The Harris Chain of Lakes encompasses eight lakes and covers a total of 75,000 acres. There are more than 30 public boat ramps for this lake and many public fishing piers. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission manages fish stocking, habitat planting, and fish attractors in the lake, making it a great spot for largemouth bass, sunshine bass, bream, and black crappie.
As with many lakes in Florida, this is a great spot for large bass. Most weigh around eight pounds here and it’s not uncommon to find bass over 10 pounds in the Harris Chain of Lakes.
Lake Kissimmee is the largest in the Kissimmee chain and the third-largest in all of Florida. It covers 35,000 acres and promises some of the best bass fishing in the state. Lake Kissimmee hosts the Bassmaster Classic and Florida Bass Federation Tour among other events.
Lake Kissimmee has shallow waters stained by tannin and are abundant in vegetation. The bulrush, common knotgrass, and maidencane provide ample hiding areas for large bass. However, the thick vegetation can also make the lake difficult to navigate. Novice anglers can get caught in the hydrilla overgrowth, so it’s best to go with a more experienced fisherman or professional guide if you’re not skilled at navigating these types of waters.
The south end of the lake is the best spot for large bass. The bass here typically weigh between five and eight pounds, though 10-pound catches aren’t uncommon. Though largemouth bass are often the biggest draw in Lake Kissimmee, they’re far from the only catch. You can also find an abundant amount of black crappie as well as some redear sunfish, bluegill, and channel catfish. March and April are usually the peak months for bass, while bluegill are easier to catch in autumn as the temperatures cool.Did we miss any great fishing spots? Contact our team at Titan Funding and let us know so we can make sure we’re always giving our clients the best recommendations for an enjoyable afternoon.