Freshwater Fishing

Welcome to the Fishing Capital of the World!


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Florida's freshwater fisheries comprise 3 million acres of lakes, ponds and reservoirs, and approximately 12,000 miles of fishable rivers, streams and canals-with no closedseasons. The recreational fishery resources alone in these waters provide entertainment for more than 1.4 million anglers annually, who enjoyed 24.4 million days fishing recreationally in Florida's fresh waters (National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation-2006).

This section of FWC's website is home to recreational and commercial freshwater fishing regulations, providing fishing tips and specific information on fishery sites and forecasts to get you started fishing and exploring new areas. Please use the links below and on the left-hand side of this page to learn more about freshwater fishing.

Freshwater Recreational and Commercial Regulations - read the rules pertaining to fishing in Florida.

Fish Identification - Learn how to identify freshwater fish found in Florida. You'll find a list of Florida freshwater fish (with photos) and info on nonnative, threatened and prohibited species.

Fishing Sites and Forecasts - describes many premier fishing areas in Florida, by region, species, or alpha-order, with quarterly fishing forecasts and interactive maps.

Fishing Tips - Beginning and intermediate tips on fishing for some of Florida's premier freshwater fish as information on how to measure fish, how to tie fishing knots, and fishing seasons.

Angler Recognition Programs - Information on free angler-recognition programs: Big Catch, TrophyCatch External Website and State Record fish (require validation by a biologist on certified scales). How to measure your catch.

Pond Management - Ponds, if properly managed, can provide wonderful fishing, birding and wildlife-viewing opportunities. However, the management of the ponds should take into account important conservation principles to prevent doing more harm than good.

Freshwater Fisheries Research conducted through the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute provides objective, statistically validated information to assist the Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management in making resource decisions.

Freshwater Fisheries updates include the monthly Fish Busters' Bulletin, City Fisher Newsletter and periodic news releases.

The value of Freshwater fishing - shows economic impact of Freshwater fishing in Florida.

FWC Facts:
Five different species of snook inhabit Florida waters: common snook, small-scale fat snook, large-scale fat snook, swordspine snook and tarpon snook.

Learn More at AskFWC