Florida Fish Busters: Top freshwater fishing destinations in Florida for 2009
If you are like me, you’ve probably heard “you should have been here yesterday—the fishing was great,” more times than you can count. Well, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologists continue to give anglers advice upfront that will help them find some of the best honey holes into which to cast a line in the hope that you’ll be the next one bragging about a whopper of a day fishing.
Fisheries biologists used a variety of clues including the recent fishing history of various lakes and rivers based on creel surveys, Big Catch angler-recognition records, electrofishing results and evaluating habitat conditions, water flow and young-of-the-year survival from the previous year to suggest the top destinations for 2009. Lists of the best places to go for bass, crappie, bream, catfish and stripers are posted at MyFWC.com/Fishing/Forecast.
In addition, regional biologists check with local fishing guides and bait-and-tackle shops quarterly (January, April, July, October) to get insights into how major fisheries are producing and what anglers are using to find success on a variety of lakes and rivers throughout the year. The same Web site will give you access to that information, along with local contact numbers that you can call for up-to-minute updates.
Here’s a brief overview of the sites FWC biologists are recommending to the angling public for 2009, but remember at any day the bite can be on in a different time and place from a small community pond to 470,000-acre Lake Okeechobee. With over 7,700 named lakes in Florida and 12,000 miles of fishable rivers, streams and canals, you’re never far from an opportunity to relax and wet a line—time that is always well spent communing with nature.
So grab a friend or relative and try out one of these sites, or investigate a local water hole to create your own list of top fishing destinations. Then pass it on to whoever will listen and let them know how great the fishing was. Always remembering that a bad day fishing beats a great day at work.
Instant licenses are available at MyFWC.com/License or by calling 1-888-FISH-FLORIDA (347-4356). Report violators by calling *FWC or #FWC on your cell, or 1888-404-3922. Visit MyFWC.com/Fishing/Updates for more Fish Busters’ columns.