Florida offers some of the most pleasant and appealing places to Kayak or Fish in the United States. Even though I'm giving away some of my secret fishing holes, in the spirit of camaraderie for my fellow paddlers and anglers, I'll share my top five so you can enjoy them too.
- Lake Talquin: This lake is located 20 miles west of Tallahassee and in 1927 the Jackson Bluff Dam was constructed on the Ochlockonee River to produce hydroelectric power. The waters held back by the dam formed Lake Talquin. The lake offers quite a few recreational activities such as fishing, nature walks, picnic spots, and boating. The lake is stocked with a variety of fish such as; Largemouth Bass, Shellcracker, Speckled Perch, and Bream. I recommend this lake for a day trip site only as I am unaware of any free campsites in the area.
- Lake Okeechobee: There is so much to do here ranging from fishing and boating to hiking and horseback riding. The most popular recreational activity in Lake Okeechobee is fishing. Lake Okeechobee is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the state of Florida; it covers 730 miles of shallow areas up to 9ft deep water and offers more than 40 species of fish including Largemouth Bass, Blue Gill, Black Crappie, and Catfish. The scenery can be beautiful and serene at times as well as wild and tempestuous during storms.
- Lake Tarpon: This lake is located south of Tarpon Springs, and it is known to be one of the best fishing lakes in Florida. Lake Tarpon offers a large variety of fish such as Sunfish, Catfish, Largemouth Bass, and BlueGill. The lake is five miles long, one mile wide and covers 2, 500 acres of land. It offers a lot of room for exploring and wildlife viewing. It is a very popular lake so be aware of your surroundings and be respectful of others. If you're going on the Canoe trail, watch out for alligators! www.lakesideinsights.com
- Lake Harris and its sister lakes; Griffin, Yale, Eustis, Dora and Little Lake Harris; These lakes are all very close together so some friends and I headed down here for a weekend of sun and fun, visiting each of these lakes. There is quite a bit of Bass fishing to be had in these lakes, as well as some up close views of alligators. These lakes are all very open with no shade, so bring your sunscreen and stay hydrated. This is a great area to beat the heat and enjoy your day.
- Lake Kissimmee: This lake is the third largest lake in the state and has many of the same activities as the other Florida lakes. The state park offers camping facilities as well as Ranger guided tours of the lake. They do not provide boats or kayaks as far as I know. Fishing is bountiful and there are plenty of things to do while you're there. One of the non water activities I enjoyed was the Living History Tour they have which takes you back to the 1800's and the cattle drives. The week I spent at this lake with my friends was both informative and fun.