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Month: August 2019

3 Reasons Florida is the Best Fishing Trip Destination

If you are hooked on fishing and can’t stop reeling them in, you need to get down to Florida to experience the best angling in the country.

But what exactly makes Florida the “Fishing Capital of the World?” Some might say it’s the abundance of fishing opportunities offered by the state, others might point to all the different types of fish you can catch, and still others might contend that it’s the most scenic and pleasant place to fish.

We say that all three of these factors make Florida the best fishing trip destination in the country.

Water, Water Everywhere

Just pull up a map of Florida and look at it for a few moments. It’s impossible to miss just how much water there is in every direction. As a peninsula, Florida is surrounded on the one side by the Gulf of Mexico and on the other by the Atlantic.

There are over 1,300 miles of coastline to fish for saltwater favorites like tarpon, sailfish, cobia, and countless others. And we haven’t even mentioned the freshwater fishing opportunities yet.

The Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission estimates that there are about 3 million acres of freshwater fishing spots in the state. It’d be difficult to cast a line from any point in the state without hitting some water!

Variety of Fishing Experiences

With all that water, you’d expect there to be dozens and dozens of different kinds of fish to catch—and you’d be right. Florida is a bass fishing paradise; from some of the best largemouth bass fishing in the world on the Kissimmee chain of lakes to the lesser-known Suwannee bass on the Suwannee River and the exotic and strange Butterfly Peacock bass in Miami, Florida’s lakes and streams are teaming with different bass species.

The coast is just a short drive from anywhere in Florida, so it’s no trouble at all to pack in a freshwater and saltwater trip in a short vacation. Whether you want to charter a deep-sea boat to track down a coveted sailfish or get out in the flats for some world-class tarpon fishing, you should have no problem finding a trip that’s perfect for you.

Beautiful Surroundings

In Florida, what makes the fishing experiences truly special is the scenic locations you’ll be spending time in while on the water. Sure, Michigan and Texas also have some of the best freshwater fishing in the country, but their settings pale in comparison to the tropical and exotic Floridian lakes and rivers.

Whether you are offshore in the turquoise seas of the Florida Keys or weaving through the mangroves in the Everglades, you are guaranteed to have an enjoyable day on the water even if you don’t catch anything. A fishing trip in Florida is never a disappointing experience.

Central Florida Bass Fishing

If you love largemouth bass or pan fish fishing, Lake Kissimmee is one of Florida’s premier sport fishing lakes, right in Central Florida. Come to Grape Hammock Fish Camp for a rare natural fishing trip experience.

We have cabins and camping sites right on the water for a truly immersive stay, and fishing boats for rent if you want to explore the lake on your own.

Best Places to Camp in Florida

When you think of great camping states, more woodsy and mountainous states like North Carolina, Colorado, and Washington probably top the list. However, Florida is a better camping state than it gets credit for, with some of the best state parks in the country and an environment unlike anywhere else in the states.

Worried about the heat for summer camping trips? Well that’s the beauty of Florida camping—the best spots are all waterside, near oceans, lagoons, rivers, and lakes. Experience the best of Florida like never before at these premier campsites.  

Grayton Beach State Park

Up in the panhandle between Destin and Panama City, Grayton Beach State Park can bring you the best of the beach and the forest. Regularly rated one of the most beautiful beaches in the country, Grayton Beach also boasts a salty coastal forest with scenic nature trails for hiking and biking. There is also a unique salt marsh right next to the beach where kayakers and canoers can explore this geological phenomenon. 

Bahia Honda State Park

Check out Bahia Honda Key for some of the best camping in the Florida Keys. Incredible sunsets, turquoise clear waters, and pristine beaches await you at this state park. In addition to soaking up the sun on your favorite beach chair, you can explore some of the best reefs in the world just a few miles away on a snorkeling tour. Don’t forget to hike across the Old Bahia Honda Bridge and take in the breathtaking view of the island while watching sea turtles swim and tarpon jump out of the water.

Boca Chita Key

Perhaps the most remote campsite in the state, Boca Chita Key in Biscayne Bay is a tiny island only accessible by boat. If you ever wanted to camp in a tropical ocean paradise, this is the place for you. With a scenic limestone lighthouse, crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, and palm trees dotting the island, this is one of the most beautiful and relaxing places in the entire state. However, there are mosquitoes year-round, so come prepared if you plan on staying for a few days—the nearest store is a long boat ride away.

Grape Hammock Fish Camp

You don’t have to travel out of central Florida to the panhandle or Keys to experience natural Florida camping at its best. Grape Hammock Fish Camp offers camping and RV sites on the shores of Lake Kissimmee. There are also cabins available for rent for those who prefer to have a building to stay in. Here, you can explore Florida’s wetlands on an airboat tour and take chartered fishing trips for some of the best bass fishing in the state.

To reserve your spot at Grape Hammock today or for more information, please give us a call at 863-692-1500.

Animals Native to Florida Wetlands

Florida’s wetlands provide the ideal habitat for hundreds of different species of birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. While humans keep developing formerly wild environments in Florida, the wetlands in the south of the state have become a last refuge for many endangered animals.

These rivers, swamps, and mangroves draw so many different kinds of animals because they offer something for every class of animal: shallows for fish spawning, ideal nesting conditions for birds, and a robust food chain to support large predators.

Here are some of the more exotic animals you might spy on a trip to Florida’s wetlands.

American Alligator

Florida’s most recognizable animal, the alligator can grow up to 15 ft in length and weigh around 1,000 lbs. They are more tolerant to cold weather than other crocodilian reptiles, so you can find them throughout the state of Florida year-round.

You will most likely spot them sun-bathing on the shore of a lake or river, but you can also find them swimming in the water if you have a sharp eye. 

American Crocodile

The American crocodile is the largest predator in the state of Florida, with the males measuring a staggering 20 ft and 2,000 lbs. when full-grown.

Though you might not be able to tell the difference between the American crocodile and alligator, they are easy to tell apart once you know what to look for. The crocodile has a much narrower and pointier snout, and only lives in the southern tip of the state near saltwater or brackish environments. 

Florida Manatee

It is hard to mistake the manatee for any other creature because there’s just nothing else like it in fresh water. The Florida manatee is a large, grey, round animal with a paddle-shaped tail and flippers, and it slowly cruises around springs, rivers, and mangroves chewing aquatic plants. They are one of the few species of mammals that spends their whole life swimming in water.

Though they can hold their breath for an impressive 20 minutes, they regularly come up to breathe and sometimes swim at the surface of the water, where you can best spot them.

Wood Stork

Florida’s wetlands are some of the best bird-watching sites in the world, as exotic birds from the north along with native Florida birds share the same habitat during the winter. One of the most interesting birds to watch is the wood stork, the only species of stork that breeds in North America.

Watch this impressive white-feathered bird with a black head wade in the shallows looking for prey as it lowers its bill into the water, waiting for fish to bump into it. Once it feels the prey, it swiftly snaps its bill shut in the blink of an eye.

Lake Kissimmee Wildlife Airboat Tour

The Everglades National Park isn’t the only place where you can find these exotic animals and others; you can watch alligators, wood storks, bobcats, bald eagles, and more exciting native wildlife right in Central Florida at Lake Kissimmee.

Come to Grape Hammock Fish Camp for the best airboat tour on Lake Kissimmee, and our guides can take you to the best wildlife watching spots in the area.

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