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Which Lure Should I Use for Freshwater Fishing?

With so many different pieces of equipment to keep track of — rods, reels, and lines — you might get a little overwhelmed when trying to pick the right lure for lakes, ponds, and rivers. While the best choice depends on the fish, cover, and water temperature, you’ll find that you can easily get away with a handful of different lures no matter where you’re fishing. Here are four lures to consider using on your next freshwater fishing trip.

Live Bait

Live bait is the most natural way to attract fish to your line. Many fishermen prefer live bait because it has a texture, taste, and smell that artificial bait can’t quite beat. But keep in mind that live bait does require proper storage, acclimation, and cleanup. If you want to use live bait in a freshwater setting, you’ll need to use bait that would normally live in the area you’re fishing in. Some of the most common live bait options to use in freshwater include:

  • Worms
  • Leeches
  • Insects
  • Minnows

Fishing Jigs

Decorated with either a feather, rubber, or plastic tale, jigs are a top choice for freshwater fisherman casting in water of virtually any temperature. Jigs typically feature a weighted head on one end of the lure and a single hook on the other end. Perfect for catching bass and other freshwater game, jigs are great fishing tools in shallow and deep bodies of water.  

Plastic Baits

Made with lightweight plastic, plastic baits are an affordable option. Most plastic baits are scented specifically to attract fish in ways that other lures can’t. Depending on the location you’re fishing in, you can customize your plastic bait with weights, jig heads, or spinners. Ideal for largemouth bass fishing, plastic baits are molded to resemble live bait such as:

  • Minnows
  • Crayfish
  • Frogs
  • Worms
  • Lizards

Spoon Lures

Metallic, round, and reflective, spoon lures are incredibly popular among fishermen in lakes, ponds, and other freshwater areas. That’s because they effectively catch light and reflect it to attract fish. Shop for spoon lures depending on the type of cover and game you expect to encounter, selecting from small, medium, and large options with either a single or treble hook. Not only are these lures dependable in a number of fishing scenarios, but they’re also offered in a range of colors.

Freshwater Fish Camp in Central Florida

If you’re looking for even more tips and tools to get all the hits on your next fishing trip, stop by Grape Hammock Fish Camp. From boat rentals to on-site bait sales, you can fully immerse yourself in fishing without ever having to leave the camp. To book your trip to Grape Hammock, contact us today.

Where Can Visitors Take an Airboat to See Alligators?

There are a lot of reasons to take your family on an airboat tour — experience an adrenaline rush, take a break from electronics, or check an item off your bucket list — but seeing gators is probably one of the main ones. While there’s never a gator guarantee on an airboat tour, there are certain places around the state where you’re more likely to spot one at any time of day. To make sure you get a good view of alligators on your airboat ride, take a look at the best places to book your tour.

Central Florida

Many think that South Florida is the best place to spot alligators, but Central Florida has just as many marshes, wetlands, and waterways — making it a top choice for visitors who want to take an airboat tour within range of other state attractions. In fact, some of the Everglades leads all the way up into certain parts of the area.  

The Everglades

Alligators thrive in Everglades National Park. That’s because this part of Florida is especially swampy, warm, and wet. Fortunately, the Everglades span over a massive chunk of the state, which means you can hitch an Everglades airboat ride without having to travel south. Beyond gators, you’re sure to spot a ton of other animals in the Everglades, such as:

  • Deer
  • Panthers
  • Frogs
  • Turtles
  • Lizards
  • Birds

A Local Fish Camp

Perhaps the best spot for prime alligator sightseeing is a locally owned fish camp that brings you as close to wildlife as safely possible. By booking a local tour with trusted captains, you can get even more of an authentic Florida experience. And when you book your airboat ride with a local tour company, you can expect longer ride times, a shorter wait, and even more excitement.

Book Your Airboat Tour 

If you’re interested in touring the Everglades on a locally owned airboat tour in Central Florida, book your ride with Grape Hammock Fish Camp. Family operated right on the waters of Lake Kissimmee, our fish camp offers airboat tours that take passengers right through the Everglades’ headwaters. To schedule a trip on one of our airboat tours, contact us today.

When Is the Best Time of Year to See Alligators on an Airboat Ride?

From picking the freshest fruit to watching flowers reach full bloom, some experiences are best when in season. But is there a right time of year to see alligators on an airboat ride? It might be true for some states. In Florida, however, just about every day of the year is filled with endless gator action.

When Are Alligators Most Active?

Because Florida has a year-round tropical climate, every season has prime opportunities to see gators on the shore and in the water. In fact, airboat tours are offered throughout the year because there’s always wildlife to watch out for. From the start of winter through the start of spring, Florida wetlands go through the “dry season.” On the other hand, during the months of May, June, October, and November, the Florida Everglades thrive in the “wet season,” or rainy season. Luckily, no matter which season you travel to the Everglades, you’re sure to spot some gators.

When Can I See Baby Alligators?

While you can easily see full-grown alligators throughout Florida and throughout the year, there’s a small window of time for those who want to see gators at their tiniest. Before the wet season starts, alligators start mating in Florida. So, by the time September rolls around, most female gators are ready to hatch their babies.

What Time of Day Will I See a Gator?

The right time of day to see a gator depends on the season in which you take a tour. Because Florida summers reach peak temperatures during the afternoon, gators are more likely to sunbathe early in the morning or right around sunset. That’s because these times of day are a cool escape from the extreme midday heat. However, during the winter months, gators tend to soak up the sun in exactly the opposite hours: the afternoon. Because winter temperatures can be lower when the sun goes down, gators like to take in as much heat as possible in the colder months.

Where Can I See Alligators on an Airboat Ride?

Depending on the time of year, hour of the day, and season of the state, you could come across gators of any shape or size. If you want to see one up close on your next trip to Central Florida, book an airboat ride with Grape Hammock Fish Camp. Touring through the headwaters of the Everglades, our USCG captains can map out all the best gator sightseeing spots. To reserve your seats on one of our airboat tours, contact us today.

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