Florida Freshwater Fishing
When it comes to freshwater fishing in Central Florida, you're mostly talking about largemouth bass. Yes, there are other species of fish in Florida's lakes, but the area seems to be a center for bass. Considering that, we wanted to provide a few facts and figures about the bass, just so you're up to speed on what will no doubt soon be your trophy fish.
Central Florida's Largemouth Bass
The largemouth that is so common in Central Florida is the largest member of the sunfish family. It generally has light greenish to brownish sides with a dark lateral line which tends to break into blotches towards the tail. Often confused with smallmouth and spotted bass, it is easily distinguishable because the upper jaw extends beyond the rear edge of the eye. Also, its first and second dorsal fins are almost separated by an obvious deep dip, and there are no scales on the soft-rayed second dorsal fin or on the anal fin of this fish.
The largemouth bass is Central Florida's most popular freshwater game fish. Much of its popularity is due to its aggressive attitude and willingness to strike a lure or bait with explosive force. They will strike almost any kind of artificial lure or live bait, but most are taken on plastic worms, surface plugs, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, bass bugs and shiner minnows.
The value of the largemouth in sport fishing has prompted a movement toward catch-and-release fishing. As a sport fish, specific bag and size limit regulations apply, and you can register a qualifying catch as part of the Central Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's "Big Catch" program.
Should you wish to eat your catch, the meat of the largemouth bass is white, flaky and low in oil content. The flavor depends upon the way the fish are cleaned and prepared. The strong weedy taste of bass caught in some Central Florida waters may be eliminated by skinning the fish and salting and peppering the fillets before battering. Fillets usually are fried, while larger ones may be baked. Florida fishing guides can provide you with additional information on freshwater fishing.