If you’re looking for a fishing getaway that offers the perfect combination of amazing fishing and amazing value, pack your favorite gear and make your way to Orlando North, Seminole County. We’re home to some world-class freshwater fishin’ holes, some of which are pretty big, and very beautiful. In fact, with more than 2,000 lakes and rivers throughout our destination, you never have to go too far to drop and line and get in on the action.
If you’re looking for a fishing experience that isn’t crappy, we highly recommend fishing for crappie. It’s the local favorite. (Fun fact: The name derives from the Canadian-French word “crapet,” used for many different species in the sunfish family.)
Our destination is an early stop on Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters tour, and attracts the top 120 anglers from around the country. Crappie, part of the sunfish family, are small, feisty creatures that put up a good fight. They’re plentiful and tend to run in schools, and fishing for them doesn’t require extensive planning. It can be as simple as finding a good spot and casting out from the banks. But local fishing guides are plentiful, so have your hotel recommend one and get ready for a great day of fishing -- and eating!
Fishing around here is not all crappie, though. Our bodies of water teem with bream, bass, bluegills, catfish and more. Experienced anglers love to get out on the St. Johns River, which is slow-moving and offers a wide variety of species. One fishing website said it best: “the bass fishing is legendary on the river and has been for decades.” The St. Johns winds around and connects three of Orlando North’s best fishing lakes: Monroe, Jesup and Harney. Here’s a quick overview:
• Lake Monroe, at 9,400 acres, offers prime crappie and bass fishing year-round. You can easily access it from ramps at the Sanford Marina and others nearby.
• 10,000-acre Lake Jesup is excellent for bass and crappie, and is noted for the area’s best bream fishing. If you’re taking a whole day away from the course, consider a detour to The Black Hammock, where you can add more fun with a thrilling airboat ride.
• Lake Harney, which borders Orlando North to the east, is located in the rural part of Seminole County and nestled among several large tracts of wild, protected land. I’s 6,000 acres are also good for bass, crappie and bream.
If you came prepared for golf and left your fishing gear at home, no problem. Orlando North has a bunch of shops, but let us recommend Bitters Bait & Tackle, which has row after row of products that’ll set you up for a day of casting and catching. They also have helpful staff that can set you up with the right stuff. Getting equipped for a casual outing can cost you as little as 25 bucks. The store is centrally located in Longwood, just a few miles from lakes Jesup, Monroe and Harney and the St. Johns River.
A day, or a few hours, without the sticks in your hand will do you some good. You’ll be fresh and ready to hit the links once more.