Central Florida offers a fishing destination that is perfect for kayak and SUP anglers looking for trophy fish. We recently spent a weekend at this new fishing destination the weekend following the ICAST show in Orlando. We spent a couple of days exploring Sanford, Florida and New Smyrna, Florida for a little freshwater and saltwater fishing action.
As soon as the ICAST show was over, we took a short drive from Orlando to Sanford, Florida. We were excited to test our luck with a little freshwater fishing on the St. Johns River on Saturday, and a bit of saltwater fishing near New Smyrna for Sunday. We had a small entourage for the media tour, and were excited about the fishing destination for both days. We all met up for dinner on that Friday night to test the local fare in Sanford at a great little restaurant, Smiling Bison. This place was amazing and the food was even better! If you’re not familiar with the Sanford area, it’s a quaint little town in Central Florida within spitting distance of Orlando and all of the hustle and bustle that a major tourist destination offers. Sanford is somewhat reminiscent of “Old Florida” to a certain extent. After enjoying dinner, we headed back to the hotel to get geared up and rested for our low sodium fishing trip the next morning.
Now, I’ll admit that I’m not much of a freshwater fisherman. In fact, I love catching redfish, trout, and flounder to name a few, but was eager to get after a nice largemouth bass. Our group would have 2 charter captains and boats that day, Capt. Tom Van Horn and Capt. Chris Myers. Unfortunately, the bite was almost nonexistent for both boats that day, with only a couple of small bass being caught. We enjoyed the day on the water, and definitely seen our fill of decent bass, just nothing was biting it seemed that day.
Sunday ended up making our fishing destination everything we’d hoped for. We teamed up with Captains Billy & Bobby Fisher from Fisher’s Lagoon Charters that early morning, and set off for the famed Mosquito Lagoon. I’ve taken fishing charters many times before, and I think it is good practice to learn new areas and fishing tactics. I have never enjoyed a charter as much as with Captain Bobby. There were 4 of us on his boat along with his brother/mate Johnny. We could have very easily skunked out that day, and still had the time of our lives. To their credit, Fisher’s Lagoon Charters didn’t let us go without catching a ridiculous amount of speckled sea trout! There’s something to be said about spending time on the water with new people and having their passion become infectious. Capt. Bobby Fisher was 1st class in every aspect. Of course, when you’re reeling in stud trout after stud trout, then that simply makes the day that much more fun and exciting.
After an amazing day on the water, we all met up for a great lunch at Dolphin View Seafood Restaurant where we all shared our excitement over the day’s adventures. It was a great weekend learning new fishing destinations in Central Florida. If you’re looking for places to hit up the tourist sites of Central Florida but also want to take in some quality fishing, then we highly suggest making Central Florida #1 on your destination plan. Both sites on the St. Johns River and Mosquito Lagoon offer plenty of launch options for both kayak anglers and SUP anglers to test their skills and catch some trophy fish.