Florida swept the Take Me Fishing™ 2016 “Top 100 Family Friendly Places to Boat and Fish in the U.S.” list, hosting the top four locations with nine locations on the list in total—more than any other state. Recreational boating plus saltwater and freshwater fishing contribute more than $20 billion annually to Florida’s economy.
The top four locations on the list are: No. 1 Everglades National Park; No. 2 Bahia Honda State Park, Florida Keys; No. 3 Blue Springs State Park, St. Johns River; and No. 4 Lake Kissimmee State Park. The additional five Florida locations on the list are: No. 12 Suwannee River; No. 21 Hickory Point, the Harris Chain of Lakes; No. 44 Lake Osborne, Lake Worth; No. 52 Lake Okeeheelee, West Palm Beach; and No. 92 Katheryn Abbey Hanna Park, Jacksonville.
“Fishing and boating are dynamic activities that bring families together and get more people active and outdoors,” said Tom Champeau, director of FWC’s Division of Freshwater Fisheries. “Our state’s ranking on this list further proves that Florida truly is the Fishing Capital of the World. The FWC is dedicated to and will continue to provide great fishing and boating opportunities.”
More than 100 state parks offer fishing as a family-friendly activity. To find one in your area, visit FloridaStateParks.org. Some parks also offer fishing piers along the coasts, rivers, lakes and springs.
“Florida State Parks are an outstanding resource for Floridians and visitors,” said Florida Park Service Director Donald Forgione. “Fishing and boating opportunities are abundant in many of our 174 state parks, trails and historic sites, and I am thrilled to see that three of our parks are considered among the best in the nation.”
The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing™ campaign initiated a nationwide vote to provide families and outdoor enthusiasts with a recommended list of the best family-friendly places to experience the joys of boating and fishing. Criteria for the top places to fish and boat included having a public body of water within driving distance of a major city, good fishing opportunities and family friendly amenities. Approximately 35,000 different anglers and boaters cast nearly 650,000 votes to support their favorite fishing and boating locations.
“The best way to enjoy fishing and boating is to find a special place to fish with family and friends, so we’re thrilled that so many people shared their favorite place to engage in this national pastime,” said RBFF President and CEO, Frank Peterson. “If you and your family haven’t tried fishing, we hope you’re nearby one of the Top 100 spots to cast away. It’s a great way to enjoy, conserve and restore our nation’s aquatic natural resources.”
View the entire “Top 100 Family Friendly Places to Boat and Fish in the U.S.” list at www.takemefishing.org/blog by clicking on the featured article. Access regional and species-specific lists of great locations to fish in Florida by visiting MyFWC.com/fishing and clicking on “Freshwater,” “Fishing Sites and Forecasts.”