Land of the Lakes: Orlando a Popular Fishing Destination

Thousands of lakes in Central Florida beckon travelers to explore a different side of Orlando.

When you think of Orlando, you probably think Mickey-Mouse ears and theme parks. But beyond the parking lots and the roller coasters is a quieter attraction. Central Florida is home to not hundreds, but thousands of lakes. Lately, these lakes have been getting a lot of publicity as hot-beds for fishing. Bassmaster has just named their top 100 lakes nationwide for bass fishing, and five are within 100 miles of Orlando. National not-for-profit group Take Me Fishing  released a survey citing five lakes in Florida among their top 10 nationwide for family-friendly fishing. Kissimmee State Park and Blue Springs State Park, ranked fifth and eighth respectively, are within an hour's drive of Orlando's main attractions.

Take Me Fishing has also partnered with Walt Disney World to offer more fishing opportunities directly from the resorts. Families can fish right off the dock from Fort Wilderness Lodge or Port Orleans or take a guided boat and fish around the resort's lagoons, including the lake at Epcot’s World Showcase. While fishing in the shadows of the Eiffel tower is certainly a one-of-a-kind experience, guests can opt for a more traditional, guided fishing trip with Wild Florida in the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes and the head of the Florida Everglades. 

While a day or two at the theme parks is a must-do in Orlando, you're missing the boat if you don't at least schedule a day for the area's natural side. Once you’ve reeled that first fish into your boat, you’re sure to get hooked. 

Bringing in the big one (courtesy of Take Me Fishing/Walt Disney World)