If Florida is the “Fishing Capital of the World” then Central Florida’s Polk County could easily be considered the “Freshwater Fishing Capital of the Fishing Capital.”
It’s not just our region’s more than 550 lakes that occupy over 135 square miles that draw fishing enthusiasts to Polk County; it’s also the diversity of freshwater habitats and the variety of fish species that inhabit area waterways that keep em’ coming back for more. It’s not difficult to understand why we earn consistent recognition as one of the top freshwater fishing destinations in the world.
Largemouth Bass Capital of the World
The best known and most popular game fish in the world – The Largemouth Bass – just so happens to be Florida’s state freshwater fish. The title “Largemouth Bass Capital of the World” is a testament to the king of the Polk County waters, the Largemouth Black Bass. Our temperate climate not only produces an abundance of largemouth bass, but allows them to reach impressive sizes.
Lakes for Bass Fishing
The Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, Tenoroc Fish Management Area, Mosaic Fish Management Area and the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes regularly produce catches of 10+ pound bass. The Kissimmee Chain of Lakes produced two B.A.S.S. all-time records: Dean Rojas’ record five bass limit weight of 45 pounds, 2 ounces (which still stands today) and the then-record four-day catch of 108 pounds and 12 ounces, caught during the 2006 Bassmaster Classic.
Cast for More than Bass in Central Florida
In addition to Largemouth bass, Polk County produces quality bluegill, crappie, bream, sunshine bass, catfish, gar, tilapia and chain pickerel. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission includes a high percentage of Polk County lakes in their rankings of top fisheries for specific species. Six of our lakes are in their top 13 lakes for crappie, and four Polk County lakes are listed in the FWC’s top 14 bream lakes. Many of the top largemouth bass lakes also rank highly in quality crappie and bream production including Lake Weohyakapka, Tenoroc Fish Management Area, Mosaic Fish Management Area, the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes and the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes.