When you think of Florida, your mind probably wanders to Disney, golf courses, and retirees in Bermuda shorts hiked up just a little too high. But for the Sportsman, the huge diversity in habitats from the Florida/Georgia line all the way down to Key West creates a unique assortment of hunting and fishing opportunities. With environs as varied as the black waters of the Okefenokee Swamp, the redfish haunts of the Space Coast, the Osceola turkey haven in the center of the state, the giant bass waters of Lake Okeechobee, all the way down to the bonefish flats of the southern terminus, there is something for everyone.
There is no shortage of targets for anglers, with a wide variety of species within a short drive of each other. Even the ponds dotting the Disney compound are home to fantastic bass fishing with epic-sized bucket mouths, thanks to the limited pressure they receive. Whether you prefer fishing kayaks on a backwater swamp or deep sea fishing, there is an outfitter ready to make your angling dream a reality. Aficionados of the long wand will find plenty of fly fishing prospects in both fresh and saltwater, chasing everything from panfish to billfish. Largemouth, Shell Crackers, Catfish, Sailfish, Dorado, Tarpon, Bonefish, Permit, Swordfish, Seatrout, and Grouper are but a smattering of what’s available. Just about every port and body of water has plenty of charter boats and guides to put you on the fish.
While Florida is not the waterfowl Mecca that Arkansas is, it has a bucket list duck hunt. Tree Ducks are some of the most elusive of the 32 huntable species in North America due to their limited range, but they can be had by hooking up with an outfitter. Keeping with the rarity theme, the Osceola wild turkey is endemic to the Panhandle, found there alone. Because of this, many hunters hook up with local guides to finish their Grand Slams. This is also one of the few states to offer alligator hunting, for those looking for something a bit more unusual. Different outfits specialize in different methods of take, so whether the gun or bow is your favorite you can find the right operator to make it happen. And of course, the standbys of deer hunting and dove hunting are permitted in season. Hog hunting is available year-round so no matter when you visit you can fill the freezer with fresh pork. So whatever your Outdoor passions are, the Sunshine State has something for you.