Tallahassee's Top Fishing Spots
Regional Fishing Hot Spots and Tips
Surrounded by a multitude of lakes, six rivers and located only 25 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, Tallahassee is a hot spot for fresh and saltwater fishing. Catch the big one at one of these regional hot spots and share socially using the #IHeartTally hashtag!
Lake Piney Z
A great location for fishing, whether from a boat or the bank, Lake Piney Z is 193-acre lake offering six fishing “fingers” that allow for lots of space for shoreline fishing. The lake is stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish and channel catfish. For anglers interested in fishing by boat, Lake Piney Z offers a hand launch only with no gasoline motors, so kayak or canoe would be the best option. Located just minutes east of Downtown, this is easily one of the most picturesque fishing spots in town. Don’t be surprised to see fathers and grandfathers teaching the next generation of anglers how to cast, reel and land the big ones. One word of warning…be sure to keep your eyes peeled for alligators that like to sun themselves on the banks nearby.
After a day of landing lunkers, stop off for an ice cold craft beer on the patio at Ology Brewing nearby. Sample one of their award winning brews and tell your tale of the one that got away!
Insider tip: Look for the fish attractors (sunken brush piles) located within casting distance off a few of the “fishing fingers.”
Located just north of Tallahassee, Lake Jackson has been nationally known for its largemouth bass fishery. This lake has a high diversity of aquatic vegetation including hydrilla, eelgrass, and maidencane, which are the best habitats to fish for bass. Although large in size (4,000-acres), Lake Jackson is shallow with an average depth of about 7 feet and a maximum depth of 30 feet. A natural sink-hole, Lake Jackson periodically goes dry. There are 5 public boat ramps around the lake and one fish camp. When water levels are low, the best ramps to use on Lake Jackson are Jackson View Boat Landing, Sunset Landing and Crowder Road Landing.
Insider tip: The best bass fishing time of year is the spring through early summer (February through May).
Located west of Tallahassee Lake Talquin is a manmade lake by the damming of the Oklockonee river. The 10,000-acre lake offers outstanding freshwater fishing including common species such as largemouth bass, striped bass, speckled perch, bream and catfish. For anglers who don’t have a boat, a small fishing dock is located at the River Bluff area, just west of the 650-foot boardwalk. The dock provides visitors excellent access to fishing from land. Lake Talquin is deep with an average depth of 15 feet and a maximum depth of 40 feet. There are 7 public boat ramps and 5 public fishing piers on the Leon County side of the lake (Hwy 20). On the Gadsden County side, there are 3 public boat ramps and 2 public fishing piers.
After a day on the water, venture into Lake Talquin State Park to enjoy a leisurely walk on the interpretive trail past ravine systems to a bluff overlooking the lake.
The park is an excellent place for wildlife viewing and bird-watching. Wildlife roaming the park includes deer, squirrel, turkey and the occasional bear. Birders are likely to spot bald eagles and osprey soaring high above the lake.
Insider tip: Lake Talquin is nationally known for its high-quality Black Crappie (speckled perch) fishery. The best Black Crappie fishing occurs in cooler months (December through April).
Fishing Guide: Harry Smith Outdoors
Offering opportunities for anglers to explore rivers, lakes and coastal waterways, Harry Smith Outdoors offers freshwater and saltwater fishing trips down the Aucilla River, Wacissa River, Lake Bradford Chain of Parks, Lake Jackson and the nearby coast. You’ll be hard pressed to find a guide who knows more secret spots than Harry!
Where to Find the BIG Ones!
TrophyCatch Florida is the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) freshwater, citizen-science, angler recognition program. TrophyCatch began in 2012 as a direct response to FWC’s Black Bass Management Plan, which placed an emphasis on establishing trophy bass fishing opportunities throughout the state. TrophyCatch was established to collect data on trophy bass while promoting bass conservation by rewarding catch-and-release fishing.
Search for Leon County to see some of the massive bass that inhabit our lakes… will your catch be on the list next?
Located 30 minutes to the south is the fishing village of St. Mark’s at the mouth of Apalachee Bay and the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Fishermen from all over flock to this area for its prized flats fishing. While trout and redfish are the favorite of many locals, tarpon, mackerel and jacks are also in abundance in the shallow inshore waters. For those seeking thrills in deeper waters, grouper, snapper and mahi are waiting for you just a few miles offshore.
Saltwater Guide: St. Marks Outfitter
Whether by kayak or a custom flats skiff, St. Marks Outfitters offers customized fishing adventures. If you’re a new angler or kayaker that needs a day of instruction, or an experienced angler with the desire to stalk trophy fish in shallow water, they can help make it happen.
St Marks Outfitters is located in the coastal fishing community of St Marks, Florida, which is adjacent to the St Marks National Wildlife Refuge. They offer a unique look at “old Florida” from coastal marshes, to crystal clear springs and rivers, to white sand barrier islands, their experienced crew invites visitors to fish, paddle, relax and be sure to bring your camera!