best boating lakes in florida.

The 5 Best Boating Lakes in Florida

The state of Florida is known for many things, from sunny beaches and theme parks to scary alligators in wetland locations such as the Everglades and swamps. With its near-tropical climate and appeal, an abundance of daytime delights, and family-friendly theme parks and destinations, people tend to forget that the best boating lakes in Florida are just as good as any other boating lake found in the United States.

If you are the type of person looking to brave the raunchy waters of Florida and look to catch some heavyweight fish, then this guide should come in handy. We will talk about the best boating and fishing destinations, the amenities and services you can expect from each, and a few important statistics that will help you decide which boating lake to go to.

If you are ready to learn more about Florida’s water-based attractions, then keep on reading!

Our Most Recommended Boating Lakes and Destinations in Florida

1. Lake Okeechobee

lake okeechobee

Lake Okeechobee, the largest freshwater lake in Florida, is one of the top ten largest natural freshwater lakes in North America. Its name is traced back to indigenous origins and translates roughly to big water.

Sharing jurisdictions with numerous states across the United States, this inland sea is of great size and volume. According to recent measurements, this lake has a surface area of 734 square miles, an average depth of almost 9 feet, and a maximum depth of approximately 12 feet.

It provides several practical functions, including the following:

  • Flood and Storm Mitigation
  • Vessel Navigation
  • Water supply
  • Preservation of Ecosystems
  • Recreational activities

From a recreational perspective, you will be able to enjoy the following activities:

  • Fishing
  • Water sports
  • Boating
  • Scenic tours
  • Museum visits
  • Hunting
  • Camping
  • State park visits

If you fancy yourself a fisher, then here are the following notable fish species to keep an eye out for:

  • Bluegill
  • Redear sunfish
  • Largemouth bass
  • Chain pickerel
  • Black crappie
  • White bass
  • Sunshine bass

2. Lake Istokpoga

lake istokpoga

Lake Istokpoga is another beautiful freshwater lake located specifically in Highlands Country in the state of Florida.

Gaining its natural volume from Josephine Creek and Arbuckle Creek, this lake has a reported surface area of almost 27,000 acres, an average depth of roughly 4 feet, and a maximum depth of approximately 10 feet.

Although this lake does not do as much as the previous entry, we have this lake listed here as one of the best because of how serene and diverse the environment is. Look to accomplish the following while in Lake Istokpoga:

  • Bird watching
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Water-based tours
  • Land tours
  • Scenic walks
  • State Park visits

The notable fish species found and caught in this destination are the following:

  • Black crappie
  • Largemouth bass
  • Channel catfish
  • Sunfish
  • Bluegill
  • Shell crackers

3. Lake Tohopekaliga

lake tohopekaliga

Another modest entry in our list of best boating lakes and destinations is Lake Tohopekaliga, known by some locals as West Lake or Lake Toho.

This lake has a surface area of roughly 22,700 acres and attributes its inflow and outflow to Shingle Creek and Kissimmee River.

There are several offerings to avail of and facilities to visit in this destination, including the following:

  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Lighthouse tours
  • Children's play areas
  • Marinas
  • Water-based tours
  • State Parks
  • Theme Parks

There is an abundance of aquatic flora and fauna in this lake. The notable fish species that can be caught in this destination are the following:

  • Spotted bass
  • Bluegill
  • Walleye
  • Largemouth bass
  • Black crappie
  • Redear sunfish
  • Spotted sunfish
  • Warmouth
  • Chain pickerel
  • Longnose gare
  • Channel catfish

4. Blue Cypress Lake

blue cypress lake

Blue Cypress Lake, known years ago as Lake Wilmington, is a lake found in the Indian River County of Florida and is considered to be the largest lake in the region.

With a surface area of approximately 6,500 acres and an average depth measurement of 8 feet, this humble lake attributes its intake of water to several creeks to its south, including Mudfish Slough, Fisher Creek, Holman Canal, and a couple of other bodies of water to its west (Trim Creek and Blue Cypress Creek).

Admittedly, there are not as many attractions in this destination as the lakes mentioned earlier, but you can expect to have a good time doing the following:

  • Picnicking
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Nature trekking

The Blue Cypress Lake has an abundance of fish species, including the following:

  • Largemouth bass
  • Redear sunfish
  • Black crappie
  • Catfish
  • Bluegill
  • Chain pickerel
  • Shell crackers
  • Warmouth

5. Lake Kissimmee

lake kissimmee

Last but not least is Lake Kissimmee, a uniquely shaped lake that is almost entirely situated within the boundary of Osceola County in Florida.

Just like the first entry in our list, the term Kissimmee is rooted in indigenous origins, roughly translating to long water.

According to recent surveys, this lake has a surface area of approximately 142 square miles, an average depth of 5 feet, and a maximum depth of around 12 feet.

This lake is arguably the best destination to visit if you are also looking to marvel at the abundance of land-based and air-based wildlife. As a result of an abundance in species overall, visitors get to enjoy the following activities:

  • Birdwatching
  • Fishing and boating
  • Island hopping
  • Resorts
  • Nature tours
  • State Park visits
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Swimming
  • Theme Park visits
  • Gator Park tours
  • Canoeing and kayaking
  • Hiking
  • Biking

Let us not forget about the noteworthy fish species in this lake! These are the most caught fish in the area in recent years:

  • Largemouth bass
  • Black crappie
  • Redear sunfish
  • Bluegill
  • Channel catfish
  • Chain pickerel

Conclusion

The state of Florida, the theme park capital of the world, the subtropical destination for beachgoers, the wetland attraction for scientists and adventurous people, should also be known for its boating and fishing lakes.

With the list of best boating lakes in Florida we have provided for you, you are almost guaranteed a wonderful time, whether alone, with friends, or with family. If you have any plans to unwind and get a lot of stuff done, then Florida is one of the most ideal states for you to visit.

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