Fishing in Polk County, Central Florida

The “Largemouth Bass Capital of the World”

Polk County – Favorite Destination for Bass Fishers

From the 16 canal-connected Winter Haven “Chain-of-Lakes” to the 34,948-acre Lake Kissimmee, to a canoe trip down the beautiful Peace River, the fishing is abundant here in Central Florida’s Polk County.

Bass fishing in Polk County’s phosphate pits is gaining attention among experienced anglers. Large mouth bass in excess of eight pounds are not uncommon for those seeking a trophy.

Sport fishermen will find more than 550 freshwater lakes and pits throughout Polk County. While natural lakes are popular for fishing and other water activities, phosphate pits bring a new challenge to bass anglers.

Phosphate Pits

Tenoroc State Reserve is the largest phosphate pit to join Polk County’s list of public waters. Five pits managed by the Florida Game & Fish Commission have been stocked with large mouth bass. Each pit has certain restrictions. For example, fly-fishing only is allowed in one pit, while another pit requires an angler be accompanied by a youth. Catch and release is practiced in one, while slot limits are practiced in another. Whichever pit an angler selects, bass fishing here will be a challenge not soon forgotten.

More than 500 acres of bass waters encompass Saddle Creek Park in Lakeland, one of the most popular recreational areas in Polk County. Overnight camping facilities are available, as well as hiking trails, swimming and picnic areas.

In addition to the reclaimed phosphate pits managed by the Florida Game and Fish Commission, Polk County has hundreds of public waterways including the Winter Haven Chain-of-Lakes available to bass anglers. Many area waters have a perimeter of bulrush, maidencane in mid-depths, and submerged hydrilla offshore, which provide excellent habitat for bass and their forage.

If you would like more information about hosting a fishing tournament in our area, please contact Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing at 863-551-4750.

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