Fishing is one of America’s favorite hobbies. More than 49 million people participated in the aquatic sport in 2017, and that number continues to grow every year. Also in 2017, there were approximately 11.6 million youth participants (aged between six and 17 years) in fishing in the United States. Since Florida is one of the premier fishing destinations in the country (the Sunshine State boasts over 30,000 lakes and more than 1,200 miles of Atlantic coastline), it only makes sense that anglers the nation over would visit the famous state in the hopes of spending some time on the water. Whether you enjoy casting off from a lake, river, boat, or have a Florida deep sea fishing trip on your bucket list, you can find the perfect fishing spot in Florida.
However, airfare is notoriously expensive; why waste your money on a plane ticket when you can drive yourself there? The freedom of being able to travel from lake to lake on your own schedule (and the money you’ll be saving by avoiding the airport) makes a fishing road trip all the more worthwhile. Let’s check out a few ways you can ensure your Florida fishing trip is as perfect as possible.
Prepare Your Vehicle
Preparation is key if you’re planning a road trip, even if it’s simply across the state. You’ll want to get your car inspected ahead of time to ensure that no mechanical issues or broken air conditioners will disrupt your me-time. If you are towing a boat for your fishing trip, remember to take all necessary precautions along your route. Remember, the four main causes of auto damage are poor weather conditions, fender benders, speeding, and negligence. The latter cause is the most under your control, so keep an eye on the road, speed limits, and especially other drivers. A car accident is a thousand times more complicated, and dangerous, when you are towing another vehicle such as a boat.
Gather Your Supplies
Next, it’s time to pack for your fishing trip. Most important (of course) is your rod and essential tackle pack; you’ll need your tackle box, a good number of hooks, sinkers, floats, and lures. The rest is up to you — how much clothing you bring depends on the length of your trip, and other recreational items are completely optional. Of course, we would highly recommend that you pack a pair of sport sunglasses, both for the road trip and your fishing trip itself. The glare off the water can be blinding, which can make it hard to truly enjoy your Florida fishing trip. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., so plan and pack accordingly.
Plan Your Route
Road trips need to be thoroughly planned out in order to get the most out of them. Florida has hundreds of places to fish, and dozens of fishing charters to choose from. Figuring out exactly where you want to go before you leave will ensure that you have enough time to do everything you want to do. It will also help with the traffic; Americans drive the most during the summer months (July through September) at around 30.6 miles daily, meaning traffic — especially in the Sunshine State — will inevitably be busier than usual. By establishing an itinerary, you can plan for and avoid traffic jams, busy roads, and construction sites.
In a 2018 poll regarding New Year’s Resolutions, approximately 29% of women stated they wanted to focus more on self-care. While a road trip centered around fishing may not seem like everybody’s idea of a good time, it has phenomenal mental health advantages that absolutely count as a self-care adventure. Being out and about in nature has been proven to reduce stress levels and even improve self-esteem. In addition to helping you become more mindful and present, the repetitive activity of throwing a line can do wonders to create a calm and peaceful experience.
If you’re tired of your hectic daily routine, it’s time to take a break; request a week off, pack your car with a fishing rod and all the tackle you’ll ever need, and head on down to Florida.