Many Different Waters: A Fisherman’s Paradise
With nearly 40 percent of South Walton’s land preserved for nature, pristine natural beauty is one of the primary attractions of the area.
Intertwined with the land, of course, are the diverse waterways that add many more dimensions to this destination. In addition to their incredible scenery, these provide anglers of all levels with new ways to experience the thrill of fishing.
While the turquoise water is always great for gazing, it’s also an incredible place to wet a line. Gulf charter fishing options abound in South Walton, including Just Right and Lil Lucky out of Baytowne Marina. Over in Grayton Beach, you can depart directly from the sugar-white sand with the help of charter services such as 30Angler. Return to land and take your fresh catch straight to your grill.
For somewhat calmer waters and a more relaxed experience, consider chartering a boat to head out on the Choctawhatchee Bay. Feeding into the Bay is the Choctawhatchee River, Florida’s fourth largest in total volume. If you’re in need of a knowledgeable guide, Choctawhatchee Bay Fishing Charters out of Freeport has a strong understanding of these waterways and the fish that inhabit them.
Also in Freeport is Grady Brown Park, located at the Clyde B. Wells Bridge on US Highway 331. Getting onto the water is easy, thanks to an ADA-accessible kayak launch, plus two boat ramps with parking for both vehicles and trailers. There’s even a convenient boat-washing station.
Further north of the Bay, there are also plenty of opportunities to explore lake angling. At the northern edge of the county, Paxton rests right on Lake Jackson. Straddling the Florida-Alabama border, this peaceful lake allows you to spend a leisurely day fishing with a view of lush woodland scenery. Walton County Parks and Recreation manages a convenient fee-free public boat ramp for motorized boats. You can fish the lake with a valid Alabama or Florida fishing license, but it must match the state side where you launch and pull out your boat.
Looking for a place to stay that keeps you close to the fishing? Twin Lakes RV Park in DeFuniak Springs is located on a picturesque peninsula with water on three sides. They are well-known for their watersports and were recently voted the Best RV Park, small size category by the Florida and Alabama RV Park and Campground Association (FRVCA).
Straddling the line between freshwater and saltwater, the area’s rare coastal dune lakes are found only in a handful of worldwide locations such as Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand and Oregon. These irregularly shaped depressions only average about 5 feet in depth and intermittently create connections with the Gulf of Mexico.
Arguably the most popular one in the county is Western Lake. For easy access, the Boathouse Paddle Club in WaterColor is situated right along the shore. Some of the best launching points for other coastal dune lakes are found in local state parks such as Grayton Beach State Park and Topsail Hill Preserve State Park.
As you can see, when it comes to fishing in Walton County, the greatest challenge may be deciding what type of challenge you want to take on. But with all the stunning backdrops, even your most outlandish “fisherman’s tale” is sure to have quite a beautiful setting.