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Off the Beaten Path... Catching the Big One at Walt Disney World

  • Jun 26, 2011
We love Walt Disney World for attractions, resorts, restaurants, characters and more. But for many of us who return time after time, there is always something a little less traveled at the "World" that also brings us back. This series is about some lesser known or frequented Disney magic that helps make the experience special or unique… and which takes you off the beaten path at Walt Disney World.

Fishing has been part of the Disney experience way before even Disneyland opened. Mickey and friends have always been fond of fishing, the cartoons of which were a wonderful outlet for fun and humor. Has anyone seen Goofy’s instruction cartoon on How to Fish or Mickey in Fishin’ Around?

Add the emphasis on water throughout Walt Disney World; it should be no surprise that Walt and the Disney Imagineers would have provided dock and boat fishing opportunities for guests of all ages and skills.

It’s been said that record catch was a 14+ pound largemouth bass pulled from a WDW lake, but 2-8 pounds are the normal catch and 10-12 pounds are out there in the lakes and canals. By the way, it is a “catch and release” policy for everyone trolling the Bay Lake, Seven Seas Lagoon and other waterways. Bassmaster rods and reels, depth finders and other professional-grade fishing equipment are available for loan to use in Disney stocked lakes. Also for hire are cast members who are expert fishing guides.

Wilderness Lodge. Photo by Disney
During construction of the Magic Kingdom theme park in the late 1960s, more than 70,000 bass fingerlings were released into Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon. Organized fishing tours didn't start at Walt Disney World Resort until 1977, leaving bass to grow and breed undisturbed for years. On most outings you should catch five to 10 fish, depending upon time of day, number of people on board ... and luck. Guided fishing excursions can be booked at 407/WDW-BASS (2277).

Guided tours for catch and release fishing excursions leave many Disney Resorts including Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Contemporary Resort, Wilderness Lodge, Polynesian Resort, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, BoardWalk Inn and Villas, Port Orleans Resort, Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, Caribbean Beach Resort, Coronado Springs Resort, Saratoga Springs Resort and Old Key West Resort.; also from Downtown Disney.


Photo by Disney
All Walt Disney World Resort Guided Fishing Excursions last about two or four hours and include supplies for up to five guests. Make your reservations 24-hours in advance; plus the outing will depend on the weather. You are not permitted to bring your own food, drink or coolers. And please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your reservation. There are no evening excursions. Included in the excursion price are:
  • An experienced guide
  • Rod and reel, tackle
  • Artificial and live bait
  • Beverages
  • One year B.A.S.S. membership

The costs for various fishing opportunities are pretty consistent around the “World” but are subject to change without notice. Mostly because of the Florida weather, it might be best to select the earliest reservation. You can bring your own equipment if you wish but it doesn’t change the price. Soft drinks are included. When you make your reservation [407/WDW-BASS (2277)] a credit card is required since there is a charge for no-shows and for cancellations with less than 24-hours’ notice.

Cost Per Trip for Up to 5 People on Pontoon Boat

  • Two Hour Tour - 7:00 am - $270
  • Two Hour Tour - 10:00 am - $270
  • Two Hour Tour - 1:30 pm - $235 (1 person is $170)
  • Four Hour Tour – 7:00 am - $455
  • Four Hour Tour – 10:00 am - $455
  • Nitro Bass Fishing Boat for Two People – Same Pricing and selections as above

Here is a 5-minute video from DIS Unplugged from a fishing excursion on Disney property:

Dockside Fishing

Port Orleans Riverside Fishing Hole at Ol’ Man Island
You don’t need reservations. The hours will vary depending on the season, but normally are 7:00 am to 3:00 pm. Stocking of the waterways include bass, catfish and blue gill and is also catch and release. Individual cane poles and bait rent for $4 for a half-hour and family fishing for up to 6 people is $12.50 per half-hour. (Remember to add tax to all these rental fees.) And children under 12 need an adult with them.

Fort Wilderness Resort & Campgrounds
Here your fishing pole can be used from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. An all-day rental of a casting fishing rod is under $13 and for a cane pole something less. Bait is about $6.00. However with your own equipment, there is no charge for the rod or pole and the fishing is free.

Here are two links you might interesting.

I hope you have enjoyed this edition of “Off the Beaten Path” as A World View continues to search out what truly makes Disney the most magical place on earth.


Photo by Disney.

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About the reviewer
Bruce Brodsky ()
Ranked #116
Hi folks. My blog is A World View - Enjoying Walt Disney World. I actually think it was watching a True-Life Adventure called the Living Desert that started my enthusiastic love of Disney. I must have … more
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