“Why would anyone go FISHING at Disney World?” you ask. After all, it’s the happiest place on earth because of Mickey Mouse, fun rides, and fabulous entertainment — not because of large mouth bass.
But when you visit Disney World annually, like my family does, sometimes you like to try new things to keep it exciting. That’s how we ended up fishing at Disney World this year.
Our fishing at Disney World experience
After deciding to stay at Boardwalk Inn, I looked into booking a fishing excursion. My husband and kids, 13 and 10, love fishing and I know I had seen pontoon boats for hire across Crescent Lake from Boardwalk at Yacht Club. The lake also connects to the World Showcase Lagoon in Epcot and a waterway to Disney’s Hollywood Studies.
I found Disney’s information on fishing under recreation and called 407-939-BASS with questions. I reserved a 2 hour cruise from 10am-noon on the Saturday of our visit.
As our fishing trip approached, we realized that fishing from 10am-noon in the midday heat was less than ideal. It would be hot, the transportation boats to and from Epcot and Hollywood Studios would be running, and did we mention it would be hot? We rebooked for 7-9am.
It was cloudy and cool when we arrived at the marina, a short walk from our hotel. Our guide, John, loaded us on the boat. He was a direct person vs. a gregarious, chit-chatty person. That was okay. I didn’t care as long as he could put us on the fish.
And, boy, did he put us on the fish. This was my kind of fishing! It was DISNEY fishing, i.e., they want you to be happy and catch fish. The live bait (minnows) worked wonders.
We all caught multiple fish over 2 hours in the 3 locations we tried: a spot by the America pavilion on the World Showcase Lagoon, some shallows near Hollywood Studios, and literally 2 feet away from the boardwalk in front of the Yacht Club.
My husband caught the biggest large mouth bass of the day at 4 1/2 lbs.
I was a little worried that my husband wouldn’t enjoy fishing at Disney World. After all, another man was driving the boat. And, another man was baiting the hooks. But my husband loved it! It was more relaxing and fun, he said, especially after he caught the largest bass of the day.
In all, my husband caught 4 fish, I caught between 5-10 (I seriously lost count), and both kids caught over 10. Like I said, it was my kind of fishing!
As we drove back to the Marina, our guide mentioned that in over a decade of fishing at Disney World, he had only been blanked twice. I was glad that wasn’t us because it was a lot of fun catching so many bass.
Details about fishing at Disney World
- Fishing at Disney World is sponsored by TakeMeFishing.org.
- An experienced guide will lead your excursion.
- Fishing is catch and release for large mouth bass.
- As of May 2017, 2 hours of guided fishing for up to 5 people on a pontoon cost $270. AAA or Disney Vacation Club discount brings it down to $229.50.
- All equipment is provided. Soda pop and water are also included. (If you’re like me, you’re thinking they better be for that price!)
- Available times are 7-9am or 10am-noon.
- Check the Fishing at Walt Disney World webpage for available locations, including Lake Buena Vista by Magic Kingdom, Bayside Marina by the Epcot resorts, Disney Springs, and properties like Caribbean Beach and Old Key West Resort.
- Call 407-939-BASS with questions and to make a reservation. I do not know if they accepts walk ups, so definitely call ahead or seek the help of your hotel’s concierge if staying on property.
- Children under 13 MUST wear a life vest. Our guide thanked our ten-year-old daughter for being gracious about it. Some kids must throw a fit, so prepare your little ones.
- Speaking of little ones, make sure they use the bathroom before going on the trip. No heads on the boats!
- You have until 11pm the night before to cancel (double-check when you book that this is still true).
- Your fishing experience is NOT linked to your My Disney Experience account, the online reservation system the holds your Fast Passes and dining reservations.
- Transportation to any of the fishing locations is your responsibility. If you are going on the earlier trip and need to take a bus or boat to get there, then make sure they are running.
Do you like fishing? Do you like Disney World? Have you ever tried fishing at Disney World?