By the Spring of 2024, anglers across Central Florida will have a brand-new freshwater fishing destination to cast their lines.

The Mosaic Company, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), and Hardee County broke ground on the Florida Fishing Trail, a series of nine freshwater lakes in Hardee County that contain sport fish such as largemouth bass, crappie (specks), bream, catfish and trophy-sized bass documented by FWC biologists during a recent sampling trip.

“The lakes that make up this phase of the trail provide an excellent example of the quality fish habitat found on reclaimed land,” said Russell Schweiss, Mosaic’s Vice President of Land and Resource Strategies. “This partnership will drive public utilization of these reclaimed lands and will become a growing economic driver for Hardee County as the trail continues to grow in future phases. We look forward to seeing the benefits this trail will bring the region in the years to come.”

When completed in Spring 2024, the Florida Fishing Trail will offer anglers a chance to cast a line along the shore or from one of the planned fishing piers. There will also be ramps to launch boats and kayaks.

“The Florida Fishing Trail will be a premier freshwater fishing destination in the region and will offer a variety of unique angling opportunities in one place,” said FWC Commissioner Gary Lester. “This exciting project is bringing new fishing opportunities to the Sunshine State and is made possible by our fisheries management staff and dedicated partners at Mosaic and Hardee County.”

During the groundbreaking event on March 24, representatives from each partner organization had an opportunity to express their support for and celebrate the development of this exciting new collaborative project.

“Hardee County is honored and excited to have a local destination opportunity for our residents and visitors that will allow exploration of the outdoors with great fishing lakes,” said Terry Atchley, County Manager for Hardee County. “We appreciate the partnership with our local and state agencies for this amazing attraction. Hardee County has the unique position to bring visitors to our beautiful community and to enhance, foster, and implement positive growth that will be enjoyable to our current and future generations to come.”