Sometimes referred to as “Florida’s Inland Sea” or “The Big O,” Lake Okeechobee is the seventh largest lake in the United States and by far the largest lake in the Southeast region. Indeed, Lake Okeechobee covers a whopping 730 square miles. That is roughly half the size of the state of Rhode Island, but despite it’s massive size, it is also extremely shallow. In fact, the average depth of Lake Okeechobee is only around 9 feet. In total, Okeechobee holds approximately 1 trillion gallons of fresh water, and is the historic headwaters to the Everglades.
In the past, Okeechobee had been subject to volatile environmental factors that threatened to flood the surrounding areas. However, in recent years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has completed a number of major projects and canals that have done a lot to mitigate these risks for Florida residents. However, Lake Okeechobee is still a place where nature runs wild; tropical climate and shallow fresh water makes it one of Florida’s most robust biodiversity hotspots. This has made it a choice destination for nature enthusiasts and fishermen from around the country!
Fishing On Lake Okeechobee
Every year, the fertile waters of Lake Okeechobee draw fishermen by the thousands. The marine life thriving in our beloved Okeechobee is the stuff of legends. Most notable of this marine life are sizable populations of largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill. These are the main attractions for visiting fishermen, but other large species of fish can also be found here in Okeechobee, such as Pickerel.
The best fishing spots in Lake Okeechobee can be found at the northern part of the lake, around Kissimmee River and the City of Okeechobee. However, the southern stretches of the lake also have particularly fertile waters around Palm Beach County and Belle Glade. If you’re on the west side of Okeechobee, we recommend trying your luck in the waters stretching from Moore Haven to Lake Port. And last but not least, on the eastern side of the lake, Pahokee is our favorite fishing spot.
Okeechobee Fishing Competitions
There is no shortage of fish or places to find them on Lake Okeechobee, and for this reason, we play host to a number of fishing competitions throughout the year.
Over the course of the year, Lake Okeechobee will play host to recurring tournaments such as Slims Fish Camp Bassin Classic Tournament, Slims Maverick Fishing Tournament, Bass Busters Gold Division, Bass Buster Tournament Trail Classic, Hot Rods & Reels Charity NASCAR Fishing Tournament, and more!
There are fishing tournaments on the lake multiple times every month. However, you don’t need to be participating in the festivities to enjoy the natural bounty of Lake Okeechobee! Because we are the only hotel with a boat ramp into Lake Okeechobee, we host nature-loving guests year round. Many of them come for the fish, but many others come for our diverse bird population.
Birdwatching in Okeechobee
Okeechobee is famous for its marine life, but its incredible biodiversity goes much farther than that. Lake Okeechobee a hotspot for birdwatching as well. Those that set out onto this massive freshwater lake can expect to find a wide variety of beautiful coastal and marsh-dwelling birds such as Roseate Spoonbills, Tricolored Herons, and even the endangered Everglade Snail Kite.
Other birds that can commonly be seen by bird watcher include Bitterns and Limpkins. Even the elusive Sora can be heard calling out across the waters, but good luck catching a glimpse of this rare bird. The elegant Purple Gallinue is another species of bird that calls Lake Okeechobee home, along with the strange but fascinating Caracara. With a little hiking, you can also catch glimpses of vireos, warblers, northern parulas, and, if you’re lucky, the highly prized painted bunting.
Just remember to bring your binoculars!
The Pier II Advantage
What we offer at Pier II resort is truly unparalleled in the Okeechobee region.
Pier II Resort is the only hotel with a boat ramp into Lake Okeechobee. This gives our guests easy, direct access to all that Lake Okeechobee has to offer. Unsurprisingly, we have become a very popular choice for those planning fishing expeditions or other aquatic activities. But that’s not all…
While we provide easy access to the natural bounty of Okeechobee, we are also considered by many to be the best choice for Okeechobee visitors who prefer to enjoy what mother nature has to offer from dryland. If this sounds like you, we’d encourage you to come enjoy our observation tower, which is the highest point in all of Lake Okeechobee. Also, our boathouse bar is the only the bar in all of Okeechobee that is actually on the water. Both are great places to take in a sunset!
Put all these things together, and you’ve got an easy gateway to the natural world and the ultimate in Okeechobee relaxation, all in the same place. We can facilitate relaxing getaways for individuals, families, or large groups. If you’re planning a trip to beautiful Lake Okeechobee, don’t hesitate to get in touch! We’d love to talk more about what we can offer.