Author: Dushyant Kumar

Which Lure Should I Use for Freshwater Fishing?

With so many different pieces of equipment to keep track of — rods, reels, and lines — you might get a little overwhelmed when trying to pick the right lure for lakes, ponds, and rivers. While the best choice depends on the fish, cover, and water temperature, you’ll find that you can easily get away with a handful of different lures no matter where you’re fishing. Here are four lures to consider using on your next freshwater fishing trip.

Live Bait

Live bait is the most natural way to attract fish to your line. Many fishermen prefer live bait because it has a texture, taste, and smell that artificial bait can’t quite beat. But keep in mind that live bait does require proper storage, acclimation, and cleanup. If you want to use live bait in a freshwater setting, you’ll need to use bait that would normally live in the area you’re fishing in. Some of the most common live bait options to use in freshwater include:

  • Worms
  • Leeches
  • Insects
  • Minnows

Fishing Jigs

Decorated with either a feather, rubber, or plastic tale, jigs are a top choice for freshwater fisherman casting in water of virtually any temperature. Jigs typically feature a weighted head on one end of the lure and a single hook on the other end. Perfect for catching bass and other freshwater game, jigs are great fishing tools in shallow and deep bodies of water.  

Plastic Baits

Made with lightweight plastic, plastic baits are an affordable option. Most plastic baits are scented specifically to attract fish in ways that other lures can’t. Depending on the location you’re fishing in, you can customize your plastic bait with weights, jig heads, or spinners. Ideal for largemouth bass fishing, plastic baits are molded to resemble live bait such as:

  • Minnows
  • Crayfish
  • Frogs
  • Worms
  • Lizards

Spoon Lures

Metallic, round, and reflective, spoon lures are incredibly popular among fishermen in lakes, ponds, and other freshwater areas. That’s because they effectively catch light and reflect it to attract fish. Shop for spoon lures depending on the type of cover and game you expect to encounter, selecting from small, medium, and large options with either a single or treble hook. Not only are these lures dependable in a number of fishing scenarios, but they’re also offered in a range of colors.

Freshwater Fish Camp in Central Florida

If you’re looking for even more tips and tools to get all the hits on your next fishing trip, stop by Grape Hammock Fish Camp. From boat rentals to on-site bait sales, you can fully immerse yourself in fishing without ever having to leave the camp. To book your trip to Grape Hammock, contact us today.

Where Can Visitors Take an Airboat to See Alligators?

There are a lot of reasons to take your family on an airboat tour — experience an adrenaline rush, take a break from electronics, or check an item off your bucket list — but seeing gators is probably one of the main ones. While there’s never a gator guarantee on an airboat tour, there are certain places around the state where you’re more likely to spot one at any time of day. To make sure you get a good view of alligators on your airboat ride, take a look at the best places to book your tour.

Central Florida

Many think that South Florida is the best place to spot alligators, but Central Florida has just as many marshes, wetlands, and waterways — making it a top choice for visitors who want to take an airboat tour within range of other state attractions. In fact, some of the Everglades leads all the way up into certain parts of the area.  

The Everglades

Alligators thrive in Everglades National Park. That’s because this part of Florida is especially swampy, warm, and wet. Fortunately, the Everglades span over a massive chunk of the state, which means you can hitch an Everglades airboat ride without having to travel south. Beyond gators, you’re sure to spot a ton of other animals in the Everglades, such as:

  • Deer
  • Panthers
  • Frogs
  • Turtles
  • Lizards
  • Birds

A Local Fish Camp

Perhaps the best spot for prime alligator sightseeing is a locally owned fish camp that brings you as close to wildlife as safely possible. By booking a local tour with trusted captains, you can get even more of an authentic Florida experience. And when you book your airboat ride with a local tour company, you can expect longer ride times, a shorter wait, and even more excitement.

Book Your Airboat Tour 

If you’re interested in touring the Everglades on a locally owned airboat tour in Central Florida, book your ride with Grape Hammock Fish Camp. Family operated right on the waters of Lake Kissimmee, our fish camp offers airboat tours that take passengers right through the Everglades’ headwaters. To schedule a trip on one of our airboat tours, contact us today.

When Is the Best Time of Year to See Alligators on an Airboat Ride?

From picking the freshest fruit to watching flowers reach full bloom, some experiences are best when in season. But is there a right time of year to see alligators on an airboat ride? It might be true for some states. In Florida, however, just about every day of the year is filled with endless gator action.

When Are Alligators Most Active?

Because Florida has a year-round tropical climate, every season has prime opportunities to see gators on the shore and in the water. In fact, airboat tours are offered throughout the year because there’s always wildlife to watch out for. From the start of winter through the start of spring, Florida wetlands go through the “dry season.” On the other hand, during the months of May, June, October, and November, the Florida Everglades thrive in the “wet season,” or rainy season. Luckily, no matter which season you travel to the Everglades, you’re sure to spot some gators.

When Can I See Baby Alligators?

While you can easily see full-grown alligators throughout Florida and throughout the year, there’s a small window of time for those who want to see gators at their tiniest. Before the wet season starts, alligators start mating in Florida. So, by the time September rolls around, most female gators are ready to hatch their babies.

What Time of Day Will I See a Gator?

The right time of day to see a gator depends on the season in which you take a tour. Because Florida summers reach peak temperatures during the afternoon, gators are more likely to sunbathe early in the morning or right around sunset. That’s because these times of day are a cool escape from the extreme midday heat. However, during the winter months, gators tend to soak up the sun in exactly the opposite hours: the afternoon. Because winter temperatures can be lower when the sun goes down, gators like to take in as much heat as possible in the colder months.

Where Can I See Alligators on an Airboat Ride?

Depending on the time of year, hour of the day, and season of the state, you could come across gators of any shape or size. If you want to see one up close on your next trip to Central Florida, book an airboat ride with Grape Hammock Fish Camp. Touring through the headwaters of the Everglades, our USCG captains can map out all the best gator sightseeing spots. To reserve your seats on one of our airboat tours, contact us today.

Are Airboat Rides Safe for Everyone?

If you’re thinking about taking the family on an airboat
ride, chances are, you’ve got some questions. Beyond wondering how much fun
your kids will have and the kind of wildlife you’ll see, you’ll need to know
just how safe these attractions are. Luckily, you don’t have to personally test
each one to find out. Here’s how to make sure you book a tour with the safest
airboat ride in the area.

Certified Captains

With an experienced captain at the helm of your airboat
ride, safety always comes first. But what kind of experience should you look
for in a captain? Other than a license to legally operate the vehicle, make
sure your airboat captain is certified through an accredited institution, like
the United States Coast Guard. To earn this type of recognition, captains must
pass rigorous courses, training, and tests.

Check for
Safety Gear

Your airboat tour guide should provide proper gear before you get started, including lifejackets and headsets. Younger passengers or not-so-strong swimmers can wear their lifejackets throughout the tour. For adults who prefer to ride without, however, lifejackets will still remain close by for easy access in case of emergency. Furthermore, to protect your ears from the loud noise during the tour, most captains will pass out noise-reducing headphones.

Read Online

When searching for the safest airboat ride, you don’t have
to test them out yourself. Instead, go online and check the reviews of previous
passengers. To get the best picture of just how safe this adventure is for your
family, check for reviews from parents and first-time airboat passengers. Depending
on which website you use to find reviews, you might even be able to chat more
with the people who shared an opinion.

Look for
Locally Owned

While commercially owned airboat rides can still be safe,
they often operate under far more relaxed regulations when compared to locally
owned ones. If you’re looking for a locally owned airboat ride with
USCG-certified captains, top-of-the-line safety gear, and an unbeatable
reputation, book your airboat ride with Grape Hammock Fish Camp. We’ve taken
children and adults of all ages on the waters and across the vast landscape of
Lake Kissimmee. To get answers to all of your airboat ride questions, contact us today.

4 Things to Do in Central Florida This Summer

Of all the reasons you just can’t wait for summer — warm weather, blooming wildlife, and even more time outside — your upcoming Central Florida vacation is probably the biggest one. This year, instead of sharing your season with crowds, long lines, and lots of traffic, spend your time at some of the area’s locally owned and history-rich attractions.

Here are some activities that you can enjoy with your family, friends, or significant other this summer in Central Florida.

Sample a Few Delicious Sweets

No summer vacation is complete without some sweet treats. Satisfy your cravings and try some all-new flavors at Webb’s Citrus Candy Factory. Famous for their goat milk fudge and array of chocolate confections, this candy factory is favored by locals. Or, get your hands on some old-fashioned marmalade, jam, and jelly made locally at Davidson of Dundee. Sample some gourmet citrus chocolates and swipe some jars of your favorite fruity spread to take home.

Take a Stroll Through the Local Gardens

Central Florida is full of natural wildlife and nature preserves, some of which are personally grown and raised by local botanical experts. Visit Harry P. Leu Gardens to see acres of exotic plants, trees, fruits, and vegetables. If you’re in the mood for even more nature, head over to Mead Botanical Garden. This 47.6-acre public park features everything from a bike trail to a butterfly garden.

Beat the Heat at a Nearby Museum

If you’re looking for a unique way to take a break from the outdoors, spend part of your trip taking in local art, history, and art history at one of Central Florida’s nearby museums, including:

Embrace Adventure on an Airboat Tour

Do you want to add some adventure to your itinerary? Look no further than the one and only Grape Hammock Fish Camp. Known as one of the top airboat tours in the state, Grape Hammock’s airboat rides take passengers on a trip to experience the “real” Florida right on the waters of Lake Kissimmee.

Things to Keep in Mind When Camping in Florida

There are two kinds of campers: those who like to rough it out and those who prepare as much as possible. When camping in Central Florida, however, even the most spontaneous outdoorsmen need to keep a few things in mind before their trip starts.

Campground Rules

Camping is a freeing experience, but it’s not a free-for-all. Each campsite has its own set of rules that you need to clearly and carefully follow during your trip. From nightly curfews to prohibited pet policies, some rules can come with serious consequences for violating campers. Luckily, you can find them ahead of time by searching your campsite’s website or calling the office directory.

Even if it isn’t written in the rulebook, it’s common courtesy to keep your campsite clean and free of litter. You can maintain a tidy area by running through some quick chores after each meal, like properly sealing leftovers, throwing waste away in designated areas, and recycling any single-use pieces of plastic.

Bugs and Bites

With all the flying mosquitos and crawling ants, it’s hard to run from bugs in Central Florida. Luckily, you can prevent them from overtaking your campsite with a few simple tricks. Keeping ants away is often as easy as keeping everything covered. Protect your feet with close-toed shoes, and protect your food with secure, airtight containers.

To stop other bugs from bothering you and your family while camping, think about putting up citronella candles, stocking up on DEET-free bug spray, and packing extra layers of clothing. And, if you don’t already have one, find yourself a tent with a screened opening to keep the tiniest bugs from getting inside.

Sun Protection

Even under the cover of rain and clouds, the Florida sun is harsh. Since just one sunburn can itch, blister, and stop your family members from some of their favorite camping activities, you’ll need to do your best to prevent one.

Pack extra SPF in your camping kit and try to include a handful of options to make the application as easy as possible. From creams and lotions to sprays and sticks, there are tons of handy sunscreen products that will keep your family safe when swimming, hiking, or boating.

The Right Campsite

Whether you’re a local or not, don’t choose to camp at just any-old campsite. Instead, choose a locally owned one with unique amenities and plenty of things to do on-site, like Grape Hammock Fish Camp. Here at Grape Hammock, we offer boat rentals, cozy cabins, and exciting airboat tours.

And, we sell everything from boat gas to bait at our family-run marina. If you’re planning on camping in Central Florida, book your campsite or cabin with Grape Hammock today.

When Is the Best Time of Day to Fish for Bass?

Some days, it can feel like you’re landing every lunker bass around. Other days, it can feel like there’s no bass in the water at all. Because certain trips to the dock turn out completely different from others, you might be wondering if fishing is up to chance — or up to the time of day.

Let’s take a look at how lunker bass behave around the clock to see which hours are best to bait your hook.  

Early in the Morning

Morning time can be prime time for fishing because there’s usually little activity in the water. With fewer boats cruising and kids swimming, lunker bass are more likely to be on the search for food. Furthermore, while the sun is still at a low point, there’s just enough light in the water for bass to have an edge over their prey. That’s because bass have a complex sense of vision that allows them easily spot other fish and measure their distance with just a small amount of sunlight.   

Mid-Day Afternoon

When the sun shines at its highest, both bass and their prey have the clearest view of the day. Therefore, bright afternoons are not the ideal hunting conditions for bass. Because they are less likely to be able to sneak up on or effectively hunt smaller fish, lunker bass aren’t going to be as active in the afternoon. On days with a lot of pre- or post-storm overcast, however, a mid-day fishing trip can be just as effective as an early morning one.

Late in the Evening

Fishing in the evening is great for the same reasons as it is in the morning: there’s less traffic and just enough light for bass to have an advantage over prey fish. While bass are usually active in the evening as the sun starts to set, they become even easier to catch as the day goes on. In fact, fishing at night under a full moon gives bass enough light to hunt while being practically undetectable by prey, which gives them the confidence to jump at just about anything that crosses their path.

Of course, there are countless other things that can affect how many fish are biting during certain hours of the day: the weather, the season, and the body of water.

But no matter what time of day you choose to let your line loose, you’ve got the best odds when you stay with Grape Hammock Fish Camp. Located right on the waters of Lake Kissimmee, a breeding ground for lunker bass, our family-owned camp has cabins and campsites, so you can turn your fishing trip into a full vacation. For more information, contact us today.

Are Airboat Rides Fun for Kids?

Whether you’re on a budget or on a mission to find unique experiences to share with your family, it can be a bit of a struggle to find an activity your kids will actually have fun with. If you are a resident of or are traveling to Central Florida, however, you may have considered airboat tours as a potential adventure.

But if you’ve never been on one yourself, you might be afraid they’re a little bit too exciting or perhaps not exciting enough. To help you decide whether airboat rides are right for your family, check out all the features that make them a top choice for just about every parent.  

Unlimited Adventures

Where standard boat tours are slow and boring, airboat rides are fast and adventurous. As your airboat zooms across the waters around you, your children are sure to feel the same level of excitement as they would on their favorite kid-friendly roller coaster — except this ride lasts for more than just one or two minutes. Even if your kid is less daring, they’re sure to feel comfortable and have a great time with mom and dad right by their side on the tour.

Top-Secret Stories

Because airboat rides take passengers into the depths of local lakes and swamps, experienced airboat captains are typically resident experts of the area. If your kids are curious about Florida history or the secrets of the local land, they can ask their airboat captain for the inside scoop.

Instant Access

Nobody likes waiting in line — especially young children. Instead of taking them to an amusement park where most of their day will be spent standing around for their favorite rides, a bite to eat, or a turn in the restroom, take your kids to an airboat ride reserved in advance. This way, you won’t have to wait in never-ending lines or spend ridiculous amounts on special amusement park passes.

Unforgettable Moments

Because each airboat ride is different from the last, the memories made on a tour are so incredibly unique when compared to those made at even the biggest Central Florida amusement park. Ultimately, families choose airboat rides over other attractions so they can get everyone out of the house and on a fun-filled expedition like no other.

Reserve Your Airboat Ride

At Grape Hammock Fish Camp, our USCG captains will take your family on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure through the beautiful and bountiful Lake Kissimmee. Get close to exotic animals, learn from area experts, and feel the rush of the ride.

7 Ways to Make Fishing More Exciting for Kids

Fishing is your sport of choice, your favorite pastime, your lifelong hobby — and you want nothing more than to share this part of your life with your kids. But depending on their age and attention span, you could have a hard time getting them interested.

To spend quality time with your children and squeeze in more time doing what you love, check out these five tips that will get them as hooked on fishing as you are.

Buy Them Their Own Pole

You can easily get away with letting them borrow your spare rod for the first few trips, but if you want your kids to take fishing seriously, consider getting them their own poles. Remember, just like a kid’s first bicycle, a kid’s first fishing pole can make each trip more fun if it fits their age, frame, and skill level.

Let Them Lead the Way

Picking the best fishing spots might come easy to you, but you can make the experience way more enjoyable for your little ones by letting them lead the way instead. Feel free to give them some pointers of the kinds of areas fish tend to flock to, and watch as they try to figure out where to cast first.

Show Them Your Skills

As your child’s biggest role model, you can make fishing one of their favorite activities just by showing them how much you love it. Teach them your special baiting tricks, reeling technique, and other unique quirks that you’ve adopted over the years or learned from the anglers you look up to.

Explore the Area Together

Fishing trips can take you to some of the most beautiful bodies of water surrounded by endless amounts of natural scenery. So, anytime your kid gets anxious, fussy, or bored during your outing, you can easily turn the trip into an outdoor expedition that will reel their attention right back in.

Bring Their Favorite Snacks

A day out on the dock isn’t complete without plenty of water and energy-fueling food. Knowing this  ahead of time, you can use break time as an opportunity to pack your kids’ favorite snacks, drinks, and on-the-go meal — so they can see fishing as just as much of a treat as you do.

Have Nothing but Fun

Don’t get bogged down with the idea of bringing home a trophy-sized fish or turning your kids into overnight anglers. Make your day more enjoyable by putting your attention on bringing home the best memories instead.  

Stay at a Fish Camp in Florida

Immersing your child in the fishing experience is a great way to turn an afternoon outing into a full-fledged vacation. Out of the many fish camps in Florida, stay with one built on family fishing traditions: Grape Hammock Fish Camp. With dock and boat access to the bountiful Lake Kissimmee and an on-site shop to stock up on fishing essentials, you’ll have all the ingredients for a perfect fishing trip with your kids. When you’re ready to show them the ropes, reserve a cabin for the family or a camping site for your RV.

Fun Camping Games for Kids

Camping in Central Florida is unlike camping anywhere else. Between the unforgettable scenery, exotic wildlife, and never-ending outdoor opportunities, it can seem impossible to run out of things to do in Orlando during your trip. However, if you have some little ones in your group who aren’t as easy to entertain, it can also seem impossible to pull fun out of thin air.

Whether you need some ideas for planning ahead or on-the-fly activities to start using now, these games will help you turn any kid into a happy camper.

Camping Trip

This classic camping game is perfect to play on-site, but it will also keep your kids entertained on the way to and from your trip. With no materials required, you can easily play it on the road or around the campfire. The main phrase of the game is “I’m going on a camping trip and I’m bringing…” The first player starts the game by finishing the sentence with an object that starts with “a.” On the second player’s turn, they end the same sentence repeating the last player’s item and an item that starts with the next letter in the alphabet, “b.” Players who follow have to repeat the last player’s object and add a new one of their own until there are either no more letters in the alphabet to use or a player can’t remember the listed items.

Camping Charades

While camping in Central Florida, there’s a ton of inspiration to fuel your kids’ imaginations. Turn those daydreams into an active game the whole family can participate in, and round your campers up for a game of charades. Using a camping theme, you and your little ones can write down some ideas, toss them into a bowl, and take turns recreating what you all came up with. If you need some inspiration to toss in the charades hat, add items like “pitching a tent,” “going fishing,” and “roasting marshmallows.”

Balloon Ping Pong

Pick up some ping-pong paddles and a pack of balloons for endless hours of fun while camping in Central Florida. To set your players up for balloon ping-pong, swap out your regular ping-pong ball for a blown-up balloon. Balloons are much easier for smaller kids to keep track of and unpredictable enough to entertain players of all ages. Whether you want to set up a scorekeeping system or just let your little ones let loose with this simple and super fun game, your campers will no doubt have a blast.

Scavenger Hunt

Every camper wants to feel like an explorer. Take your little ones out to venture through the campsite with a camping scavenger hunt. You can place items out beforehand or write down objects you’re sure to find on your travels. Either way, your kids will have a blast checking each item off the list. If a tough-to-track item stumps your kids, you can nudge them in the right direction with a little insight. Some common camping objects worth putting on your list include, “feathers,” “leaves,” and “rocks.” Bonus items can include objects that are certain colors, shapes, or sizes. Depending on their age, feel free to group all of your little campers into one team or encourage them to work independently.

Camping in Central Florida

It’s always safe to have a few games prepared when you take your kids camping in Central Florida. But, if you stay with the right campground, you might not even have to use them. At Grape Hammock Fish Camp, we’re proud to make camping fun for all ages. Take your children on an adventure with one of our airboat tours, teach them some skills while fishing on one of our boat rentals, or encourage them to appreciate nature anywhere else on our site. To book your family-friendly trip, contact us today.

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