With 1,800 acres of water spread across four interconnected lakes, the Conway Chain of Lakes is a beautiful place for fishing in Orlando, Florida. Bass, shad, bream, and catfish are all commonly fished for in these clear waters.
Easy to get to and nearby many famous attractions, taking a fishing trip or a full vacation to this area couldn’t be easier. If you’re looking for a fishing spot that’s guaranteed to deliver, this lake system is the place to be.
A popular place for watersports, family days out, and angling, the Conway Lakes has so much to offer. Let’s take a look at why this destination holds a top spot for bass fishing and how you can make the most of it.
Welcome to the Conway Chain of Lakes
Conway’s four lakes are all connected by canals and can be accessed throughout the year. Officially, there are only three lakes, Lake Conway, Big Lake Conway, and Lake Gatlin.
Due to the shapes and canals linking the four portions of these two lakes, they’re often referred to as West, East, Middle, and South. Or confusingly, sometimes they are referred to as Middle Lake, Little Lake Conway, and South Lake.
All the lakes boast exceptionally clear water with a mostly sandy bottom and the canals are maintained year-round. The average depth is around 8 ft but there are places that see 30 ft depth.
The lakeshore is prime real estate with private docks. Public access is limited but worth the effort thanks to the chain’s beautiful water and impressive fishing opportunities.
How to Get There
It’s easy to see why the Conway Chain of Lakes is so popular. Not only does it have clear water, it’s also perfectly located. Just 10 minutes from Orlando International Airport and immediately south of Downtown Orlando, the Conway lakes are easy to get to whether you’re local or visiting.
There are also shopping, dining, and entertainment districts in close proximity for the lakes making this a fantastic overall vacation destination.
Public Boat Ramps
There are two public boat ramps serving the Conway Chain of Lakes. There is no parking available at Venetian boat ramp and a small amount of parking at Randolph Avenue ramp.
Venetian Boat Ramp: 5509 McCawley Ct, Belle Isle, FL 32809
Randolph Avenue Boat Ramp: 5638 Randolph Ave, Orlando, FL 32809
While much of the lake bottoms are hard sand, there are patches of eelgrass and peppergrass. There are excellent fishing opportunities throughout the lake chain so you can spend days exploring the different pools and seeing what you catch.
As the water is so clear, it’s not difficult to spot deeper sections and offshore ledges to try your luck by.
No matter what the wind direction is, you’ll always be able to find a sheltered spot as different sections of the lake chain offer protection from varying wind angles. From the public boat ramps, you can travel through the cut to the northeast and head up into Little Lake Conway.
This eastern section of Little Lake Conway has two small islands with water depths up to 22 ft on the approach to the smaller of the two. To the northeast of the islands is a further section of water reaching 30 ft of depth.
To the west of Little Lake Conway, there’s another deep section on the approach to the cut up into Lake Gatlin, seeing depths of 30 ft.
In the main pool of Lake Conway, you’ll find two large sections of deeper water, one in the western third of the lake and the other to the northeast. A third deep area is located in the southeast of the pool.
The south lake has depths between 20 and 26 ft in the center.
Catch Those Bass
Lake Conway fishing is great for a variety of species including live bait. Crappie and chain pickerel are found in these waters. But many anglers come to the Conway Chain of Lakes for the same reason. Bass fishing.
Largemouth bass is famous here at Lake Conway, especially for schooling in the summer months. Typically early morning, you can see schooling activity out in open water so be sure to arrive early.
White spinnerbaits and topwater lures are a good choice for schooling bass but give different methods a try to see what works on the day you’re out.
Bass caught in the chain are often around 4 lbs with some anglers catching chucks around the 10lb range. Many anglers catch 30 or more bass in a single weekend and some catch significantly more.
With crappie another fantastic fish to go for here, you won’t leave the lakes disappointed.
Fishing for the First Time?
If your first fishing trip is to the Conway Chain of Lakes, you couldn’t have picked a better place. With year-round fishing opportunities and a wealth of beautiful scenery to explore, this is a great place to get started.
If you’re looking for bass, it’s important to understand their habitat and behavior. Bass tend to like clear water but get protection from grass and ledges. You can recognize these lively fish by their green bodies and dark blotches patches across their backs.
Because they like cover, try fishing for bass near protected areas like boat docks, rocky patches, and ledges. This is even more important on bright, sunny days as the light makes them unwilling to swim in clear open water.
Lures for Bass
You’ve got your rod but what about lures?
You’ll want a range of lures to try out on your bass fishing trip. Topwater lures can be great for schooling fish as they float on the surface and attract the bass. These lures come in many colors and their action on the top of the water mimics the bass’ natural prey.
When a bass takes the lure, wait a few moments before reeling in to ensure the bass is properly hooked.
White spinnerbaits are another good option, especially for overcast days when bass are more likely to come into open water. These lures have metal parts that spin in the water and create movement that attracts bass. They also catch the light and glint, making them more visible to fish.
A variety of jigs will also help you catch some bass. Jigs have a lead weight and the body of the lure is usually plastic or silicone, mimicking the shape of a small fish. Swim jigs or flipping jigs using a vertical jigging motion do rather well depending on the weather.
What to Take
You’ll want to be well prepared for your Florida bass fishing adventure, especially as the Conway Chain of Lakes is so beautiful you’ll be out there for hours at a time.
The first thing to ensure you have is the appropriate Florida fishing license. You can purchase your license online, at a licensed agent or tax office. Reduced prices are available for Florida residents.
Be mindful of the weather conditions for your trip but with the Florida sunshine, comfortables shorts and a t-shirt are best. Take closed-toe shoes like trainers to prevent injuries from lures and bring waterproofs in case of rain.
Sunscreen is crucial in Orlando, especially when fishing. The sun’s rays bounce off the water surface so a hat is not enough to protect your face. Insect repellent will also come in handy, no one wants insects to ruin their fishing trip.
Leave spare dry shoes ashore as water might get into the bottom of the boat and a towel is always useful to clean your hands after handling all those bass you’ll be catching.
Last but not least, remember your camera and dry bag to store it in. No one will believe you caught that huge bass if there’s no photo evidence!
Take a Fishing Trip to the Conway Chain of Lakes
The Conway Chain of Lakes is a fantastic place to try your hand at bass fishing as the waters are clear and abundant with fish. These four large pools offer a range of lake bottom surfaces from shallow sand to eelgrass and deep holes.
The Lake Conway area is easy to reach with the neighboring Orlando airport and evening dining and entertainment are just a stone’s throw away. Downtown Orlando and Disney are all close by so a vacation to this area has something for the entire family.
The Conway lakes are popular throughout the year and you’ll see many anglers enjoying the rich pickings. Go for bass, crappie, or bream and don’t forget to take photos of every catch.
If you want the best fishing trip possible, book a charter with us and we’ll teach you all the tricks to catch the bass you’ve been dreaming of.