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Feb 17, 2007 05:30 AM

fish camps? FL flavor and fun

after reading thru the dive-bar thread, i became enamored with the idea of checking out some more central area fish camps. (having grown up along the St. Johns, i have a fondness for river dives)

the only ones i've been to within the past 10 years or so are lone cabbage, black hammock and one near sebring that i can't even remember the name of.

i drove by some interesting looking ones in astor off of SR 40 not too long ago after visiting the blackwater inn.

poignant article about fish camps in FL:

google maps showed me this place in mims:

and i've driven by one a couple of times near geneva off of SR 46, i think it was one of these:

Marina Isle Fish Camp
(no website that i could find
)3821 W. State Rd. 46
Geneva, FL 32732
(407) 322-4786

this one looks interesting as well:

anyone have any favorite fish camps to share?

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  1. There's a place called Cherry Pocket in south Osceola or Polk counties that's said to be extremely good. I'll bet Bob Mervine could tell us about it.

    Also there is/was a fish camp / restaurant on the north side of East Lake Toho northeast of Kissimmee.

    Unfortunately fish camps are going away and turning into "Fine Waterfront Communities."

    1. Would that I could, but aside from the easily-determined Web site <> this one is new to me.

      I'm enjoying the research, however my experiences are limited to Black Hammock near Oveido and JBs in New Smyrna, although the food at The Catfish Place in Apopka and St. Cloud is comparable to their cuisine without the long ride in the woods and the skeeters.


      1. no way is catfish place in apopka even on a par with a fish camp.

        even JBs is just a fish camp in name only.

        i'm lookin for real fish camps.

        and even the links to ones i've provided are not really authentic.

        they're the disney of fish camps.

        i remember, as a kid, my dad taking us to a fish camp in tocoi.

        this was many years ago. i doubt tocoi is on a map.

        6 Replies
        1. re: hitachino

          Not that it matters, but I didn't say The Catfish Place was comparable to your idyllic version of a Florida fish camp. I said the food was comparable.

          I think this board is called Chowhound, not -- the idea is to write about food.


          1. re: Bob Mervine

            yes, ok....but i am interested in hearing about people's FOOD experiences in actual fish camps. sorry if i didn't make that clear ;). fish camps can be and ought to be something that locals and visitors alike can access comfortably. even the disneyfied ones - as they've obviously had to go that route just to survive if the article i provided is anything to go by.

            seriously, a fish camp's restaurant really is a more authentic florida food experience than any 5 star, high dollar restaurant. especially since most of them will feature gator on the menu. ;)

            yes, the very affordable catfish place has similar food to many fish camps, so i suppose if someone wanted to experience the food without the ambiance and sense of adventure, then that might do the trick.

            bur even the lowly (and probably very authentic) fish camp in my childhood memory with its bologna or egg salad sandwiches to go and the big jars of dill pickles and pickled eggs would have had its place on a chow board, imho.

            btw, just saw your photo in an issue of seminole magazine that i picked up at the lake mary dexters this weekend. you look like you were having a good time ;)

            1. re: hitachino

              Not a fish camp, but I wonder if Marsh Landing in Fellsmere wouldn't fit your food bill (i.e. fried pickles, lots of fried gator tail and catfish, collards)


              1. re: hitachino

                "Life's too short to drink cheap wine" has always been my motto and we were into our second bottle of Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zin when she took that photo . . .

                hitachino, I think we agree.

                I'm a strong believer in real Florida (or any local) cuisine. I lobbied hard for using a shot from Black Hammock on my book cover (it's the shot of the wide open gator's head filled with everything on the menu -- don't see it on the web site now)But the publisher liked Floribbean and that was that.

                I second the notion about Marsh Landing also. And for all intents and purposes that is in the middle of the damn swamp -- it just happends to have a road and the semblance of an old town around it.

                But I'm getting too old to jostle my kidneys getting out to a camp, I'd rather stay cool and dry and let some restaurant do the work. Although I do admit that a sunset on Lake Jesup is powerful pretty.


                PS -- don't forget those nasty, horrible red sausages in the pickled egg juice. I used to scarf them down -- last time I tried one I was in agony for two days.


                  1. re: florida goat boy

                    In deference to the hosts of this board, I don't promote any products, particularly mine. Information is easy to find vis Google, or contact me off-line and I'll get you some information.



          2. Yankee clipper fish camp on 301 toward Ocala is the real thing. very rustic, with boat rentals and campsites. The bar and resturant is generic with a simple Bud Light neon sign in the window (if it's even still open)

            Good for the full experience. I like this thread lets keep it alive

            1. We go to Cherry Pockets all the time when ever we have out of town guests. It is out in the middle of the orange groves and is located on Lake Pierce in Lake Wales. Usually we will get a bucket of oysters (1/2 raw and 1/2 steamed with garlic butter.) For dinner the blackened grouper over dirty rice with parmesean seafood medley(shrimp, scallops and krab).You have to get a piece of the carrot cake. It is the best!