Ocala National Forest, north-central Florida
Target species: Largemouth bass
January avg. temps: 70 high, 50 low
Round-trip airfare to Orlando: $195
Accommodations: free camping

There are literally hundreds of small lakes and grassy ponds in this 389,000-acre national forest about 40 miles north of Orlando ( A few are busy places with improved boat ramps, but many offer only backcountry access by primitive sand roads. Rent a canoe or kayak at one of several forest-based concessions, and then use the SUV you hired at the Orlando airport to reach seldom-fished water. Camping at designated “primitive” sites is free. Get a copy of the Forest Service fishing booklet and a map when you check in.

–John Merwin