More world records have come from Florida fishing than any other place in the world, over 900 of them and counting. Florida is home to more than 7,700 lakes, 10,550 miles of river shoreline and 2,276 miles of tidal shoreline. So there are endless opportunities for anglers to catch both inshore and offshore saltwater fish throughout the year.
So Where are the Best Fishing Destinations in Florida?
Jacksonville is where you go to get Kingfish. These Mackerel grow massive and are a delicious. Offshore and deep-sea trips can yield an impressive catch of Sailfish, Wahoo and Tuna. You don’t have to be a professional angler to catch them, but you should use a local guide if you want to get the BIG ones.
If you want to avoid the deep seas there are plenty of inshore places where you can get Redfish, Spotted Sea trout, Flounder and Sheepshead. Backwater fishing is considered legendary to some here.
In Daytona Beach you can stay around the inshore waterways of the Halifax River and fish for Largemouth Bass or head far out into the ocean to gettem’ on here dood. If you head south towards the Mosquito Lagoon you can find Snook, Red and Black Drum, Sheepshead, and Speckled Trout.
For anglers chasing Wahoo out of the Atlantic, Daytona Beach is a great destination of choice. You will often come across Sailfish, Amberjack, Triggerfish, and Mahi there.
Cocoa Beach has plenty of big Spotted Sea trout, also called “Gator Trout.” They are one of the most popular fish to catch here, and bring a lot of angling action. There is also a healthy stock of Mangrove Snapper, Black Drum, Snook and Sheepshead.
The Banana River inhabits Tarpon, Mangrove Snapper, Redfish and Jack Crevalle. You can find oyster beds and grassy marshes filled with fishing action throughout the year. IF you want the thrill of the chase, the Atlantic Ocean waters here offer Mackerel, Pompano, Mahi, Tuna, and Marlin.
West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach has some of the best fishing in Florida and enough evidence to prove it. Inshore, you can explore canals and lakes and get Peacock Bass, especially during summer.
The Intracoastal Waterway is another praised fishery that often produces Redfish, Snook, and Tarpon. Just to the north, you will find excellent reef fishing for Snapper and Grouper that usually swim there in large numbers. Sharks are local favorites and anglers often come here to get them but you need some local knowledge to s get the best out of your day on the water.
Miami Fishing Miami can be a real challenge as there is so much to choose from. This city has a reputation among anglers for getting Sailfish with the Miami skyline in the background. Miami offshore fishing is popular for Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Amberjack, Tuna and King Mackerel.
Miami is not only about big game fish. The inshore fishing Miami offers is some of the best on the entire east coast of Florida. If you’re looking for some fast-paced action inshore, you can battle Tarpon during the night. Night fishing charter trips are easily found. The eastern part of Biscayne Bay has excellent fly-fishing with numerous flats hiding Permit, Bonefish, and Tarpon.
The Famous Florida Keys
If you want to go on a road trip to angling paradise, take a ride and drive along the 100+ miles spectacular views that span all the Florida Keys. Try fishing in Islamorada, Marathon, and Key West. These fisheries are second to none, home to Bonefish, Tarpon, Permit, Snook, and a variety of Snapper, even from the shore.
Moving offshore to the Atlantic or towards the Gulf, you’ll encounter the big game fish: Mahi, Mackerel, Tuna, Sailfish, and Marlin as well as Snapper and Grouper to call dinner. There’s plenty of Snapper and Jack Crevalle action around the Florida Keys bridges
Stickney Point and North Key Bridges are the connecting bridges to the mainland. These are popular for both inshore and offshore anglers. There is a seawall section of the lagoon where you can find some large predatory fish hanging out and waiting to ambush unsuspecting passing whitebait.
Comprised of Englewood Beach and one of the longest keys in Florida, Lemon Bay with Redfish Cove make up the interior. The northern tip has been called the shark tooth capital of the world.
The fishing pier is located at Anger Park and there’s a dock on the inside of Blind Pass Beach. If you’re looking for the closest thing to what the Florida Keys used to be like 20 years ago, this is it. A jetty protects it against erosion; bait and big snook are caught off around it in large numbers. Outgoing tides are best here.
You will find some of the best fishing in Florida right here, with schools of Redfish, Tarpon, Black Drum, Speckled Trout, and Ladyfish. And that’s just in the backwaters. If you want an action-packed day without big waves, then stay inshore and try light tackle or fly-fishing.
If you’re into adrenaline stuff, head offshore, explore the reefs and or go deep-sea fishing. You can get Mackerel, Mahi, Tuna, and Wahoo. Bottom fishing here is popular for Snapper, Grouper and Amberjack.
Fort Myers It’s no secret that Fort Myers has a lot to offer fishing lovers. Anglers come here to try their hand at landing Spotted Sea trout, Redfish, and Snook. Some accomplish catching all three in a single day. Love the thrill of the chase? Then head out and explore the excellent deep-sea fishing Fort Myers offers.
If you’re up for checking out grass flats, mangroves, and channels, that’s where the feisty fish are. As you fish the inshore spots, don’t be surprised if you come across Goliath Grouper as well as Sharks. Tarpon make their run northwards each spring, passing just outside Fort Myers. You can enjoy excellent fly-fishing here as well.
Ft Myers Beach
Located on Estero Island, just south of Sanibel & Captiva Islands. Acting as a barrier on the Gulf side of Estero Bay with Lover’s Key to the immediate south. This creates a saltwater and brackish water sanctuary for an abundant variety of fish species.
The Estero Bay Preserve Park was the first aquatic preserve in the state of Florida. Here you can have the best of both worlds. The Bay and preserve offer countless spots that don’t see many anglers throughout the year so might as well try them.
Sanibel is close to Fort Myers and offers great fishing from the beaches on the Gulf to the Caloosahatchee river. Much of the island is a national wildlife preserve and is considered by many to be a sanctuary to fish for Snook and Redfish as well as freshwater Peacock Bass.
Tampa is known among anglers for its excellent inshore fishing for Redfish, Black Drum, Spotted Sea trout, Jack Crevalle, and Sheepshead along its coastline. The waters of Tampa have excellent trolling, bottom and fly-fishing opportunities also. Tarpon swim around bridges during spring and summer displaying their incredible acrobatics. You should make it a point to see them if you never have. Travelers explore the offshore waters looking for Amberjack, Grouper, Snapper, Cobia, Mahi and King Mackerel.
Panama City Beach
Here you will find stretches of sandy white beaches and excellent inshore game fishing. Anglers return here year after year exploring endless fishing opportunities. You can reel in Flounder, Speckled Trout and Sheepshead from the bay and explore natural as well as artificial reefs to target Spanish mackerel. You may find a shark or two also.
Panama City Beach is popular for offshore charters into the Gulf of Mexico angling for Sailfish, Mackerel, Grouper and Snapper, Wahoo and Mahi.
Freshwater and Saltwater anglers will find plenty of fantastic locations to take a shot at a trophy. Myakka River State Park is a top pick for bass fishing. Centennial Park and Boat Ramp are popular locations to launch boats into the saltwater
This barrier island protecting Sarasota Bay is loaded with snook, redfish and trout. Big breeder snook run along the beaches during the summer. If you want to shore fish from the beach, the flounder, whiting, pompano and ladyfish will keep you busy. Another hot spot is Anna Maria Island, just north of the pass and is home to Rod and Reel pier and Historic pier.