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Top 5 Florida Cities To Fish

Top 5 Florida Cities to Fish

Florida is often referred to as the ultimate fishing heaven. Being surrounded by water on three sides and hosting hundreds of lakes, this peninsula holds its head up high. Add to that the thousands of miles of rivers and you’ve got the perfect fishing experience.

Fishermen come to Florida from all over the world to fish in these Florida cities. With Florida’s biodiversity, it plays host to hundreds of fish species, offering a fish for every angler.

We’ve put together a list of the top 5 cities where you can have the best fishing experience in Florida.

1. The Florida Keys

Often described as a fishing paradise, the Florida Keys have it all; crystal clear waters, a ton of fish species, and a 100-mile stretch of thin islands. Not only are the Keys a dream destination for all levels of anglers, they are also a hotspot for all kinds of fun water activities, like scuba diving, snorkeling, paddle boarding, or even some plain old sunbathing on the beautiful, sandy white beaches. Who could ask for a better place to be?

Popular Fish Species
  • Bonefish
  • Snook
  • Tarpon
  • Permit
  • Marlin
  • Tuna
  • Sailfish
Top Florida Keys Fishing Spots

Islamorada Key

Referred to as the Sportfishing Capital of the World, Islamorada Key is one of the best fishing spots to frequent. This is mainly attributed to 2 things: the famous coral reefs and diverse water bodies surrounding this set of islands. On one side, you have the saltwater from the Everglades National Park and, on the other side, the Florida Strait deep cold water. This provides a diverse set of fish species. PRO TIP: try the key lime pie while you’re there.

Key Largo

Key Largo is a great destination for sportfishing enthusiasts as well, but probably more known for being the Dive Capital of the World. This island is home to one of the largest artificial reefs in the world, providing exquisite views for divers and shelter for several species of fish. Anglers will be thrilled to know they can find almost any species they can think of here, from the Spotted Seatrout to the Red Snapper.

Bahia Honda Bridge/State Park

If you’re looking for some daytime Tarpon fishing, this is the place for you! You will most likely come across some Hammerhead, Bull, or Tiger Sharks as well so watch out. The park is also a birder’s paradise, which is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail. The activities are endless here.

2. Fort Myers/Cape Coral

Another well-known fishing spot, Fort Myers, also offers the full experience. It’s not only about fishing; you’ll get the whole package with hiking, kayaking and shell hunting. If you are here just to fish though, you can do pretty much anything from boat fishing to reef fishing.

Popular Fish Species
  • Tarpon
  • Goliath Grouper
  • Snook
  • Redfish
Top Fort Myers Fishing Spots

Captiva Island

Known as Sanibel’s sister island, this is a great place for angling. The marinas and beaches on the island establish a good setting for accessible shore and ideal surfcasting conditions. The opportunities for fishing are endless and each option will give you a unique and magical experience. Try your hand at offshore, inshore/bay back and fly fishing, or even shoreline fishing without a boat.

Don’t forget, this island is fun for the whole family, with bird watching, biking and other fun water activities.

Fort Myers Beach Fishing Pier

The Fort Myers Beach fishing pier is the best place for all types of activities. Parasailing, beach fun, dolphin watching and live music are just some of the perks of visiting the pier. It is also a hotspot for fishing because you don’t need a fishing license to fish from the pier. So, go catch yourself a Mangrove Snapper by using frozen bait and you’ve got yourself a fun experience without any hassle.

Caloosahatchee River

The perfect mixture of salt and freshwater, this 67-mile-long river is a wonder for the fishing world. It creates the perfect ecosystem and home for many fish species and even alligators. As with much of Fort Myers, Tarpon and Snook are common in this area but you will also have a change to snag some Largemouth Bass. If you don’t plan on fishing, at least take a kayak out onto the river and enjoy its beauty.

Fort Myers has a ton of fantastic fishing and vacation spots, some of which were not mentioned in this article. Read more about them here.

Our Fishing Guides

Take a look at some of our fishing guides to learn tips & tricks, species rules & regulations, how to cook your catch, and more.

3. Destin

Destin is known as “the luckiest fishing village in the world”, so there’s no doubt you’ll have a great time. Make sure that before you head there, you get a fishing license. You will need it for all types of fishing on your own.

Popular Fish Species
  • Redfish
  • Tarpon
  • Snapper
  • Grouper
  • Cobia
  • Billfish
Top Destin Fishing Spots

“The Edge”

If you’re looking for some big game, head out to “the edge”. Going beyond the continental shelf, you get to some deep waters where you can find some gorgeous Tuna or Marlin.

The Island Pier

The Island Pier, formerly known as the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier, is the perfect place for prized fish. The fishing pier stretches 1,262 ft. into the Gulf. Because of that, you can get yourself ready for some precious catches, even if you are a beginner. You will often see dolphins, sea turtles, Black Fin Tuna and King Mackerel.

100 Fathom Curve

If you’re looking to catch Snappers, Groupers, or Mahi Mahi, this place is your starting point. Located only 10-12 miles offshore, it hides waters that are 600-feet deep.

4. Port Charlotte/Punta Gorda

Florida’s Gulf Coast holds an impressive number of saltwater species that attract anglers, but Port Charlotte is an epicenter for fishing. The reason? It’s bordered by both saltwater and freshwater bodies. You can read more about them here.

Popular Fish Species
  • Sheepshead
  • Cobia
  • Common Snook
  • Kingfish
  • Tarpon
Top Port Charlotte Fishing Spots

Boca Grande Pass

Famous for Tarpon sportfishing, the Pass is one of the deepest passes in Florida. We’re talking depths of up to 80 feet here! Filled with schools of fish, this is a great spot for targeting species such as Tarpon, Snook, or Goliath Grouper.

Peace River

Have you ever wondered which river is the best for freshwater and brackish-water fishing? It’s the Peace River, with water as serene as its name. It’s also the place where fishing techniques vary. Here, you can drop your line from anywhere: a canoe, a boat or even from the riverbank.

You can catch freshwater species such as Catfish, Bass, and Bream, as well as saltwater species like Snook or Tarpon.

Gasparilla Sound/Charlotte Harbor

Two-thirds of the way down Florida’s Gulf Coast, Gasparilla Sound might not be as renowned as its neighbors, but its shallow waters define it as a great fishing spot. Away from all the hustle, Gasparilla Sound offers its visitors a pleasant experience and some great catches, like Tarpon or Mangrove Snapper.

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5. Sarasota

Sarasota is one of the most diverse locations for fishing, from its plentiful marine diversity to its epic fishing spots. Sarasota has something for every angler, whether you are fishing from a personal or charter boat, kayak or pier.

Popular Fish Species
  • Redfish
  • Snook
  • Seatrout
  • Tarpon
Top Sarasota Fishing Spots

Big Sarasota Pass

The connection point between Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, The Big Sarasota Pass is a great fishing spot. Beyond the Sarasota point, the pass is deep and wide but becomes shallow at the outer confluence with the Gulf of Mexico. Find fish species such as the Tarpon, Common Snook, Sheepshead, or Drum.

Myakka River

If you’re looking for freshwater fishing, the Myakka River is the place to go. This river is the home of fish species such as Snook, Redfish, or Bluegill. One important fact to mention is that fishing from a larger boat might not be the best idea. Opt for smaller boats, a canoe, or a kayak to catch the perfect fish.

Pop Jantzen Reef (Sarasota Bay)

Located north from the Ringling Causeway, the Pop Jantzen Reef is in the southern part of a grassy and flat area. This is one of the best places to catch the Mangrove Snapper. One important fact is that the reef is artificial, to maintain the balance of the marine habitat. It has been built to maintain a good level of recreational fishing too.

Final Words

Florida fishing is an amazing experience, and these places are there to tell this story. There is a fish species and spot for every level of angler, from the Sheepshead fish to the King Mackerel, you can catch anything from anywhere. Rent a fishing charter or take your own boat out; grab your fishing gear and your kayak; or stay right on shore and fish from a pier or wade through the water. Add to that some breathtaking sights and a few days to bask in the sun, and you have the perfect vacation.

Tight Lines

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