How would you describe your ideal fishing experience? Relaxing, peaceful, fun, plentiful? It is not always easy for anglers to find a place that provides all of these, so we are here to point one, or 6, out to you. Bordered by a series of Islands, North Fort Myers, has become the ultimate place for those looking for amazing fishing spots.
6 Ft Myers Fishing Spots
Combine splendid, scenic views and beautiful year-round weather with your favorite fishing trip and throw in an area with rich history and there you have the ‘City of Palms’. It is no wonder that this area was Thomas Edison’s favorite winter and fishing destination. This article will present you with the 6 top locations to fish around Fort Myers waters.
Captiva Island, also known as Sanibel’s sister island, can be reached with just a short drive over the Sanibel Causeway. Angling is common in this area, as there are numerous fishing charters available. Not to mention, both the marinas and the beaches create the perfect setting for an accessible shore and good surfcasting conditions.
If you travel up to nine miles off the coast, you are still in state waters. This is also where you will find most of the charters and anglers setting up shop. Going further, you will reach the deep sea of the Gulf. These waters are abundant in Amberjack, King Mackerel, Goliath Grouper and several species of shark. Our recommendation would be to go with a guide if you are not a seasoned professional but over time, this could easily become one of your favorite fishing experiences.
Pine Island Sound
Located between Pine Island, Sanibel, and Captiva Islands; Pine Island Sound contains many hidden spots near the small islands; of course, you can launch from the islands and go fishing in open waters, but the many hidden gems are bound to grab your attention. The waters of Pine Island Sound are known for fish such as Snook, Redfish, Seatrout, and Tarpon.
Tarpon Bay is the perfect place for beginner anglers. One important thing to do before going on the water is to get a fishing license unless you’re on a licensed pier or registered charter. Tarpon Bay can be found inside the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge and it is home to more than 200 fish species. Many mangrove estuaries can be found in Tarpon Bay and these estuaries can be described as both diverse and productive. The ecosystem, composed of both salt and freshwater, allows you to catch Tarpon, Seatrout, or Redfish, as well as Mangrove Snapper and Flounder.
Fort Myers Beach Fishing Pier
If you want to get the younger generation involved in the fishing process, Fort Myers Beach Fishing Pier is a great starting point. Catching a Mangrove Snapper off the pier with just some frozen bait or a rod should provide for a fun and easy experience. Fishing Fort Myers Beach is also a great place for catch and release fishing. The pier is a suitable place for anybody, from kids to the elderly, as it provides all kinds of activities, from fishing to people-watching and sunbathing; this place has a bit of everything.
A traditional and popular place for fishing, Fisherman Key, is the best choice for paddlers and boaters. The small island located between mainland Fort Myers and Sanibel Island offers diverse inshore fishing. The Caloosahatchee River empties into San Carlos Bay, which surrounds Fisherman Key and provides a variety of fish species, ranging from Tarpon, Redfish, Snook, Swordfish and Grouper. Anglers can fish the bay or head out towards the Gulf of Mexico.
Caloosahatchee River can be described as one of the best places when it comes to North Fort Myers fishing. The river empties out into the bay, which leads to a mixing of salt and freshwater. The high volume of freshwater and smaller amounts of saltwater in this river contributes to a versatile ecosystem, affording a home to a variety of fish species, and even some alligators.
Along the river are several parks, piers/ bridges and creeks from which you can engage in many activities. Riverside Park, North Shore Park and the Tarpon Street Pier offer great fishing spots, in addition to playgrounds, kayak rentals and jump off points, and picnic pavilions. You can also check out Manatee Park, Lakes Park, Billy Creek, and the Midpoint Bridge.
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Top Catches in Fort Myers Waters
The top fish species you can catch in Fort Myers are rated for their food value, availability all through the year, and their ability to put up a fight. These species are abundant and a fishing trip or session is sure to land you your daily bag limit.
Snook is probably one of the most common fish to catch in Fort Myers. They take bait quickly, taste great, and can be caught all through the year; however, Snook make seasonal migrations. This fish is known for jumping out of the water and bursting into long runs. If you’re up for the challenge against this sly fish, the taste makes it worthwhile. Consider live pinfish, small mullet, shrimp or sardines for bait and beware of the razor-sharp gill covers.
They spend the winter in warmer areas like rivers, residential canals, and creeks. These areas provide them with the right temperature and forage all through the winter. As the temperature rises, they move out into the coastal waters and bays to feed. By the time summer rolls around, Snook move off to spawn on the beaches as well as in the passes.
Often described as the “Silver King” due to its silver scales, the Tarpon is one of the most frequently caught saltwater fish. It is known more as a sport fish than a meal fish; its acrobatic tendencies make it fun to catch but the taste is not preferred. This is why Tarpon are mostly a catch and release fish.
To catch this fish, you will want to consider flies, streamers, floating and diving lures or jigs. You can find Tarpon throughout Fort Myers waters, but if you do not mind a short boat trip out of the Fort Myers area, head out to Boca Grande which is also known as the Tarpon Capital of the World.
Fort Myers holds numerous Redfish, which are perfect for experienced and beginner anglers alike. This delicious fish can be found all throughout North Fort Myers waters and just as the Snook, they will definitely put up a fight. This species travels in large schools during the fall, making them easy targets during the season.
This fish is the perfect target for any angler, no matter the level of experience. Seatrout can be found throughout North Fort Myers waters, especially in the Caloosahatchee River or the city’s canals, thus making them easy to catch. It is also considered great table fare and easy to cook.
In addition to various saltwater species, you can find bass in the Fort Myers waters. Largemouth Bass, the trophy fish of Florida freshwater fishing, is among the most popular of the bass found around. Largemouth Bass are strong fighters that are attracted to small bait fish and small shrimp, as well as lures. The colorful Peacock Bass is also a species that can be found sprinkled throughout Florida’s waterways.
Rules and Regulations
As much as fishing is fun and an essential aspect of the state of Florida, it is vital to remember some rules and regulations guide this activity. First, anyone who wants to hit the water has to obtain a fishing license. You will either need a Reef Fish Permit, Saltwater License, Freshwater License, and/or Shore Fishing License.
Also, there are daily bag limits for the various species, and species like Red Snapper can only be caught within strictly regulated seasons. Another vital point to note; there are some species who are strictly catch and release, well into 2021.
Finally, having a charter takes care of all the licenses, and your guide will not only provide them, but he/she will also keep you updated on the regulations and how they might change.
North Fort Myers is truly a beautiful area with much to enjoy, with so many great fishing locations. The weather is always gorgeous and magnificent to behold. The fish you find in the area are good for all types of fisherman, from the most experienced anglers to beginners and children.
Also, fishing in these areas isn’t about hitting the water only; you can have your fun while fishing from bridges and piers. An example of a dock that supports this type of fishing is the Fort Myers Beach Fishing Pier.