Types of Fishing in Southwest Florida

The US has the world’s largest saltwater fishing industry and there is nowhere better to enjoy it than in Southwest Florida. Big-game anglers and fishing enthusiasts alike have collected in cities like Fort Myers and Cape Coral to capitalize on the variety of tropical and temperature sportfish. Whether you’re more offshore or inshore, you’ll always have something fun to catch (just make sure you have an up-to-date fishing license!). Here are some of the different ways to experience fishing in Southwest Florida.

Deep Sea Fishing

If you’re a seasoned fisherman looking for more challenge and bigger catches, then it’s time for some deep sea fishing, also known as offshore or open water fishing. You’ll need sturdier supplies (like an offshore boat and heavy tackle), but the payoff is worth it! If you don’t have a boat capable of weathering a deep sea excursion, then try a party boat. We recommend Reel Fish N Sea Charters. They offer fishing trip departures from all over Southwest Florida, including Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Sanibel, Captiva, and Pine Island. Their large fishing boats can carry bigger groups of people and include an experienced captain to help you out. While you are less likely to catch a big-game sportfish this way, you’ll catch plenty of grouper and snapper to take home with you. Check out TripAdvisor for some different suggestions for offshore charters.

Inshore Fishing

You don’t need to go 20+ miles offshore to experience some incredible fishing in Florida. From Naples Pier to the pier on Fort Myers Beach, there are several great spots to catch redfish, tarpon, snapper, grouper, snook, sea trout, and more (depending on the year)! Because of Florida’s strict fishing laws meant to preserve population growth, the only way to get a taste of some of the local fish (like snook and redfish) are if you catch them yourself. Whether by boat, kayaks, or canoes, inshore fishing is a great relaxing, family fun activity for all levels of fishermen and fisherwomen. And nothing is more satisfying than finding your own special fishing spot!

Surf Fishing

One of the best things about Southwest Florida is that you don’t need a boat to fish. For scenic views and relaxing casting, the J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge is 7,000 acres of some of Florida’s best shallow-water fisheries. Looking to get right in the thick of it all? Do some beachcasting from Naples Beach! Or take a drive over to Sanibel Fishing Pear near the lighthouse, where people have been known to catch shark, snapper, and grouper. While having a boat is great, don’t think for a minute that you can’t experience Florida’s marine wildlife without one!

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