Fishing in Southwest Florida

Fishing in Southwest Florida

When you think of Southwest Florida, what comes to mind? The beach? Sun? How about fishing? Fishing is renowned in the Florida Gulf Coast; it’s a way of life for many people in this part of the state. Whether you’re an experienced fisherman or new to the sport, Southwest Florida has endless fishing options for you to choose from, like fly, reel, backwater, and offshore. You can fish off a dock, or join a captain on his boat in one of the state’s fantastic fishing hot spots. Here’s some fishing in Southwest Florida options that’ll give you the opportunity to bring home a nice snapper to cook up for dinner:

Fishing on Your Own

If you know how to fish and want to cast a reel from a boat or the shore, fishing on your own is the best bet. On your own, you have the opportunity to bait catch, surf cast, and fly fish. Before you head out, make sure you get yourself a Florida fishing license; this license needs to be for the specific fishing you’d like to do: saltwater, freshwater, or sportsman’s fishing. If you’re looking to catch a specific type of fish, the state requires you to get an additional permit that will limit your per day catches. License pricing varies depending on your residency and type of fishing you plan on setting out to do. Children under 16 and Florida residents over 65 years of age do not need a license. You also don’t need a license if you’re fishing for recreational purposes from a pier that has a saltwater fishing license, like the Naples Pier. Licenses can be bought at myfwc.com, gooutdoorsflorida.com, a county tax collectors’ office, or by calling 888-FISH-FLORIDA (347-4356).

Even with a license, there are still requirements of what is allowed to be caught. For many fish, a size requirement has been put into place. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has a handbook that details saltwater recreational fishing regulations that can guide you on what you can keep or throw back into the water.

All public Florida beaches allow fishing from the shore. Here are a few legal shore fishing spots in the area:

Yacht Club Community Park, 5819 Driftwood Parkway, Cape Coral, Fl
Naples Pier, 25 12th Ave. S, Naples, FL
Bowditch Point Park, 50 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach, Fl
Bonita Beach Park, 27954 Hickory Blvd., Bonita Springs, Fl
Vanderbilt Beach, 100 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., Naples, FL
Lovers Key State Park, 8700 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers, Fl

Fish with an Expert

If you’ve never fished before or just feel more comfortable being guided by an expert fisherman, joining a captain on his boat can be a fun-filled experience as he or she guides your through Southwest Florida’s fishing waters.

A charter captain has all the proper licenses to take you out to catch a variety of different fish in saltwater areas. As your guide, captains abide by U.S. Coast Guard requirements. Many of these captains will teach customers how to fish, along with giving them background information about the fish they’re catching, as well as the ecosystem surrounding the fishing spots. Types of fishing you can do with these captains are:

Backwater/inshore/nearshore fishing: This is fishing within a few miles of the shoreline or in shallow backwaters. Anglers (people who fish with a rod and line) fish in bays, estuaries, mangrove islands, and creeks across miles and miles of shoreline. A person can also do inshore fishing from a pier or beach. Common fish that are caught with this type of fishing are snook, pompano, shark, snapper, and redfish.

Offshore fishing: These fishing trips are around 20 to 30 miles off shore where the water can be up to thousands of feet deep. There are towers, and reefs where groupers, permits, snappers, amberjacks, sharks, and tuna can be found.

One type of fishing isn’t any better than the other, it just depends on your personal preference on how close to the shore you want to be and what type of fish you want to catch. These captains can bring you around Rookery Bay, the Ten Thousand Islands, and waters off Naples and Marco Island.

There is a large fishing charter market in the area, but here are a few names for you to check out:

Naples Salt Water Fishing, 4140 5th Ave. SW, Naples, Fl
Chasin’ Tales Backwater Fishing Charters, 880 12th Ave. S, Naples, Fl
Blue Runner Charters, 951 Bald Eagle Dr., Marco Island, Fl
Gone Fishin’ Charters, 909 Collier Ct., Marco Island, Fl

Explore Fishing in Southwest Florida

Fishing is just one of many reasons to live in Florida – it can either be a leisurely activity or a way for you to catch tonight’s dinner. To inquire about living nearby Southwest Florida’s prime fishing areas, contact Kim Amarasimowicz at 239-214-1039. She is not only a local Cape Coral Realtor but also an avid fisherman, who knows the ins and outs of Southwest Florida.