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Ultimate Guide • Updated Mon, Apr 15, 2024

Top 10 Fishing Destinations in Florida

Florida is a haven for anglers, boasting a diverse range of fishing opportunities that cater to both novice and seasoned fishermen alike. With its extensive coastline, vibrant marine life, and varied ecosystems, it's no wonder that Florida is renowned as one of the premier fishing destinations in the world. From pristine beaches to expansive wetlands, Florida offers an abundance of fishing spots, each with its own unique charm and appeal. Let's explore the top 10 fishing destinations in Florida, highlighting the types of fishing opportunities and the species you can expect to catch at each location.

This article covers:

  • 10. St. Augustine
  • 9. Panama City Beach
  • 8. Miami
  • 7. Sarasota
  • 6. Tavernier
  • 5. Marathon
  • 4. Tampa Bay
  • 3. Key West
  • 2. The Everglades
  • 1. Islamorada
  • Your next Florida fishing adventure
  • Frequently asked questions about fishing in Florida

10. St. Augustine

The abundant marsh habitat near St. Augustine. Courtesy of Historic Coast Outfitters.

Click here to book with the best fishing guides in St. Augustine


Nestled along the northeastern coast of Florida, St. Augustine offers superb fishing opportunities. Celebrated for its abundant inshore and offshore fishing prospects, St. Augustine emerges as a premier destination for anglers of all proficiencies. The waters of Matanzas Bay are adorned with a variety of barrier islands and tidal marshes, transitioning into vast seagrass flats and a winding backcountry. The Atlantic Ocean's rich waters infuse this tidal ecosystem, ushering in shoals of nutrient-rich baitfish, trailed by their predators. Don't forget to explore nearby Ponte Vedra Beach as well. St. Augustine also lays claim as the oldest city in the United States, with stunning Spanish colonial architecture and a beautiful Northern Florida landscape.

Fishing in St. Augustine

Inshore anglers can pursue species such as redfish, sea trout, and flounder in the bays, marshes, and estuaries. Anticipate navigating aboard a flats skiff during your excursion, often engaging in sight fishing amidst these coveted game fish habitats. Offshore aficionados can venture into the Atlantic Ocean in quest of grouper, snapper, king mackerel, and more.

9. Panama City Beach

Sight fishing the shorelines near Panama City Beach. Courtesy of Fly Times Charters.

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Located on the Emerald Coast of Florida, Panama City Beach is renowned for its pristine beaches and exceptional fishing grounds. As one of the gems of the Florida Panhandle, it stands out as a sought-after destination for its breathtaking coastal beauty and laid-back ambiance. With easy access to the Gulf of Mexico and numerous bay systems, it has become a haven for fishing enthusiasts. Prime spots like St. Andrew Bay and Grand Lagoon offer outstanding inshore and nearshore fishing opportunities. For those craving adventure, the Gulf of Mexico presents unmatched deep-sea fishing experiences.

Fishing in Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach is celebrated for its abundant red snapper, triggerfish, cobia, and other prized species. Yet, it's not unusual for anglers to land larger catches such as mahi-mahi, wahoo, swordfish, and various billfish in the Gulf waters near Panama City Beach. Surprisingly, these majestic pelagics can be found just offshore, promising exciting fishing ventures within a short boat ride. The estuarine system of St. Andrew Bay also provides a perfect habitat for a diverse array of inshore fish species, ensuring fruitful fishing excursions. Its shorelines serve as ideal locations for targeting sea trout, cobia, and redfish as well.

8. Miami


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As one of Florida's most vibrant cities, Miami offers a diverse array of fishing opportunities within easy reach of its urban center. Miami serves as a testing ground for anglers of varying expertise, having great opportunities for both light tackle and big game fishing. A quintessential Miami experience involves a day spent on the water, followed by an evening enjoying the city's vibrant nightlife.

Fishing in Miami

From the shallow flats of Biscayne Bay to the deep waters of the Gulf Stream, anglers can target a wide range of species, including bonefishtarpon, and permit inshore. Miami's proximity to the Gulf Stream sets itself apart as the nearest U.S. port to the stream's edge. Anglers can target some of the largest billfish, amberjack, and wahoo not far offshore – making it a true deep-sea fishing destination. If your goal is to reel in a trophy catch, Miami’s fishery can make it happen. Be sure to book with an AnyCreek guide for local knowledge and an ideal fishing experience.

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7. Sarasota

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Situated on Florida's Gulf Coast, Sarasota is renowned for its beautiful beaches and abundant fishing opportunities. Sarasota’s multitude of waterways and diverse ecosystems create a bountiful playground for anglers, providing the thrills of offshore and inshore fishing in one location. Sarasota offers great family-friendly fishing trips, backcountry kayak fishing excursions, and much more. This region is known to have a prime location for tarpon migration. Be sure to check out nearby Siesta Key and Longboat Key as well!

Fishing in Sarasota

Anglers can explore the intricate maze of mangrove-lined waterways in search of snookredfishsheepshead, and sea trout, or venture offshore to target grouper, snapper, and amberjack on the numerous artificial reefs and wrecks. With its favorable climate throughout the year and a wealth of experienced fishing charters and guides, Sarasota guarantees unforgettable fishing adventures for enthusiasts of all levels.

6. Tavernier

A day of Florida Keys fishing off Tavernier, FL. Courtesy of Sea Señorita Charters.

Click here to book with the best fishing guides in Tavernier


Located in the Upper Florida Keys southwest of Key LargoTavernier offers anglers access to some of the best offshore fishing grounds in the state. This location provides anglers with a wide spectrum of fishing experiences, ranging from the tranquil backcountry waters of Florida Bay and Everglades National Park to thrilling offshore expeditions in the Atlantic Ocean. This location is also filled with history as a railroad town and fishing village, so be sure to dive deep into the history of what makes Tavernier great.

Fishing in Tavernier

Flats fishing is infamous in Tavernier, as this area is home to many barracuda, jack crevalle, sea trout, tarpon, and more. Whether trolling for sailfish and marlin in the deep blue waters of the Gulf Stream or bottom fishing for grouper and snapper on the nearby reefs and wrecks, Tavernier is a must-visit destination for serious anglers. Booking with one of our licensed guides grants you access to decades of local expertise — insights on prime fishing spots, optimal timing, and effective strategies for targeting specific species in Tavernier.

5. Marathon

View from above in the many flats found near Marathon, FL. Courtesy of Seven Mile Fly Shop.

Click here to book with the best fishing guides in Marathon


Situated in the heart of the Florida Keys, Marathon is a paradise for anglers seeking world-class fishing experiences. Whether you seek to indulge in fly fishing inshore or embark on a thrilling deep-sea fishing expedition, Marathon provides the expertise you desire, with knowledgeable guides ready to accompany you on your journey. Venture west into the Gulf of Mexico for reef and nearshore fishing, or east for inshore habitats and deep-sea action in the Atlantic Ocean.

Fishing in Marathon

Whether fishing the shallow flats for bonefish and permit, trolling for mahi-mahi and tuna offshore, or bottom fishing for snapper and grouper on the reef, Marathon offers something for every angler. Marathon offers great fishing year-round and going with an experienced fishing guide provides unparalleled access. Plus, the presence of an experienced captain ensures a successful outing, as nothing compares to the expertise of a seasoned angler.

4. Tampa Bay

Releasing an infamous 'Silver King' back into Tampa Bay. Courtesy of Capt. Nick Angelo.

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With its vast expanse of shallow flats, mangrove islands, and tidal creeks, Tampa Bay offers some of the best inshore fishing in Florida. Whether you're an experienced angler or a novice eager to learn, Tampa Bay guarantees an unforgettable fishing adventure. The surrounding areas of ClearwaterTarpon Springs, and Dunedin are prime locations as well to experience this renowned fishery.

Fishing in Tampa Bay

Situated on Florida's Gulf Coast, Tampa Bay’s abundant marine life offers anglers the chance to pursue coveted catches such as snookredfishsheepsheadtarpon, and more. Guides possess extensive knowledge of Tampa Bay's waters, fishing spots, fish migration patterns, preferred fishing gear, and tactics.

3. Key West

Navigating and fly fishing the endless flats found off scenic Key West

Click here to book with the best fishing guides in Key West


Renowned for its laid-back atmosphere and world-class fishing, Key West is a mecca for anglers from around the globe. From the legendary flats of the Marquesas Keys to the deep waters of the Dry Tortugas, Key West offers a wealth of fishing opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. Beyond its renowned fishing opportunities, Key West has an enchanting ambiance for seasoned anglers and vacationers alike. The island is steeped in history, adorned with scenic vistas, and exudes a relaxed island charm, enhancing its allure. For more information on sightseeing in Key Westcheck out this article.

Fishing in Key West

Key West truly has it all for both inshore and offshore fishing. Wading through the shallow flats or poling a skiff in search of these elusive creatures is a popular fishing tactic around Key West to target permittarponsnookbonefish, and barracuda. However, the offshore waters encircling the island are a habitat for many coveted game fish, such as sailfish, marlin, mahi-mahi, tuna, and wahoo. Key West is renowned as a premier destination for big game fishing, owing to its proximity to the Gulf Stream and the plentiful offshore reefs and wrecks. For more information on deep sea fishing in the Florida Keys, click here.

2. The Everglades


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As one of the most unique and pristine ecosystems in the world, the Everglades provides anglers with unparalleled fishing opportunities. Located on the southern tip of Florida, this distinctive subtropical area boasts diverse habitats such as mangrove forests, grassy flats, and brackish estuaries — fostering a vibrant ecosystem teeming with various gamefish species. Everglades fishing charters provide thrilling excursions, catering to both fly fishing enthusiasts and those who prefer conventional methods as well.

Fishing in The Everglades

In the shallows, you'll find trophy-sized snookredfishtarpon, and sea trout, offering thrilling sight fishing chances. Delve deeper into the intricate mangroves, and you'll discover black drum, sheepshead, flounder, largemouth bass, bowfin, and various other species. Most of this region requires a skiff boat and an experienced guide to navigate these waters as it is quite expansive. This area also has great night fishing opportunities for those looking for a unique fishing excursion.

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1. Islamorada

Click here to book with the best fishing guides in Islamorada


Widely regarded as the "Sportfishing Capital of the World," Islamorada offers anglers access to some of the most productive fishing grounds in Florida. Islamorada's reputation for world-class fishing is well-deserved, attracting anglers from around the globe to its highly productive waters for centuries.

Fishing in Islamorada

As our top Florida fishing destination, Islamorada consistently delivers world-class fishing experiences that keep anglers coming back year after year. Seasonality isn't a significant concern in Islamorada, where fishing remains excellent throughout the year. Offshore, you can engage in exciting deep sea expeditions to pursue prized trophies like mahi-mahi (dolphin), various billfish, and tuna. The vast coral reefs offer abundant chances for nearshore fishing, with opportunities to catch snapper, grouper, and mackerel. Inshore enthusiasts can wade or hire a guided skiff to fish the tranquil backcountry waters teeming with tarponbonefishpermitsnook, and redfish.

Your next Florida fishing adventure

Fishing the endless mangrove forests in SW Florida. Courtesy of Mangrove Maniacs.

Florida's diverse array of fishing destinations offers something for every angler, from pristine beaches and shallow flats to deep offshore waters and backcountry marshes. AnyCreek's team of expert fishing guides are not just mentors; they are architects of unparalleled experiences. Regardless of your angling background – whether you're a novice or a seasoned pro – these experts are dedicated to crafting a successful day for everyone onboard. So pack your gear, grab your rod, and get ready to embark on the fishing adventure of a lifetime in the Sunshine State.

Frequently asked questions about fishing in Florida

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