Fort Myers Fishing Charters

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Fishing in Fort Myers, Florida

Lying on the Gulf Coast of Southwest Florida, Fort Myers is renowned for its exceptional fishing opportunities. Whether you're an advanced angler or a novice, the teeming waters off of Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach offer anglers a diverse ecosystem to explore and an abundance of gamefish species to target. Backcountry creek fishing, flats fishing, tarpon fishing, and offshore fishing are all popular options around Fort Myers. Discover Fort Myers’ fishing with an AnyCreek guide for complete peace of mind on your next adventure. 

Fort Myers Fishing Charters

Known for its abundant inshore and offshore fishing opportunities, Fort Myers is an excellent destination for anglers of all experience levels. Here, the Pine Island Sound’s waters hold a tapestry of mangrove keys and oyster bars, giving way to lush turtle grass flats and a winding tannic backcountry. With each tide cycle, the rich waters of the Gulf of Mexico inundate this tidal ecosystem with fluxes of nutrient-rich bait and game fish. Throughout the seasons, anglers target redfishtarpon, and snook. Whether you’re looking for the thrill of rolling tarpon off the beach at sunrise, or an afternoon of grouper and snapper fishing out on the wrecks, Fort Myers has something in store for everyone. These waters, as dynamic and complex as they are, are best explored with one of AnyCreek’s expert, local fishing guides — all vetted for their experience and guiding credentials. You can message and book with top local guides by clicking here.

Inshore Fishing Fort Myers, Florida

The mangrove shorelines, grass flats, and channels of Pine Island Sound provide access to incredible inshore fishing in Fort Myers. Snook are most abundant in Fort Myers during the spring and summer months as they begin their breeding cycle and migration inshore. Throughout the year, redfish provide inshore anglers with incredible sight fishing opportunities during low tides. Fort Myers is also seasonally home to Florida’s most iconic saltwater game fish. Renowned for their size, strength, and acrobatics, tarpon inundate the beaches and inshore waters of Fort Myers from the months of late May until late July, during the peak of their annual migration up the coast. 

Whether you want to bring your own fishing gear to Fort Myers or prefer to use the state-of-the art gear used by our guides, you will use medium to heavy action spinning rods when inshore fishing in Fort Myers. Fly anglers should expect to use 8wt to 10wt fly rods with fast action, equipped with reels housing a strong, smooth drag system to maximize your chances of success.

For bait, you will use fresh, live bait like shrimp, pilchards, pinfish, and finger mullet that are highly effective for inshore fishing near Fort Myers. Your guide will always try to use something akin to the natural prey of the fish during the time of year when you are fishing. These are typically fished as freelined baits, on knocker rigs, or underneath a popping cork — depending on the situation and optimal presentation. If you prefer to use artificials, you may throw soft plastic lures, jerk baits, and glide baits. These do a great job of mimicking injured or fleeing prey items, as to entice a hungry game fish to strike. Topwater lures and flies also perform well when fishing around Fort Myers, for anglers looking for the excitement of a heart-pounding surface eat.

Your guide will assist as you work the edges of mangrove shorelines, oyster bars, and other shallow water structure while targeting snookredfish, speckled sea trout, and other inshore species. 

Offshore Fishing Fort Myers, Florida

The offshore reefs and wrecks of Fort Myers provide refuge for shoals of baitfish and shrimp, in turn drawing large numbers of saltwater game fish. The Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Fort Myers is home to species like grouper, snapper, tripletail, and kingfish which concentrate around these structures to feed en masse. When you book one of AnyCreek’s local offshore fishing charters, you’re setting yourself up for an unforgettable day of some of the most exciting offshore fishing in Florida. 

While offshore fishing Fort Myers, you’ll use medium-heavy spinning or conventional gear. Your guide will provide you with freshly netted or trapped, pinfish, mullet, sand perch, threadfin herring, goggle eyes, gulf shrimp or cigar minnows. These baits are highly effective for offshore species like grouper, snapper, amberjack, permit, tripletail, and kingfish.

Fishing Areas around Fort Myers

Here are some of the most scenic, productive areas that you may fish in around Fort Myers, Florida. Your guide will always know where the fish are most likely biting, but feel free to message them and they will try to accommodate any of your preferences:

Pine Island Sound Fishing

Pine Island Sound is an expansive estuary known for its shallow waters, seagrass beds and mangrove shorelines. Pine Island Sound is a world famous tarpon fishing spot, typically from April to July. During other times of the year though, anglers can catch redfish, snook, sea trout and sheepshead in this fishing spot.

Matlacha Fishing

Matlacha is a quaint fishing town at the north end of Pine Island, and a renowned angling destination — known for its abundance of redfish, snook, and sea trout. Matlacha Pass sits adjacent to Pine Island Sound to the Gulf of Mexico, creating a fish-rich environment that hosts many different species of game fish. The target species are often found against a beautiful backdrop of mangrove shorelines, oyster bars, and turtle grass flats. 

Caloosahatchee River Fishing

The Caloosahatchee River is only a short drive north of Fort Myers, and holds both freshwater and saltwater fishing opportunities. Anglers may target snook, tarpon, and largemouth bass throughout the river’s brackish reaches. The varying depth and structure make it an exciting location for anglers looking for a diverse fishing experience.

What to do Shoreside in Fort Myers, Florida

On top of premier fishing, Fort Myers offers numerous parks, historical sites, and nature areas to explore during your stay. Spend the day soaking in the history of the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, or admire the natural beauty of Six Mile Slough Preserve or Manatee Park. Fort Myers is also an exciting town to explore through its eateries, night clubs, and white sand beaches. Try Lighthouse Waterfront Restaurant for delicious locally caught seafood accompanied by beautiful views, or Vichino’s Cafe and Wine Bar for a taste of the nightlife. If you want some sun, relaxation, or a spot for some shore fishing, Fort Myers Beach and Bunche Beach provide easy access to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Remember, if you plan to fish on your own, you will need to purchase an additional recreational fishing license from FWC. You can purchase your fishing license online by clicking here.

Just a short drive outside of Fort Myers, travelers should also consider visiting other local hidden gems for breathtaking scenery and more fun fishing during your down time:

J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge Fishing

Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Florida, is a quick drive from downtown Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach. The park’s visitor center focuses on the natural history of the surrounding islands, while the walking trails and Wildlife Drive out back offer great fishing by kayak or on foot for inshore species like snook, redfish, tarpon, and sea trout. Anglers also stop at the park’s Tarpon Bay outpost to rent kayaks and canoes to explore the backcountry even further. In addition to its many game fish, the refuge also provides a sanctuary for various bird species and other wildlife like alligators, bobcats, and gopher tortoises.

Sanibel’s Lighthouse Beach Fishing

Sanibel Island’s Lighthouse Beach offers easy access to breathtaking views of sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico, and excellent fishing opportunities for shore anglers to target snook. Some popular target species include snook, redfish, tarpon and speckled trout. The causeway has structures that create favorable conditions for fish to gather. 

Planning your Fort Myers Fishing Trip

When planning your Fort Myers fishing expedition, start your journey with AnyCreek. We’ll connect you with Fort Myers’ best fishing guides so that you may have on-the-ground guidance throughout your planning process. You can chat with your guide anytime before your trip by using AnyCreek’s Chat Feature, located under your ‘Account Info’ tab on our website. Check the local forecast before you start packing to ensure you’re prepared. Your guide will have all necessary licenses, gear, and tackle, but don’t forget to pack essentials — snacks, sunscreen, hats, polarized sunglasses, sun shirts, a raincoat, and a camera.

Booking for a large group? No problem! Check out this article to get you and your crew on your way.

Fort Myers Fishing FAQ

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