Nestled on the shoreline of Indian River Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean, Fort Pierce boasts a rich ecosystem that provides wonderful inshore, nearshore, and offshore fishing opportunities. Anglers can wet their lines in search of prized catches such as snook, redfish, mahi mahi, sailfish, and other revered game fish. Whether you're a seasoned angler seeking a challenge or a beginner looking to enjoy the thrill of landing your first catch, Fort Pierce's fishing opportunities are sure to leave a lasting impression.
There are some fantastic inshore opportunities in Fort Pierce. Some of the most popular inshore species are:
Live bait such as pilchards, pinfish, or shrimp, as well as artificial lures like swimbaits or topwater plugs that mimic natural prey.
Medium to heavy spinning or baitcasting rods with braided line and fluorocarbon leader for stealthy presentations, or 8wt to 9 wt fly rods. If you are a fly angler, check out this recipe for an effective tapered leader for snook fishing, or get a crash course on fly fishing for snook here.
Cast near structure, docks, mangroves, or sandbars, using a slow retrieve or twitching motion. Check out our most recent article for more fly fishing tactics for snook.
Try cut bait like mullet or shrimp, live bait such as finger mullet or pinfish, or artificial lures such as spoons, soft plastic jerkbaits, or gold spoons. Use flies that mimic small crustaceans like crabs and shrimp.
Utilize medium to heavy spinning and baitcasting rods with monofilament or braided line and a fluorocarbon leader. Fly anglers should use 7wt to 9wt fly rods.
Cast around oyster bars, grass flats, or nearshore structures, using a steady retrieve or slow jigging motion to impart action on your lure. Use short 6 inch strips when retrieving flies.
For more on how to target redfish around Fort Pierce, check out our Ultimate Guide to Florida Redfish.
Try live shrimp, small baitfish like pilchards or pinfish, or artificial lures such as soft plastic jerkbaits, paddle tails, or suspending twitchbaits that mimic the baitfish in the area.
Use light to medium spinning rods with monofilament or fluorocarbon line and a fluorocarbon leader for stealthy presentations. Fly anglers should use 7wt to 9wt fly rods.
Drift or cast around seagrass beds, channels, or drop-offs, employing a twitching or steady retrieve.
Use live bait such as mullet, crabs, or pinfish, as well as artificial lures like swimbaits, jigs, or topwater plugs.
Opt for heavy spinning or conventional rods with strong braided line and a fluorocarbon leader, equipped with a robust reel for handling poewrful runs.
Cast near bridges, channels, or flats, using a slow retrieve, jigging motion, or topwater action. Check out our recent article for more on effective techniques and tips for tarpon fishing in South Florida.
Use shrimp, crabs, or small baitfish, as well as cut bait like mullet or clams.
Fish medium to heavy spinning or casting rods with monofilament or braided line and a fluorocarbon leader for abrasion resistance.
Try bottom fishing near oyster beds, docks, or bridges, using a simple weight and hook setup.
Use live or dead shrimp, fiddler crabs, or sand fleas, as well as small pieces of clam or oyster.
Fish light to medium spinning rods with monofilament line and a fluorocarbon leader, using a sensitive hook setup for better bait detection.
Prospect around pilings, docks, or jetties, employing a subtle approach to entice sheepshead to bite.
There are also extensive offshore fishing opportunities in the vast Atlantic, right off the shore of Fort Pierce. Many of these fish are highly prized game fish and fantastic for eating, that draw in anglers from all throughout the world.
Try trolling with artificial lures such as skirts or ballyhoo, or live bait like pilchards or small bonito.
Use medium to heavy trolling rods with a reel equipped with high-quality monofilament or braided line.
Look for offshore weed lines, floating debris, or structure. Try varying speeds on you retrieve and using colorful lures to aggressive strikes. Once one mahi is hooked, more often follow it to the boat out of curiosity, so be ready to pitch a second bait.
Troll with live bait such as cigar minnows, mullet, or menhaden, or use artificial lures like spoons, plugs, or dusters.
Select medium to heavy spinning or trolling rods with a reel spooled with monofilament or braided line and a wire leader to prevent bite-offs.
Work along nearshore structures, drop-offs, or artificial reefs, adjusting speed and depth to dial in the bite.
Try slow trolling or kite fishing with live bait such as goggle-eyes, mullet, or ballyhoo, or using artificial lures like trolling feathers or skirted baits.
Use heavy trolling rods with reels loaded with braided line and a heavy fluorocarbon leader.
Troll near offshore reefs, ledges, current edges, and temperature breaks — varying speeds and patterns to imitate natural prey.
Try high-speed trolling with artificial lures like swimming plugs, jet heads, or spoons in vibrant colors.
Use heavy trolling rods paired with a high-speed reel spooled with braided line and a wire leader for the wahoo's sharp teeth.
Focus your high-speed trolling near offshore structure, drop-offs, or weed lines, maintaining speeds of 10 to 20 knots.
Use live bait such as small crabs, pinfish, or eels, or using artificial lures like bucktail jigs, swimbaits, or spoons.
You'll want medium to heavy spinning or casting rods with a reel loaded with braided line and a fluorocarbon leader for maximum fighting power.
Look around buoys, wrecks, or structure, for cobia on the surface. Also keep your eye out for manta rays or large sharks, as cobia will often swim with these ocean critters.
Try live bait such as pinfish, grunts, or mullet, or use dead bait like squid or cut fish as a secondary option.
Use heavy bottom fishing rods with a reel loaded with braided line and a fluorocarbon leader. Utilize strong, stout hooks to handle groupers' powerful strikes.
Concentrate your fishing around natural or artificial reefs, wrecks, or ledges, dropping the bait near structure where grouper congregate.
Use cut bait such as sardines, squid, or ballyhoo, or live bait like pilchards, pinfish, or grunts.
Select medium to heavy bottom fishing rigs with a reel spooled with monofilament or braided line and a fluorocarbon leader for stealthy presentations.
Focus around reefs, wrecks, or ledges, using a sliding sinker or a knocker rig and allow the bait to settle near the snapper's habitat.
Try vertical jigging with heavy metal jigs, butterfly jigs, or live bait such as blue runners, cigar minnows, or pinfish.
You will need very heavy jigging rods with a high-capacity reel loaded with braided line and a fluorocarbon or wire leader for the amberjack's strong fight.
Fish near wrecks, reefs, or offshore structures, employing a fast and aggressive jigging motion to entice amberjack bites.
Try trolling with artificial lures such as feathers, cedar plugs, or skirted baits, or using live bait like small bonito or pilchards.
Use medium-heavy to heavy trolling rods and reels loaded with high-quality monofilament or braided line and fluorocarbon or wire leader for larger tuna.
Troll near offshore structures, current edges, or schools of baitfish, varying trolling speeds and lure presentation to attract tuna strikes.
In Florida, anglers over the age of 16 are required to have a valid fishing license to fish in freshwater or saltwater. There are different types of licenses available, including freshwater, saltwater, and combination licenses. These licenses can be obtained from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website. If you are fishing with a licensed charter captain, you do not need to purchase your own fishing license while fishing on their vessel.
There are specific regulations regarding the size and quantity of fish you can keep. These limits vary depending on the species of fish, the fishing location (freshwater or saltwater), and sometimes the season. It's important to familiarize yourself and abide by these limits set by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to protect fish populations and ensure sustainable fishing practices.
|Snook||March 1 – April 30 and September 1 – December 31|
|Redfish||Year-round, with certain size limits|
|Speckled Sea Trout||Year-round, with certain size limits|
|Tarpon||April 1 – July 31|
|Black Drum||Year-round, with certain size limits|
|Sheepshead||Year-round, with certain size limits|
|Mahi-Mahi||Year-round, with peak season in spring|
|King Mackerel||Year-round, with peak season in summer|
|Sailfish||Year-round, with peak season in winter|
|Wahoo||Year-round, with peak season in fall|
|Grouper||Various species and regulations; check with FWC for specific seasons and limits|
|Snapper||Various species and regulations; check with FWC for specific seasons and limits|
|Amberjack||May 1 – December 31|
|Tuna (Blackfin & Yellowfin)||Year-round, with peak season varying throughout the year|
Fort Pierce offers several family-friendly fishing options for experienced anglers and beginners. Our Fort Pierce charter captains offer a number of family-oriented fishing experiences. Ask your guide to see what makes the most sense for your family. If you are fishing without a guide, check out some of the following spots:
This park provides access to the inlet and jetties, offering opportunities for fishing from the shore. It's a great spot for families to enjoy fishing while surrounded by scenic views. The park also has picnic areas, restrooms, and other amenities for a convenient family outing.
Located near the South Jetty in Fort Pierce, this park is another popular spot for fishing with the family. It features a fishing pier that extends into the Indian River Lagoon, providing ample space for fishing. With convenient parking, picnic areas, restrooms, and a playground, Jetty Park is great place for family fishing excursions.
Located near the South Causeway Park, the Fort Pierce Fishing Pier is a popular spot for anglers of all ages. The pier extends into the Atlantic Ocean and offers opportunities to catch a variety of fish species. It's equipped with cleaning stations, restrooms, and convenient parking.
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